Continuous Test Automation: All you need to know

Continuous Test Automation: All you need to know

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Technology, Published On
January 31, 2023

To keep pace with rapidly changing market requirements and customers’ expectations, organizations have embraced Agile and DevOps form of development. This type of development practice involves frequent, automated deployment of the code into a shared repository. Although continuous deployment and continuous delivery has been on the forefront, many companies are still using manual software testing approaches. The adoption of DevOps with high dependency on manual testing has made testing a bottleneck in the delivery pipeline. This is evident from the Github DevOps 2021 survey that suggested testing as the biggest bottleneck in continuous delivery. Manual testing often creates a gap between development and testing cycles, impacting the time to market adversely.

Why do you need continuous testing?

Test Automation

Continuous testing is the only way to address the above stated challenge. In the case of the traditional manual testing approach, testing is carried out as the end of development activity. Since testing isn’t incorporated into the development process, bugs are found at later stages. This leads to too much rework, redesign and rethinking of strategy, impacting time to market negatively. On the contrary, continuous testing is the process of testing early, often, and comprehensively, using automation tools.

Whenever changes are made to the source code, testing is performed. In case the test cases fail, build is rejected and feedback is given to developers. If test cases pass, code is deployed. Thus, testing is performed as a part of the software development cycle.

Summarizing the above discussion,

  • As application structure is getting more complex because of the use of APIs, microservices, and technologies within a single business transaction, it is imperative to bring in continuous testing.
  • As new releases are being rolled out on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis, the time to create, maintain and execute test cases has reduced drastically. Thus, you need a continuous test automation platform to support your digital transformation initiatives.

Getting started with continuous test automation

To understand where you should start, you need to consider the test automation pyramid.

  • Unit and API tests form the majority of test cases. You need to bring in a test automation tool that makes QA teams easy to write, deliver, and execute test cases.
  • Then comes the GUI testing. These tests are hardest to write and maintain as they need to verify that values passed through UI are passed correctly to the APIs.

To ensure that tests run automatically, you need to set up the production-like test environment where the same automation can be deployed which is used across the production environment. You need a framework where test scripts, test data, and test management tools enable testing without requiring exhaustive human interaction.

Summarizing this,

  • You need a no-code test automation platform that can be operated easily to create test automation scripts without requiring programming knowledge.
  • You need to bring in a test automation framework that requires minimal human interaction. A framework that can recommend test cases based on risks, identify impacted areas and communicate with enterprise apps on metadata levels.
  • A test automation framework that also supports UAT (user acceptance testing) since ERP adoption is one of the most critical factors in digital transformation initiatives.
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