Test Automation
November 29, 2023

Web Automation Testing - An Ultimate Guide

Enterprises want faster feature releases and keep adding new features to their product every week to delight their users. However, to accomplish these, you need a solid process that tests all accumulated product features within minutes. 

Clearly, manual testing will not suffice. Manual testing is time-consuming and results in burning out the employees. That’s exactly why you should shift your focus toward web automation testing. This is a detailed guide that covers various aspects of web automation testing, its advantages, best practices, common challenges, post-assessment, etc.

What is web automation testing? 

Web automation testing involves writing scripts or code that simulate user interactions with a web application. These scripts can be created using various programming languages, such as Java, Python, or JavaScript. 

To execute these scripts, a web automation testing framework is required. Some popular frameworks include Sahi Pro, Selenium, Puppeteer, and Cypress. These frameworks provide tools and APIs that enable testers to interact with web elements, perform actions, and verify expected outcomes.

Benefits of web automation testing

“Each time a new change is to be released to production, we want to make sure the new change does not break existing functionality. Executing regression tests manually is relatively expensive and slow which will delay the deployment velocity. Automated testing addresses this need to ensure both quality and speed.” - Jaime McMahon, CTO at ProServe IT

And we agree with him. In fact, web automation testing offers numerous other benefits: 

Execute tests faster

One of the primary benefits of web-automated testing is the ability to execute tests at a much faster pace. Automated tests can run continuously, in parallel, 24/7, without human intervention. This significantly reduces the overall testing time and allows for quicker feedback on the application's functionality.

Reduces the feedback loop and helps surface bugs early

Automated tests act as a safety net when making significant changes to the application. By running automated tests after every change, developers can quickly identify and fix any bugs or issues that arise. This reduces the feedback loop between testers and developers, ensuring that bugs are caught early in the development process.

Acts as a safety net and reduces the fear of fast delivery with major feature changes

When implementing significant feature changes or refactoring code, there is always a fear of introducing new bugs or breaking existing functionality. Automated tests help mitigate this fear by providing a safety net. Developers can run automated tests to ensure that all critical functionality is still working as expected after making significant changes.

Reduces drudgery

Manual testing can be monotonous and time-consuming, especially when dealing with repetitive test cases. Automated testing eliminates the need for testers to perform these repetitive tasks manually, freeing up their time to focus on more critical testing activities.

Reduces manual errors

Human testers are prone to errors, especially when performing repetitive tasks. Automated tests follow predefined steps, reducing the likelihood of human errors. This ensures that tests are executed consistently and accurately, yielding more reliable results.

Acts as a knowledge repository

Automated tests serve as a valuable knowledge repository for the application. They document expected behaviors, test scenarios, and test data, making it easier for new testers to onboard and understand the application's functionality. Additionally, these tests can serve as a reference point for future development and maintenance.

Understanding the different aspects of web automation testing

The automated testing of web applications can be applied to a variety of aspects. Taking a closer look at some of the different types of web automated testing :

Web application 

Web application testing involves testing the functionality, performance, and security of a web application. This includes verifying that web pages load correctly, forms submit data as expected, and user authentication and authorization work as intended.

API testing

API testing focuses on testing the functionality and performance of the application programming interfaces (APIs) that the web application relies on.

Regression testing

Regression testing involves retesting the functionalities of a web application to ensure that changes or bug fixes have not introduced new issues or broken existing functionality. By automating regression tests, testers can quickly verify that critical functionalities work as expected after each change.

Mobile application testing

With the increasing use of mobile devices, mobile application testing has become a critical aspect of web automated testing. Testers can use automation tools to simulate user interactions with mobile applications, ensuring they function correctly across different devices, operating systems, and screen sizes.

Learn more about 6 Best Mobile Testing Tools

Cloud testing

Cloud testing involves running automated tests on cloud-based environments, where testers can execute tests across various browsers, devices, and operating systems. Cloud testing offers scalability and flexibility, allowing testers to test their web applications in various real-world conditions.

Continuous testing

Web automated tests can be executed at different stages of the development process. They can be integrated into the development pipeline so that they are automatically run every time new changes are made to the software. This ensures continuous testing and helps catch bugs early in the development cycle.

Open-source testing

Open-source testing tools, such as Selenium, provide a cost-effective solution for web automated testing. These tools have a large community of contributors, providing continuous updates and support.

Best practices for web automation testing

To maximize the benefits of web automated testing, it's essential to follow some best practices. Here are a few essential practices to consider:

Leverage the BDTA framework 

The Business-Driven Test Automation (BDTA) framework was developed to address the most common struggles testers face in test automation. It aims to provide solutions to five key challenges:

  1. Simplifying the process of getting started with test automation, which often involves learning new skills and tools.
  2. Allowing testers who do not have coding knowledge to begin automating their tests.
  3. Ensuring test automation keeps pace with project progress and can be integrated into the sprint.
  4. Enabling collaboration between team members in creating test automation.
  5. Facilitating the integration of business insights into test scripts, even if the automation specialist may still need to understand the business domain fully.

The BDTA framework emphasizes the importance of incorporating business knowledge and insights into test automation, making it more meaningful and effective. By addressing these pain points, BDTA aims to make test automation more accessible, efficient, and aligned with the needs of the business and development teams.

Learn more about BDTA here

Choose a test automation approach that aligns with your testing goals and requirements. This could be a keyword-driven approach, behavior-driven development (BDD), or any other approach that suits your team's needs. A clear test automation approach helps you plan and execute tests more effectively.

Pick the appropriate web automation testing tool

Choosing the right web automation testing tool is crucial for the success of your testing efforts. Consider factors such as compatibility with your development environment, functionality, usability, scalability, integration capabilities, and reputation within the testing community.

Make your tests data-driven

Design your automated tests to be data-driven, meaning they can handle multiple test data sets. This allows for more extensive test coverage without creating separate tests for each data set. By separating test data from the test logic, you can easily modify and update test data without changing the underlying test script.

Document your findings for better debugging

Document your automated tests thoroughly, including test scenarios, expected outcomes, and any issues or bugs encountered during testing. This documentation is a valuable resource for debugging and troubleshooting issues in the future.

Conduct tests on real devices

To ensure the compatibility and responsiveness of your web application, it's essential to conduct tests on real devices. Emulators and simulators can provide a good starting point, but testing on real devices is crucial to identify any device-specific issues.

Pre-define collaboration approaches

Effective collaboration between testers, developers, and other stakeholders is crucial for successful web automated testing. Establish clear communication channels, define responsibilities, and encourage regular feedback and collaboration throughout the testing process.

Common challenges in web automation testing and how to overcome them

The global software testing market size was worth $40 billion in 2020 and is expected to increase by 7% in the coming years. However, there are some challenges that businesses need to address to boost this growth: 

1. Repeatability

Ensuring the repeatability of automated tests is essential for reliable results. Changes in the application or test environment can lead to test failures or false positives. 

To overcome this challenge, it's important to maintain a stable test environment, version control your test scripts, and regularly update your automated tests to reflect changes in the application.

2. Reusability

Creating reusable automated tests can save time and effort in the long run. However, designing and maintaining reusable tests can be challenging. 

You can solve this challenge by adopting a modular approach to test design, where standard functionalities and test scenarios are encapsulated into reusable modules. This allows for easier maintenance and updates as the application evolves.

3. Readability

Maintaining readable and maintainable test scripts is crucial for efficient testing. Complex and convoluted test scripts can be challenging to understand and maintain. 

To ensure readability, follow coding conventions, use meaningful variable and function names, and provide clear comments and documentation.

4. Technical capability of the tool

Different web automation testing tools have varying technical abilities. Some tools may not support certain functionalities or may have limitations in interacting with specific web elements. 

It's important to thoroughly evaluate the technical capabilities of your chosen tool and understand its limitations to avoid potential roadblocks during testing.

5. Reliable execution engine

The reliability of the execution engine is critical for accurate and consistent test results. Flaky tests can produce false positives or negatives, resulting in unreliable test outcomes. 

To ensure reliable execution, regularly monitor and troubleshoot any issues with your execution environment, including hardware, software, and network configurations.

6. Fast execution

The test execution speed is crucial, especially as the size of the test suite grows. Slow test execution can significantly impact the testing time and delay developer feedback. 

To improve execution speed, consider parallel test execution, optimizing test scripts for performance, and utilizing cloud-based testing environments.

7. Comprehensive reporting

Effective reporting is essential for tracking the progress and results of web automated testing. Comprehensive and well-structured reports provide valuable insights into the quality of the application and help identify areas for improvement. 

Invest in tools that offer robust reporting capabilities and ensure that test reports are easily accessible and understandable.

8. Cost-effective execution

Web automated testing can involve significant costs, including tool licensing, hardware requirements, and maintenance efforts. To ensure cost-effective execution, carefully evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of your testing efforts, optimize test suite maintenance, and explore open-source or cost-effective alternatives for testing tools.

9. Integration with CI/CD tools

Integrating automated web testing into your continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline is crucial for maintaining a streamlined and efficient development process. Ensure that your chosen testing tools can seamlessly integrate with your CI/CD tools, allowing for automated test execution and reporting as part of your development workflow.

10. Self-hosted/self-installed execution environment

Depending on your organization's requirements and security policies, you may need to set up a self-hosted or self-installed execution environment for web automated testing. This can complicate the testing process, requiring additional resources and expertise. Ensure you have the necessary infrastructure and support to maintain a self-hosted execution environment effectively.

Measuring the success of web automated testing

Measuring the success of automated web testing is crucial for evaluating its effectiveness and identifying areas for improvement. 

Here are some key metrics to consider:

1. Number of completed tests

The number of completed tests provides insight into the overall test coverage and the progress of your testing efforts. Tracking the number of tests executed over time can help identify testing bottlenecks and ensure that testing keeps up with development.

2. Time saved in testing

One of the primary benefits of web automated testing is the time saved compared to manual testing. Measuring the time saved in testing can help quantify the efficiency gains achieved through automation. This metric can be used to justify the investment in automation and to identify areas for further optimization.

3. Feedback loops

The number of feedback loops between testers and developers is a critical metric for evaluating the effectiveness of web automation testing. By reducing the number of feedback loops, automation enables faster bug identification and resolution, leading to improved collaboration and faster delivery of high-quality software.

4. Delivery speed

The speed of delivering new features and updates is a critical success metric for automated web testing. By catching bugs early and ensuring a high level of test coverage, automation enables faster delivery of software. Tracking the delivery speed can help identify areas for improvement in your development and testing processes.

Resources and courses for mastering web automation testing

Mastering web automation testing requires continuous learning and staying up to date with the latest tools and best practices. 

Here are some resources and courses that can help you enhance your skills in web automated testing:

  1. Sahi Pro Academy: Sahi Pro Academy offers comprehensive training programs and certifications in web automated testing. Their courses cover various aspects of automation testing, including scripting, test design, and advanced techniques.
  2. Online Tutorials and Blogs: Numerous online tutorials, blogs, and websites provide valuable insights and tutorials on automated web testing. Some popular resources include the official documentation and tutorials provided by web automation testing frameworks like Selenium, Puppeteer, and Cypress.
  3. Community Forums and Discussion Groups: Engaging with the testing community through forums and discussion groups can provide valuable insights and support. Platforms like Stack Overflow, Reddit, and LinkedIn groups dedicated to automation testing are great places to connect with experts and exchange knowledge.
  4. Online Learning Platforms: Platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide range of courses on web automation testing. These courses cover various aspects of automation testing, from beginner to advanced levels, and provide hands-on exercises and real-world examples.

Final thoughts

Web automation testing is a powerful technique that can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of software testing. By automating repetitive tasks, reducing manual errors, and providing faster feedback, web automated testing enables organizations to deliver high-quality software quickly and confidently.

Remember, web automation testing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It requires careful planning, continuous monitoring, and adaptation to the specific needs and requirements of your organization. 

If you are looking for a web automation testing tool, that is: 

  1. Compatible with all browsers 
  2. Works on all devices and operating systems 
  3. Offering built-in reporting and analytics 

You must explore Sahi Pro.

Request a demo Now!

Continue reading

A Usual Day at the Office

Tip of the Day 9