How to test during every software development phase with automation tools

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By comparing outcomes to predicted results, software applications must undergo testing to analyze code validity and performance reliability. While manual testing can be implemented for this determination, the experience of testers is many times tedious with required attention to redundant processes. This fact can sometimes can result in inconsistent attention to testing detail. Manual testing therefore cannot always assure complete accuracy. There is always the possibility of human error. By contrast, test automation sets stable controls on software testing with proven accuracy in correlating expectation with verified conclusions. Automated testing can also perform additional analysis required for continuous delivery that would otherwise be difficult to execute.

Why Automated Testing?

Consistency in testing can best occur through automation. To fulfill the requirement for incremental valuation of software development and release, automated testing performs crucial analysis of software quality. Test automation, once developed, can be repeated and quickly run to effectively analyze the functionality of software components.

How to Plan and What to Test

How, whether, what, and when to automate are pivotal enterprise decisions. DevOps interactions among QA, development, and operations teams draw decisions as to which product components are to undergo automated testing. Discussions include such questions as:

  • What will be the characteristics of users?
  • Which range of requirements and specifications will be within the scope of the model?
  • Given the user and requirements scope, what is the required level of detail?
  • Anticipating software components and user-triggered activity within computer systems, is testing to be at the highest levels, or at a finer granularity?

The Automation Platform

Automated testing is composed of a number of testing methods. Distinct testing modules examine and determine the viability of software execution. Features such as problem detection, variable code analysis, defect logging, product installation, application performance, and version control are facets of test automation.

A platform, or infrastructure, supports automated testing tools. The Cloud is the most reliable and flexible support platform for automation in testing. The cloud platform provides a built-in, integrated infrastructure as the base for such tools as reusable test modules, test data sources, component details, reusable test modules, and function libraries. The Cloud infrastructure forms an on-demand, flexibly configurable foundation for test automation with a platform that provides an interface that is easily adaptable to testing tools and add-ons. The cloud interface facilitates the discrete mapping of tests to software applications.

Automated testing is the fastest, most efficient, precise and reliable form of software validation. Especially in respect to complex applications, test automation is a highly more effective in assuring reliable software delivery. Looking further into test formats and methods can best exemplify cloud-based testing.

Continuous Testing

Continuous testing must be automated. The process of incrementally executing automated tests within the software delivery pipeline is termed continuous testing. The automation that executes continuous testing delivers immediate feedback as to stability of software development and operations, from planning and design to deployment.

Unit Testing

Unit testing is used primarily in agile software development to confirm that software components are performing under a variety of conditions as predicted. Formatted previous to coding, unit testing evaluates coding design and functionality, and expands in concert with coding progressions to ensure application integrity. Code restructuring is better secured with unit testing, as parallel tests that circumvent duplications more efficiently bring about successful outcomes.

How to Automate Unit Testing

Useful unit testing must be fully automated and must not be interactive. The flexibility and accessibility of cloud-based test automation best ensures that unit tests are continuous and executed in small increments which are simple to run. Use bottom-up testing procedures that first test the smallest software increments. Set up testing for finite reporting to exact and extract accurate accounting of execution levels and test coverage.

Functional Testing

Functional tests verify that software meets all functional requirements. Each software function is evaluated as to how well it satisfies business requirements. Rather than analyze internal coding, functional tests primarily evaluate applications as they relate to enterprise requirements. Tested functions include:

  • Primary software functions
  • Basic usability
  • Accessibility
  • Profitability

How to Automate Functional Testing

Functional testing uses a combination of logical analysis and automated testing. Well-planned cloud-based functional testing stabilizes core business needs with assurance that applications will function as anticipated and meet enterprise needs. Test frameworks identify software functions that are inconsistent with user requirements and business requirements.

Performance testing

Performance testing analyzes software behavior from a system and user perspective. User interface testing determines efficacy and quality as to the extent to which systems interact with users. To this end, performance testing is conducted via graphical user interface. System responses, such as mouse clicks, keystrokes, and reactions to user commands are performance initiatives the stability of which are precisely determined through automated testing.

Usage-based model testing is type of performance testing that executes simulated workloads in simulated user environments. With simulation, usage-based model testing identifies performance with a scope that plugs into user-triggered consequences.

Through recordings and playbacks, performance test automation registers the interactivity of user executions. Testing focuses on application interaction with computer systems and web pages, as well as SDK frameworks regarding mobile devices.

How to Automate Performance Testing

Automated testing acts upon performance and usage-based testing to highlight user interactions from the keyboard and the mouse to screen changes and web page transitions. Automation accurately specifies simpler object and component interfaces as well as more complex transitions involving data transfers or message transmissions. Test automation methods remain consistent from summary performance to granular functionality.

Automated testing modules’ interaction with digital devices enables testing to more exactly integrate with software applications. Installed upon a cloud-based platform, automated performance testing loads quickly and easily, runs repeated functional behavior, measures performance modules, and efficiently verifies web applications. Select a performance testing architecture that at least includes:

  • Conversation thread groups
  • Controllers
  • Samplers
  • Config Elements
  • Timers
  • Assertions
  • Listeners

Regression Testing

Use regression testing to verify that changes to an existing software item, such as configurations, patches, or enhancements, will not alter or disable the performance of applications with which the item interfaces.  Normal methods of regression include rerunning previous tests; testing for re-emergence of previous software deficiencies; and tracking the quality of output. It is critical that system testing accompany regression tests to ensure that the across-the-board functionality of previous test cases is evaluated against system interactions to verify software ongoing stability.

How to Automate Regression Testing

Cloud-based automated regression testing can be successfully conducted with prescribed actions that:

  • Graphically represent the workflow of the updated application and translates the workflow into scripts
  • Track versions, maintain and record version controls
  • Define and differentiate test modules
  • Analyze and publish test results

Integrated Testing

Integrated testing follows unit testing and precedes validation testing as the point at which single software components are combined for analyzing integrity of application. Integrated testing verifies the reliability, function, and performance of the overall software design. Design items are assembled and executed for functionality testing that focuses on simulation to verify the application blueprint.

Software applications are tested for their interaction with shared data sectors, system interfaces, and subsystems. Testing of each function is built upon the previous function to confirm the interaction of all software constructs as an integrated whole. Automation in integrated testing is time efficient and assures stability in analyzing software operations.

Bottom-up testing, where smaller components are tested first, is the form of integrated testing used by agile development teams. Testing is repeated by increments (continuous testing), in which software components are still assembled upon each other, each subsequent function dependent both upon the functionality of the previous – as well as its own integrity -- unto the integrated final product.

How to Automate Integrated Testing

There is no prescribe method of automating integrated testing.  To minimize delay, some testers prefer to concurrently run integrated tests and unit tests. Diminishing factors in parallel testing is the possibility of simultaneous multiple test failures. Another manner of automating integrated testing is to follow the chronology of the software testing cycle, where integration tests must be run subsequent to unit testing.

Automation in integrated testing allows the continuous testing required for agile development. Automated testing is critical in the integration testing of complex software. Choose integration testing that is automated for your testing needs. Understand that integration tests complement and supplement system, and unit testing.

First plan which software components will comprise the integrated testing group, according to which coding and design formats pose communication and interface concerns. When testing agile development, use bottom-up integrations of software components. Merge units according to anticipated incremental interface and criticality of testing units.

API Driven Testing

API testing determines whether APIs return the correctly-formatted response to a series of requests. Typically bypassing the programming interface, an API can combine with testing tools to validate and directly determine the level of its call/response functionality. API testing critically facilitates short release cycles when an API is the primary software interface. APIs provide the primary interface for testing application logic.

How to Automate API Testing

Directly tested as functions within integrated testing, APIs are very suitable for automated and continuous testing. Automate API testing in layered message protocols. Tools that best meet API test automation are accessed from the Cloud and based on the desktop.

Validation Testing

At the end of a development phase, validation tests check whether software applications meet system specifications and that they function to meet demand. Testing occurs at the high level to conduct an overview analysis of whether the software satisfies user expectations.

While verification in testing measures whether the product is rightly built, validation testing confirms that the right product is built. While software verification tests to ensure that development meets requirements and specifications, validation assures that the application actually satisfies user needs. Verification asks, “Did we build the application correctly?” Validation asks, “Did we build the correct application?” Providing users with the software they need is the goal of validation testing.

How to Automate Validation Testing

Automated validation testing maps data from the source application to real outcomes. Logical mapping is the process through which validation metrics determine whether the source meets the need. From the cloud platform, access validation tools drill into data processes to reveal the results of software executions. Activate automated tools to test source software as read only access. Test deficiencies that include:

  • Data truncation
  • Data type mismatch
  • Missing data
  • Errors in transformation logic
  • Duplicate records
  • Incorrect null translation
  • Misguided transitions
  • General deficiency in meeting software goals

The main goal of automated testing is to expedite the timely release of software applications. The ability to conduct fast and frequent analysis makes test automation ideal within the agile environment and can easily be achieved with the help of test management tools. The agile trait of continuously changing applications and system requirements give automated testing a high priority in software verification. High value test cases can especially benefit from automated testing, as test automation leads to shorter production cycles and better quality software for assured added benefit to the enterprise.

Learn more about how to improve your business with automation tools by attending the upcoming session of Atlassian Summit 2016– Automate Your Business with Atlassian.

Learn more about getting started with automation testing.

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