What is Automated Testing? Necessary Measures to Make Online Business Work Flawlessly

Automated testing validates if the eCommerce site works correctly and meets all requirements.
Yevheniia
Yevheniia

Copywriter. Yevheniia understands various CMS systems for e-commerce, such as Magento, Shopware, Shopify, as well as marketing and customer acquisition strategies.

Testing is an indispensable part of site creation that ensures the top quality of an end product. And since manual testing is time-consuming and usually requires a lot of human resources, automated testing makes it much faster and painless to check if the website is working as it is supposed to.

Test automation ensures high efficiency during development and eliminates human error. However, it is not the ultimate approach to testing. Even though test automation is extremely helpful, there are cases where manual testing is also reasonable.

So let’s have a closer look at automated testing, its characteristics, benefits and drawbacks, execution process, and tools for you to know to make the most out of it.

Test Automation vs Manual Testing

Manual testing is the process when a tester or a QA engineer checks a website for issues by executing tests manually. In this type of testing, a tester checks all features by running test cases and generating test reports without using any test automation tools.

Automated testing is used to perform or support test activities, including test management, test design, test execution, and results checking. Test automation consists in writing test automation scripts by a tester for their execution using automated testing solutions. The main goal of automation is to execute the same number of test cases as in manual testing in less time.

With the help of automated tests, you can repeatedly perform the same actions at any time (even outside working hours) on different devices, browsers, and sets of test data, and so on, without the intervention of a manual tester. In this case, manual effort is required for writing and maintaining test scripts and checking test reports.

Let’s compare manual and automated testing.

Parameter Manual Testing Automated Testing
Definition Test cases are executed manually by a tester Test cases are executed using test automation tools
Processing time Requires a lot of time and human resources Faster than manual testing with the same amount of tests
Not formalized testing Possible: exploratory/ad hoc testing Not possible. Testing is done according to the written script
Reliability Not a very reliable method due to possible human errors when performing tests A reliable method since test automation scripts and tools do not know fatigue. Errors that occur due to fatigue and loss of concentration are reduced to zero
UI change Small changes in the UI (for example, changing the object locator) will not prevent the tester from executing a test Even a small change in UI requires changing test scripts to make them work correctly
Profitability Unprofitable for high volumes of testing Unprofitable for low testing volumes
Performance testing Not possible Possible to run performance tests like load testing, stress testing, etc.
Parallel execution Can be executed in parallel but requires increasing human resource, which is expensive Can be executed in parallel on different platforms and in different browsers, which reduces the test execution time
Programming knowledge Not necessary for manual testing Necessary for most automated testing tools
Ideal approach Manual testing is useful when a test case only needs to be run once or twice, or when there are no clear steps to reproduce (exploratory testing) Automated testing is used when the same set of test cases is frequently executed
Website verification after deploy It is done manually and takes a lot of time Automated tests can be run automatically after the deployment is completed
Deadlines Manual testing has a higher risk of missing a predetermined deadline due to human error Automated tests have close to zero risk of missing a predetermined deadline
Test report In manual testing, you have to make reports on your own Test automation tools generate test case execution report

Test Automation Benefits and Drawbacks

Here are the drawbacks and benefits of automated testing so you can decide if using it will be advantageous for your project and company.

Benefits

➕Reliable: tests execute the same operations each time they run, eliminating human error.

➕Fast: automated tests run much faster than manual ones.

➕Economical: more tests in less time. There is no need to increase the number of automated testing engineers to perform the required testing in a given timeframe.

➕Better quality site: more test coverage (more tests in less time), eliminating human error when repeating the same tests multiple times.

➕Comprehensive: each website feature can be covered by the required set of tests.

➕Repeatable: it is possible to check how the site reacts under repeated execution of the same operations.

Drawbacks

➖Test maintenance is costly. Even if a minor change occurs in the graphical user interface, the test script has to be rewritten or replaced by a new test script.

➖Automation tools can be expensive, which may increase the cost of a project under testing.

➖Debugging a test script can take a lot of time.

➖Proficiency is required to write test automation scripts.

Types of Automated Testing

Let’s look at what types of test automation are to understand what is suitable for automation and what is not.

🟠Regression testing detects if the unchanged areas has any defects (part of change-related testing).

🟠Functional testing performed to evaluate if a component or system satisfies functional requirements.

🟠Performance testing determines if a system component has the performance efficiency.

🟠Load testing evaluates a system’s or a component’s behavior under different loads, usually between anticipated conditions of low, typical, and peak usage (a type of performance testing).

During the implementation of one of our projects, we performed load testing with JMeter and New Relic to understand how the infrastructure is going to perform. We performed the test on 10 Magento servers in the autoscaling group and reached 7,635 users. It allowed us to understand the maximum capacity that the system could carry at a particular moment.

🟠Exploratory testing is an approach to testing when QA engineers use their knowledge, insights for previous tests or the results of test item exploration to dynamically design and execute tests.

🟠Usability testing evaluates the degree to which the system can be used with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context.

🟠Ad hoc testing is informal testing performed without test analysis and test design.

🟠Integration testing focuses on interactions between components or systems.

🟠API testing is performed by submitting requests to the test object using the programming interface.

🟠System testing focuses on verifying that a whole system meets specified requirements.

🟠Unit testing validates that each unit of the code performs as expected. Unit testing is done during the development/coding phase.

🟠Acceptance testing determines whether to accept the system.

What Can Be Automated

Automated testing is suitable for the following:

✔️Repetitive and time-consuming tasks and in cases when UI is stabilized

✔️Main testing flows

✔️Rarely changing cases

✔️Parallel testing

✔️Areas where you have to do frequent testing. For example, if you have to test some areas after each build/release

✔️Test cases that need to be tested with a different set of data or a large amount of data

✔️Any functionality that has a high-risk condition

✔️Test cases that need to be tested in different browsers and environments

So, automated regression testing as well as automated load and performance testing are preferable. API testing can also be automated too with different tools like Postman. Also, unit testing is always automated.

What Cannot Be Automated

✖️Areas of a website that require frequent changes

✖️Test cases that are executed on an ad hoc basis (once or twice per project)

✖️A newly designed test and one that is not executed manually

In this case, the following testing types are unfit for automation: exploratory testing, usability testing, and ad hoc testing.

Automated Testing Process

Here are the steps to implement test automation on a project.

1. Define the Scope of Automation

During the first stage, you need to determine the number of test cases that needs and can be automated:

🔶Features that are critical to business and require high reliability

🔶Test scenarios that require large amounts of data

🔶Common functionalities on a website

🔶Technical feasibility of automated testing

🔶Complexity of test cases

🔶Ability to use the same test cases for cross-browser testing

2. Select a Tool for Automation Testing

Once you have decided on what requires automation, the next step is to choose the right automation tool.

There are many different test automation tools on the market. Choosing the most suitable one sometimes becomes a big problem, especially if the company has no experience with automated testing. What should you pay attention to? Here are a few criteria:

🔶Technical testing needs. For example, you need to take data from the database, send API requests, and process responses when testing. If you need two separate tools for this, they may interact differently within the same test. Therefore, you should choose a tool that can cover all or as many technical needs as possible.

🔶The cost of the tool and training for automated testing engineers to work with the tool.

🔶Supported browsers, OS, etc. For example, if you need to test in Safari browser, but the tool does not support it, you should look for another tool.

🔶CI/CD integration capabilities. It is best to run automated tests automatically, rather than manually, after the deployment of new code to the server is finished or according to a schedule (for example, at night).

🔶Ease of use.

🔶Ease of debugging the automation scripts.

🔶Test reports. Just running the test is not enough. The tester should know the test results and understand the reason for the failure of the test. This requires detailed reports indicating where the error occurred and why the script could not perform the specified actions.

3. Planning, Design and Development

The next and critical stage is test planning and test script development. It consists of the following steps:

🔶Framework design and its features (if necessary or use a ready-made framework for writing scripts)

🔶Define in-scope and out-of-scope items of automation

🔶Define the timeline for writing test automation scripts

🔶Test scripts development

🔶Test environment preparation

4. Test Execution

Finally, when the test scripts are ready, you can start executing them. In addition to executing tests, an automated testing engineer also analyzes the results of test execution and rechecks failed tests at this stage.

5. Test Maintenance

And of course, for the test to be automated and have stability, it is important to maintain automated tests. So, the necessary actions at this stage are:

🔶Checking new automation scripts

🔶Improving existing automation scripts

🔶Improving test framework/environment

Test Automation Tools

Selenium

Selenium is one of the most, if not the most, popular open-source frameworks for web testing automation. Its software suite consists of Selenium WebDriver, Selenium Grid, and Selenium IDE. Selenium is commonly used because it:

✅Supports different programming languages: Java, C#, Python, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, etc.

✅Supports different browsers: Chrome, Firefox, IE, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Safari, etc.

✅Allows testing on local or on remote machines via the Selenium server

✅Allows parallel and cross-browser executions

✅Requires programming skills (but not for Selenium IDE, which is just a test recorder)

Cypress

Cypress is a developer-centric automation tool for end-to-end web testing. It can run directly in the browser in the same run-cycle as your application, providing native element access and faster execution. Cypress supports JavaScript frameworks. Yet, it does not use Selenium webdriver.

TestComplete

TestComplete is a paid tool for UI testing automation suitable for desktop, web, and mobile applications and is used by both technical and non-technical users. It supports different programming languages, including JavaScript, Python, VBScript, JScript, Delphi, C++, and C#. TestComplete uses flexible methods for test design: Record & Playback, manual and scripting modes with built-in keywords. With it, testers can execute parallel, cross-browser and cross-device testing.

JMeter

JMeter is an open-source Java web testing platform primarily used for performance tests thanks to its simulation mechanism, making extensive scale tests feasible. It can simulate a heavy load of users to access web services and analyze the AUT’s performance. JMeter can also be used for functional API testing.

Postman

Postman is one of the most widely-used test automation tools for API. It allows users to write functional, integration, and regression tests and execute them automatically in CI/CD pipelines via the command line. It has a friendly and easy-to-use interface, making it convenient and intuitive. Using parameterization allows you to run the same tests in different environments.

Katalon Studio

In Magecom, we use Katalon Studio for Magento 2 websites automated testing. We choose Katalon Studio because of its advantages:

✅One tool solves many tasks. You can use it to automate Web, API, mobile, and desktop applications.

✅No programming skills are required to make simple tests. A test engineer can use a built-in recorder to record a test script or create a test script using ready-made keywords.

✅Supported testing methodologies: BDD, DDT, keyword-driven testing, cross-browser testing (Headless, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari), and cross-platform mobile testing (iOS, Android)

✅Reusable test objects, keywords, and test cases with Test Artifact Sharing and Page Object Model design.

✅Easy to learn.

✅Free (Katalon Studio Enterprise version is paid).

Test Automation Services

Katalon Studio allows us to quickly set up a number of tests for different scenarios and reuse them. With this tool, we can automate testing for multiple pages, including a home page, product listing page, product detail page, search, account page, cart, checkout, and success page (and associated pages).

Due to the comprehensive and flexible nature of Katalon Studio, we can cover testing of all the essential site functionality. Building, running, and maintaining tests with Katalon can take around 56 hours. But if you want to know how we automate tests with other tools, you can contact us.

Summary

As you can see, automated testing helps improve quality by increasing test coverage and reducing test execution times. The main thing is to choose the right automation tool and properly organize the process of implementing automation.