What Role Do Integrations Play In A Test Automation Tool?
- July 21, 2020
- Hiba Sulaiman
When a firm implements test automation, it is crucial for a QA manager to ensure that the automated testing tools are flexible and support a wide range of applications. Organizations looking forward to optimizing their software development process can achieve a higher return on investment (ROI) by integrating test automation throughout the development process. Ever since automation has gained popularity in the software industry, most QA teams automate their tests. Yet they seem to forget how important it is to integrate their automated tests into the overall software testing process. This means automated testing should focus on improving software quality and manual testing should be implemented on key business areas that cannot be left for automation. However, it is crucial that reports should list own the overall status of both, manual and automated testing. When organizations implement a shift-left approach, automation testing plays a vital role in providing fast, accurate test coverage, application insights, and reports to help teams ensure faster software releases. An automation testing company comes up with automation testing solutions to meet business goals and achieve success in the market.
Currently, there is a wide variety of test automation solutions characterized by a number of open-source and commercial tools. These tools are designed and specialized for specific types of testing and focus on different technologies. There are different test tools for test case management, test execution, test management, etc. and they offer a little support for combining these tools to offer an integrated solution. This can become a challenge for QA teams to work on two or more tools at technical levels, rather than being able to integrate them to meet project requirements. Besides providing technical assistance between tools, testing activities need to be supported by automation, so that they can help in linking software development and project management processes. This is where the need for integrations increases due to different ways of representing test cases in combination with various requirements from test engineers, designers, and developers.
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is used to develop integration concepts between the existing functionality of different tools. There are different approaches used to integrate tools, categorized by the architectural level where the integration is developed. Let’s have a look at the various concepts of integration:
The Exchange of Data
Integration at the data level allows the exchange of data between heterogeneous apps. This can be implemented in different ways such as file exchange, by sharing a database or copying data from one database to another. If a data structure is not compatible, then testers may need to transform it. File data can be structured into XML data, which can be used for data exchange. Since it is easy to communicate at the data level, it has a low impact on the existing apps. However, the main drawback of this approach is that the app’s functionality is not integrated, and so it cannot be reused. As testers implement the same functionality repeatedly, it can result in an increased development and maintenance efforts, and also causes incompatibility between applications.
Application Programming Interface (API)
A good software design utilizes the reuse of existing data such as components of a shared library or plugins. Integration at API level can be implemented at different levels such as data access functionality. Since these are not already supported by default, it is important to integrate with the other application. But in case, an app provides an API, then integration at this level can be easily achieved.
Test Automation Tools in the Software Development Process
In the fast-growing and evolving technological era, it is the need of the hour to ensure faster software releases while focusing on quality assurance. To meet the high market demands and user expectations, it is crucial for development teams to shorten release cycles and meet customer expectations which are only possible with the help of automation. In an agile environment, automated testing is of utmost importance. So it becomes a major challenge for firms to discover how development teams can integrate automation in their testing efforts.
Deciding Which Tests to Automate
QA managers need to get automation right from the design stage.
- Although it is a manual process, yet functional testing can be automated to enhance overall testing quality.
- Test automation helps in cost reduction of production bugs.
- Testers can also automate unit tests at the early stages of the software development process.
- Regression testing – for each new feature is time-consuming. So by automating regression tests, testers can get faster feedback and resolve bugs earlier.
Although each QA manager may have a different opinion about what to automate and what not, reducing manual efforts will aid in speeding up the testing process.
Automation has almost caught up in all industries and test automation has greater benefits for software development businesses. Automation testing empowers development teams, as they need to spend less time on reworking code, allowing them to focus on high-quality apps. Common areas for automation are those where the need for manual intervention is minimal, volumes of data are low, etc. To steer in the right direction, it is crucial to get automation right from the beginning. But as discussed above, automation testing tools work best when they can be integrated with other tools to assist their software development and testing efforts. We know that all organizations thrive to make an impression in the market and attain a higher ROI. continuous testing is performed to ensure a faster delivery process while reducing the number of bugs. Sometimes, testers are of the view that they should perform manual tests for effective results, yet integrating automation in the continuous testing process can help in building more quality apps. Although a continuous testing approach caters to the need for reduced time to market, yet automation testing needs to integrate with other testing tools, to achieve maximum test coverage. It is important to adapt to the change in such a manner that all team members can be motivated towards achieving success.