Do you work in digital? Do you have to regularly conduct tests on your site, software, and other information systems? Often time-consuming and costly, these tasks impact a company’s performance. Not to mention the risk of tester error which can lead to severe consequences.
The good news is there is now an essential solution: test automation. Functional, compatibility, or performance tests, with technological progress, it is now possible to automate your digital actions. The key: more autonomy, better productivity, and less expense!
However, where to start? We explain why and how to proceed to help you get started in automation.
What is automated testing?
Automated testing is a method of automatically performing a series of actions according to a predefined scenario. The tests are carried out with specific tools.
The expected results are compared to those obtained at the end of the process.
A test is considered successful when the predefined scenario runs without errors.
What is the difference with a manual test?
In a manual test, the scenario is executed by a human being. They are, therefore, testers who will use a digital product as the end-user would.
Generally, two methods are practiced:
- The test with scenario (following a specific route),
- Exploratory testing (random testing).
The automated test allows, for its part, to configure a scenario beforehand (via scripts) which is then executed by an automation tool. The human tester must only check that the process is running smoothly and analyze the results.
Let’s take a concrete example. If you are developing an application, it is essential to update it regularly. A series of tests is necessary to check that everything is working correctly. Instead of checking each point manually, it is possible to establish a complete test scenario which will be executed automatically with each new update.
The different types of tests that can be automated
Regular testing is essential for websites, applications, software, and information systems in a digital environment that needs to be updated constantly.
Yet many companies perform these manually with often cost overruns, delays, and inaccurate results. Automation then appears to be an ideal solution.
Here are the different tests that can be automated.
The performance test
Widespread in IT departments and generally for digital tools, performance testing measures the response time of a computer system. This speedometer is crucial to ensure the proper use of the digital product.
Performance tests include:
- Load testing,
- Performance testing,
- Stress and rupture tests (stress testing).
Challenging to consider a manual test for this list. The exact measurement is only possible with the help of an automated tool.
The functional test
Functional testing consists of verifying the proper functioning of a website, mobile application, software, or other digital product. They are essential to ensure a sufficient level of quality and satisfy end-users, particularly by quickly identifying bugs.
The addition is sometimes very heavy for the company. This is the case of Nike, which lost $500 million following a bug in its supply chain software.
This type of test is often carried out manually during the launch phase. However, automation is quickly recommended in the operational phase if the company does not have the adequate budget for a team of competent and sufficiently numerous functional testers.
The functional tests are multiple. For example, an e-commerce site may automatically test the registration, order taking, and payment processes on different devices (computer or mobile).
Why automate your tests?
Here is a list of the advantages of automation that should convince the most reluctant.
A great time saver
This is the number 1 asset of test automation. With this mode of operation, a scenario that can be done in several hours by a human can be done automatically in a few seconds. If you have to test regularly, the time saved at the end of the year is enormous. The latter can be devoted to activities with higher added value. Yes, more than ever in business, “time is money” .
Be careful, however, to avoid a mess of errors and ultimately a significant waste of time; an excellent initial configuration of the automation tool is essential.
Increased testing capacity
With automation, your testing can happen 24/7. So you can identify problems early on, test the performance of your applications, and ensure consistent quality.
Manual testers can then intervene punctually and optimize their working time.
In addition, an automatic test has several advantages:
- It is reproducible on a large scale,
- It can be used in different contexts,
- Several tests can be launched simultaneously.
More consistent and accurate results
To err is human; it is well known. The actions of a human tester can be biased by different factors: fatigue, stress, inattention, etc.
Implementing an automated process ensured by a specialized tool considerably reduces the margin of error. By adequately configuring, the “machine” produces complete tests, identical from one iteration to another and therefore reliable and usable results.
The winning team of testers on all counts
Automation frees manual testers from performing tedious and time-consuming tasks. Result: they can devote themselves to actions that have more added value and, above all, are more rewarding.
In addition, introducing an automated process allows teams to be more responsive to bugs and reduces the workload dedicated to corrective maintenance.
To sum up, automation is a great team manager .
How to automate your tests?
As you will have understood, automating your tests makes your life easier! And contrary to what one might think, setting it up is very simple when you know which tools to use. We have selected two that meet our criteria.
Selenium IDE is a simple software for quickly creating reliable tests and works with all applications. The tool has various features like debugging, setting breakpoints, and pausing on exceptions. You can also run your tests on any browser or operating system.
Alfred Monitoring is a simple platform accessible to all sectors and all trades. Its interface is easy to use, customizable and accessible on computers and mobile, without integration or installation. You monitor your sites in real-time and generate specific tests to guarantee constant user satisfaction. You launch your tests in a few clicks and configure them according to your needs (features, environments, browsers, etc.). You are provided a detailed report (screenshots) at each test end to detect potential anomalies.
As you have understood, test automation has become essential for many companies wishing to ensure consistent product quality. The automated process is logically necessary for the digital sector to be less expensive, faster, and more efficient.
Be careful, though; this is not a miracle solution. A significant learning time is necessary to master the automation tools and establish correct test scenarios.
Finally, manual testing should not be abandoned entirely, some elements cannot be automated, and the judgement of manual testers remains essential.