Automated testing is always assumed to be the most effective software testing approach. Unfortunately, not all test cases can be automated. There are test cases that are executed manually regardless of the time they will take. They require testers to pay detailed attention to the whole testing process.
There are several benefits that accrue to an organization that prefers automation testing to manual testing. If you automate the testing process, you make it quicker as you can cover a lot of test cases within a short period.
The chances of errors in automated testing are minimal compared to the manual approach. Humans are prone to making errors, and the more mistakes, the more time will be spent correcting these errors. The use of open-source test automation tools is more cost-effective than executing test cases manually.
You can scale resources in automated testing to fit the ever-changing needs of software testing, which is nearly impossible with manual testing.
Below are different cases where automation testing is required and what should be automated in testing.
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Complex Test Cases
Most complex test cases often require extensive preparation. It takes a lot of time to create test cases for the test scenarios. When done manually, most of these test cases usually take a lot of time, and testers are likely to make many mistakes. For instance, when creating complex business logic test scenarios using the decision table technique.
The diagram for this complex process usually consists of many branches, decision boxes, and nodes. Rules and validations of the business processes usually take a large part of the customers’ requirements. Testers are expected to cover all the branches and test everything. This can take a lot of time, so automation testing should be incorporated to execute the test cases.
Critical/ Smoke Tests
Critical/smoke tests are usually performed to check the functionalities and features constantly used in the automation process. It can take a relatively lot of time for these test cases to be performed effectively. Smoke tests ensure that the software production environment is always set, and you can easily automate critical tests frequently.
With smoke or critical tests, you can determine whether the deployed software build is stable or not. Some smoke test cases include valid login credentials, item functionality, and sign-out functionality testing.
Instead of repeating these test cases manually, you can automate the test cases to check the build immediately. Use a set of automation test cases to run against the smoke test. If a test case fails, you will have to correct the build and redeploy the build immediately. This saves time and ensures that you build a quality test environment.
Data-Driven Test Cases
Data-driven test cases will enable you to invoke the same test case multiple times. In this case, you are testing every data combination stored in the data sources, and the data is usually passed to the test case as a parameter. You can think of it as a template for a class of test cases.
In most cases, data-driven test cases are viable for test scenarios that require multiple sets of data entries. It can be used to test multiple workflow variations, add data variants, and check the behavior of invalid input data. This can take a lot of time, especially if the whole process is to be executed manually. Just imagine how long it can take to create an individual test case for each data set at a time!
You can easily define a large volume of test scenarios with test automation. This test provides a reusable test logic separated from the test data. That is why it’s easier to maintain the test cases while improving the test coverage. Any test logic or data change will have zero effect on the other test cases.
Where There Is A Higher Manual Execution Time
There are test cases that usually take a lot of time, even when the test scenarios are less complex. Others do not involve a lot of data variations, but they relatively take a lot of time too. The best way to deal with these test cases is to automate to save time and avoid repetitive effort.
Maybe you are testing an application that has independent/interlinked modules. This means that a change in one module will affect the overall functionality of the other modules. So, you will be forced to test all the modules, which takes a lot of time to complete
You can quickly run each test case independently in automated testing to save a lot of time and resources. This approach will also save you from making too many unnecessary mistakes that alter the functionality of the software being tested. A single mistake can lead to a significant fault in the software’s working.
Most organizations worldwide have moved to automated testing techniques to save time and resources. Depending on the nature of the test cases, you can use different types of automated testing techniques to test the functionality of your application.
Each point discussed above will help you understand where you should apply automation testing and test cases that should be automated for the process to be effective.