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What Software Tests are Suitable for Automation

Published on 28 May 13

Test automation has an important place in the testing arsenal of any software organization. But it is not going to replace manual testing. It should be combined with manual testing to get the best possible combination of efficiency and code coverage.

In general, automated testing is best suited for repetitive tests where human error is more likely and that justify the upfront cost of automation. Manual testing is best for unusual tests, infrequent tests and tests that require human intelligence like whether a user interface looks right.

What follows are some of the top candidates for test automation. If you are planning on automating some of your tests, you would do well to start here.
Regression Testing

Regression testing, testing a system for defects introduced into one part of a system by changes do a different part, is a popular candidate for automation.

These tests get repeated regularly and involve testing that is pretty boring for human testers because it involves testing parts of the system that havenât been changed and so they probably arenât broken. It seems like a good place to cut corners.

Most of the time, those unrelated elements will be fine. But if you donât do proper regression testing, then one day a big bug will slip into production and it will damage your reputation.
Smoke Testing

Smoke testing is a good choice for automation because of the frequency with which smoke testing is run.

Any time a new build is deployed, smoke testing determines whether the build is so bad that there is no point in testing.

Smoke testing lets the QA team focus on testing things that are worth testing. Automated smoke testing saves them the time it takes to figure out whether the application is worth testing.
Performance Testing

Automating performance testing early on in the development of an application will help you identify poorly performing code and fix it when it is still cheap and easy to fix.

Setting benchmarks and checking the performance of complex applications under development is a good way of ensuring that you meet performance targets. This is particularly important for large applications.

A common approach is to give each section of the application a budget of computing resources under which they are expected to remain.

As application develops and the code changes, the automated performance test suite can identify changes that work from a functional standpoint but damage performance.

Because performance bottlenecks arenât immediately obvious, it can be easy to miss them in new code. Once the code is in place and new system dependencies are in place, it is very expensive to fix bottlenecks so automated performance testing can save a lot of money in the long run by making it easy to test often.
Data-Driven Functions

Any features are functions that are data-driven are often good candidates for automation.

Manual testers might have to go over a procedure dozens or even hundreds of times testing how the application responds to various forms of valid and invalid data.

Once set up, automated data-driven tests are easy to run. Often, data-driven test data can come from an Excel spreadsheet making it easy to add data and test cases that werenât anticipated when automating the tests.

Test automation is a great for repetitive tests because the upfront automation costs are recouped over time. Repetitive tests are also tend to be the types of tests that humans do the most poorly, so automation also reduces error.

Combining automated testing with manual testing and analysis is the most efficient way to cover code while ensuring quality.

If you are looking for help with test automation, please check out our test automation service. We have an experienced team familiar with automating web applications, including SaaS and large ecommerce sites, mobile applications and all sorts of other software environments.
This blog is listed under Quality Assurance & Testing Community

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