An Informative and Comprehensive Guide on QA Automation

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Before any software enters the market, every piece of software must be thoroughly tested. To do so would put you in danger of everything from tiny faults to significant security flaws.

However, the pressure is on to get the software to market faster than ever before and to update your online and mobile apps more frequently to stay up with client demand.

As a result, many businesses rely on QA automation to test their software more effectively and often than hand testers.

Software is becoming increasingly sophisticated, but user demand continues to rise. As a result, developers are under more pressure than ever to provide new apps and upgrades quickly, but extensive testing is still required to spot issues and assure software quality.

It’s no surprise, then, that many companies employ automated testing to speed up workflows and improve the quality assurance (QA) process’s efficiency. While manual testing will always be vital, automation may save time and money for both startups and major corporations.

We’ll look at automated QA, how it’s utilized, and how it may help your business.

What Is QA Automation?

QA automation is the use of Automation tools and scripts to automate the execution of software tests, replacing manual testing processes.

Many of the time-consuming duties previously performed by manual testers are now handled via automation testing. It’s especially effective for continuous integration and delivery, which involves developing, testing, and deploying software daily rather than in stages.

The coding and testing procedures were formerly viewed as separate stages in software development. Still, automated QA allows for more frequent testing, making it easier to discover problems as they arise.

Read Also: Automation Testing On Cloud

Difference Between Manual And QA Automation Testing:

Execution:

  • Manual: Tests performed step-by-step by humans, using written test plans.
  • Automated: Tests are executed automatically by specialized tools and frameworks.

Strengths:

  • Manual: Ideal for evaluating user experience (UX), visual appeal, and exploratory testing.
  • Automated: Efficient for large-scale, repetitive testing. More accurate and time-saving, especially for regression testing.

Suitability:

  • Manual: Best for new or dynamic test cases, user stories, and ad-hoc checks.
  • Automated: Ideal for established functionalities, repeatable test scenarios, and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines.

Data and Reuse:

  • Manual: No record of the testing process.
  • Automated: Easily documented and reusable test scripts.

Efficiency:

  • Manual: Time-consuming, especially for repeated tests.
  • Automated: Faster execution speeds, allowing for more frequent testing.
QA Automation

How Does QA Automation Testing Work?

Although the testing process can be automated, writing the test script requires some programming knowledge.

QA tests are often written in source code by your development team; however, you may write them using keywords if you employ codeless testing tools.

Two Main Ways To Automate QA Testing:

#01 Testing of the graphical user interface (GUI)

GUI testing is quality assurance (QA) testing that mimics the user experience.

It can, for example, run a series of mouse clicks and keystrokes to confirm that the application functions as it should while also capturing any abnormalities for later review and playback.

While GUI testing is comparable to the types of tests performed by hand, automation streamlines the process and removes human error-related variations.

The test can be repeated the same way each time, or it can test different aspects of the software in each iteration, resulting in more precise results and issue reports.

#02 API Testing

It is used to test the application programming interface (API), which lacks a graphical user interface and must be checked at the message layer.

These tests can be used to evaluate both third-party and in-house APIs, emphasizing end-to-end transactions and specific software components.

This could include evaluating response time and format, security attack responses, and the software’s ability to handle boundary circumstances and edge cases.

Without needing to execute a live test on cloud-based apps, API tests can employ service virtualization to mimic the behavior of each component.

The automated QA testing process, which often occurs in conjunction with the software development life cycle, has several key stages listed below.

Read Also: Automation Testing On Cloud

Key Stages of QA Automation Testing:

#01 Define the scope of the project

First, examine the goals of the testing process and do a feasibility study. Which tests can be automated, and which ones require human intervention?

Aspects such as budget, human resources, and expertise must also be considered.

#02 Choose the right automation testing tool

You’ll need a tool that meets your needs, but the web app’s technology will also influence your pick. There are many automation solutions to pick from, so price, functionality, intuitiveness, and adaptability should all be factors.

Ascertain that the QA team is given instructions on how to get the most out of the chosen tool.

#03 Make a strategy

The QA team should design a test strategy that outlines the project’s methodology and end goal and a framework to run the test cases.

Common procedures, testing tools, and standards should all be included in the framework. Data-driven, keyword-driven, linear scripting, and modular testing are common test automation frameworks.

#04 Set up the right environment

Setting up the correct testing environment and maximizing test coverage across various scenarios is critical. In addition, the test team will plan and track software and hardware installation and testbed script development operations.

Because this is a time-consuming process, consider hiring a company like Global App Testing to assist you.

#05 Start Writing Scripts

Now, the QA engineers will build test scripts based on actual requirements and scripting standards at this stage. Scripts should be reusable, organized, and understandable to a third party.

You may use open-source tools like Selenium WebDriver, Appium, and Android Monitor to construct your automated test scripts to test online apps across several browsers in languages like Java and Python.

#06 Run the tests

GUI (graphical user interface) testing and API testing are the most common approaches to automate QA testing. GUI testing is a sort of QA testing that uses tools like TestGrid to simulate the user experience.

Each time, it can be run in the same way, or each iteration might test various software features.

#07 Analyze and report

The automated program will provide a report once the tests have been completed. The results will reveal whether components have flaws or defects and whether further testing is required.

QA Automation Setup Plan:

Depending on the characteristics and scope of your software development project, setting up a QA automation process may differ. For example, the standard procedures we take at TestGrid to set up QA automation are outlined below.

#01 Feasibility study

Analyze the product’s technical characteristics, complexity, stability, and size to determine whether test automation is feasible for your software development project and assure a quick investment return. Automating testing of stable software modules that do not change regularly is ideal.

Examine the reusability of test scripts and the percentage of test scripts conducted in multiple test environments.

The greater the percentage of test scripts that don’t rely on specific web page elements, require human interaction to validate outputs or require a significant amount of effort to modify and update, the more likely your test automation strategy will yield a quick return on investment.

#02 QA automation process design

Decide if you’ll do your test automation in-house or hire someone to do it for you.

For example, if you choose in-house test automation, define the components of team participation and build test automation KPIs to measure the initiative’s success.

Set up metrics like automated test coverage, cost per automated test, test run time, and the percentage of passed and failed tests.

If you elect to outsource test automation, you can utilize a collaboration method and a vendor-provided KPI system or enlist a vendor’s support to design them.

#03 Technical and human resources setup or vendor selection

-For in-house QA Automation

Selection of test automation frameworks:

  • When choosing the best framework for your testing needs, environment, and technology stack, ScienceSoft looks for the adequacy of framework functionality to your testing needs, environment, and technology stack.
  • The learning curve of a framework and the abilities required to use it.
  • The framework vendor’s capacity to provide customer support.
  • The reporting capabilities of a framework.

Recruiting and training employees

Collect a pool of test automation talent appropriate for your project’s size and complexity. Make sure your team knows how to create scalable test frameworks and test scripts that are easy to maintain.

-For outsourcing QA Automation

Selection of vendors

  • Pay attention to organizations with a track record of QA experience and a portfolio of related projects.
  • Choose a vendor who cherishes a long-term relationship and is adaptable to changes in needs or variations in the scope and duration of your project.
  • Ensure a testing service provider has the necessary infrastructure to handle your product or corporate software’s testing.

#04 QA automation launch

After you’ve chosen a vendor, agree on service level targets, sign a contract and schedule knowledge transfer to the vendor’s team. Design protocols for the vendor’s team to collaborate with the project team in the case of in-house test automation and integrate test automation engineers accordingly.

Benefits of QA Automation Testing:

#01 More Accuracy

You’re more likely to have error-free releases if you use test automation. Automated testing is more accurate than manual testing because it requires less human intervention.

The problem is that a human tester can make mistakes at any stage of the review process. The machine, on the other hand, will not cooperate.

Because generated test cases are more precise than human testers, you can lower the likelihood of failure by removing human errors.

Working with an AI Testbot can help you unlock the full potential of test automation accuracy. It’s an artificial intelligence-powered solution that outperforms people in exploratory testing.

#02 Implementation of DevOps And CI/CD

If you want to deploy Continuous Delivery and DevOps principles, you can’t neglect test automation because automated testing is essential to both.

Every developer’s commitment to the source code must be tested as part of the CI/CD pipeline, and there’s no other way to accomplish it fast and efficiently than with test automation.

As a result, once you’ve deployed automated testing, transitioning to Continuous Testing and Delivery will be simple.

Regrettably, test automation across the CI/CD workflow may prove challenging to coordinate. However, when the complexity of the code and the number of test cases increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage.

The good news is that artificial intelligence-powered solutions can help you with smart testing orchestration. Furthermore, AI can assist you in overcoming test automation obstacles and maximizing the advantages of automated testing.

#03 Superb Performance and High Quality

Automated testing will ensure your app’s excellent quality and performance due to the comprehensive test coverage.

It allows you to run hundreds of automated test cases simultaneously, enabling you to test your app across different platforms and devices quickly.

Choose cloud-based device farms if you want to get the most out of test parallelism and concurrency. They can assist you with covering all of the needed OS and hardware setups.

Furthermore, automated testing allows you to quickly generate many test cases, including sophisticated and lengthy ones.

Of course, you will never achieve this if you opt to test your app manually.

#04 Increase in Overall Productivity

Because automated testing doesn’t require human participation while running, you can test your app late at night and get the findings the following day.

Software developers and QAs can spend less time on testing because automated tests can repeatedly run on their own. Automation allows your engineers to focus on more critical activities.

Fixing existing app functionality isn’t as thrilling as adding new features, as we all know.

#05 Immediate Feedback

Another benefit of QA automation testing is that it gives immediate feedback. For example, developers receive all the testing reports instantaneously with fast test execution to react quickly if a problem happens.

When your software is already on the market, immediate feedback is beneficial. However, manual testing can slow down the process if you need to fix some errors immediately.

On the other hand, test automation will allow you to make quick changes to your application.

As a result, automated testing leads to increased team responsiveness, improved user experience, and increased customer satisfaction.

#06 Cost-effective and Affordable

Contrary to popular belief, automated testing is more affordable than manual testing. For example, you can’t run tests in a loop with manual testing. In reality, the cost of manually testing the application increases over time.

On the other hand, automated testing is less expensive in the long run since once you’ve built your test scripts, you can reuse them at any time without incurring additional costs. True, automation adoption is initially costly, but it will quickly pay for itself.

It is important to remember that the amount of the automated testing ROI is determined by the extent of automation adoption.

The bigger the return on investment, the more automated test cases you create and use. But don’t forget that manual testing is necessary for some circumstances.

Types of QA Automation Tests/Software Tests:

#01 Unit Tests

Unit testing tests individual components or functions in isolation to ensure that they are functioning correctly.

It is frequently performed by the developer and always comes before integration testing. It is usually done during the application’s development phase and is thus commonly the first type of automated testing done on an application.

Unit tests are beneficial since they aid in the early detection of issues, lowering the cost of fixing them as much as possible. In addition, unit tests are a helpful approach for developers to understand the functioning of each unit in an application while also allowing code to be reused.

#02 Integration Tests

Integration testing is concerned with determining whether the system as a whole meets the functional requirements.

When separate components are brought together, integration testing examines how they interact.

Integration testing comes after unit testing and ensures that the various functions work together seamlessly to ensure that the product runs smoothly as a whole.

Integration testing can be done in various ways, including the Big Bang Approach, the Top-Down Approach, the Bottom-Up Approach, and the Sandwich Approach.

#03 Functional Tests

Tests of functionality Verify that the program can carry out a specific set of tasks as specified in the required documentation. Manual or automated testers supply appropriate input and ensure that the output is as expected.

Black-box testing techniques are used in functional testing, in which the tester does not know the underlying code.

#04 Smoke Tests

Smoke testing is an additional examination done by testers to determine if the software’s primary operations are functioning correctly. It’s also known as build verification testing because it verifies the software’s stability.

Before moving on to any of the following levels of testing, developers can address any issues that arise.

#05 End-to-end Tests

This is a more thorough test that examines the complete software from beginning to end, ensuring that all integrated components function correctly.

It seeks to simulate real-world circumstances and focuses on parts of the system that are difficult to assess accurately with minor testing.

#06 Performance Tests

Performance testing is a set of non-functional tests that examine the software’s speed, stability, and dependability under a specific load, such as the number of users using the app at any given time.

The goal is to guarantee that the program meets performance requirements and discover and resolve performance bottlenecks.

#07 Regression testing

Regression testing is a kind of maintenance testing that is frequently referred to as regression testing.

Regression testing entails rerunning functional and non-functional tests to see if the software is behaving in the same way as it did previously after a program or code change. If the performance is no longer the same, the software has regressed.

The main goal of regression testing is to guarantee that existing functionality is not harmed due to code changes.

#08 Keyword-driven testing

Keyword-driven testing entails using data files containing terms relevant to the application under test. Each term denotes a series of actions that must be completed to complete a step.

Keyword-driven testing entails detecting and linking specific terms to specific behaviors. As a result, the associated action is performed automatically whenever the keyword is used.

Many businesses choose keyword-driven testing because it is brief, adaptable, reusable, and simple to manage. It does not require programming knowledge, enables functional testers to plan testing even before the application is constructed, and is interoperable with nearly every automation tool available.

#09 Data-driven testing

Data-driven testing requires extending your automated test cases using data from outside the system. Data is usually saved in a spreadsheet or a table and independently input into the test cases.

Data-driven testing is efficient because testers frequently work with several data sets, and creating a new test for each data set is time-consuming and wasteful.

Data-driven testing enables the same test application for numerous data sets, resulting in inconsistent results and a lower time and resource investment.

Data-driven tests allow for code reuse and may be performed at any stage of the software development process, and changes to the script do not affect the test data.

The Best QA Automation Tools List:

QA automation tools can automate repetitive processes, freeing up your team’s time to work on more complicated or creative problems.

Without a doubt, there’s no way to achieve 100% automated testing; however, automation technologies can help remove the tedious tasks off your plate during day-to-day operations.

So, let’s discuss the best QA automation tools (both open-source and paid) that are available in the market today.

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-Open source QA Automation Tools:

#01 Selenium WebDriver

Selenium is the most popular open-source automated regression testing tool for browser-based website automation, but it is not a stand-alone testing tool.

It’s an API that lets you use most programming languages to develop tests that interact with a browser the same way a real user would. This is most likely one of the most widely used website automation testing tools on the list.

You can’t begin a list of automation tools without first installing Selenium.

It’s also the high-quality software that, in my opinion, sparked the Agile and DevOps automation revolution, as well as the technology most frequently mentioned in SDET job descriptions.

#02 Appium

Appium is a cross-platform UI mobile testing tool that is free and open-source. It allows you to develop UI tests for Android and iOS apps and several other operating systems.

It also allows you to construct test scripts using the Selenium JSON writer, which you may be familiar with from web automation assurance.

Appium is very quickly becoming the industry standard for mobile testing, much like Selenium WebDriver was a few years ago for browser-based automation.

Also Read: Hands-on Appium Testing Tutorial: Build Your First Test Script

#03 SpecFlow

SpecFlow is a .NET Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) tool that is open source. SpecFlow supports the .NET framework, Xamarin, and Mono and employs the official Gherkin parser. In.NET projects, you may use SpecFlow to develop, manage, and execute human-readable acceptance tests.

Writing simple tests is a cornerstone of the BDD paradigm, and it also aids in developing dynamic documentation of your system. Anton Angelov has written a series of essays about Specflow, beginning with an overview tutorial.

SpecFlow is a command-line tool that works with Visual Studio (e.g., on a build server). MSTest, NUnit (2 and 3), xUnit 2, and MbUnit are popular testing frameworks supported by SpecFlow.

#04 JMeter

The JMeter tool is used by experts while performing performance or load testing. This testing software is free and open-source.

Testers use it to estimate and analyze the performance of various services and web applications and examine functional tests, database servers, and other things.

Stefano Mazzotti of the Apache Software Foundation was the first to develop the JMeter tool. Software testing companies utilize this technology since it offers many benefits.

Because JMeter enables visualization plug-ins, a tester can develop his tests or change existing ones. This tool also allows each thread group’s concurrent and simultaneous functions to be fulfilled.

#05 SoapUI

SoapUI is an API testing tool used by several well-known companies to guarantee that their APIs and protocols work as intended.

SoapUI is a combination of open-core and advanced tools and technology to assist organizations in developing appropriate APIs for their application lifecycle management (ALM). It involves evaluating API performance regarding business requirements, resource skill sets, and timelines.

It provides open-source testing frameworks for Soap and REST APIs. API Mocking and Virts, API performance testing, and API security testing are all used to guarantee that APIs have a powerful workflow.

SoapUI’s advanced range of capabilities allows the development of high-quality APIs by enabling developers and testers through an open API framework.

-Proprietary QA Automation Tools:

#01 HPE Unified Functional Testing

Micro Focus UFT One (Unified Functional Testing) is a smart, intuitive solution that uses embedded AI-based procedures to automate and develop tests for enterprise applications.

Micro Focus UFT One is a great solution that accelerates and streamlines end-to-end functional testing.

QA teams can easily and quickly test across distributed infrastructures on the web and mobile simultaneously; script once and run all tests again and again with cross-browser support, and take advantage of a vast ecosystem of integrations ranging from version control to continuous integration to agile management.

UFT One improves test coverage from the UI to the API – and everything in between – for a genuinely superior enterprise-grade application testing process, thanks to its quick integration of over 200+ tools, including AWS, Java, Citrix, SAP, Oracle, and Salesforce.

#02 Load Runner

LoadRunner is a software solution for application performance and load testing widely used in the industry.

LoadRunner puts your entire system through its paces to isolate and detect potential client, network, and server bottlenecks, allowing you to test new technologies alongside your legacy applications.

LoadRunner Professional can help you manage several application types, testing tools, licenses, repositories, and systems while working toward unified results.

With this tool in your toolset, you may improve organizational efficiency by standardizing tools and resources, balancing your priorities, improving the results your testing team delivers, and ultimately increasing testing productivity.

#03 SoapUI Pro

APIs and Microservices are changing how businesses do business in the digital age, and testing them is more important than ever.

SoapUI Pro provides a comprehensive solution for creating, running, and analyzing sophisticated tests on REST and SOAP APIs, JMS, JDBC, and other web services for development and testing teams.

SoapUI NG Pro provides the industry’s most extensive and easy-to-learn functional testing capabilities for REST, SOAP, and other standard API and IoT protocols.

SoapUI NG Pro helps you ensure that your APIs work as intended to satisfy your business requirements, timescales, and team skill sets right from the start, thanks to open core technology proven by millions of community members.

#04 JIRA

Atlassian, an Australian company, developed JIRA. This software does bug tracking, issue tracking, and project management.

The full form of JIRA has been derived from the Japanese term “Gojira,” meaning “Godzilla.” The main function of this tool is to track issues and problems in your software and mobile apps.

It can also be used to manage projects. For example, the JIRA dashboard has a lot of valuable capabilities and features that make dealing with issues a breeze.

Project management, requirements and test case management, software development, task management, product management, and bug tracking are all possible with JIRA.

Selecting the right testing framework is crucial, but it is also equally important to test on real devices and browsers.

With thousands of real devices, TestGrid gives you the most diverse and comprehensive test lab to run automated web and mobile tests. Our vast device coverage lets you identify issues stemming from different browsers, operating systems and we help you launch flawless experiences for every one of your users.

Conclusion:

Overall, automated testing saves time and money for your firm by speeding up the testing process and ensuring a greater level of accuracy.

It also allows you to expand test coverage and free up your QA team for more advanced testing, resulting in higher-quality products.

You’ll still have to choose the correct tools, and design, build, and maintain the tests—automation won’t handle everything for you. Also, keep in mind that some manual testing will always be required.

You have the highest chance of catching many flaws and defects if you combine automated testing with manual testing.

You can click here to create your free account and start your testing journey with TestGrid or you may head over to our blog section to learn more!