How To Select Right Test Cases For Automation Testing

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Test cases For automation testing – Introduction

We are in the Automation era, as we could see each and everything is shifting from manual to Automation. From withdrawing cash to parking lot tickets, there is nothing in the digital world that doesn’t need Automation. So, can testing projects escape this change of world? Definitely NO! But why has it become a necessity than a luxury? Obvious reasons like a more significant number of users and performance quotient. We as individuals look forward to efficiency and quality of work from the service providers. More people use the same way technology than before. So, to achieve production and service vast number of users testing must take a step ahead.

What Is Automation Testing?

Automation testing is a technique in software testing where we use a software tool to test the test cases and compare the outcome with the expected result. This is just an automation process of the age-old manual testing. This way, we could benefit from the following:

  • Save time.
  • Improve test coverage.
  • Increase ad-hoc testing. 
  • Reduce cost and Maintenance.

Why Automation Testing?

Is Automation testing a replacement for Manual testing? No. It just compliments the manual testing. So, like manual testing, we need a plan, strategy, and monitoring process, and the critical item is choosing the suitable test cases for automation testing.

Let us investigate the significant advantages of automation testing:

  • To prepare Test Data.
  • To execute tasks like Regression tests.
  • Works better with complex logical test cases.
  • Helps in managing cross-platform test cases.
  • Complex test cases are difficult to be performed manually.
  • Repetitive iteration of the test cases if the number of executions is not known.

Challenges Of Automation Testing

We know automation testing is going to save costs and time. It tends the team to rush and automate everything they can. So, we will not be sure of which test cases to automate or which to ignore.
I would say the primary challenge in automation testing is to choose the correct test cases for Automation Testing. As there is no hard and fast rule for the same, we can help you with our experience of selecting the right test cases.
Testers generally find Automation a threat, but it helps them do their work more efficiently and maximize production.
According, the World Quality Report in 2019, 24% of teams still struggle to decide on the exemplary test scenario. I hope by the end of the read, you will have an idea of how to choose the test cases for Automation and have a successful testing journey.

What Is A Test Case?

A test case is a detailed document with the specifications, input, steps, testing conditions, and expected outcomes for executing a software test on the application. Typically, there are two test cases – one with a positive test case where input is correct and the other with a negative test case where the input is wrong. It helps us to check how the application reacts to both scenarios. This way, multiple test cases are combined into a test suite for testing and Maintenance.

Identifying The Correct Test Cases For Test Automation

A valuable brainstorming on the testing requirements and testers capability will go a long way in achieving the desired results from the Automation testing.

The critical factors upon choosing automation test cases are as follows:

  1. Execution Time 
  2. Test Frequency
  3. Resources Requirements
  4. Subject to Human error
  5. The Downside of Automation not compromising on the ROI.

Now we can see each factor in detail and understand how to choose the correct test cases for Automation – 

Execution TimeIf you feel the test case will take more time than done manually, it will be a perfect choice for automation testing. This way, we can use our testers to perform the testing efficiently. Also, we can handle large data sets with a limited number of testers.

Test Frequency: When we need to repeat the test significantly, the ideal option would be automation testing. Tests like regression tests are vital for Automation testing as we need to run with every application building.

Resources Requirements: Resources include – OS, Browsers, Devices, and Databases. The user involvement required in the test will primarily decide if there is any need to automate test cases. The higher the involvement lesser it qualifies to automate.

Subject to Human Error: When we feel there is a chance of significant Human error while performing the test manually, we can include those test cases in the test suite for automation testing to enhance the quality of tests and less time consumption.

The Downside of Automation not compromising on the ROI: Basically, the downside of automation testing includes implementation cost, maintenance cost, and Human intervention. Value of ROI has time, insights, and the human resources saved. When the Value (ROI) outweighs the downside, it qualifies for the correct test cases for automation testing.

Test Cases For Automation Testing

We have arrived at the core of the article to evaluate what tests will be ideal for automation testing. And most importantly, what should not be automated?

Test Cases To be Automated

Some tests that we highly recommend for Automation are as follows:

  • Regression Tests
  • Performance Tests
  • Data-Driven Tests
  • Unit Tests
  • Integration Tests
  • Functional Tests

These are just a few suggestions, and its subject based on the application and your team’s strength.

Regression Test: Tests like smoke tests, sanity test, requires more time and significant human resources. So, this automatically qualifies for automation testing. If done right, this gives developers the ability to check that the entire system works flawlessly after a code change with limited to no human supervision.

Performance Tests: Tests like the Load test a Stress test is highly repetitive and time-consuming. Also, to achieve the entire exposure, it’s tedious and tends to compromise on quality. This way, we have an ideal candidate for automation testing.

Data-Driven Tests: Data-driven tests are prone to human error as there will be positive and negative input. There are chances of missing data on the application’s crucial components wherein they will have a more significant impact in real-time. A data-driven automation framework will help to perform efficiently. When the tester is highly skilled and can handle the application well, data-driven tests are perfect for automation testing.

Unit Tests: Unit tests are highly reusable and low maintenance costs. Therefore, highly suitable for automation testing. It is easy as we can use many host frameworks to implement regardless of any programming languages.

Integration Tests: Integration tests involve different modules and interfaces; Automation helps us ensure everything is working well as expected and instant feedback. This way, we can find where the actual problem persists if we failed to achieve the desired outcome. Fast, reliable, and highly efficient.

Functional Tests: Functional tests are well established in the automation testing category as they have a whole host of tools and frameworks that can match with our development code-base. We recommend automating the functional testing fully and the best approach for automation testing.


Test Cases Not To Be Automated

As we all know that Automation is the best solution for Quality, Speed, and Efficiency, we should not rush and automate every test case. That can backfire, and it will be hard to clean up the mess. 

Exploratory Tests: These tests do not have a concrete framework or criteria for the application to evaluate. It, when automated, can give confusing outcomes or sometimes false outcomes. These are less reliable and do not qualify for automation testing.

Usability Testing: The software cannot mimic human emotion and reaction to the application. So, this can be highly misleading and a wrong choice for Automation.

Intermittent Tests and Low-Risk Tests: Just because we have the privilege to automate does not mean we need to automate every test case. There are chances of unpredictable outcomes in these tests.

Anti-Automation Tests: The best example of an anti-automation feature is CAPTCHA. There is nothing more to elaborate, and this example is self-explanatory why we should not automate this.

Final Words On "Test Cases For Automation Testing"

I hope this article would have taken away the myth that automation testing is a threat to testers. It is a boon and an added advantage to increase the speed and quality of the testers. Automation testing will evolve and spread across environments in the future. So, getting skilled and understanding the basic idea of choosing the correct test cases for Automation is the foremost step in beginning automation testing. This way, we can maximize the outcomes, save time, and provide reliable, efficient results. Considering the opportunities evolving from AI/ML integration, it is evident that Automation testing will have a brighter future.

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