Test Automation

Mohanatheesan Theiventhiram
6 min readJan 21, 2021

Software testing is a process, to evaluate the functionality of a software application with an intent to find whether the developed software met the specified requirements or not and to identify the defects to ensure that the product is defect-free in order to produce a quality product.

Software testing can be done manually as well as automatically. As most people in the software industry know, there are distinct differences between manual testing and automated testing. Manual testing requires physical time and effort to ensure the software code does everything it’s supposed to do. In addition, manual testers have to make a record of their findings. This involves checking log files, external services and the database for errors. If we are familiar with manual testing, we know this process can be extremely time consuming and repetitive.

Test automation is the practice of running tests automatically, managing test data, and utilizing results to improve software quality. It’s primarily a quality assurance measure, but its activities involve the commitment of the entire software production team. From business analysts to developers and DevOps engineers, getting the most out of test automation takes the inclusion of everyone.

This differs from manual testing where a human being is responsible for single-handedly testing the functionality of the software in the way a user would. Because test automation is done through an automation tool, less time is needed in exploratory tests and more time is needed in maintaining test scripts while increasing overall test coverage.

Advantages of Test Automation

  • It improves the coverage of testing as automated execution of test cases is faster than manual execution.
  • It reduces the dependability of testing on the availability of the test engineers.
  • It provides round the clock coverage as automated tests can be run all time in 24*7 environment.
  • It takes far less resources in execution as compared to manual testing.
  • It helps to train the test engineers to increase their knowledge by producing a repository of different tests.

Disadvantages of Test Automation

  • It is very much expensive than the manual testing.
  • It becomes inconvenient and burdensome as to decide who would automate and who would train.
  • It has limited to some organizations as many organizations not prefer test automation.
  • It would require additionally trained and skilled people.
  • It only removes the mechanical execution of testing process, but creation of test cases still required testing professionals.

Test Automation Life Cycle

Automation testing life cycle runs almost parallel with the life cycle process of software development. The completely structured automation testing process involves a multi-stage procedure that includes activities needed for utilizing and introducing an automated testing tool, developing the design, and handling the environment and data.

Here are the stages involved in automation testing life cycle:

  1. Determination of the scope of the test automation
  2. Choosing the proper tools for automation
  3. Test planning, designing and strategizing
  4. Setting the test environment
  5. Developing and executing the test script
  6. Analyzing and generating the test reports

Determination of the scope of the test automation :
This is where the automation testing life cycle starts and the aim of this step is the identification of the viability of automation. Each aspect has to be taken into consideration to analyze this viability. Moreover, it is important to run a viability analysis on the manual testing pack, which lets the automation test in designing the testing scripts.

Choosing the proper tools for automation :
The tests are highly dependent on the tools. Thus, finding proper testing tools is one of the most important aspects of the automation testing life cycle. While searching for automation tools, we will have to consider the technologies available for the project, budget, and acquaintance of the tool with your resources, flexibility, and intuitiveness.

Test planning, designing and strategizing :
This is another one of the vital phases in the automation testing life cycle. It deals with the ways of approaching and accomplishing the goals of test automation. Choosing the test automation blueprint is the first thing to do for the strategy phase of the cycle. Choosing the tool depends a lot on the technologies utilized in an application. we need to understand the product before beginning the automation test.

Setting the test environment :
This stage involves setting up a machine or remote machine where test cases will be executed. Keeping a check on different devices is one thing, but we also need to be cautious about various browsers and browser versions. The test cases now have to get executed using a remote machine. But, why are remote machines needed? The simple reason is that it is not an ideal world where every user uses the same machine for accessing the web-app or website we have developed.

Developing and executing the test script :
It is the time to execute the test script. So, this phase of automation testing life cycle is dedicated to the execution of all test scripts. To perform script execution, signed-off and unit-tested test scripts are delivered to automation testing team. It is essential to ensure that all test scripts are running correctly.

Analyzing and generating the test reports :
After performing all the tests, the team starts its analysis for identifying the specific components or functionality that has shown signs of potential problems. The results of this analysis show whether it needs added test procedures and efforts or not. The test results gathered from this analysis confirms if the executed test procedures and scripts are able to find the errors.

Types of Test Automation

  • Code driven (ex :- Unit Tests)
  • GUI(End to End Automation) (ex:- UI object property based, Image recognition based)
  • API/Service Test Automation (Restful APIs, SOAP)
  • Mobile Test Automation (Android , IOS, Hybrid)

Test Automation Tools

  • LambdaTest
  • TestComplete
  • QMetry Automation Studio
  • TestProject
  • Katalon Studio
  • Selenium
  • Subject7
  • Appium
  • Micro Focus UFT
  • Test Studio


Selenium is a free (open-source) automated testing framework used to validate web applications across different browsers and platforms. You can use multiple programming languages like Java, C#, Python etc to create Selenium Test Scripts. Testing done using the Selenium testing tool is usually referred to as Selenium Testing.

Selenium Software is not just a single tool but a suite of software, each piece catering to different Selenium QA testing needs of an organization. Here is the list of tools

  • Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
  • Selenium Remote Control (RC)
  • WebDriver
  • Selenium Grid

Selenium IDE :
If we want to create quick bug reproduction scripts, create scripts to aid in automation-aided exploratory testing, then we need to use Selenium IDE, a Chrome and Firefox add-on that will do simple record-and-playback of interactions with the browser.

Selenium WebDriver :
If we want to create robust, browser-based regression automation suites and tests, scale and distribute scripts across many environments, then we need to use Selenium WebDriver, a collection of language specific bindings to drive a browser the way it is meant to be driven.

Selenium Grid :
If we want to scale by distributing and running tests on several machines and manage multiple environments from a central point, making it easy to run the tests against a vast combination of browsers/OS, then we need to use Selenium Grid.

Advantages of Selenium

  • Open Source/ No Licensing costs
  • Language-Independent
  • Third-party Integrations
  • Parallel Testing
  • Cross Browser and Platform Independent
  • Community Support

Disadvantages of Selenium

  • High Initial Cost
  • Not an All-in-One solution requires 3rd party tool bindings
  • The difficulty of managing Local Test Infrastructure
  • Slow Test Development due to the script-based Approach
  • Eventually becomes a parallel development solution
  • Inability to integrate Continuous Testing/In-sprint Automation