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Thursday, May 26, 2011

How to choose a test automation tool and does automated testing tools make testing easier?

The use of automated testing tools depends on the size of the project. For smaller projects, it is not advisable to spend time and personnel on learning the new automated test tool until and unless the tester already knows the automated tool. For larger projects, it is advisable to use automated testing tool.

Approach for automation of functional testing can be data driven or keyword driven. In this, the test drivers are separated from data or actions. Test drivers can be in the form of automated test tools. Data and actions can be maintained through spreadsheets. This approach enables efficiency, control, development and maintenance of automated test cases.

A common automated tool is record/play type tool in which a tester can click through all combinations of menu choices and record them and the application can be retested by playing back option. The disadvantage with this approach is that if there are many changes, recordings would change so much that it becomes very time consuming to manage.

Some other automation tools are code analyzers, coverage analyzers, memory analyzers, load/performance testing tools, web test tools.

Choosing an automated test tool include testing thoroughly, trying more ways for testing which were earlier not feasible, efficiency, reducing tedious manual testing. Few things to keep in mind while choosing an automated testing tool are:
- Points at which current testing is time consuming.
- Points at which current testing is tedious.
- Problems that are again and again missing with the current testing.
- Testing procedures that are carried again and again.
- Testing procedures that should be carried but are not being carried.
- Identify points where testing is not sufficient.
- Identify test tracking and management processes that can be implemented.

The choices of automated testing tool can be narrowed based on the characteristics of the software application. Once the shortlisting of automated tools is done, trial is taken for the final selection. Ensure that the selected testing tool is appropriate and the capabilities and limitations are well understood.

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