Quality at speed is what every enterprise strives for these days. With increasing business demands to accelerate time-to-market, more and more companies have started migrating from traditional development methods to Continuous Delivery that are based on Agile philosophy. This modern approach allows software to be developed and deployed in short cycles.
Companies are rapidly embracing Agile practices to accelerate the application delivery to cope with the strict demands of the market. The modern landscape of software testing not only focuses on speedy delivery but also necessitates quality. It becomes imperative for the companies to follow a continuous schedule that encourages frequent releases without affecting the quality.
Test Automation and Continuous Delivery
Manual methods have become arduous and outdated given the tremendous pressure on companies to continuously innovate, develop, and deliver. This puts a lot of onus on regression testing. Given the enormous effort required for manual regression testing, it has now become necessary to automate tests as far as possible.
Software testing needs a vigilant and thorough process of impersonating an end user trying various input scenarios, asserting and comparing expected behaviors. Using automated tools for certain programmable parts of the test suite can help accomplish faster software delivery. Test automation implemented well can ensure that the right tests are implemented at the right time to reduce overall test cycle time. Automated tests have proven to meet all kinds of customer demands.
Implementing Test Automation
Enterprises are spending too much effort and costs on regression testing due to the constant changes in the environment and applications. Test automation helps in accelerating the regression test efforts in an economic way. It also helps in providing 24/7 unattended implementation.
The main objective of executing an automation program is to fast track testing and reduce the overall cycle time. This also helps in using resources efficiently and appropriately. However, there are a variety of tools available these days, both open-source and commercial. Organizations need to carefully evaluate what suits and integrates well to provide optimum results.
Benefits of Test Automation
Projects running on Agile mode will have to make sure that every Sprint accommodates in-Sprint automation in addition to the regular regression automation to achieve bigger benefits. This ensures applications with quality at speed in production. Test automation enables organizations to maintain product quality, increase testing speed, and cut costs. All these benefits can be achieved by solving two main challenges.
Challenge 1: Set Up an Adaptable Test Automation Suite
Setting up a test automation suite and maintaining it without any clear targets on which to base the design can lead to higher costs, failure to realize the execution, and an inability of adapting to change. There are phased processes by which the test factory sets up test automation:
Planning: In this process, we have to define timelines and goals for a test automation rollout.
Designing: Using the CAFÉ framework, model-based testing design, and standardized test cases, test automation is set up.
Execution: Using automated parallel test execution and automated test data creation, test speed can increase.
Report: For all automated tool sets, single dashboard reporting is done.
Maintain: With the help of impact analysis and model-based test design, automated test sets can be kept current.
Challenge 2: Improve Quality and Speed; Minimize Cost
Regression testing is performed under time pressure, which might cause trouble in the quality of testing. By using an automated test tool and moving regression testing from a manual test process to an automated test, regression testing process can be a lot faster. This faster speed can have the following advantages:
The frequency of regression tests can be increased and defects can be detected early.
When the time is limited, there is no need to sacrifice the regression tests.
Total testing time is reduced, allowing less time-to-market.
Due to less manual testing, total cost per testing cycle can be reduced.