One of the things that human beings have consistently done, right from the time of our existence, is making things easy. Automation is one such thing. You see automation taking over in almost every industry. Cars are getting built automatically, and Siri in your iPhone helps you out with your tasks.
It was no surprise that automation stepped into the software development domain as well. Automation has helped improve the quality of IT products. So in this blog, I’ll be talking about what a test automation platform is, when you should use test automation, and why it is important to have a test automation platform. But before learning about test automation platforms, let me tell you how testing was done before automation.
Software Development Cycle Before Automated Testing
Before test automation platforms were built, software testing was done manually. As a manual tester, you had to go through the application manually and test it. To check if the application responded as expected, you had to give various inputs and interact with the application in different ways to find out how the application behaved.
Manual testing consumes more time and does not have 100% accuracy. A person has to take breaks and can work only for a limited amount of time, which results in the restriction of the testing time. If a person is having a bad day, then they will be less efficient, which affects the quality of the work.
Obviously, computers are faster than human beings, and using software eliminates human errors. And these are the two main reasons that led to the usage of test automation platforms. To learn more differences between manual testing and automated testing, read this blog.
Now, let’s see what a test automation platform is.
What Is a Test Automation Platform?
A test automation platform is a tool or framework that helps automate your QA efforts. A test automation platform uses scripts to automate the whole process of software testing. This platform includes various inputs and various use cases that your software has to be tested for. It has a prewritten set of steps to simulate user actions.
A test automation platform can be designed to replay recorded and predefined actions. You can also design a test automation platform to compare the desired results with the results obtained while testing. Test automation platforms completely limit human errors and can run throughout the day, which should get you more time for testing.
Though test automation platforms have their own benefits, you cannot use them every time, so let me tell you when they are necessary.
When Should You Use Test Automation Platforms?
Hiring a manual tester takes up resources, and building a test automation platform also takes up resources. To make the best use of your resources, you have to be smart enough to understand when the best time to use test automation platforms is.
Test automation platforms are really helpful when you have predefined actions and use cases, and you have to keep testing your application for the same set of inputs. But if your testing requires different types of inputs, then getting the test automation platform ready for this would cost you more than using a manual tester.
Test automation platforms are mainly used for complex and large-scale products. If you use manual testing for large-scale products, then the chances of human error increase. This affects the quality of the product.
Now that you know what test automation platforms are and when you should use them, let’s look at why they are important.
Importance of Test Automation Platforms
A lot of organizations have adapted using test automation platforms. I will give you a brief idea of why it is important for you to use them.
As mentioned earlier, test automation platforms are faster than human beings. This allows you to run more tests in a shorter period of time. And as you have already heard, time is money. Because you save time using test automation platforms, you also save money.
Test automation platforms can run 24/7. So you can run automated testing even when you are not working, and the platform will do the work for you. You can also use test automation platforms remotely. This means you can keep your testing process working while you are enjoying your vacation in Miami.
You might have to invest more while starting to use a test automation platform. But statistically, test automation platforms have proven to give more returns when used long-term.
Early Detection of Bugs
Using test automation platforms helps you identify bugs in the earlier stages of the software development cycle. This results in the early fix of bugs, which in return results in a faster software development cycle.
Building a test automation platform can be a tedious task at first. But once you make it ready, it can be reused to test various products. In most cases, the same test automation platform can be used to test other products just by changing the use cases and inputs. This feature is very helpful when you are building similar products that require testing for different kinds of inputs and use cases.
No matter how good manual testers are at their work, there is at least a small chance of error. The chance of human error increases with complex and large-scale products. Using test automation platforms eliminates errors completely and gives 100% accuracy.
Because test automation platforms do not require human interaction with the products, you can run parallel tests. This means you can run multiple instances of the test automation platform to test for various products at the same time. This helps you in getting more results using fewer system resources.
Higher Test Coverage
When you are using test automation platforms, the testing process is completely taken care of by the platform. During that period, the QA engineer can work on building more test cases for testing, which can help you in testing the product for a wide range of test cases.
Helps in Continuous Delivery
A lot of organizations these days have adopted DevOps. One of the most important pillars of DevOps is continuous delivery. Test automation platforms help in continuous delivery because you are faster and more efficient.
Summing It Up
Building a quality product is very important for any organization. Testing your product is a very important stage to ensure the quality of your product. To keep up with your competitors, it is important for you to stay up to date with new and trending technologies and practices. Test automation platforms are one of the trending practices that software companies are using today.
The new buzz that’s going around in the test automation industry is using artificial intelligence (AI). A lot of organizations are trying to integrate AI into test automation platforms to enhance the automation process by making it more stable and identifying gaps during the testing phase. But using AI depends on the use case because it might not be cost-effective in some cases.
Test automation platforms bag you a lot of benefits, out of which higher accuracy and faster testing are two major benefits. It is very important for you to start using test automation platforms and to choose the right test automation platform for your use case. Choosing the right test automation platform affects the quality of testing greatly. To help you out in choosing the right one, here’s a link that will help you out.
This post was written by Omkar Hiremath. Omkar uses his BA in computer science to share theoretical and demo-based learning on various areas of technology, like ethical hacking, Python, blockchain, and Hadoop.