The application developments are very dynamic. Companies are launching new applications; roll out the versions in very short times. This is the constant challenge that most companies face. As the new versions of applications, create capabilities to expand your application, it’s imperative to test your app quickly over an ever expanding variety of devices so your newer versions are as spotless as ever. By Implementing this innovative Cloud based testing you can achieve and ensure optimal performance and user experience regardless of the type of device, browser, operating system, geographical location and network service provider.
Cloud based Testing
A Cloud based Testing for applications can be a potential solution that can offer companies a feasible & viable solution. Cloud based Testing for applications offers Web-based access to a large pool of real devices connected to live networks spread globally, providing enterprises with end-to-end control for manual and automated testing practices.
By now, most enterprises have used or at least have heard about cloud computing. However, with the advent of technology and the rapid increase in the number of users, the need for Cloud computing is increasing fast. Before adopting this new technology for your own business needs, it is important to understand the benefits of Cloud based Testing for your applications.
Distributed teams are more and more common nowadays. For the teams spread across different locations the Cloud based test management platform make it possible to easily collaborate with each other. You can log in from anywhere in the world, at any time, on any device, and get access to the project. The team can access the test environment from different locations anywhere in the world. A central repository for all of your testing efforts that’s updated in real-time makes it infinitely easier to share important data, communicate with each other, and track all of your testing efforts.
Collaboration and Continuous Testing
You can test 24 hours a day. A central server connects to a series of machines located anywhere you want. A tester in any company office can connect to the cloud and select the machine he wants to test his application on. Say the day starts with European testers, moving on to North American team & ends at India QA team. This establishes a 24 hour round the clock testing process that won’t stop until your app is on the market.
This gives numerous companies, especially startups, a competitive edge. For example, if companies have a globally spread teams located on the opposite ends of the world, they can still collaborate on the most complex projects using cloud-based technologies to test their applications. All in all, this speeds up decision-making, and hence helps in speedy delivery of the project.
Benefits of Virtualization
Virtualization of testing on Cloud enables companies to get the best out of their resources with the flexibility and efficient results. As applications become increasingly complex, virtualization brings in the benefit of resource sharing with reduced capital costs.
When you compare regular web automation tools to the cloud based, you can find the cloud based ones at a very reasonable price. In case of regular web automation tools this is obvious from the fact that you need not spend a huge amount of money to upgrade the hardware or infrastructure. Moreover in Cloud based tools, the option of ‘pay as you use’ lets you use the tools only when it is necessary, and therefore, saves on the costs later when you are not using them. This works for most companies, especially the ones who are looking to cut down on their expenses.
Ease of Access
Cloud-based test automation tools are plug and play the moment you buy them. Easy access through the Internet allows team members to work from anywhere, anytime. No more installation woes, setup requirements, hunting for servers, or prepping of hardware to start using them. You can ignore the IT management as it is already covered in services and keep focused on the core functionalities of an enterprise.
Favors Continuous Integration
Continuous Integration – Every time you add a piece of code, test it & then redeploy it. Cloud based Testing for application is ideal for continuous integration. The various tests executed over the test pass, the app immediately moves to production and release. Cloud testing ensures that you can test under larger scenarios right away. New builds can become new versions faster than ever before, benefiting not only the testing team but also the entire development team as well.
Increase the Test Coverage better quality
Nonstop & parallel Cloud based testing of applications gives you the luxury of expanding the amount of scenarios you can cover in the same time period. Cloud testing environments offer highly synchronized and pre-configured architectures. These pre-built environments radically reduce the defects associated with unstable test configurations. With Cloud-based solutions, test your App across different environments. This improves the quality of tests to a great extent as wells as maximum test coverage in the minimum time.
Testing on different environment, more test coverage at lower cost
In most cases, cloud applications have minimal or no upfront cost. It is very much a pay-for-use service which has helped to grow adoption of the model, especially for SMBs. Without hefty fees for licensing and upgrades, the cost of adoption is less of a barrier when cash flow is an issue.
Economical testing solution
No need to buy duplicate devices even if you have more than one testing team located in different offices. Cloud based automation tools requires less hardware, doesn’t have per seat licensing costs and are very cheaper. This implies minimal capital expenditure and depreciation costs. No capital expenditure and much faster deployment times mean you can have minimal project start-up cost and infrastructure cost.
It’s Time Efficient
Like every automation tools cloud base tools too offer high productivity In less time and some additional benefits. Like quick setup, readymade environment setup, scale able and reliable. With Cloud based testing tools, there are no additional needs to advanced testing tools, server configurations, licensing, and testing resources. All of these features allow you complete the testing process within the stipulated time frame, or possibly even before that. Unlike traditional tools, they do not involve a lengthy set up and installation process. Testing can begin almost immediately from anywhere in the world. Faster testing reduces the time to market which gives companies a big competitive advantage.
Coupled with the right web test automation tool like selenium, parallel execution enables you to run the same tests on multiple environments and configurations all at the same time. Instead of being limited to your computer infrastructure, you can run a test on different environments all of their own combination of sizes, versions, operating systems, even under different simulated network conditions.
Using Cloud based Testing for applications enables scalable simulation of virtual users is possible at significantly lower cost. Using a cloud based approach to performance testing, the hardware is all in the cloud, using existing infrastructure. With this approach, servers can be spun up to simulate thousands of virtual users in minutes, with the charges based on a pay for what you use model. Businesses can simply schedule time for a test and resources are automatically provisioned. Licenses are now much more flexible for performance testing tools, with the rise of open source tools allowing even greater savings for comparable quality, when combined with a cloud based load provider.
Real-time Report Generation
Real time report generation of the cloud based tools provide reports thought the testing is in progress. This allows all members of the project team to collaborate in real time on a test, often including software suppliers – so that problems can be identified and rapidly resolved.
Effortless and Reliable IT Management
Cloud based tools are up and running all the time as there is a dedicated team working on the platform. You can expect 24-hour support and you should seek a contract where you’re compensated for any downtime. Reliability should be much higher than with a locally maintained solution that’s serviced by a stretched internal IT department with a lot of other things to attend to.
Cloud based tools cut down a lot of the IT management tasks inherent to traditional tools like installation, licensing, adding/replacing users and simultaneous implementation of upgrades in systems across geographies etc. With less IT management to do, employees can focus on core activities that can make a difference to a company’s business.
It’s a simple fact that projects demand different levels of testing at different points in their life cycle. Whether you automate or bring in more testers to shoulder the increasing burden, you want a management tool that’s easy to scale up and down. Cloud-based versions of the tools can be used for functional testing, performance testing, and many other testing types. In short, they can be used as a complete test management tools. With a cloud-base service you can forget about installation, configuration, and maintenance woes. You have a simple browser log-in that’s accessible on any device, and you can add or remove licenses whenever you need to.
Agile Friendly development
Agile development is the concept that cross-functional teams are involved through-out the development process, unlike the vintage development lifecycles. Cloud based Testing empowers every member with all of the tools at his fingertips regardless of where he is or what he is working on at the current moment. Hence we can say Cloud-based test management tools are agile friendly and flexible.
Traditional Model vs. Cloud-based
An increasing number of applications are migrating from the in-house to cloud-based development environments in order to build their apps more cost efficiently, with lower maintenance and operational costs. There are potential benefits of most of the developers, but not all companies can rely on cloud-based environments due to security, privacy risks, etc,. In fact, all developers & testers must carefully evaluate their needs before committing to either approach to avoid compliance issues and unforeseen expenses.
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Test Automation 102: What It Doesn’t Do
Test automation isn’t the easiest process to deal with. It’s often technical nature, and oft-touted miraculous results lead to a lot of miscommunication and expectation management issues between supervisors and engineers who actually have to work the test. Expectation management is an especially crucial aspect, because both the engineer and his or her supervisor needs to be clear about test automation is, and what it can or cannot do. Now, one of the easiest ways to clear the debris of past expectations is to know what exactly test automation can’t do. This might seem like a redundant exercise, but you’ve only to look at the impact of negative spaces in marketing to realise the importance of this exercise! So, getting down to the meat of the matter, here are some of the things that test automation doesn’t do.
- It isn’t a magical cure-all. One of the main problems with test automation results is that supervisors tend to rely on it to fix all their problems. Reality? It won’t. It isn’t a substitute for bad coding, it won’t be a balm to slow progress and it certainly won’t make a bad piece of software a good one. It simply tests if the work you have done already is stable, and works as you have programmed it to. it won’t fix your UI for you, nor will it make your code stable. You can’t run your code through a program and have it magically fix everything. If that existed, most developers would be out of jobs! The closest you can get is in cases of stress testing, regression testing, and performance testing. Even there, you’ll still have to fix your foundations yourself!
- It isn’t a fix-all alternative to manual testing. Web test automation has a ton of uses and is useful and beneficial to use in a ton of situations. However, there are still some things you need to test manually. For example, test automation won’t tell you things about subjectively human experiences like the feel of a particular software, or its ease of use. The user interface is a particularly tricky area. If you automate too early, and your user interface undergoes massive changes, your costs for script maintenance will go up exorbitantly. Thus, even if you invest in a good automation setup, don’t expect to cut out manual testing altogether. You still need it for areas like UI, installation, compatibility, recovery, and documentation.
- Different automation tools don’t solve your automation problems. This is quite a common practice, especially if decision makers don’t fully understand the limitations of test automation. If you are repeatedly running into issues with your test automation software, the problem isn’t the software, and changing it will achieve nothing. You’d be dumping more money into what will ultimately turn out to be a failure. For example, a lot of people automate too early. As laid out in point 2, your script maintenance costs skyrocket when you test an unstable UI. This would lead to a lower ROI, making test automation too expensive to maintain. The problem lay with your usage of the software, though the blame was carried on to it. Thus, you’d be much better off researching into why your framework isn’t giving you the results you want, instead of blindly jumping boats.
- It isn’t quality analysis. You need your developers, your engineers and coders to build and maintain your test automation. Test automation deals heavily with the technical aspect of your software, and you need your technical team to be on top of it. It isn’t a part of the quality analysis, it is part of your software development. This fundamental misunderstanding is why most people run into point number 3, above. Save yourself and your project time, and don’t confuse the two. Test automation software will only check for problems that you know you will have. It is an automated software but lacks the creativity of a manual tester or a quality analyst. Even if you have a test automation suite at your fingertips, you can’t conflate it with quality analysis or a quality analyst. Humans may make mistakes, and software may be precise, but humans have access to the one thing software doesn’t come prebuilt with — imagination.
- Unit testing doesn’t replace end to end testing. If you’re looking at unit test automation to replace end to end testing, you’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere down the road. Unit testing has its place in the Test Driven Development process, but it will not help you with regressions or with finding bugs in your code. A whole team of well built and well-designed unit tests is an amazing resource to have, and you should invest both time and money into acquiring that. But without end to end test automation, you will run into the Voldemort of the testing world — regression problems. A unit test will check only one part of the code to see if it is functioning as it should. And out of context, this could seem fine. And then you run into the big R word (regression), and you’ll see why an end to end testing is essential to your overall test automation framework.
If you want to learn more about being more productive with Test Automation, contact us at CloudQA (email@example.com)
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Test Automation 101: A Short Introduction
Test automation refers to specialized software that makes your life much easier. Instead of overworked software engineers looking through a hundred screen and trying a hundred different input combinations manually, you just run the web test automation software, and voila! You know what problems are cropping up, why and where, all at the click of a button.
There are two broad approaches to test automation – GUI testing, and API driven testing. GUI testing, expanded to mean graphical user interface testing, measures things like keystrokes and mouse clicks. This is done to validate the behavior observed and ensure the program is running correctly in relation to these events. It mimics human behavior and mimics how a human would interact with the program, which is only limited to the interface. GUI testing finds bugs early and is a very easy way to conduct regression testing as well.
API driven testing usually bypasses the application’s user interface and uses an entirely programming interface that validates application behavior. Thus, it is a program that checks how the project under consideration interacts with other software, so that end user experience is not hampered. API testing checks compliance, security, and functionality issues.
While these are the traditional approaches, unit testing, i.e, testing of small blocks of code using xUnit frameworks, is a must in agile development. A unit is the smallest part of the program that can be tested and is extremely useful as these form the foundations for component testing.
Test automation is an extremely important part of any software development. It saves time, and it saves money.
Manual testing may take days to set up, and days to execute, and even then, it isn’t 100% accurate. These tests are done repeatedly during development and may extend project timings for weeks. With test automation software like CloudQA, you can have tests and results ready in hours.
To err is human, and humans definitely make a lot of errors. Manual testing, thus, is inherently flawed. However good a worker you may have, he or she is going to make mistakes.
You can cut that margin of error down to 0 when you used automated software, and you’ll get detailed, flawlessly recorded results at the end. All tests have meticulous records attached, so you can go over your mistakes in-depth to understand what went wrong better.
Additionally, test automation software can simulate hundreds or even thousands of users, which manual engineers cannot. Many test automation frameworks don’t even need much technical know-how to operate and reduces stress on the software development side as well.
Knowing what and when you need to start automation will go a long way in helping you develop your software. While test automation plans need to be meticulously planned out, a good rule of thumb is to start early and do it as often as you can. Going for test automation early on in a project helps because one, you get a stable base to build your program, and two, small errors in code at the beginning of the project are both easier and cheaper to fix than reworking your entire code from scratch.
When chalking out your testing plan, do not forget to include functional unit testing to ensure a bug-free end product.
When deciding upon your time-frame for web test automation, there are a couple of pointers you should keep in mind. Test when you feel there is a lot of regression work to be done, when you need to check the load capacity of your software, and when your GUI remains the same, but the functionality of different aspects has changed.
Testing automation software has changed the way software is developed and maintained in the world. It is more reliable than manual testing, and saves a ton of money and time, leading to faster, more efficient and easier to use software that has defined the market in recent years.
If you’ve been having problems in your code, and if your engineers are overworked, if you’re getting closer to your deadlines with a bigger, and bigger workload – testing automation is the right choice for you!
If you want to learn more about being more productive with Test Automation, contact us at CloudQA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Benefits of Automation Testing with CloudQA
Fast track your testing process
What is Functional Testing?
A properly written functional test ensures that the system is functioning exactly as the USER expects it to. Functional tests target business goals and typically defined and validated by an expert end user. Since it may not be possible for an expert to test the functionality of the system at each and every step of development, the test cases/scenarios are often documented with their help. This document defines the step by step instructions of system interactions along with the expected outcomes for every test case defined by the expert users. It can then help any user (not just the Expert) to be able to follow the steps to test the software and verify if the outcome is exactly as the expert has defined. To ensure completeness, functional tests should cover both the positive and negative scenarios.
Manual functional testing can be a tedious process as it can take quite a while for a tester to step through each of the steps and verify the outcome/results. When the user goes through these steps each time there is a software update, there is a high probability of erroneous information being entered or captured by the tester resulting in incorrect validations. If the number of test cases is extremely large and complex this problem gets magnified. The manual testing process can, therefore, be extremely laborious, monotonous and error-prone and requires highly dedicated and qualified resources to execute.
This can be overcome by automating the functional tests as much as possible. Granted that not every test can be automated, but even a 50% coverage via test automation can bring about huge relief in time, cost and resources. Once a test scenario is “automated”, it can be run on demand after each software release cycle. The feedback from an automated test is extremely fast compared to the same test run manually.
Consider an example where a test scenario requires a user to traverse through multiple screens, enter data into 20+ fields, select various check boxes, radio buttons, pick a value from a drop-down options, enter date in the right format, validate the response on 5 submit buttons, etc.. A real-life scenario like this can easily take the user over 5-10 minutes each time to run this test. For the same scenario, if the test requires a different data set or a negative test, it means another 5-10 minutes. When you look at multiple data sets and 100’s of test scenarios, it translates to weeks of testing that is required after each major software release. This also causes a bottleneck for the development team to move any further before getting a complete feedback from the test users. If all these test scenarios could be automated, it would take only a couple of hours to go through the tests and feedback cycle to the developers would be extremely fast compared to manually testing all the scenarios. That is a huge saving in terms of time. effort and resources and easily justify adopting functional test automation as much as possible.
A lot of companies, as a standard practice, do not thoroughly test their software application after each minor or major release because of the aforementioned manual testing challenges. The risk that they undertake, however, is extremely high if the software fails in a real-world environment – brand reputation, lost clients, fixes that take too long and that potentially break other parts of the software.
One way to speed up functional testing is through web automation tools. Selenium is one of the few software testing automation frameworks for web applications out there which is open source and has a very large following. It has a set of tools to support test automation in multiple browsers. Web test automation with Selenium, however, is a programming activity and people creating tests should be comfortable with one or more of the few programming languages that Selenium supports (Java, C#, Python, etc.). Even though it might take some time (a few hours or days depending on the complexity of the test case), it can greatly reduce manual repetitive/regression testing efforts after each software release cycle.
There are a few companies that are working towards reducing the time to automate the tests with Selenium by providing a “wrapper” solution which essentially means “automating the Selenium test automation” efforts. However, since there are many types of browser interactions in modern web technologies, not everything can be addressed easily. The goal of a tester should always be to evaluate and use tools & methods that can address the maximum number of test cases with minimum effort.
Automation with CloudQA
There are quite a few testing tools that can assist in automating the functional tests but the challenge faced by most tools is the automation coverage (especially in large software applications). CloudQA has been designed to cover a lot of complex test scenarios. The goal of CloudQA is to cover automation of as many functional test cases as possible. It starts with a unique ability of CloudQA to discover as many test cases as possible of the software application via an auto-learning process. This, in itself, can save test managers weeks (if not months) of discovering scenarios that can be possibly tested. Besides that, some of the complex scenarios that CloudQA handles right out of the box includes
* Table data access
* Auto Suggest boxes
* Variable storage of a dynamic data set
* File Upload tests
* Data-driven testing (for multiple data sets)
* Various types of user assertions (check, check not, etc.)
* Various actions – click, alert, screen snapshot, wait
If you are thinking about automating your functional tests, talk to one of the CloudQA specialists (email: email@example.com)
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Fast track your testing process
The effectiveness of Automated Testing wherever applicable in software test processes has been rarely disputed. Automated Testing reduces testing time, identifies bugs faster and facilitates continuous development (CD). However, Automated Testing environments tend to get extremely large (one with over 100 test scenarios would qualify as large and test scenarios can easily run into 1000’s) and tedious to maintain. It produces results that cannot be fully relied on. Therefore, it is critical to managing a large test environment effectively using well-defined processes and a decent set of tools.
If your test library is large, it is important that you find out if the individual test scenarios are properly organized, critical to the core application and relevant to the latest application version or to the usage pattern.
1. Test Organization: Your applications tests may involve testing various functional capabilities of an application. How do you determine which tests to run after you have made updates to just one section of your application (for example, your “billing” functionality has been updated)? You may not want to run all your test scenarios (unless doing regression tests) in order to test a small update. Your test framework should allow you to categorize your tests by functional areas so that you can quickly filter out everything else and run only those tests that belong to a specific function.
2. Test Criticality: Ideally you would create tests that cover both the critical and non-critical areas of your application. Your testing framework should provide an efficient way to manage bugs and failures. You should be able to categorize your test upfront by criticality (Critical, High, Medium or Low) so as to prioritize the testing as well as the resolution based on the criticality of the test.
3. Test Relevance: In most environments, software development and testing is a continuous process and over time you can have a large number of tests. Unfortunately, as software evolves (with new or updated features, changed processes, etc.) some of the tests become redundant or duplicate. It can be challenging managing test library to ensure that only quality test cases exist, especially if your testing framework does not allow for easy review of the individual test cases/scenarios. You should be able to log and keep a track of the entire test creation life cycle (including updates). For instance, you should be able to track the test creation date, the module/release version for which the test was created, the test case revision history along with the name of individuals who authored the tests. This would make a periodic review of test cases to identify redundant scenarios much easier and keep your test library lean and clean. It will ensure a test environment that provides high-quality test results that you can rely on to make decisions. You do not want to rely on the results from redundant tests by ignoring “passed” results or waste your time by acting on “failed” results that they produce.
4. Test Usage: If there are test scenarios exceeding 2 months sitting in your library, there is a possibility that they are just taking up space and may not be required anymore. It is vital that your testing framework should be able to identify such test scenarios so that you can make apt decisions, either to re-prioritize or re-categorize them for efficient usage or get rid of them.
By maintaining your test libraries through regular checks, you will certainly have a manageable test environment that produces reliable results on which you can make assertions and also ensure a faster and better software development process.
CloudQA and Effective Test Management
CloudQA is much more than just a Web Test Automation tool. It has some helpful features that make test management much simpler.
Test Organization: You have the ability to tag your test cases and test scenarios by functional groups or any other preferred method. (show image)
Test Criticality: Tag your test cases/test scenarios as Critical, High, Medium or Low.