In the modern software development industry, automation testing is one of the most integral parts of the entire development and testing process. This is because it is impossible to properly verify the functioning of all the elements in the complex application infrastructure with manual test cases. However, for the proper execution of automated test cases, the developers must create and implement effective automated test scripts. This is because the test scripts will provide all the required information, statistics, and user data that will allow the system to emulate human interactions while communicating with the app.
With this article, we are going to explore some other best practices that can help application developers and testers write effective automated test scripts. We will also discuss some of the most important parameters that the developers must keep in mind during the execution of automated test cases.
Table of Contents
Exploring Automated Test Scripts
We can define an automation test script as a set of instructions or code written in a popular programming language. These instructions are used to automate the testing of modern software applications. The developers usually create these scripts to simulate user interactions, validate expected behavior, and verify the functionality within the application undergoing the development process. Let us go through some of the most important components of a modern automation test script:
● Test Steps
Test steps usually consist of a series of actions that mimic user behavior within the application. These steps could include multiple user interactions like entering data, clicking buttons, or navigating through the menus available on the application. Using test data, automation testing can verify how the application behaves in normal user interactions.
These are usually the checks that are implemented within the automation test script to confirm the application’s behavior as expected by the developing team. Using assertions, the developers can compare the actual outcomes with the expected result as mentioned in the test plan. It also acts as a fail-safe mechanism to ensure that the app-developing companies do not roll out faulty applications.
● Test Data
It will consider multiple inputs and parameters that are required for the test execution process. This data can be either static data present within the test script or dynamic data source for multiple external files or databases. Using dynamic data, the developers can verify the application’s stability and functionality when subjected to multiple unusual traffic or user interactions.
● Error Handling
These are the mechanisms to handle exceptions, errors, or unexpected behavior that might be encountered during the test execution process. The goal of this inclusion is to prevent script failure and provide meaningful feedback after the execution process. Using this feedback, the app developers can proceed with the debugging process to ensure they roll out high-quality applications.
● Logging and Reporting
These are the facilities present within the automation test scripts for generating comprehensive test logs that summarise test execution results. These logs will consist of multiple important parameters like failed tests, passed tests, and all the issues that have been encountered during the testing phase.
As a whole, we can say that the goal of an automation test script is to enhance the accuracy, efficiency, and repeatability of the software testing process. It also allows faster and more reliable identification of critical issues or bugs that might be present within the core architecture of the application.
Justifying the Use of Automated Test Scripts
Writing effective automation test scripts is one of the most crucial components of a successful testing process. Let us now understand some other significant reasons for justifying the pivotal role of an effective automation test script:
● Efficiency of Time and Development Costs
Using automation test scripts, the developers can automate repetitive test cases and save a lot of time during the overall testing life cycle. This efficiency ensures that the company saves a lot of costs by requiring fewer resources for manual test execution.
● Implementation of Faster Feedback Loops
The test execution speed of automated test scripts is much higher compared to manual tests. So, it provides a rapid feedback cycle on the application’s stability and overall functionality. Using this quick feedback loop, the developers can quickly identify the critical bugs in the source code and implement the required fixes.
● Presence of Consistency and Repeatability
Using effective automation test scripts, the developers can ensure that they have a consistent test execution system every time they run the test cases. Using this consistency, they can verify that the new code changes don’t introduce any regression or bugs in the existing elements of the application. This is a critical process when the developers are working on certain applications that undergo frequent changes.
● Increasing the Test Coverage
Using effective automated test scripts the developers can ensure that they use dedicated test cases for verifying the functioning of all the elements on the application. It is a crucial process when developers are working on modern complex apps that have thousands of different elements that can influence the app’s stability and functionality.
● Improving the Testing Accuracy
Since the automation test scripts are responsible for providing the data for the test execution process, they have a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy of the test cases. Faulty data in the test scripts can lead to some common errors like false positives and false negatives. Using this accuracy, the automation testers can even detect the subtle errors or issues that might be present in the application architecture.
● Scope for Agile Development and Scalability
Using effective automated test scripts, the app-developing companies can perform the development and testing processes side by side. It is a very effective process as it not only improves the test execution speed but also ensures that bugs can be detected at the earliest phases before they can turn into serious concerns. Moreover, since the automation test scripts can be reused and scaled across different iterations or projects, they save a lot of time and effort in the long run.
In short, automation test scripts help to streamline the testing process, contribute significantly to the overall efficiency of the software development life cycle, and improve the quality of the application that is being currently developed
Best Practices for Writing Effective Automated Test Scripts
To simplify the automation test script creation process for new automation testers and developers, we have mentioned some of the best practices that can help them in this process:
1. Planning and Designing Process
The developers need to create a solid test plan and design before writing the automation test scripts. This process will help them to identify all the relevant testing scenarios, application requirements, and prioritize them based on their criticality and influence.
2. Maintaining the Simplicity and Modularity of the Test Scripts
It is a crucial process to break complex testing scenarios into simple instances. This is because using this practice, the developers can create the test cases into manageable parts. It is also important to use modular design principles for writing reusable modules and functions. It helps the developers to maintain and scale the test cases as per the project requirements.
3. Use of Meaningful and Descriptive Names
Modern applications consist of thousands of different elements that require dedicated test cases. So, the automation testers need to name the test cases according to the target elements to avoid any confusion during the test execution or debugging process. These names must consist of descriptive elements like functions, variables, and intended elements. These names also help to make the test cases more understandable to other members of the app company who might lack the required technical knowledge.
4. Implementation of Standard Coding Practices
It is very important to adhere to coding standards and best practices depending on the chosen programming language or automation testing framework. With the help of a consistent coding style, the developers can massively improve the collaboration and readability of the overall application development life cycle. Standard coding practices ensure that the developers can detect all the critical bugs and errors at the early stages and maintain the quality of the application and user satisfaction.
5. Integration of Cloud Platforms
Modern cloud platforms play a critical role in the automation test script creation process. AI-powered test orchestration and test execution platforms like LambdaTest allow developers to integrate artificial intelligence for creating and maintaining test cases according to their priority in the application infrastructure. This platform also allows the developers to import the automation test scripts from multiple popular frameworks like Selenium, Cypress, Appium, and Playwright. Using cloud platforms, the developers can also integrate automated real-device testing through remote servers. Modern cloud platforms like LambdaTest also have additional features like live test activity logs, comprehensive test reports, and native bug trackers.
While using cloud platforms for real device testing, app developers can access the test bench from anywhere in the world without any geographical restrictions. These platforms also provide access to hundreds of outdated devices or software versions for further improving the compatibility of the application in this competitive market.
6. Use of Data-Driven Testing
One of the best practices in the modern automation test script creation process is to separate the test data from the test scripts. For this process, the developers must implement data-driven testing approaches using external data sources like Excel, CSV, or other databases. These data sources allow the developers to make the scripts more adaptable to various test scenarios and prevent the recreation of the entire test script for every element of the application. So, we can also say that data-driven testing has an indirect role in improving the efficiency of the testing environment.
Finally, the developers need to remember that the specific requirements of the app project and the preferences of the testers will also have a decisive role in the test script creation process. So, it is very important to have a comprehensive idea about the application intentions, the target audience, and all the tools and languages being used in the app development process.
The Bottom Line
So, we can easily conclude that the automation test script creation process is one of the most important components of the modern application development and testing process. As automation testing continues to become one of the most important components of the future app industry, developers and testers should try to integrate all the recent parameters in this segment. Staying updated with all the modern trends and innovations related to test automation will also help developers maintain their position in this competitive segment of the industry. Companies should also conduct frequent awareness campaigns and seminars to spread the required knowledge related to all these practices.