what is test automation
September 16, 2022

What Is Test Automation?

Continuous Testing

Test automation is a popular approach to testing. In this blog, we cover everything you need to know about automation tools and automated testing.

Keep reading or jump ahead to the section that interests you most:

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What Is Test Automation?

Test automation is the process of using automation tools to maintain test data, execute tests, and analyze test results to improve software quality.

Test automation is also known as automation testing or automated QA testing. When executed well, it relieves much of the manual requirements of the software testing lifecycle

Related Reading: Learn more about test automation today with our annual State of Test Automation report. >>

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Types of Test Automation

Most tests done manually can be automated. What a user will manually perform can be replicated with automation tools using an automation script. However, not all tests should be automated and we’ll look at this later in this article. 

Here is a safe list of test types that can be automated without a doubt.

1. Unit Testing

Unit testing is when you isolate a single unit of your application from the rest of the software and test its behavior. These tests don’t depend on external APIs, databases, or anything else. 

If you have a function on which you want to perform a unit test and that function uses some external library or even another unit from the same app, then these resources will be mocked.

The main purpose of unit testing is to see how each component of your application will work, without being impacted by anything else. Unit testing is performed during the development phase, is considered as the first level of testing.

2. Integration Testing

In integration testing, you test how the units are integrated logically and how they work as a group.

The main purpose of integration testing is to verify how the modules communicate and behave together and to evaluate the compliance of a system.

3. Smoke Testing

Smoke testing is performed to examine whether the system build is stable or not. In short, its purpose is to examine if the main functionalities work properly so that testers can proceed with further testing.

4. Regression Testing

Regression testing checks that a recent change in code doesn’t affect any existing features of the app in question. In simple terms, it verifies that changes made to the system did not break any functionality that was working correctly prior to their implementation.

To conclude this section, there are several types of tests that can be automated. Automated testing is when you configure a script/program to do the same steps as you would do to manually test the software. 

You design that script to wait for certain values to be returned or certain events to take place.

In the end, the script will perform whatever you instructed it to and it will show you if the test result is the same as the one that you expected. 

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Automated Testing Example

Let’s apply the description above to the following code.

Test automation code


Analyze the Results

Once the testing software has finished sniffing out every bug, results are highlighted as either a pass or a fail. If there was any problem during the test (or the results were inconclusive), developers can review a complete log to find the problem in the test script and/or manually rerun the scenario.

This was a brief introduction with some quick steps that you can use right away in order to automate your tests. However, there is more to know, if one might want to learn.

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Who Uses Test Automation?

In DevOps and testing there are three personas to be familiar with. Depending on the persona, there will be different technology and methods required.

The skills that vary between each persona require creation of test automation in multiple methods like low/no-code, codeless, BDD, and code-based.

Business Tester

A business tester is a stakeholder in the business team.

Almost always this type of tester has less technical skill and the testing they implement is manual and exploratory. Business testers are valuable because of the human and contextual knowledge they bring. The business stakeholder is often responsible for codeless testing.

SDET (Software Developer in Testing)

A software developer in testing has significant code knowledge and experience in testing.

They can create functional and nonfunctional code-based test automation scripts with tools like Selenium and Appium, among others. The SDET is always accountable for the code-based testing.

Software Developer

The software developer tester creates unit and build acceptance tests.

Software developers also operate in code-based testing. They also work in UI and UX tests, which are manual.

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Test Automation Tools

As we previously mentioned, you need specific tools to automate a manual test. A special tool is required. This tool can be a simple testing framework like Jest, a special software framework like Selenium, or even an entire platform that allows you to basically do everything you need.

Not All Test Automation Tools Are Equal

It is important to note that not all automated testing software is created equal. The above process outlines the best practices and best-case scenarios for test automation.

However, some automation software vendors do not offer test reporting features. Other solutions don’t have robust test script creation tools. When selecting your test automation solution, be clear about the essential features required for optimal test automation. Otherwise, you could put yourself at risk for a number of testing challenges.

Furthermore, some apps are more complicated to test than others. Mobile apps can be more or less complicated than web applications. Industries like healthcare and automotive often have specific and regulated requirements, which creates complicated test conditions.

For success, the automation solution must match both the application and the industry. 

And lastly, the team experience must be taken into consideration when choosing an automation tool. If your team doesn’t have that much code experience, then a codeless solution would be better and more profitable rather than choosing to put things on hold and do some trainings for your team.

Perfecto's test automation solution does all of that.

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Try Perfecto, The Leading Test Automation Tool

Perfecto’s test automation solution offers key features that build high-coverage test suites, including:

  • Accessibility.
  • Non-functional performance testing.
  • Usability.
  • Unit testing.

Test automation is a perfect solution for common, repetitive, and high-volume testing. Coordinating and managing testing are now becoming much easier with Perfecto. You can track and share testing results from a single, centralized location.

This gives you more thorough test coverage, because more testing can be accomplished. While there is definitely manual work still involved in testing, using Perfecto improves the accuracy and coverage of testing for teams competing in an increasingly fast-paced software market.

To learn more about how Perfecto can simplify and improve all types of testing at every stage of the development cycle, start your free trial today.

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Related Content

This blog was originally published in September 2019. It has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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