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Software test automation

Enterprises in every vertical market have realized that delivering better software faster is key to innovation and digital transformation. But as organizations have embraced Agile and DevOps to accelerate the speed of software development, software testing tools have become the single greatest barrier to speed and agility.

Solutions for software test automation can help by supporting continuous testing – the process of conducting automated tests throughout the software delivery pipeline, rather than at the point just before software is released. Software test automation tools focus on automating the validation of applications and services against requirements.

Why software test automation is needed

Continuous testing is the key to building better software faster. By executing automated tests as part of the software delivery pipeline, continuous testing provides development teams with more useful feedback earlier in the process, helping to identify business risks associated with a software release as rapidly as possible.

Continuous testing involves:

  • A wide range of automated and manual tests
  • Testing across all phases of the software delivery pipeline
  • Communicating actionable feedback to the right stakeholder at the right time
  • Aligning testing with business risk
  • Applying service virtualization and stateful test data management to stabilize testing for continuous integration
  • Performing exploratory testing to expose “big block” issues early
  • Determining whether software can be released based on an acceptable level of risk to the business

Because it involves testing early, testing often, and testing everywhere, continuous testing creates complexity for development teams as they race to continually release new software iterations. Coordinating testing requires extensive communication between stakeholders about where new code is deployed and which pieces need to be tested. Software testing teams must also write a variety of test cases to test software requirements, run tests and track progress of each step to completion, and communicate results to the right people.

Traditional testing platforms can’t deliver the speed or agility required for continuous testing. These legacy systems rely on brittle scripts, deliver slow end-to-end regression test execution, and produce an overwhelming amount of false positives. In an environment where software is being released anywhere from every two weeks to thousands of times a day, traditional testing solutions are simply inadequate.

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How software test automation works

Software test automation solutions play a role in the task of continuous testing by automating processes and eliminating the need for manual intervention in initiating, managing, and tracking tests. Test automation also identifies how much of the system is evaluated by different tests and what other types of testing might be needed to cover all the moving parts.

As a result, software test automation helps ensure that teams maintain a high standard of quality throughout the software delivery pipeline. It also allows testers to avoid getting mired in the details of managing testing logistics so they can spend more time creating effective test cases that help deliver higher quality software faster.

A software test automation solution must be able to automate and manage tasks such as:

  • Identifying where new code is being used, which pieces of code must be tested, and how testing requirements relate to the ongoing process of developing and releasing new iterations
  • Managing communication between stakeholders about needs for testing
  • Analyzing what percentage of code is covered by existing tests, and what tests are needed to increase that coverage
  • Schedule and start tests automatically at every stage of the software delivery pipeline
  • Create test cases and monitor the progress of each test case to completion
  • Prevent quickly evolving software from returning an overwhelming number of false positives or requiring burdensome test maintenance

Advantages of software test automation

Software test automation offers extraordinary advantages over manual script-based testing methods.

  • Accelerated software delivery. By automating processes and supporting continuous testing, software test automation solutions can significantly reduce test cycle times to increase the pace of testing and delivering applications.
  • Fewer errors. Software test automation minimizes the amount of human intervention in the testing process, thereby also minimizing the errors that tend to accompany manual testing processes.
  • Lower costs. By reducing the time and effort required from developers and testing teams, test automation can dramatically reduce the cost of testing and delivering software.
  • Higher quality. By focusing on business risk and providing feedback earlier in the process, test automation helps to deliver software that represents a lower risk to the business.
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Tricentis solutions for software test automation

Tricentis Tosca helps organizations manage the complexity of software test automation. As a market-leading, model-based test automation solution, Tosca accelerates testing with a scriptless, AI-based, no-code approach for end-to-end test automation.

Tosca is powered by Vision AI, a next-generation AI-driven test automation technology that allows teams to automate UI test cases independent of the underlying technology. Tricentis Tosca also helps development and testing teams to:

  • Achieve end-to-end continuous testing. Tricentis supports 160+ technologies to provide end-to-end test automation ranging from API to UI (web, mobile, or custom), databases to BI solutions, and programming languages to packaged applications.
  • Improve risk coverage. Tricentis Tosca offers risk-based testing that lets testing teams remove redundancies from their test case portfolio to gain over 80% risk coverage with the optimal set of tests to execute for each release.
  • Simplify API test automation. Tricentis Tosca breaks down the technical barrier involved in API test automation by supplying the transition from UI testing to API testing through a model-based approach. Any tester can create API tests from an intuitive, business-readable interface and integrate them into end-to-end test scenarios that span across web UIs, mobile, enterprise and custom applications, and more.
  • Avoid script maintenance with Tricentis MBTA. This Model-based Test Automation (MBTA) solution is the industry’s only automation approach that provides rapid creation of resilient and easily maintainable tests. This feature allows Tricentis customers to achieve test automation rates of 90% from release to release.
  • Run tests with reliable data. Tricentis TDM (Test Data Management) automatically creates and provisions on-demand synthetic or masked production data for test automation, helping to drastically minimize the time required for test data creation.

FAQs

What is software test automation?

Software test automation is technology that automates the process of tracking, managing, and communicating results of software tests. Software test automation solutions identify when code should be tested and how it should be tested. These technologies schedule and run tests, track progress, and report results to the right stakeholders at the right time.

What are the benefits of software test automation?

With software test automation technology, organizations can significantly improve the quality of their software and accelerate the pace of development. By automating management and tracking of test requirements, test automation solutions eliminate error-prone manual processes to improve testing accuracy. And test automation reduces costs by minimizing the time required from developers and testing teams to manage the complex logistics of continuous testing throughout the software development pipeline.

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