Selenium-IDE-Alternative

The Selenium IDE is a record and playback testing tool. A Tester can use it to create test scripts without coding and export them (to Selenium WebDriver) for executing the test. It simplified generating test cases, but due to growing intricacies of web technologies and lack of resources for support, Selenium IDE’s development was shut down.

Being minimal, Selenium IDE is now a popular tool for learning Selenium rather than a solution for creating and maintaining complex test suites. For comprehensive testing, a tester would use Selenium WebDriver. But to learn the ropes of WebDriver is difficult. And even when mastered, it doesn’t make test maintenance any easier.

The IDE and WebDriver from Selenium address the polar sets of testing skills. The gap between these web testing tools is filled by CloudQA.

Why CloudQA in place of Selenium IDE?

CloudQA has the simplicity of Selenium IDE and the vigour of Selenium WebDriver. It can test today’s complex website or web applications. While testing such websites is possible with WebDriver, CloudQA offers the same in a codeless and integrated testing platform.

Test what can never be tested with Selenium IDE:

  • Custom controls like test input, drop down menus etc
  • Nested iFrames
  • Angular JS
  • Picking element CSS path
  • AJAX calls

Do away with the struggles of Selenium WebDriver in a few clicks:

  • Upload a file for data driven testing
  • Execute tests parallely
  • Test with multiple real browsers
  • Schedule tests
  • Integrate with 3rd party tools

Raise the Quality of your QA

We made CloudQA with the purpose of solving the testing difficulties of the less experienced testers and web-product companies who want higher returns on QA.

CloudQA has an intuitive application to manage the recorded test. It has a ton of built in features that aren’t available with any tool in the Selenium’s shed. Say, impact analysis is a feature in CloudQA to see what test cases might get affect in-case a CSS path is modified.

Our platform is built on top of Selenium except it’s in the clouds. It not only allows us to keep the maintenance costs low but also scale testing with speed; beyond the capabilities Selenium’s IDE or WebDriver.

What can you do with CloudQA in 30 days?

You really need to use it to see what we say is true. Sign Up for a 30-day free trial and test your web applications with fully loaded features. You can set it up in minutes and start maintaining your tests from day one.

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Benefits of Managed Testing with CloudQA
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Automation Testing

Automation Testing

How to get rid of problems of automation testing

We’ve explored the bumps on the road that you’re likely to run into in your journey with test automation. This article is targeted to help you avoid them. We’ll recap the problems for those of you who missed it, (those interested can read it here[hyperlink]), and move on to the measures you can adopt to overcome them.

The first problem that we had mentioned was about preparing the database.

“Consistently repeatable results rely, to an extremely large degree, on the data that you use in your database. If you run into problems and suspect it’s a flaw in your data, it might be because you’re using a system that is different from your testing framework to set up the database in question. Additionally, many people use alien database contents, which is outside the influence of the reach of their own project. Some projects may also have no dedicated databases used exclusively for automated tests.”

One approach to fix this is effective communication. Why? Because users and contributors outside the project don’t know what the project goals and aims for test automation are. This gains importance when you don’t have your own database in a CI environment. If you’re using a shared environment, check if its possible to demarcate a certain set of data to be used only for automated tests.

In setting up the test data, you could also run into the problem of the data set getting invalidated due to system changes. Often, finding a solution that fixes all your problems is impossible. If the changes that might take place in the external systems that you’re using aren’t happening very frequently, then a good choice would be to use a reproducible approach when generating valid test data.

If you’re creating your own data sets using the own application and then using the same data for further testing, you’re going to run into problems. Doing this means assuming that the SuT will be able to create everything required, which is rather fallacious in most cases. Also, the tests stand to become unstable and slow if and when large data sets are used. When those tests fail, there is no way to know if other parts of the application are working as they should. These and more are the dangers of not using a reproducible approach when creating test data. It might be a little bit of an effort, but not having the test delete the data and ending up with dead system data is, in our humble opinion, worth every bit of it.

The second problem was accessing the CI server.

“Oftentimes, developers responsible for performing configuration tasks don’t have full access to the system. Access can also be hampered if the same server is over-burdened by too many projects, slowing it down and even negatively impacting other projects on the same server. Selenium-based servers are especially prone to this. Another potential problem one can run into is not being able to access all parts of the system simultaneously.”

This isn’t, unfortunately, a problem that you can do much about. If you’re a small organization, then it’s easier to fix. Communication is key here, as the system guys will be able to help you solve it.  Generally, nagging the tech team until you get access seems to be the most used approach!

The last problem that we covered in the first part of this article was web application testing.

“In these projects, often the test is rendered unstable, and the results vary widely even when the SuT (system under testing) has not been changed from one test to the next. Sometimes, the SuT is based on a web framework that is hard to test. For example, some web frameworks change the id-values of HTML elements in every instance of someone accessing a page – variables like these will affect your test results. Frameworks like AJAX are also hard to test.”

The solution here usually depends on the environment the project is based on. If you really want to avoid as many problems as possible, it’s best to plan from the ground up and choose your software environment keeping test automation in mind from the seed stage level.

When looking for solutions to this, people often overlook cutting down on the number of GUI-dependent tests. It’s not as easy to get to the service layer directly, and oftentimes the GUI is reused in this regard. However, implementing specific tests with service-layer access works out much better in the long run because you end up with faster, more stable tests. This doesn’t preclude the need or the option for GUI-based testing. However, try and separate the service-layer-based tests from the GUI-based tests as much as possible.

Finally, we want to bring up another problem that you’ll likely run into – the complexity of designing a good test.  This is extremely underestimated in most cases and arguably leads to the most amount of problems. Quoting Coldplay, “Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be so hard.”

You need to write tests that can be easily maintained when the number of tests increase and making them inaccessible to changes in the SuT as far as possible. It will be near impossible if you have a disorganized and not-well-planned approach to both writing and maintenance. The only solution is to have them planned as part of the project, and not added on later as a minor task that needs to be completed.

Test automation should be part and parcel of every software development plan that comes up. With the popularity of test automation rising every day, solutions like CloudQA should be explored and incorporated during the skeleton planning stages of software development. It is an extremely integral part of software development, not just a fad that is catching on.

If you want to learn more about being more productive with Test Automation, contact us at CloudQA (info@cloudqa.io)

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Automation Testing

Automation Testing

The problems of Automation Testing

Test automation is currently very popular for its ease of operation and how much it lowers costs in the long run. Testing frameworks like CloudQA have had a major impact on the workplace and how fast or efficiently software is developed by saving time, effort and money. However, as part of our ongoing series, we’ve come back to address some problems that most people will encounter at least once in their experiences with test automation. They are:

  1. Preparing a usable database.

    Consistently repeatable results rely, to an extremely large degree, on the data that you use in your database. If you run into problems and suspect it’s a flaw in your data, it might be because you’re using a system that is different from your testing framework to set up the database in question. Additionally, many people use alien database contents which are outside the influence of the reach of their own project. Some projects may also have no dedicated databases used exclusively for automated tests. Manually entering the data stands to disrupt your results, and the testing process itself could end up corrupting data from other users on the same system. Finally, finding and setting up proper test data can be a tedious and difficult process. However, not putting in the effort could result in having to expend even more time and effort when things go awry.

  2. Accessing the CI server.

    The CI or continuous integration environment is an integral part of all testing processes, CloudQA included (?). However, problems with access do occur. Oftentimes, developers responsible for performing configuration tasks don’t have full access to the system. Access can also be hampered if the same server is over-burdened by too many projects, slowing it down and even negatively impacting other projects on the same server. Selenium-based servers are especially prone to this. Another potential problem one can run into is not being able to access all parts of the system simultaneously. This is important, especially in cases of manual testing where multiple parts need to be accessed to effectively reproduce errors in the system.

  3. Web application testing.

    Web application projects rely heavily on test automation nowadays. In these projects, often the test is rendered unstable, and the results vary widely even when the SuT (system under testing) has not been changed from one test to the next. If the SuT is based on a web framework that is hard to test. For example, some web frameworks change the id-values of HTML elements in every instance of someone accessing a page – variables like these will affect your test results. Frameworks like AJAX are also hard to test.

Testing automation saves you time, money and effort – if set up and run correctly. Often, people fault a system for not performing when in reality, the problem usually exists between the chair and the keyboard! It helps if you are aware of the potential problems that might arise on your journey with test automation so you can be prepared for the complications you might need to untangle. So how do you deal with these problems? Tune in to our next article, How to get rid of problems of automation testing, to find out!

If you want to learn more about being more productive with Test Automation, contact us at CloudQA (info@cloudqa.io)

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Test Automation

Test Automation

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 (info@cloudqa.io)

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Test Automation

Test Automation

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 (info@cloudqa.io)

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Test Automation

Best Practices of Test Automation

To get maximum ROI out of automation, here are some best practices to be followed:

1. Know what to & what not to Automate

What to Automate?
· Test Cases which are important to be repeated in every release cycle.
· Test Cases which are time-consuming & tedious to execute manually because chances of human errors are high in this case.
· Test Cases which are High Risk or Business Critical.
· Test Cases which are easy to automate makes it cost effective

What Not to Automate?
· Test Cases which are not easy to automate. The effort will out weight the returns in this case.
· Infrequently executed test cases.
· Frequent requirement changing test cases
· Test cases where human intervention is a must.
· Low priority test cases

2. Keep your Tests Dry

Approach the design, implementation, and maintenance of your test suites with the same engineering and craftsman mindset you approach the design, implementation, and maintenance of your system’s data access layer, business logic layer, etc. If you’re not already familiar with the SOLID principles authored by “Uncle Bob” Martin, then take some time to read up on them. These principles are targeted to developers writing systems; however, the same principles apply directly to testers writing automation suites – if perhaps not quite to the same degree.

While I try to pay attention to all the SOLID principles in my test harnesses, I find that the DRY principle (Don’t Repeat Yourself) is especially critical for keeping my sanity as I build and maintain test suites. If you’re going to pick up one new thing about software engineering or craftsmanship, learn to love DRY.

DRY means avoid duplicating things in your test suite. One example of duplication in a test suite include having your element locators (IDs, CSS class names, XPath definitions, etc.) defined in more than one spot. Another example would be having every test perform the same steps to log on to a system.

This sort of duplication doesn’t seem like an issue when you have 20 or 50 tests, but wait until your test suite grows to hundreds or thousands of tests – and then go try to fix failing tests when (not if!) your UI or system flow changes. Duplication of this sort crushes the maintainability of your test suite over time – you spend more time fixing broken tests than you do deliver great value elsewhere.

3. Measure your ROI:

The success of automation cannot be determined by only comparing the manual v/s automation effort, but also by capturing the following metrics:

· Time required for executing automation testing for each and every release cycle
· Reduction in Time taken per release (Productivity improvement)
· Customer satisfaction Index & %age of defects found

It is good to follow a detailed process to achieve the best results from automation. At a high-level automation has following important stages:
A) Planning, Design & Development
B) Execution & Reporting
C) Maintenance

The above guidelines if observed can greatly help in making your automation successful.

Did you Know? If you have chosen CloudQA to handle all your web-testing, you don’t need to plan anything about scripting as it is codeless and keep your tests DRY, making it easier to maintain your tests. CloudQA magically runs all your test cases exactly the way you have recorded. Obviously, it saves you lots of money as well as resource time. You get more bandwidth to focus on important things to develop your product to beat the competition!!!

To know more about this amazing web-testing tool, visit www.CloudQA.io

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Selenium Test Automation

Selenium is by far the most preferred Test Automation tool for web applications and more people are adopting it for their test automation strategy. As someone new to test automation, do you know what it takes to set up a successful test automation environment and be productive with it? Here are some thoughts.

Selenium Test Automation

Starting out with Selenium

Evaluate the skill set of your existing resources: Identify if you have experienced resources in-house or how you will acquire resources with experience in one of the languages that Selenium supports (Java, C#, Python, Ruby, Php, Perl & Javascript).

Selenium training: Once you have identified the people who will work on your test automation efforts, you have to account for the training period which could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending upon the existing expertise of the individuals.

Test automation framework: Deciding on a framework can take a lot of work. There are a few approaches that are available that you have to evaluate and decide the one that fits best in your environment. The frameworks that exist include behavior driven, data-driven, keyword driven & now agile.

Define Object Repositories: These repositories are a collection of UI and Application object data recorded by the testing tool for the application under test.

Define a test reporting framework: Selenium does not offer any sophisticated reporting mechanism so you will have to decide what type of reports you would want for your test environment – this may include test execution results reports and test management related reports.

Once the items above are addressed, you can start building your web automation tests.

As you can see that building out an effective test environment with Selenium will require commitment, up-front time and qualified resources. For an organization with a large application that has frequent updates, you will also have to prepare for managing the test cases already written & evaluate their usability in an ever-changing environment. Just to get the initial framework ready, you can spend anywhere from a few weeks to a few months before writing a single automation test.

Selenium Productivity Add-ons

While Selenium is probably one of the best test automation tools, you should look at tools that can help you speed up the entire automation process. There are a few Selenium Automation “wrapper” tools that run on top of Selenium and make you a lot more productive and you should definitely not shy away from evaluating them for:
1. Complexity – how complex are they to set up, learn & run
2. Test coverage (what % of selenium features can they support, can they automate, say, 80% of your automation needs with little effort)
3. Test management: Chances are that you will end up with 100’s of test scenarios over a period of time. You want to ensure that can easily manage the test cases
4. Reporting: You should be able to get a wide variety of reports including test execution & analytics with past results
5. Test Execution: You want to ensure that your texts can be validated against multiple browsers
6. Other productivity benefits: check if the tool helps you in your agile development process, CI/CD integration, assist in data-driven testing, etc.

If you want to learn more about being more productive with Selenium, contact us at CloudQA (info@cloudqa.io)

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