Software Testing is a continuous process generally performed in all software development projects. Formerly, all testing was performed manually, but increasingly, teams are also incorporating Automation Testing.
There are many benefits of automation testing when used in software testing. While manual testing is essential to quality assurance, the industry is changing, and more organizations are also implementing automation testing for selected tasks.
The difference between Manual Testing and Automation Testing
Manual testing is the most straightforward software testing technique, requiring each test case to be performed individually by a person. Automation tests, however, use programmed tools for assessing test cases, although human interaction is still needed for creating and maintaining the test scripts fed to the automation software. Therefore, automation testing does not completely replace manual testing but helps by reducing the manual effort required for executing some test cases.
Benefits of Automation Testing
Before detailing the benefits of automation testing, it’s worth pointing out that automation may not always be practical. If the job is small, the time needed to write and set up automation scripts will likely extend rather than reduce the length of the job. Consider the expected life of what you are testing to help decide if it’s worth spending the extra effort and cost writing automated tests and whether you can secure the time needed to invest in the product in this way.
Introducing automation testing into most software development helps enhance the overall development process and aids in achieving a faster and higher quality delivery. Let’s look at some of the benefits of automation testing:
1. Accelerates Regression Testing – Regression testing is performed before each release to ensure the new feature or bug fixes have not negatively impacted existing components. Regression Testing involves a lot of repetitive tasks, making it tedious to execute manually. Automation testing is a boon when it comes to regression testing. It helps automate the scripts and can be run whenever needed, thus saving time and human effort.
2. Quicker results – The benefits of automation testing are like Machine vs. Human. Most things involving machines give rapid results. The same is true when it comes to automation testing. In manual testing, various testers are assigned test cases to perform. Every tester executes their appointed test cases by going through each test step by step, then running and updating test results manually. Using tools in automation testing to execute viable test scripts can deliver results much quicker.
3. Saves Time – As we see above, automation testing eases the pain of repetitive same-case testing. Besides, it is a blessing when testing large applications that require several testers. Manually running test cases for more extensive applications takes longer time, whereas automation testing can process large applications in just a few minutes or hours. Overall, this significantly helps in reducing the total time spent on testing.
4. Schedule Testing – When test cases are scheduled for a specific duration, proper planning and arrangements are needed so testers can be available when required. In contrast, automation testing is available around-the-clock, eliminating the need for a regular tester’s dependability and availability. Frequency is easily set in automation testing, so the tests automatically run at the scheduled interval.
5. Easier Reporting and Analysis – When using automated tools during test execution, various data is automatically captured. The tools collect and store data like the time of execution, device details, and bug location, which eases automatic reporting. The detailed information included in automated test reports assists in analyzing and identifying the cause of the failure much more quickly. It gives a better insight and assists in swifter troubleshooting. Reports also inform teams about the test execution status and pending and failed test cases.
6. Parallel Testing on Multiple Platforms – Testing on multiple platforms is becoming necessary with the increasing demand for various devices and platforms. Automating is the only option for running Parallel Testing. Automation tools offer in-built capabilities where testers can select the number of devices and preferred operating systems to run the tests. The automated report generated at the end of the test helps compare areas and identify those with any problems.
7. Helps with testing huge data sets – Automation testing is the automatic execution of test scripts using software tools. As part of the test planning and before execution starts, the testing team identifies and defines their test data needs. Because the tests are automated, repeating the same test but with different test data is uncomplicated. Therefore, testing software with varying data combinations becomes more efficient.
8. Greater Accuracy in Results – There’s more chance of error when humans are involved. Automation testing reduces the risk of human error to help achieve accurate and more consistent results. Test automation also reduces the possibility of skipped test cases because the execution of each step is programmed.
Automation testing offers numerous benefits to the software testing process. It saves time and aids in early product release to the market. However, to reap maximum benefit, proper research and analysis are required before implementing automation in a project. Some areas where automation is of limited help are projects with frequent changes or those with a greater focus on user experience testing. Employing automation also involves selecting the right automation tool. Many automation tools are on the market, and choosing the most suitable for your company and needs can offer further advantages.