In today´s fast moving world, it is a challenge for any company to continuously maintain and improve the quality and efficiency of software systems development. In many software projects, testing is neglected because of time or cost constraints. This leads to a lack of product quality, followed by customer dissatisfaction and ultimately to increased overall quality costs.
The main reasons for these added costs are primarily:
- poor test strategy
- underestimated effort of test case generation
- delay in testing
- subsequent test maintenance
Test automation can improve the development process of a software product in many cases. The automation of tests is initially associated with increased effort, but the related benefits will quickly pay off.
Automated tests can run fast and frequently, which is cost-effective for software products with a long maintenance life. When testing in an agile environment, the ability to quickly react to ever-changing software systems and requirements is necessary. New test cases are generated continuously and can be added to existing automation in parallel to the development of the software itself.
In both manual and automated testing environments test cases need to be modified for extended periods of time as the software project progresses. It is important to be aware that complete coverage of all tests using test automation is unrealistic. When deciding what tests to automate first, their value vs. the effort to create them needs to be considered. Test cases with high value and low effort should be automated first. Subsequently test cases with frequent use, changes, and past errors; as well as test cases with low to moderate effort in setting up the test environment and developing the automation project are best suited for automation.
Optimization of Speed, Efficiency, Quality and the Decrease of Costs
The main goal in software development processes is a timely release. Automated tests run fast and frequently, due to reused modules within different tests. Automated regression tests which ensure the continuous system stability and functionality after changes to the software were made lead to shorter development cycles combined with better quality software and thus the benefits of automated testing quickly outgain the initial costs.
Advance a Tester´s Motivation and Efficiency
Manual testing can be mundane, error-prone and therefore become exasperating. Test automation alleviates testers’ frustrations and allows the test execution without user interaction while guaranteeing repeatability and accuracy. Instead testers can now concentrate on more difficult test scenarios.
Increase of Test Coverage
Sufficient test coverage of software projects is often achieved only with great effort. Frequent repetition of the same or similar test cases is laborious and time consuming to perform manually. Some examples are:
- Regression test after debugging or further development of software
- Testing of software on different platforms or with different configurations
- Data-driven testing (creation of tests using the same actions but with many different inputs)
Test automation allows performing different types of testing efficiently and effectively.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: LARISSA STOISER
Larissa Stoiser is Team Lead of Ranorex Quality Assurance. She has profound experiences in combinatorial testing and applies its approaches.