The types and numbers of tests, System Under Test (SUT), Cost cutting factors, Test-tool and environment, Human and organizational topics

Test Automation

In software testing, test automation is the use of special software which is separate from the software being tested, to control the execution of tests and the comparison of actual outcomes with predicted outcomes. It makes use of special software tools to control the execution of tests and then compares actual test results with predicted or expected results. It automates some repetitive but necessary tasks in a formalized testing process already in place. It can perform additional testing that would be difficult to do manually.

There are two terms, necessary to understand for a clear idea of Test Automation.

Continuous delivery(CD or CDE)

It is an approach in which teams produce the software in short cycles, ensuring that the software can be reliably released at any time and, when releasing the software fully, doing so manually. It aims at building, testing, and releasing software with greater speed and frequency. The approach helps reduce the cost, time, and risk of delivering changes by allowing for more incremental updates to applications in production.

Continuous Testing

Continuous testing is the process of executing automated tests as part of the software delivery to obtain immediate feedback on the business risks associated with a software release. It reduces waiting time for feedback to developers.
Once automated tests have been developed, they can be run quickly and repeatedly thus becoming cost-effective. They are especially helpful in testing of software products that have a long maintenance life.

There are many approaches to test automation. Some points to be noted are:

Test automation tools can be expensive but it can be made cost-effective in the long term, especially when used repeatedly. A good candidate is that of regression testing when an enhancement is made in the application.
Test automation reduces the effort associated with manual testing. Manual effort is needed to develop and maintain automated checks, as well as reviewing test results.
What to automate, when to automate, or even whether one really needs automation are crucial decisions which the testing (or development) team must make.

What to Test?

Testing tools can help automate tasks such as product installation, test data creation, GUI interaction, problem detection, defect logging, etc.

Support distributed execution environment (distributed test bed).
Distributed application support (distributed SUT).
Platform and OS independence.
Data driven capability (Input Data, Output Data).
Customization Reporting (DB Database Access, Crystal reports.
Support unattended test runs for integration with build processes and batch runs.
Email Notifications like bounce messages.
Extensible & Customization.
Common Driver.
Easy debugging and logging.
Version Control friendly – minimal binary files.

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We do end-to-end, dynamic testing which in reality is one process, one test, with unlimited variations.

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Graphical User Interface Testing

It is a testing framework that generates User Interface events such as keystrokes and mouse clicks, and observes the changes that result in the user interface, to validate that the observable behavior of the program is correct.

APT Driven Testing

It is a testing framework that uses a programming interface to the application, to validate the behavior under test. Typically API driven testing bypasses application user interface altogether.

Unit Testing

To check whether various sections of the code are acting as expected under various circumstances.

Continuous Testing

It is the process of executing automated tests as part of the software delivery pipeline to obtain immediate feedback on the business risks associated with a software release candidate.

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