"Hello to all the readers! Today, I'm going to introduce you to what's Software Automated Testing? why it's important? Why is the testing phase a crucial step in the software development process? How can we improve the testing process? If you're ready, let's dive in."
First and foremost, let's understand what testing is.
Testing is a process of examining and evaluating the quality of software to discover errors or bugs in the software or product. There are various types of testing, such as Unit Testing, Integration Testing, System Testing, Functional Testing, Regression Testing, and User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Testing is a crucial step in maintaining the quality and stability of software. Nobody wants to release an app or platform that has bugs, as it undoubtedly affects the organization's reputation. If users encounter issues, it reflects poorly on our organization. Having users face problems while using our app or platform is something we definitely want to avoid.
Objectives of Testing
The objectives of software testing encompass several critical factors to ensure confidence in quality, development, and usage of the software. These are outlined as follows:
2.1 Bug Identification: Testing aids in identifying and managing bugs within our software, enabling us to address various issues encountered during development.
2.2 Validation: Testing helps confirm that the system operates as specified in the requirements and meets user expectations.
2.3 Quality Assurance: Testing is integral to the process of improving the quality of software, ensuring its stability and efficiency.
2.4 Stability Maintenance: Testing contributes to maintaining the stability of software, minimizing failures and errors.
2.5 Performance Checking: Testing checks the performance of the software, determining its efficiency when handling a substantial number of concurrent users.
2.6 Security Testing: Testing examines system security to prevent unauthorized access or malicious hacking attempts.
2.7 Verification: Testing verifies that our system works according to the details, requirements, and designs desired by customers.
2.8 Integration Testing: Testing ensures that various parts of the system can work together seamlessly without errors.
Why is the testing phase important in the Software Development Life Cycle or DevSecOps?
The testing phase within the software development process holds significant importance, comparable to the coding phase. It serves as a critical variable for the various aspects of the developed product. For instance, if our software undergoes swift and efficient testing, it accelerates the product delivery process. Efficient testing ensures quicker deliveries and higher-quality products, ultimately enhancing the credibility of our organization.
If we delve specifically into the testing phase within the Software Development Life Cycle, there exists its own cycle known as the Software Testing Life Cycle that supports it.
There are roughly 6 main steps:
Requirement Analysis: Analyzing the received requirements.
Test Planning: Planning what to test, the steps involved, and the schedule.
Test Case Development: Writing test cases aligned with what needs to be tested.
Environment Setup: Preparing the environment for testing.
Test Execution: Actually conducting the tests as per the set environment.
Test Cycle Closure: The final step involves summarizing the test results.
The formats and methods in testing generally fall into two main categories: Manual Testing and Automated Testing.
Manual Testing involves testers manually verifying software without the use of automated tools or scripts. Testers scrutinize software for accuracy, efficiency, and stability using manually scripted test cases.
The characteristics of Manual Testing are:
Flexibility: Testers can examine every detail as required. For instance, if a detailed function needs testing, the test cases can be written to accommodate this level of detail.
Versatility: It allows testing for various use-case scenarios, such as mobile or different web browser usages, providing a diverse testing environment.
Automated Testing is a process that employs tools or scripts to conduct software testing automatically, without direct human intervention. It is often utilized for repetitive, complex, or rapid testing needs.
The characteristics of Automated Testing are:
Speed: It allows for faster testing compared to Manual Testing due to its automated nature and pre-written scripts.
Accuracy: It reduces errors that may arise from human intervention.
Consistency: It's highly applicable for repetitive testing needs within specific functions.
Let's take a look at a case study.
Firstly, Company A faced challenges in testing their mobile app across every version. It led to confusion, redundancy, and an increased risk of bugs slipping through to end users due to the need for frequent Regression Testing. This testing ensured that previously tested functions continued to work after code modifications or the addition of new features. However, the company decided to switch to Automated Testing tools with pre-built test scripts. This eliminated the need for repetitive manual testing, saving time and ensuring more effective testing of new functions or features. The close-to-the-code testing in manual testing often missed bugs or risk factors that could affect the organization's image. The shift to Automated Testing helped mitigate risks, save time, and ensure a more efficient app or platform under rapid testing.
There are various Automation Testing Tools available to suit different testing objectives. There are roughly 8 categories based on testing purposes.
UI Testing Tools: Used to test the performance and accuracy of the User Interface (UI) of applications or websites we develop. Examples include Selenium WebDriver, Appium, Puppeteer.
API Testing Tools: Employed to test data exchange through Application Programming Interface (API) without requiring UI interaction. Examples include Postman, RestAssured, SoapUI.
Performance Testing Tools: Utilized to assess system performance during high traffic periods, such as ticket sales for a concert opening at 10 AM. Examples include Apache JMeter, LoadRunner, Gatling.
Database Testing Tools: Used to test the accuracy and efficiency of Database operations. Examples include DbUnit, SQLUnit, Data Factory.
Security Testing Tools: Employed to test system security by identifying vulnerabilities that could lead to hacking or unauthorized access. Examples include OWASP ZAP, Burp Suite, Nessus.
Mobile Testing Tools: Used to test applications on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Examples include Appium, Espresso, XCUITest.
Integration Testing Tools: Used to test the interaction among various components within a system. Examples include Apache Camel, MuleSoft, IBM Integration Bus.
Cross-Browser Testing Tools: Employed to test applications or websites across multiple browsers to ensure uniform functionality. Examples include BrowserStack, CrossBrowserTesting, Sauce Labs.
Automated Testing plays a crucial role in enhancing the quality and efficiency of software by reducing time and potential errors that may occur in manual testing processes. With the capability to test GUI, API, and various system aspects, Automated Testing accelerates software testing, making it more effective through the use of Automation Testing Tools.
For instance, tools like Tricentis Tosca, Tricentis NeoLoad, and Tricentis qTest empower development teams to automate UI, API, Performance, and comprehensive system testing, handling various test cases. This instills confidence in software quality and aids in reducing development timelines.
Hopefully, readers will become more acquainted with the term "Software Testing," especially Automated Testing, and I look forward to meeting you again in the next article.