The Elements of Scale: Capabilities You Need in your Test Automation framework and infrastructure

The Elements of Scale: Capabilities You Need in your Test Automation framework and infrastructure

Daniel Hall 25/11/2022
The Elements of Scale: Capabilities You Need in your Test Automation framework and infrastructure

In a perpetually online world, end users want elegant, highly functional software that meets multiple needs.

The debate for automated testing has long been won, with its many advantages making it a fixture in most development pipelines. 

However, making the change to automation requires, among other factors, using a test automation framework that offers comprehensive support for numerous use cases and capabilities for scale. To justify the initial financial investment in test automation, choosing a framework that supports both current and future needs is imperative. 

Beyond the basic features that enable seamless testing, the framework should be able to accommodate the scaling of tests and teams. No matter how effective the infrastructure, it won’t mean much if it cannot grow in sync with your software, testing team, and business goals. 

In this piece, we’ll review the fundamental must-have capabilities in any test automation framework and infrastructure catering to modern software development teams and practices. 

Ease of Use

Venture Capital

There will be a learning curve when moving from manual to automated testing or from one automation framework to another.. Adjusting to a new piece of tech takes time and may require some upskilling by the testers. 

However, as far as possible, the framework should be designed for easy usage, especially for new testers. Successfully using the framework should not require extensive technical skills or experience. It should be possible to create, compile and run test scripts without analyzing and comprehending the underlying machinations.

Simply put, the framework should be designed so that teams (including non-tech members) can start using it immediately without wasting time figuring out how to run it. 

Testsigma facilitates users to:

Deploy locally or on the cloud: Set up a Testsigma instance on your workstation (a few clicks required) or sign up on the cloud-based platform. 

Create test steps in English: Write or auto-capture the steps for any test scenario by recording users’ actions or defining them in English. That means both QAs and SMEs can easily run tests and get excellent results. 

Automatic test maintenance: Testsigma’s AI engine corrects broken test scripts, fixes dynamically shifting elements, and suggests remedies for any failed tests.

Learn more about Testsigma.

Extensibility & Customization

All automation teams expand and incorporate more tests/test types as the software they are working on grows in features and functions. The number and variety of tests will inevitably increase, and automation frameworks must support the same. It would not just minimize testers’ effort in writing new code to accommodate new tests but also allow them to focus on designing more intelligent tests instead of figuring out if they can actually run them. 

Testsigma supports automated tests for all types of websites, mobile apps, and APIs. It carries built-in abilities for visual testing, data-driven testing, multi-device end-to-end testing, regression testing & more. 

It also provides a community-driven marketplace comprising add-ons to empower automated test steps and data generators - accessible instantly and customizable to align with testers' needs. Leverage a wide range of SDKs and APIs to build custom workflows, test actions, and integrations within Testsigma’s execution ecosystem. 

Reusability

The reusability of code and tests is essential for efficient test execution. Even though similar tests may have already been crafted, writing code for every test is the very definition of an inefficient workflow. Testers should be able to apply test scripts across multiple instances and optimize the usage of every single line of code they write. 

Reusability speeds up test execution, reduces maintenance costs, and caters to challenging release schedules. They simplify operations for devs and testers by letting them get the most out of the code and framework, besides setting up flexible and widely capable tests. 

Testsigma incorporates reusability by allowing users to put together test scripts in simple English and supporting it with a built-in and customizable library of automation actions. It also allows them to forge reusable test step groups that can be utilized across all relevant test cases. 

Cross Browser & Device Support

All software must be tested across multiple browsers and devices to verify how they would function for end-users in the real world. It is important to use a cross-browser testing tool to check software works across different browsers.  Whatever test automation framework and infra you choose, it must provide access to a significant number of browsers & devices for testing purposes. 

Testsigma offers the option to run tests in your local browser/device or across 800+ browsers and 2000+ devices (desktop, iOS & Android) on a cloud-based Integrated Test Lab.

Test Maintainability

When it comes to automated tests, maintainability largely refers to the ease of dealing with changes in the system and/or specific tests. Maintainable tests allow for easily fixing defects at their source, thus minimizing their impact on the entire system and/or tech stack. 

However, maintaining tests can seriously drain QA teams’ time and effort, especially if they do not have access to tools that facilitate it.

With Testsigma, this is not an issue. Maintainability is part of the framework’s DNA. 

  • AI automatically repairs all dynamic elements in test scripts as the software evolves and expands, retaining test stability. 

  • Once regression tests are done, the AI narrows down affected test cases (based on regression results), which means testers can create their next regression suite with a click. 

  • If a test fails, the AI suggests possible solutions that testers can study and possibly apply to remedy the said failure. 

Extensive Reporting & Analytics

The Role of Big Data Analytics in Accounting

Comprehensive, transparent reports are essential for test automation pipelines. Most teams eventually end up running hundreds, if not thousands, of tests as the software under test adds more features or even updates existing features. Test failures are inevitable, but triaging them should not require reruns to identify the issue. The test infra should be able to provide automatically generated reports with details on failures and supporting features such as screenshots, text logs, and video recordings of what went wrong. 

Testsigma users can generate custom reports with the relevant information, thus catering to stakeholders at all levels within a team. Few standout features in this regard:

  • A quick analysis of how tests perform over a certain period of time. 

  • Reports on how tests perform in specific environments.

  • Summaries of test suite results across multiple environments after each test run.

  • Granular test case results with every possible detail, including test environment and configuration information.

Supports Continuous Testing

In the DevOps era, the importance of CI/CD cannot be overstated. And, for any CI/CD pipeline to produce optimal results, it must incorporate continuous testing so that the code shipped at breakneck speeds is clean and error-free. 

In simple words, continuous testing refers to the protocol in which all newly pushed code is immediately run through a suite of automated tests to verify their accuracy. Test automation frameworks and infra must support this process at all scale levels. 

Testsigma is built to provide robust, AI-powered support for continuous testing to facilitate continuous software delivery. Think of it as a unified testing solution that lets you automate end-to-end testing for web, mobile apps, and APIs - all without requiring complex setup or coding skills. It also provides scalable test environments on the cloud to accommodate changing technical priorities. 

Remote Testing

While “remote work” may be a buzzword in our post-Covid world, remote testing has been a requirement for QA teams for quite a few years. It means that once automated tests have been triggered, testers do not have to stick around and watch for test results to come in. They can leave the test to run by itself and come back after a few hours to have the test results ready for analysis. 

Remote Testing must also enable testers to access the test infra from any location in the world, as long as they have a functional internet connection. They shouldn’t have to be in an office space to run automated tests – a laptop with consistent internet should suffice. 

Testsigma offers the option to trigger tests on your local device or its cloud-hosted platform. The provision for remote testing is inherent in our systems. 

Closing Notes

The initial financial investment (which can be high) into setting up automated testing workflows can be off-putting, especially to management. Choosing a framework that offers significant ROI is essential to justify that expenditure. The said framework should support a wide range of testing needs across industries, team sizes, and work styles. 

Certain built-in capabilities are non-negotiable for a test automation framework to be usable for modern software development teams. The features outlined in this piece are the bare minimum – must-haves to match the requirements of demanding development pipelines. Other, more advanced features should be scoped for, depending on the specific necessities of particular projects and teams. However, it is advised not to choose any framework that does not outright provide the specific capabilities mentioned above.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

 

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