The development process of a web application plays a vital role in determining its success and future. It also helps to ensure that the web application provides a quality end-user experience to the customers. However, various problems can arise during the development process that can negatively affect the performance of the web application. For instance, a simple miscommunication between different teams of a developing company can cause grave results. So, the company must try to maintain a synchronized effort between the web developing projects. For instance, a developer might start developing a feature that he does not understand completely. He might also be dealing with a web application that is based on a programming language completely unknown to him. The negative outcomes will include a delay in the delivery process, complete rework or even failure of the entire development project.
There are various ways that a developer can use to overcome the challenges during the application development life cycle. This article will focus on two of the most important ways to improve the efficiency of the development process. We will also try to find the best possible way to integrate both of these techniques simultaneously.
The Basics of Test Automation
It is simple to understand the basic concept of Automation Testing by just understanding its name. It is a process in which developers perform test cases automatically based on certain predefined factors. All these factors are mentioned in a list of automation test scripts that the developer has to create before initiating the test cases. One of the major benefits of test automation is that it allows the developing companies to easily maintain and reuse a massive portion of the test scripts. The developers also have the liberty to customize the factors depending on the type of the application and target audience. Automation Testing primarily aims to solve the massive disadvantages of complete manual testing. Manual testing takes almost 5 days to complete all the test scenarios. On the other hand, automation testing can solve all these cases within 2 days.
Currently, Automation Testing has dominated more than 80% of the web developing industry. This domination will continue to increase in the coming years. The only consideration about test automation is its initial investment charges. Many developers believe that the charges of the investment are quite high for test automation, especially for individual creators and small companies. However, they also believe that Automation Testing pays off 10 times the investment charges in the long run.
Benefits of Implementing Test Automation
It is impossible to justify the importance of Automation Testing without analyzing its benefits. While discussing automation testing, we cannot ignore certain test cases. This is because these test cases massively benefit from this advanced technology. Let us analyze them in detail:
- Unit Testing: The main factor that decides profit for a web development company is the return on investment. This means the higher the return on investment, the higher profit a company is likely to earn. Many experts believe that unit testing provides the highest return on investment due to the unique feature. In this form of testing the developer divides all the components of a web application into several tiny fragments. These fragments are commonly referred to as units in the industry.
- Regression Testing: Regression consists of all the repetitive elements that are present on a web application. The total amount of regression on a web application increases with every consecutive update that is released by the company. It is very exhausting to perform regression testing by manual test cases. So, the developers can easily benefit from automating these test scenarios.
- Data-Based Testing: Various web applications react according to the data that is entered by the user. The most common example of these types of websites is E-Commerce and health. In data-driven testing the developer analyses how a web application reacts according to various sets of data. The developing company can also automate this test case with the help of predefined conditions.
With the help of Automation Testing, developers can save a lot of time that they were wasting behind repetitive test cases. So, they have the opportunity to invest this time behind various interactive areas of the web development project. For instance, they can create new and attractive features to add in the future updates of the web application.
Role of Tools in Test Automation
There are various factors the developer must consider while performing automation testing. All these considerations may be quite complex for the developers who are new to the test automation industry. Developers can take the help of various automation tools and frameworks to simplify this process. However, the process of tool selection is easier said than done. This is because thousands of tools are available in the current developing markets. Web developers must consider various factors to choose the perfect tool according to their requirements. This consideration must include the developing budget, project requirements and the preferences of the developer himself. The web-developing companies should also consider the trustworthiness of the third-party application before integrating it in their development environment.
The best way to verify the loyalty of a tool is to check for multiple reviews that are available on different online forums. These forums consist of the daily life experiences of multiple web developers who are currently engaged with this tool. We can consider the example of LambdaTest to understand the benefits of a test automation framework:
LambdaTest is a cloud-based testing platform that allows web developers to perform live and automated UI testing of websites and web apps across 3000+ real browsers, devices, and operating systems. Developers can use this platform to integrate DevOps and Agile methodologies in the test environment. LambdaTest uses a secure Selenium grid to conduct all the test cases. It also maintains a complete record of all the final test results.
Using LambdaTest, the developers can also ensure the smooth and stable functioning of all local web applications. It also helps companies to initiate parallel test cases on the web application. Using this process, the developers can conduct multiple test cases simultaneously.
LambdaTest increases the accuracy of test results with real device testing and multiple device support. Currently it supports over 3000 different device and browser combinations.
Understanding BDD Testing
The abbreviation BDD stands for behaviour driven development. The primary goal of this testing method is to reduce the gap between the technical and business teams of a company. It increases the collaboration between different teams so that they can have their opinion while solving a problem. BDD Testing achieves this goal by allowing the company to work in small iterations for reducing the feedback loop. It also allows the companies to produce documentation that is business-friendly and can be automatically verified against the behaviour of the system. Now, let us analyze all the core steps involved in behaviour driven development:
- The initial step is to consider a small upcoming change like the user story. Then, all the different teams of the developing company must work in collaboration to create new functionality for discovering the scope of the problem. With this process, all the teams will have a clear idea about the problem and its possible solution.
- The next step is to formulate all the concrete examples. The developers must create this process in such a way that is easy to automate. It will help them to ensure the proper existence of the functionality. The developers should also feature these examples in certain files that are easy to understand. This process will help anyone to understand all the scenarios even if they do not have a technical background.
- The final process is to write specific codes for automating the behaviour described in every scenario. The company can use the resulting automation test to guide the complete development process.
The developing companies must remember that Discovery is one of the most important steps of BDD testing. To achieve this goal the company must hold regular workshops where they must represent a minimum of three different perspectives. For instance, they can include the developer, test manager and stakeholders of the company. The common meeting format is also popularly known as Example Mapping. This process helps the company to solve various critical issues by considering multiple examples.
Integration of Automation Testing and BDD Testing
The concept of Behaviour driven development is great on its own. However, the developing companies can take it a step forward by integrating it with automation testing. The process of integration is quite Complex for the newcomers. The common practice in the web development industry is to conduct Automation Testing with the help of test-driven development. The major difference in BDD driven Automation Testing is the formulation process. In this process, the developers have to analyze the business perspective of the web application before actually forwarding it to the production phase. This process helps web developing companies to create living examples of their idea. It also helps the companies to reduce the chances of failure both in terms of Business and functionality. Let us understand the primary development process for BDD driven automation testing:
- Initially, the developers have to create the user story for the web application. After this process, different teams of the company will create examples to understand the behaviour of the system.
- The delivery team will understand the user story and create different test cases for performing unit testing and feature testing.
- After creating the user story, CI teams will ensure that all the features and integrations of the web application pass the test cases.
- The final step is to ensure the proper execution of the business perspective involved with the web application
With this article, we tried to focus on the integration between test automation and BDD testing. We also analyzed how this integration can help elevate the quality of the development projects. The developing companies must remember that the only way to expand the customer base is to quickly deliver high-quality applications. This is because in this modern competitive industry no customer will stick to a company just because of brand loyalty.
The developers should also consider this integration as an excellent way to improve their portfolio. This means that a proper understanding of all these techniques will help them improve their career as automation testers. Currently, other advanced technologies are being integrated into test automation. These integrations also include the use of cloud-based services and Augmented reality. With these factors, we can justify how test automation will continue to dominate the industry in the future.