IT firm Tricentis reports that 69% of migrations to automated regression testing occur in companies looking to accelerate the testing process and increase its efficiency.
How can automated regression testing tools enhance productivity in your company? This article will provide a detailed explanation of the possibilities.
What Are Automated Regression Testing Tools?
An automated regression testing tool enables users to save a significant amount of time and effort on test execution that would otherwise be performed manually. To facilitate this process, testers typically need to develop test scripts. This task is often carried out manually, but some user-friendly tools offer more opportunities to increase productivity.
For instance, many tools, available in the form of frameworks and software applications, rely on scripting languages that require the manual creation of test scripts. An excellent example of such a tool is the open-source Selenium framework.
Meanwhile, a no-code approach, which abstracts code and makes it more understandable to non-developers, is gaining popularity. Such tools as Executive Automats, dedicated to testing the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM system, provide users with a graphical interface that significantly speeds up the creation of test scripts.
In 54% of test automation projects, the primary goal is to improve accuracy, and in 53% of cases, companies aim to reduce testing costs.
While the primary task of an automated regression testing tool is to execute tests without human intervention, more advanced solutions like Executive Automats are equipped with extra features that further streamline the regression testing process and enhance productivity.
Additionally, many Selenium-like testing frameworks can be customized and integrated with other applications to extend their functionality, too.
Here are some examples of other testing-related tasks that can also be automated:
- Generation of test scenarios, test cases, scripts, and test data;
- Test data export;
- Test scheduling;
- Tracking and reporting defects;
- Integrating testing into Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines;
- Data-driven testing, which involves executing the same test scripts with different sets of data;
- Provisioning and configuring test environments, as well as tearing them down;
- Test execution on multiple platforms;
- Test result reporting and the generation of dashboards based on test metrics;
- Test result and test coverage analysis;
- Test case maintenance;
- Reviewing and validating test scripts.
Benefits Of Automated Regression Testing
Automated regression testing offers numerous advantages for enhancing productivity in a company. In many cases, it is the most effective way to perform regression testing, which often involves extensive repetition and requires broad coverage.
For large and complex software suites like Microsoft Dynamics 365, which undergo frequent updates, manual regression testing can be both expensive and inadequate.
Here are several ways in which companies can improve their productivity through automated regression testing:
- Reducing human errors that can affect the consistency and repeatability of test results;
- Increasing test coverage and scalability, allowing for more comprehensive testing;
- Testing software more frequently, with simultaneous execution of multiple test cases and scheduling testing on weekends and during overnight hours;
- Receiving rapid feedback on the quality of software changes;
- Enhancing resource efficiency by enabling manual testers to focus on tasks that cannot be automated, such as exploratory testing;
- Decreasing reliance on manual testers, particularly for repetitive tasks;
- Achieving significant cost savings by reducing the need for manual testing efforts;
- The use of no-code tools and the generation of consistent automated reports make testing more accessible to employees without technical knowledge.
Limitations Of Automated Regression Tools
Despite its high effectiveness, automated regression testing has its limitations. Unfortunately, not all companies are aware of them, which leads to misconceptions and unrealistic expectations. It is crucial to understand the boundaries of automated regression testing tools to set realistic goals for your test automation project.
1. Complete test coverage
While automated regression testing tools significantly increase test coverage, they cannot cover every possible scenario, especially in the case of complex software. Additionally, most tools require manual development of test cases, which can be time-consuming and may not achieve 100% coverage.
2. No need for human involvement
Manual development of test cases is just one of the tasks testers have to manage. Test maintenance, analysis, and performing tests that cannot be automated are the responsibilities of manual testers.
3. Bug-free software
Automated regression testing tools themselves cannot guarantee that tested software will be defect-free. Test success still relies on the quality of test scripts, which are often developed by testers. Poorly created test scripts can overlook issues in the software.
4. Immediate ROI
While choosing the right test automation tool can result in a return on investment, it typically does not happen quickly.
5. One-size-fits-all solution
No automated regression tool is equally efficient in all possible business scenarios. The choice of a tool should be aligned with the specific needs and capabilities of a company and its tested software.
6. One-time effort
Setting up an environment for automated regression testing requires initial effort, depending on the tool. However, once it is operational, a company needs to continuously monitor, update, and optimize both the environment and test scripts.
Automated testing tools can significantly improve the efficiency of regression testing, which is one of the most demanding types of testing. In addition to test execution itself, certain tools can also provide testers with automation of multiple other tasks, including test script and data maintenance, as well as report generation. At the same time, it is essential to understand the limitations of such tools, which will help set realistic goals for successful test automation projects.