Software testing is any activity aimed at evaluating an attribute or capability of a program or system and determining that it meets its required results. Although crucial to software quality and widely deployed by programmers and testers, software testing still remains an art, due to limited understanding of the principles of software. The difficulty in software testing stems from the complexity of software: we can not completely test a program with moderate complexity. Testing is more than just debugging. The purpose of testing can be quality assurance, verification and validation, or reliability estimation. Testing can be used as a generic metric as well. Correctness testing and reliability testing are two major areas of testing. Software testing is a trade-off between budget, time and quality.
Manual testing includes testing a software manually, i.e., without using any automated tool or any script. In this type, the tester takes over the role of an end-user and tests the software to identify any unexpected behavior or bug. There are different stages for manual testing such as unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and user acceptance testing.
Testers use test plans, test cases, or test scenarios to test a software to ensure the completeness of testing. Manual testing also includes exploratory testing, as testers explore the software to identify errors in it.
Automation testing, which is also known as Test Automation, is when the tester writes scripts and uses another software to test the product. This process involves automation of a manual process. Automation Testing is used to re-run the test scenarios that were performed manually, quickly, and repeatedly.
Apart from regression testing, automation testing is also used to test the application from load, performance, and stress point of view. It increases the test coverage, improves accuracy, and saves time and money in comparison to manual testing.
What is Automate?
It is not possible to automate everything in a software. The areas at which a user can make transactions such as the login form or registration forms, any area where large number of users can access the software simultaneously should be automated.
Furthermore, all GUI items, connections with databases, field validations, etc. can be efficiently tested by automating the manual process.
When to Automate?
Test Automation should be used by considering the following aspects of a software:
- Large and critical projects
- Projects that require testing the same areas frequently
- Requirements not changing frequently
- Accessing the application for load and performance with many virtual users
- Stable software with respect to manual testing
- Availability of time
How to Automate?
Automation is done by using a supportive computer language like VB scripting and an automated software application. There are many tools available that can be used to write automation scripts. Before mentioning the tools, let us identify the process that can be used to automate the testing process:
- Identifying areas within a software for automation
- Selection of appropriate tool for test automation
- Writing test scripts
- Development of test suits
- Execution of scripts
- Create result reports
- Identify any potential bug or performance issues
Software Testing Tools
The following tools can be used for automation testing:
- HP Quick Test Professional
- IBM Rational Functional Tester
- Testing Anywhere
- Visual Studio Test Professional