Best Practices of Test Automation Recommended by Software Testing Experts
Implantation of test automation begins right from the point of taking the decision of going in for automation until the ongoing process of improvement is carried on. Testing experts apply automation at variety of stages like unit, integration and system during the STLC. Each of these stages has peculiar characteristics and is implemented in a different way.
When initiating test automation, software testing experts treat it as a full-fledged project, requiring a sound plan, execution of activities & constant monitoring of results. They prefer to firstly customize the organizational test process according to required activities necessary for the automated tests, training of professionals & preparation of necessary environment for an efficient software testing effort.
List of Eight Best Practices for Test Automation:
A list of relevant practices to improve system wide test-script implementation and reuse is given below & all these suggested
practices may be used according to the adopted technique:1) When recording a script for a test case, some sort of initialization may be necessary – such as database connection, variables, and functions – which can be shared between test cases of the same use case or even between many use cases.
2) Each script may be recorded independently from the others, having its own variables, initialization, and so on, although it would be better to share common objects for test scripts, in other words, use the concept of modularity.
For example, if it is necessary to clean up a database for a specific use case before executing any test script, or if there are common script steps, a text file to store these steps may be used and later on can be included at scripts execution time. If these steps change, only one place will have to be modified.
3) Another practice is to define functions executing a common activity for many scripts, and only call it from those scripts.
4) A clean and robust code must be implemented. Comments should be made for important lines or code blocks. While implementing, possible maintenance should not be discarded.
5) When a flow alteration or verification point in a script is recorded again, there must be some care to update only script sections where there really must be a change.
6) To delete any trash shown in a form, before inserting any data, a combination of keys should be used (“HOME”, “SHIFT+END” and “DELETE”) when recording an action of data input.
7) If test scripts are recorded initially from a prototype (applicable when the actual application is still not available), it is necessary to certify that names of fields and IDs of clickable icons on screen will not be altered. If they are changed, the script will need an update at a later date.
8) Dynamic data for test scripts should be used (test data must be separate of scripts). The immediate benefit is that, if additional data is needed, more records can simply be added; there is no need to modify the test script.
Apart from following the above best practices, It is important for the Software Testing Manager;
1) Form a team of specialized professionals to begin the implantation of tests automation, so as to reap the best benefits out of it.
2) Include in the team, at least one member with sufficient knowledge of the organizational culture.
3) Ensure an active participation of all team members, so that pertinent directives to the organizational context may be outlined and the commitment from every individual gets assured for the outcome of the “Automation Product”.
4) Monitor the process planning, elaboration of test cases, creation of code, and execution of tests and, especially the evaluation of results.
An expert on R&D, Online Training and Publishing. He is M.Tech. (Honours) and is a part of the STG team since inception.