FAQ: Automation Testing
Technical Perspectives

FAQ: Automation Testing

Written by Bhartendu Sharma Posted October 24, 2014 by Carolina

What is Automation Testing?

Automation testing is the process of evaluating software with pre-scripted computerized tests.  The primary purpose of testing is to ensure the quality of software and applications before they are launched. Automating tests takes a meticulous manual task and turns it into an efficient computerized function. The most common tests are regression, load, and performance verification of graphical user interfaces (GUI) for web and desktop functionality.

Bhartendu Sharma

Bhartendu Sharma

These tests verify bug fixes, and optimize performance of software and applications.

When Should Automation Testing be Used?

There are some factors to be considered before opting to run automated testing software. Automation testing should be introduced if the total number of test cases is of a high volume. Another important consideration is the repetition of specific test cases. If the same test is running back to back, automation is the best solution because it cuts down on the amount of time a QA needs to dedicate to each test. Automation testing should be used to gain extensive analytic data on the performance of software and applications. Automation testing should be used on stable software features that are not constantly undergoing major alterations.

What are the Benefits of Automation Testing?

Automation testing is a faster, more reliable way to test software and applications in most cases. Testing all the functionalities, negative scenarios, and different workflows manually is a time consuming process. Automated testing increases the speed of test execution, and cuts the lead times of product launches down to a fraction. The test cycle can be ran outside of business hours, without human supervision, to save time and resources. Automation testing is devoid of human flaws. Testing is a meticulous, time consuming process where human fatigue can lead to oversight and error. Hence, automation test results are consistent and more reliable than the manual processes. Once established, testing scripts can be recycled and executed as frequently as desired.

What are the Disadvantages of Automation Testing?

Automation software can be a costly tool to implement. Script creation using automation tools takes time and needs regular maintenance as functional changes in the application or software are made. If major changes are made without an update to the test script the automation will run invalid tests. Automation tools cannot test the design of the user interface. Automation cannot report on the effectiveness of colors, images, text, and layout of a program or software.

Automation Testing What Are the Most Popular Automated Testing Tools?

The success of an automation test depends on the selection of the appropriate tool. It is important that the platform is sturdy and provides a complete test for the entire scope of the project. The most popular paid test tools are as follows:

  • HP Quick Test Professional is the most popular regression and functional testing tool available on the market. It supports almost all software applications and environments using visual basic script (VBScript) language to execute testing.
  • IBM Rational Robot is a tool used to automate regression, functional, and configuration tests for client servers, e-commerce platforms, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications. It generates scripts in SQABasic, which allows users to view and edit the test script for languages including HTML, Java, .Net, and C++
  • SmartBear Test Complete is a powerful tool which supports both desktop and web based applications. It has won multiple awards for automating GUI, functional, regression, data, and cross-browser testing.
  • Borland Silk Test supports almost all the technologies by executing tests on multiple platforms and devices. It uses domain specific 4Test language to execute automation.

Are There Any Free Tools that Perform Automation Testing?

There are a few free, or open-source, automation tools that are available to the public. Some of these codes would have to be modified to fit your specific testing needs, but provide a solid framework for testing. Some open-source tools available on the market include:

  • Selenium is a popular open-source tool for testing applications that are browser based.  It has cross-browser support for testing functionality, compatibility, and regression.
  • Watir is a web application tester. It is known for being easy to use and maintain, plus it is highly customizable. It displays results in Excel and XML file formats for analysis.
  • Windmill is a framework used to automate cross-browser functionality. It supports all major browsers including Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer.
  • Appium is a mobile app testing platform. It is compatible with iOS and android platforms, and integrates well with Selenium.

What are Some Examples of People Who Benefited from Automated Testing?

  1. HP QTP automation helped a financial business reduce the regression timelines for many applications. One application had 273 test scenarios. 145 of those scenarios received automation scripts, which reduced the manual testing time from seven days to 3.5 days. That is a 50 percent reduction in timelines.
  2. In another, more stable application, HP QTP allowed our developers to automate 76 out of 84 test scenarios. This resulted in a 91% decrease in the manual labor required for testing and reduced expected timelines from five days to half a day. The decrease in testing time also increased launch dates from one every two months to two every month.
  3. A company had over 700 regression test cases, which were executed manually. This procedure took about 15 days to finish. Using the Selenium WebDriver automation tool, regression testing times were cut. It took only 10 hours to execute the whole test suite and analyze the results.


Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies were written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned.

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