In simple terms, Automation is developing technologies that will minimize human input. However, it will be wrong to simplify this term. There are different Automation types- business process automation, web automation, marketing automation, Industrial Automation, and IT automation. Below in this article, we will cover the Automation Best Practices To Adopt In 2021.
The automation sector is particularly very strong in IT automation currently and utilizes a system of instructions to run a reoccurring set of processes. IT Automation is responsible for enhancing IT productivity and efficiency significantly. However, according to the latest trends, IT Automation focuses more on business productivity, innovation, and market time. The main areas related to IT automation are:
- Cloud Automation
- DevOps Automation
- Build Automation
- Configuration management
- Automated provisioning
- Security Automation
- Automated deployment
In IT automation, testing is the primary part. Hence, although manual testing is still relevant, the demand for automated testing has significantly increased in recent years. This is also beneficial for the companies and teams concerning efficiency and extensive coverage. Therefore these articles will point out some of the best automation practices to adapt for a better test automation experience.
1. Deciding a Test Automation Plan
The secret behind every successful project is proper planning and a good strategy. Hence for your automation testing, you should follow a similar approach. The first thing is to dissect and analyze your AUT and testing teams comparatively. The units here showcase the Automation’s scope and testing necessities while evaluating the resources in hand and the possible hazards. When the assessment gets completed, the team then needs to stick to a course of action. This course should be within a stipulated timeframe and impart a figure of responsibility to every effort. Some tips regarding this are:
- Start planning for test automation as early as you can. Automation needs resource acquisition with regards to software and machine. However, these actions require proper resource allocation and time, and not planning can create issues. Hence, it is essential to plan to avoid problems regarding schedules and overrunning of the budget.
- You cannot label every testing as automated. Hence test cases with precise results, high chances of failure, time-consuming, or having stable features can only be subjected to Automation. Therefore, the recommended automation tests are API test, data-driven test, unit test, cross-browser test, and regression test.
- However, you should only test cases like an experimental test, UX test, app accessibility test, OS native feature, anti-automation features, or flaky functionality test manually. This is because these tests have a more significant chance of failed results and are expensive.
2. Selecting a Test Automation Way
Deciding on a correct automation approach is the basis of creating maintainable and robust automation test cases. The team gets to choose between 5 types of automation frameworks – linear, data-driven, modular, library architecture, and hybrid framework. It is also vital to ensure that the test automation launching is a well-defined method. Test automation requires the same level of consistency as software development. Some tips regarding the selection of a test automation approach are:
- It is crucial to bring in the right people. Getting in touch with the main stakeholders will allow you to realize the business needs of the application. Moreover, it would be best if you also considered options like in-housing or outsourcing your QA team.
- It is highly advisable to conduct proper risk analysis on the project. The necessary parameters regarding these are descriptions of the potential hazards, probability, affectability, associating, and mitigation expenses.
- Reviewing test artifacts with development is also an important task. With the changes in business priorities over time, testers should also involve test planning to align and design functionality. Moreover, this test planning should be more dynamic and adequately documented.
3. Getting a Testing Tool
It is easy to realize the importance and dependence associated with automation tools. Testing teams are now having more than enough options since there are plenty of such tools available in the market. Therefore, the testing teams should formulate an automation tool strategy focusing on the resources’ requirements and availability. It is important to note that the tool should be solving the issues and not you trying to fit your testing necessities into a tool. Some essential tips for these are:
- You should never rush to decide on the selection of a testing tool. People often go with the best automation testing tools available without much thought. However, it is essential first to analyze the configurable test automation framework. Then selecting some software that has the main functionalities of your app is the right thing to do.
- With good expertise, you can stick to Appium for mobile testing and Selenium for web testing. They are highly adaptive to almost all of the platforms, languages, OS, and robust. However, since these tools don’t provide in-app analytics, it is essential to recruit testers with extensive programming knowledge.
- You can also use trials and free consultations. Alongside open–source tools Appium and Selenium, many other commercial automation testing tools provide free consultation through the sales engineers. It is important for supporting the tool research process with business and technical data. Use a free codeless tool like Katalon Studio to get the best results.
4. Creating an Automation Environment
The next best practice is to set up an automation environment. This phase is essential since this is where the planning made so far starts getting implemented. You need to check the testing environment and must get the necessary automation tools for the test. However, the testing process is unpredictable. Therefore it is vital to get a stable testing environment for carrying out successful test automation. Some things that must be kept in mind while creating the environment are:
- The test environment and the development should be similar to the stage environment for consistency. You should also note that the stage environment must be the same as the production environment.
- You should consider the data as a part of the test case. You should be aware of the location to sort data and what will happen to data after the testing if masked.
- Moreover, there should be a defined set of best practices before noting down the test cases to ensure that they are resistant to the system alterations.
5. Designing Test Automation
Once done with the plans, tools, and the environment, the next thing is to note down the test scripts. You should be aware that the software development must be parallel to the test build, as this helps to stay on board with the app modifications. Moreover, when designing test cases, you should follow the correct order of the testing modules. You should also cover both the positive and negative flows. Some of the tips for designing test automation are:
- Utilize behavioral-driven development if there is a chance. Moreover, by using user stories in writing testing needs, the framework effortlessly puts stakeholders and testers on the same level.
- It is also essential to data-drive the test for using it again. With the data-driven approach, you need to change the data kept in the external files for generating test cases.
- Finally, before including any test into a regression suite, run and verify it several times to ensure that test’s potential and quality.
6. Running Test Automation
The final step is the execution, where all the preparations and activities start rolling. However, since the implementation is automotive, you have to take care of the power source and the AUT. Moreover, you can also follow certain pipelines to increase your release speed while maintaining DevOps and CI/CD quality. It is essential to realize that some testing environments require prior setups like CI/CD, local, offline, etc. Although if any issue regarding the failure reporting elements occurs, mock servers will provide the solution. Some valuable tips for the execution process are:
- You can save time by parallelizing the automated test cases that need no interdependency. For example, the test case result of a payment page shouldn’t depend on the login cases.
- You should test the application through stable network connections and servers. You must also avoid unexpected setbacks and elements that waste time.
- Moreover, you can also utilize a pipeline orchestrator to test cases in parallel. An example is the incorporation of Katalon Test-Ops into their test cases. It will leverage the cloud environment and run tests without previous setups. You can also prioritize the necessary tests automatically and ensure that the testers can optimize the test cycle while maintaining top quality.
LambdaTest: The web automation testing tool that the developers should adopt in 2021
A test automation platform is essential to improve the efficiency of the testing environment. The developer must choose the platform based on the business requirements, and testing needs as it helps them utilise the full potential of the platform and their testing team.
LambdaTest is a platform that helps users to perform automation testing of your website or web applications on a combination of 2000+ browsers & OS. Millions of users around the world use LambdaTest to perform automated testing thereby reducing their go to market launch time.
LamdaTest’s Selenium grid is ultra fast and built on the latest tech stack that developers utilize to run automated tests on thousands of devices and browsers. Developers can use LambdaTest to test the UI Functionality of all the web elements. This platform helps you develop, test and deliver high-quality web applications to your end-users in simple terms. Being an all cloud platform it really integrates well with various project, time management, CI/CD tools to help you deliver faster.
Therefore these are the best automation practices that you can adapt in 2021. These steps will help you to build the perfect system and make the process very robust and hassle-free. The automation technology is a boon for the industrial section, and implementing it will surely yield outstanding results.