Traditional manual testing is on a downslide. All companies want to maximize efficiency and reduce timelines. The testing window gets crunched. Now the only way to ensure quality is to automate and run your manual test suite.
It may sound simple but if you do not plan properly this can be a complete disaster. Do not panic. Here in this section, we help and guide you in your transition from manual to automation testing. So, read on.
Why is automation so important?
There are several benefits of transitioning to automation from a manual testing framework. Some of these include:
Steps involved in converting a manual test case to an automated script
Here are some simple steps which can be followed to convert your manual test cases to an automation script.
First and foremost, choose the test cases that can be automated. In most cases, it is not possible to automate all the test cases. Choose according to your application and your automation tool.
This is the most important part of your automation suite. The data set is what will be driving your automation suite. Make sure to include all permutation and combination of data, both input, output and expected values as applicable. An advantage with automation here is that if you create a data set for the validation of say a text field, the same data set can be used across all the text fields in your application. The reusability factor is very high.
Check the preconditions needed for the manual test cases. If they are automatable, then go ahead and write scripts for the same. Else mark it as a pre-requisite to start your automation suite.
For each step performed manually, create an automation script. Divide the scripts into functions, modules, classes, etc. to increase the reusability and reduce the scripting efforts. Add a log after every step. This is very critical to creating an automation suite. Only with a logger, you will be able to debug the issues and understand until what steps you were able to execute the scripts.
At each point capture the output and compare it with the expected results. This is very critical to the results you publish to the stakeholders. Create a traceability matrix to make sure you are validating all the test points.
The consolidated report generated at the end is equally important. Try to make it as informative as possible. You can generate a report in HTML or even in excel. In either case, try to have different levels. A high-level report which just gives a count of passed and failed scenarios. The second level could dig deeper and explain the test steps performed and a third level with the expected and actual values used for marking the test case as pass or fail.
When ever a test case fails, manually you would go the home page or first screen to restart your next test case. The recovery scenario helps you do that. If a test case fails, your recovery scenario should be called, and it should reset your application to a place where you can begin your next test case.
Though not mandatory, it is always a good practice to add comments to your scripts. This will be helpful to you and even others in understanding and debugging the automation scripts at a later stage.
Another best practice for automation is to clean up and close the application once the test is complete. This ensures that the occupied memory is cleared and is very helpful when running the same set of scripts for multiple users.
Challenges faced while transitioning from manual to an automation test suite
Manual to automation is a huge paradigm shift that is associated with its own challenges and hurdles. It is not a smooth journey, at least not till your automation suite is up and running. It becomes easier after that. Let us list some common challenges that can you expect so you can be prepared for that too.
A good framework is very important for the success of any automation effort. Designing this framework can be a big challenge if we do not have the right resources and strategies in place.
Unlike manual testing, automation needs technical scripting skills and expertise in the selected tool. Upskilling the existing team or bringing in an external resource is a tough call which you should be prepared to take.
While you might be tempted to automate everything in the first go, remember that everything cannot be automated. Choose your scope judiciously based on the tool, your application, your time frame and resources available.
While the switch from manual to automation may seem like an uphill task, we need to understand and upgrade ourselves constantly to survive in IT. Technology is developing very fast and the only way testing can keep up the pace is with automation. So, yes automation is the way going forward. Plan for it today.
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