Automated UI testing is the practice of incorporating automated testing tools to validate the proper functionality of web applications before they are launched into production. The main incentive of this technology is to simplify the tediousness of UI testing by minimizing the investment of human time and effort by automating the tasks.
The Advantages of Automated UI Testing.
In today’s digital world, most of our businesses completely belong to the internet. In such a scenario, the growth of our business depends largely on the success rate of our web application. This is exactly where automation testing proves to be a game-changer. Before launching your application into production, ensuring its performance by testing multiple different use-cases and the cross-functionality across various environments and browsers is more of a necessity than a requirement. Instead of manually validating the various aspects of UI, test scripts are integrated to confirm the envisioned functionality of the application. Automated testing has other notable advantages as well, which include –
- They drastically reduce the chances of any type of errors, which is a possibility in the case of manually carrying out these tests.
- The usage of Test scripts saves a lot of time since they are reusable and scalable.
- They escalate the test coverage rates, which in turn helps organizations to detect bugs quicker.
- They can simultaneously run on different platforms and across different browsers, which would have proved to be a tedious task if performed manually.
Challenges Involved regarding Automation UI Testing –
- Sound Knowledge – To conduct efficient automation testing, you need to have the in-depth technical knowledge to design test scripts. You need to be well-versed with the framework’s design and implementation as you would be required to test automation frameworks, build solutions, and resolve technical issues.
- Effective communication and collaboration – These two skills are essential not just in the automation team, but in any team in general. Since there is a considerable investment involved, the proper alignment of the automation team with the organization’s incentives, as well as being well briefed about the test automation objectives and targets becomes quite important. Test scripts need to be effectively written based on evidence and historical data. The entire team needs to keep communicating daily.
- Selecting the right tool – Selecting the right tool is important, as each tool supports a particular situation. As per the State of Test Automation 2020-2021 Survey by Kobiton, 25.9% of the organizations find choosing the right tool the biggest challenge. There are a wide variety of automation tools available, both licensed and open-source, which makes it difficult to choose. Hence, understanding the core requirements of your organization, and then conducting meticulous research on the tools available in the market is essential. In this article, we would talk about one such tool – Selenium, which is an open-source automation tool.
- Dynamic nature of apps – Apps undergo upgrades and implement new features from time to time. So, automated UI testing becomes quite pivotal in terms of results.
- Troubleshooting – Certain bugs can be quite complex, which means the volume of data is quite large. In such cases, automated UI testing could be quite cumbersome.
- High upfront cost – Automation testing requires a high initial investment, in terms of the tools required, the resources, the infrastructure, etc. Even for open-source tools like Selenium, which can be downloaded for free, investments in training the resources and setting up the grid must be taken into account.
Using Selenium for automated UI Testing.
Selenium is an open-source software designed to automate various tests carried out on web applications. It is a leading Cloud-based testing platform that allows testers to record their actions, and reuse them as scripts. It provides a single interface for testers to write test scripts in various languages such as C, C++, C#, Ruby, etc.
The advantages are:
- It provides automation across various web applications.
- When someone selects a tool, the first question that pops into their mind is, “Does this tool support the languages I know?” Selenium supports and allows test scripts to be written in multiple languages such as C, C++, C#, Ruby, etc.
- The test cases can be easily implemented.
- It can run multiple scripts across various browsers such as Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, etc.
- It also supports various Operating Systems such as Mac, Windows, Linux, etc.
- It is an open-source software, meaning there are no upfront costs involved to use the software. You can download it for free.
- It requires fewer resources, as compared to other automation testing tools. You do not require an external plug-in for every test case.
- Selenium Grid allows us to execute multiple tests in parallel, hence reducing the test execution time.
- Being open-source, Selenium offers community support which enables the users to easily integrate new updates and upgrades without any hassle. The people comprising this community are always looking to help new folks out, so feel free to shoot your queries and ask for help.
- The user-friendly interface of Selenium facilitates the easy creation and execution of test scripts.
- The Selenium web driver does not require any external server. The test scripts can interact directly with the web browser.
- Selenium also supports various frameworks. It can integrate with the TestNG framework for testing applications. It can even integrate with Jenkins or Docker or Hudson for Continuous Integration (CI).
- Selenium scripts are pretty simple and easy to understand. With the Selenium official documentation and the amazing community support, you can get up and running in Selenium in no time.
While Selenium is regarded as the most popular automated UI testing tool, it really depends on the requirements of your organization. Not having a tool that matches your business requirements would lead to testing automation failure. So make sure you conduct proper research. While automation testing has become quite important in the DevOps and the Agile world, you also need to keep in mind that every project is unique. Manual testing still has its own importance depending upon the situation, so one must develop a proper testing strategy to find the right balance between the two.