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Common Challenges of Automated Website Testing

DZone's Guide to

Common Challenges of Automated Website Testing

Learn about automated testing for websites and common challenges so you can strategize.

· DevOps Zone ·
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Automation is the need of the hour and is going to help you in the long run! Considering the huge number of competitors for every product, widespread adoption of Agile development is demanding automation everywhere in the IT world in order to reach the pinnacle. With everyone planning on deploying automation in their organization, I thought of addressing the challenges faced in automated website testing.

What Is Automated Website Testing?

It is a process involving automated tools to perform testing on a website to evaluate the website’s efficiency. These automation tools are there to make sure that every element of a website is tested with fewer resources and in less time. They do so with the help of a customizable, reusable test suite. Website testing automation helps in delivering your product with consistency to the end user by organizing the workflow.

Why Should We Perform Automated Website Testing?

  • We are all aware of the popularity of Agile methodology for software development. Automated website testing brings true relevance to the term "agile" by speeding up your iterations or sprints.
  • Cloud computing software is vastly dependent on automated testing tools because the resources shared in the cloud are supposed to be accessible anytime, anywhere, and by anybody with an internet facility. Testing whether your software is working as intended all day and everywhere could not only be tedious and faulty if done manually but could also be highly time-consuming.
  • Regression testing is made effortless with the help of automated scripts.
  • The tools used for automation ensure 100% code coverage. This makes sure that the website stays robust in terms of functionality.

Myths About Automation

  • You can deploy 100% fully automated testing! – These scripts are written by humans — there is a limit to how far-sighted one can be! It doesn’t matter how tremendously testers are working at your firm, they can’t predict all the possible test cases required to call a software 100% bug-free.
  • Just record and playback. That is all there is to it! – Many automation tool vendors just advertise record and playback for automating the testing process through their tool. But that isn’t true! The real automation starts after the playback, once you have an idea regarding the test script generated by the tool.
  • Automated testing is going to replace manual testing! – Since 100% automation is an impossibility, manual testing will always be irreplaceable. The point of automation testing is to allow testers time to look for loopholes in the system manually and think of better test cases. Manual testing can never be trivialized; here are some reasons for which manual testing still prevails.

Challenges in Website Test Automation

  • Which tool to go for? Website test automation is highly tool-dependent. There are plenty of options available to choose from on the market. It is relevant to evaluate and find a tool that fits your budget and business needs.
  • How much to automate? You cannot automate everything! So, you need to plan thoroughly regarding which process to automate and up to what level. This needs to be coordinated with DevOps.
  • Parallel Execution of multiple test cases is usually not viable. Even when viable, bug logging and debugging become strenuous tasks.
  • False Positives and False Negative — A false positive is a scenario where the system is fundamentally working fine but the automation scripts show otherwise. This could cost a tester a huge amount of his time and money finding something which doesn’t even exist. Vice-versa, a false negative is a scenario where the automation script declares the system to be working fine when in reality, it isn’t! This happens if the initial stage of a database is inaccurate or if test environment settings are affected by network issues.
  • Web elements with undefined IDs – Web developers often miss out on providing an ID to every web element. If IDs aren’t declared properly for web elements, it takes time for an automated script to find these web elements. If they are not found after a significant amount of time, it leads to a failure. Therefore, ID allocations are a must for better script synchronization. Although this is a no-brainer, it still needs mentioning: there shall be no duplicating IDs on DOM.
  • Quality manual test cases are the fuel for quality automated testing – Out-of-the-box thinking is required from the tester writing these scripts. You need to think from the perspective of every end user that will be using your product. Make use of appropriate validation checks at the right places!
  • Staff selection – You need technically sound staff with a thorough understanding of the business process. A full understanding of the respective development language is a prerequisite for every person working on automation testing.
  • Maintenance – Automation does allow for reusability of test scripts, but considering the lightning-fast changes that are consistent with Agile methodology, maintaining the test tools along with test scripts can be very exhausting.
  • Cross-browser compatibility – If you are having a compound website then there will always remain some test cases which won’t get proper rendering in all web browsers. A manual approach is best suited for cross-browser testing to realize which Browser/Version/OS/Device your website is unable to deliver its intended functionality. At LambdaTest, you can check for cross-browser compatibility from 2000+ browsers and their versions.
  • Dynamic GUI content – As it is ever-changing in accordance with the demands of time and business, frequent changes may lead some scripts to fail.
  • Anxiety! – Although automation is believed to be time-effective, that also depends upon the number of test cases. In a humongous website, it can even take a day or more for an automated test script to declare whether everything is working as intended!

I understand how eager we all are for bringing automation to most of our business related processes. Being the latest buzzword everyone seems to be rushing towards its implementation for improving their business efficiency. Will Automation help improve business efficiency? Yes. Is automation the only way of improving business efficiency? No! There are many other ways of going around it. Consider automation as one of the tools available in your garage. You need to be aware of how to use that tool to tune your car up to shape. Just keep in mind the above challenges and consider yourself well equipped for website automation testing.

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Topics:
website testing ,automated testing ,web testing ,test automation ,devops

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