Automate software tests

How to automate software tests

Software test automation arises in the same way as any automation arises: from the need to reduce human effort in activities which can be carried out by a system or a machine. However, it is not only a matter of effort, but also about seeking to reduce errors, which is much easier to occur in manual work.

In the case of software testing, the aim is to avoid repetitive and tedious work by the tester, freeing them up and giving them time to dedicate to other specific tasks that provide greater value, reducing execution time.

In some cases, automation even allows us to carry out tests that a person could not, especially regarding the number of executions we can carry out in a specific period of time. 

Testing process: from manual to automated

Manual tests involve the work of a person (or a human team) who, acting almost artisanally, interacts with a software to check its operation. 

Although it is an especially customisable and bespoke process in each development, in reality this type of test ends up being more expensive as the company has to allocate a certain number of people to undertake this task. 

Additionally, human error in the process comes into play, which may lead to costly problems once the application is implemented. 

In automated processes, the testing expert generates a test case using a tool so that the test is then executed automatically. It does not require the intervention of the individual in each new execution; the test simulates human interaction with the software.

Today, software test automation is opening the door to significant improvements in the testing phase. With suitable tools and a quality script, automated techniques are multiplying the results which can be obtained in test environments with greatly reduced budgets and waiting times. 

Advantages of automation of software tests

The advantages of automation in testing include: 

  • Repeatability. The work involved in developing an automated test is rewarded by the large number of times it will be executed. In cases where the test requires little maintenance because the software is stable, the benefit is practicality, as the test is carried out without any effort.
  • Reliability. Automated tests facilitate precision when diagnosing the detected failure. Automated testing also allows for greater code and case coverage, resulting in highly exhaustive and precise tests on functionality. 
  • Reduction of costs and increased productivity. Automation allows for significant savings for companies, whether because they enhance the productivity of their testing team by allowing greater capacity for tests in a shorter time, or because they allow the software to be released quickly and with fewer errors.

Additionally, it allows the execution of a larger number of tests without the need to increase the number of people dedicated to testing. 

  • Possibility of generating environments of continuous integration and continuous delivery. DevOps is an important trend in the construction of modern software. It has the objective of streamlining the software release process, seeking to rapidly respond to the requirements of businesses. In this scenario, automated testing is vital to accelerate the whole delivery process. This makes it possible to stop the production release process if something is not right.

How to undertake automation of testing

Testing automation is applied through specific platforms capable of running scripts or test programs. This is the basic concept behind automation of the different types of software testing, a rule which is applied from the simplest to the most complex tests. 

Some key tools for the automation of software tests include: 

  • The generation and recording of test frameworks on programs such as Selenium, Playwright and RSpec
  • Execution through a script from continuous integration servers such as Bamboo or Bitbucket. 

Finally, the generation of immediate and continuous feedback is key, so that it is possible to continue with the software tests successively in all layers.

Test cases with icaria TDM

There are countless test cases and examples which demonstrate the advantages of applying automation. 

In any case, all of these require appropriate data to test and check the result of the execution from a data perspective. icaria TDM offers these two essential capabilities for efficient automation. 

  • Firstly, the appropriate data for the test case must be found and defined. Carried out manually, this would be an excessively costly process with regard to the time and resources necessary. Test data management software platforms such as icaria TDM  simplify and automate this step.
  • Afterwards, through this same software, it is possible to access periodic data deliveries in accordance with the delivery rules described above. While in a manual process, each execution “burns” the data, automation allows the restoration of this data after execution, multiplying the testing possibilities.
  • The delivery of test data thanks to this application will also be in multiple environments simultaneously.
  • Ultimately, the software will take charge of checking the test results, always from the data perspective.

The operating diagram of the automation will then operate in the following way: Execution  – Checking – Closure – New execution and data delivery.

For greater clarity, we wanted to demonstrate in detail the automation process thanks to icaria TDM in the following video: 

Do you want to know more about software test automation and how icaria TDM can help you in the process? Request your demo, and discover it first hand.