The Fundamentals of Test Automation
Bangalore: Test automation is on the rise. Today, a large portion of the processes and testing activities are being automated. Test automation has been lauded as an effective testing methodology that enables the software engineering industry to be on par with the fast paced technology savvy world.
Usually the processes that are picked for automation are manual processes that utilize formalized testing processes. Other than these, there are numerous other software development processes and activities which are automated using the test automation. This does not mean a tester becomes redundant but that his/ her workload can be greatly reduced.
What about the activities that are quite often subjected to automation? Before automating any testing activity, it is ensured that the automated tests will be compatible with the system on which they will be running.
Today the biggest challenge for developers is developing software systems and applications in a small time frame. There is not only a need to test the developed software system or application rigorously; there is also a need to finish it as soon as possible.
Automated Testing Lifecycle Methodology
In order to ascertain that the development process is systematic, a methodology has been introduced which is commonly known as “automated testing life cycle methodology” or ATLM.
The ATLM lays down 6 processes or activities that lead to test automation and its completion.
1. Decision to automate test: Before taking a decision to test, an organization must overcome false expectations of automated testing, realize its benefits and acquire management support.
2. Test tool acquisition:
This second stage of ATLM involves activities like tool evaluation and selection process. Here, tool evaluation can be automated to some extent. While choosing a testing tool, it is mandatory that the tester observe the system’s engineering environment.
3. Automated testing introduction phase: This phase involves the following steps:
Test process analysis: This analysis guarantees that all the test strategies and processes are in place. The test strategies, goals and objectives are declared in this phase and well documented.
Test tool consideration: This phase deals with an examination of the incorporated automated test tools. An assessment is made regarding whether the automated project testing requirements can be met with the tool. The testing tools are checked for compatibility with the software system or application and environment.
4. Test planning, design and development:
The Test Planning stage- At this stage, the test team spots the right test procedure creation standards and guidelines; hardware, software and network required to support test environment; test data requirements; a preliminary test schedule and performance measure requirements.
The Test Design component determines the number of tests to be performed and the test conditions which need to be exercised. Test design standards also need to be followed.
For automated tests to be reusable and repeatable, test development standards ought to be defined and followed.
5. Execution and management of tests: By this stage, the test design and test development has been addressed by the testers. The test procedures are now ready for automation. In accordance with the guidelines, the setting up of the test environment after every test case execution is also automated. Now the test plan is ready and test environment is also set up, the execution of the test cases is begun.
6. Test program review and assessment: Test Program review and assessment activities need to be conducted throughout the testing life-cycle, to permit continuous improvement. Throughout the testing life-cycle metrics must be evaluated and final review and assessment activities need to be conducted for process improvement.
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