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Why Automate Web Testing At All?

  •  9-2-2015

Testing web projects is a fundamental part of the development process. No matter how large or small the software is in size, ensuring that the functionality will never fail takes dedication.

There are 2 options: manual testing and automated testing. The size of your project should not determine what type of testing you decide to put in place when checking for bugs. Instead, the main focus should be the outcomes. Nearly every web project can gain by creating automated test cases. Here we are going to look at why automated testing is your best bet for projects.

Manual Testing Takes Longer

Manual testing certainly has its merits, but it takes up the most precious commodity: time. There is a common misconception that using manual testing with smaller projects will save time. On the other end of the spectrum, developers of larger projects may decide that combing through them with a fine-tooth manual comb is the best route to finding bugs.

It is easy to grasp how these misunderstandings make the choice attractive; after all, saving time means saving money. Both of these assumptions are false, and here are some of the reasons.

Manual Overview

Manual testing is performed by a human without any additional help from scripts or outside tools. The downside to relying completely on humans is we sometimes make mistakes, which means testing results are not always reliable. If performing ad-hoc testing with no actual testing methodology planned, and testing parameters set solely by the knowledge of the tester, then this method can be effective. But these types of tests are not the most commonly performed group.

Automation Is The Real Time Saver

Automated testing of a project saves time and catches bugs earlier, allowing developers to focus on moving the project along, instead of wasting time by continuously testing.

Automated Testing Overview

Automated testing uses software that removes the element of human error. Tests can be performed over a long period of time and repeated. Errors can be viewed directly in the code, allowing for a quick fix. It is the most efficient method for load testing and testing for regressions.

Benefits of Automated Testing

When a developer programs the behavior they want to examine into an automated system, the tests will be run on the local machine. It takes a small amount of time, a few hours in most cases, to set up and implement the tests, but once this is done, they can be performed very quickly.

Automated Integration Testing

The best way to confirm how interactions are going between modules and cases is by developing integration tests. Integration testing or I&T looks at the modules individually and how they are combined and tested as a group. Functionality can be verified this way. Other verifications include performance and how reliable the requirements are that are already in place for the major design components. I&T should be run often, and since the end goal is getting the information back to developers as quickly as possible, once again, automated testing is a clear choice to get this done.

Automated Unit Testing

The data used for I&T is derived from unit testing. Which brings us to the next benefit of going automatic.

Unit testing examines the smallest individual, but testable, units of code. Areas covered include interfaces, functions, procedure and class. It is possible to for these to be performed manually, but by nature, these tests should be repeated often and thus easy to run. At the end of the day, the more often they run, the more time you save and the quicker they help pay for themselves many times over.

Automated System Integration Testing

System integration testing does exactly what the name implies; it checks how well your software integrates with third-party systems. Developers adding a new application layer to a customer’s previous solution can integrate the process and changes to a new database layer with the already existing customer layers to complete the integration. By implementing automated system integration testing, developers can confirm the data exchange between the imports and exports is functioning successfully.

Another Example Of Automation’s Time Saving Capability

Throughout this post we have looked at reasons why automated testing is the best choice for finding bugs and getting results back to developers quickly. Here is yet another reason: manual testing cannot test an infinite number of users on new applications. An automated test can easily be created to test for the desired number of users, and it can also perform in ways actual human testers could never possibly achieve.

An example of this would be “future testing.” Systems can be created to test for clients who have been using a specific program for say, 12 weeks. If this were an online course being tested, the developer would be easily able to confirm all course material was being sent out and accessible to paying customers the week they accessed the material instead of having to rely on actual user account information and interfacing.

Automated testing is faster, more cost effective and saves time. Finding bugs and getting results as quickly as possible is always the best practice. Whether you are performing unit tests, integration tests, systems integration testing of third parties or looking at how a program may behave in the future, automated testing will work effectively and should always be your first choice.

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