Test automation is incredibly important. Mastering test automation basics is key. Here's why.

New software is developed and released faster than ever before. It’s now a requirement for every business with a digital presence to improve software testing pace and accuracy to keep up. To achieve this, you'll need test automation.

Consider this your guide to test automation basics. 

Read along or jump ahead to whichever section interests you most:

Why Use Test Automation?

Test automation relieves pressure on developers and testers. Software testing is a comprehensive process that requires coordination efforts by business stakeholders, developers, and testers. Manual testing is the most common type of software testing, but it is time intensive and difficult to scale. 

That's why teams leverage automated testing.

In this blog, you'll learn the basics: 

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What Is Test Automation?

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what is test automation

How It Compares to Other Testing Methods

Consumers expect their web and mobile apps to work when they need them. And that means robust software testing and QA is a requirement.

There are three types of software testing that teams must understand and implement. Here's a quick breakdown of the basics of automated testing vs. manual testing vs. continuous testing:

Automated Testing

Enlists special tools to run multiple software tests at one time. Automated testing was designed to speed up the testing process and increase overall testing coverage. Using it leads to better error detection because test automation tools can cover more operating systems, devices, and scenarios than manual testing. 

Manual Testing

The most traditional type of testing. In manual software testing, analysts and testers create the tests and execute them by hand. Typically, manual testing is time intensive but beneficial because hands-on testing enables a more contextual and nuanced understanding of the test being executed.

Continuous Testing

The process of executing automated tests in a repeatable and scaled manner. Continuous testing occurs when software testing is fully automated and optimized. The benefits of continuous testing include fast feedback, swift release turnaround, and quality web and mobile apps.

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Automated Testing vs Manual Testing vs Continuous Testing

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Common Challenges in Automated Testing

There are 5 basic challenges in automated testing today:

  1. The lack of necessary skills.
  2. Teams don't stabilize tests before automating.
  3. Lab management is burdensome.
  4. Test automation becomes dynamic.
  5. Sorting through all the data.

Remember: Failed tests are a natural part of automated testing. When a team is continuously testing, broken tests can get out of hand quickly. That’s why feedback and visibility are a key piece of successful and scalable automated testing. 

For a more in-depth look at the toughest testing challenges to automate, download Perfecto's Guide to Solving the Toughest Mobile Testing Challenges.

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4 Signs Your Test Automation is Failing You

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Utilizing Open Source Frameworks

Open source software is a powerful resource for teams just starting their journey. Open source test automation tools are so useful that many large enterprises have adopted the frameworks as part of their DevOps toolchain.

There are many options to choose from among open source software for test automation. Popular frameworks include Appium, Flutter, Selenium, Espresso, and XCUITest. For performance testing, the go-to open source frameworks are JMeter, Gatling, Taurus, and Locust.

This can complicate framework selection, because it’s difficult to know the best framework for your specific team’s needs.

How do you know which platform is worth investing time on training and learning? Which framework will offer the most seamless integration and deployment in your environment? 

There are several specific considerations to know when choosing an open source automated testing tool. Learn more about those considerations with the guide below.

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Utilizing Open Source Frameworks in Test Automation

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Image Blog Best Open Source Automation Tool

How to Find the Right Tools For You

Once you’ve done the hard work of defining which tests to automate and whether an open source framework is right for you, it’s time to begin the review process. 

The best way to identify the automation tool that is the right for your team is to create your criteria. Once you know the criteria and standards you need a tool to meet, it will clarify and speed up the review process. 

The automation testing tools you choose should simplify your continuous testing efforts. To help, we created a guide that defines the key features in any test automation tool. Use this as a roadmap to the perfect automation tool for your team.  

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What to Look for in Automation Testing Tools

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What to Look for in Automation Testing Tools

Test Automation in the Cloud

The ability to conduct test automation in the cloud means testing with no barriers. The cloud allows teams to scale and grow with them as their needs change and develop.

In a cloud, testers can leverage virtual devices to increase testing velocity. Perfecto's cloud-based testing lab frees up teams to take full advantage of test automation with thousands of devices without having to worry about managing them themselves.

That means being able to test on all the latest Android and iOS devices. For more information on how to fully take advantage of test automation in the cloud, this ultimate guide has you covered.


Test Automation in CI/CD

Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) is an impactful DevOps process that seeks to create a harmonious relationship between the operations process and the development cycle.

Automating your CI/CD testing has numerous benefits, including the ability to decide what to test and when, adapting your pipeline to your development process, rapid scaling as needed, building in a containerized environment, and installation of infrastructure automatically and as code.

A key open source CI/CD DevOps tool is Jenkins. It is popular due to its relative low cost, wide variety of plugins, and the open source community that maintains its functionality. Additionally, it is a very useful automation tool for high-quality builds and works with other tools like GitHub to help automate workflow.

Go Beyond Test Automation Basics With Perfecto

Go beyond test automation basics. The world’s largest enterprises rely on Perfecto for to achieve their test automation goals. We love helping teams achieve greatness without slowing down delivery. With Perfecto’s expertise, you’ll turn testing from a liability into an asset that can expedite your entire DevOps processes.

Don’t let testing hold you back. Try Perfecto today.