Best Practices For Designing Automation Test Cases

Are you looking for the most effective ways to design compelling automation test cases? Look no further! This blog post will discuss the top practices for developing successful automation test cases. We'll go over things like choosing the appropriate tools and techniques, creating clear and concise test scenarios, and managing your tests efficiently. Follow these steps to help ensure that your Automation Testing is up-to-date, robust, and reliable.

What is Automation Testing?

Automation Testing is the process of automating manual testing to ensure that a system performs as intended. Automation testing eliminates the need for manual intervention and can execute a large number of tests in a short amount of time. This enables developers to detect and address any issues within the codebase quickly.

Examples include:

  • Running regression tests on web applications.
  • Validating inputs against expected outputs.
  • Verifying data integrity between databases and services. 

Automation Testing is usually done with test scripts written in a scripting language or with a record-and-playback tool. Automation test scripts are written in programming languages such as Java and Python; these scripts can be reused or modified for other applications.

Automation Testing can save time by allowing tests to be quickly repeated and help maximize accuracy by automating steps that would otherwise be performed manually. Additionally, it ensures consistency in the results obtained from each test cycle.

Advantages of Automation Testing

  • Automation testing can be an invaluable asset to companies as it helps improve the speed and accuracy of the software development process. 
  • Automation testing is advantageous because it can swiftly and efficiently identify defects in software at all stages of the software development process. 
  • Automation testing saves time and money by executing tests quickly, minimizes human errors, and provides valuable information that would otherwise be difficult to obtain through manual processes. 

Examples of automation tools include automated GUI testing tools such as Selenium or Appium, API test automation tools such as Postman or SoapUI, and test data management solutions like TestimIO. These tools save time and provide more robust and extensive tests that could uncover bugs earlier in the development cycle before they become costlier problems down the road.

  • Automation testing also allows teams to run tests faster and more frequently, leading to better product quality. 
  • Automated tests reduce the manual effort needed to test and allow better use of resources by enabling automation engineers to focus on more critical tests. 
  • Additionally, automated tests can be run multiple times with different data sets and inputs, which allows for thorough exploratory testing. Examples include GUI automation testing tools such as Eggplant, functionality-based UI regression testing with Selenium WebDriver, API testing using RestAssured, unit testing with JUnit or Espresso; integration test automation using Cucumber; mobile application testing using Appium, performance /load/stress/ scaling tests using JMeter and Locust.

Best Practices for Designing Automation Test Cases

1. Understand the software's functionality and its underlying architecture

Understanding the software's functionality and underlying architecture is essential to design automation test cases effectively. This will help you identify any potential areas of complexity.

For example, knowing what elements are available on the user interface, how they are connected to back-end systems, and how the automation framework should be set up will help ensure your test cases are successful. 

Furthermore, having a good knowledge of the system's behavior throughout its lifecycle will allow for more targeted tests, which can uncover potential issues before they cause problems with deployment. 

To ensure the design of automation test cases is done correctly, it's also essential to have a clear understanding of input parameters and expected outputs so that all scenarios can be tested adequately.

2. Identify critical use cases

Before designing automation test cases, you should identify the critical use cases that need to be tested. This will help you focus on developing the test cases with maximum coverage.

For example, if the software has an e-commerce platform, focus on cart and checkout processes; if it is a chatbot, assess its conversation accuracy; if it is an app testing, then make sure the user interface works appropriately on. This will help prioritize which features should be tested first while keeping in mind that they have high relevance to the business objectives. 

Doing this also allows developers to understand better what needs to be tested and implemented before attempting to write automated tests for each feature.

3. Define clear goals for your test case

It would be best if you defined clear goals for each test case so that it is easy to measure their success or failure criteria after execution. This will also ensure that all scenarios are covered appropriately in the tests.

For instance, if a web application needs to be tested, an example goal could be to check if users can successfully log in and out. This ensures that the basic functionalities of the application are working as expected. 

Furthermore, other goals include determining whether images, forms, and links on the page are functioning correctly and ensuring that no error messages are displayed while navigating through the website. Setting achievable goals for every test case will help guarantee proper testing coverage and measurable results.

4. Choose an appropriate automation tool

Choosing the right automation tool is essential for designing compelling automation test cases, as they all have different capabilities and features that can prove helpful. For example, if the goal is to perform automated GUI testing, a tool like Ranorex or Selenium would be suitable due to its ability to interact with application interfaces. 

If there is a need for feature-rich reporting and visualizations, a tool like TestComplete might be more appropriate. Some tools, like HP UFT, offer a wide selection of data-driven testing features, which are less available in other automation tools. Ultimately, whichever tool is chosen will depend on the project's scale and specific requirements.

5. Identify the scope of the tests

The scope of testing is a crucial step in ensuring the successful completion of an application. To design efficient test cases, one needs to identify the necessary components, the type of tests, and which ones should be automated. 

For example: if creating a web application or website, the scope could include front-end components such as form validation rules, database connectivity (including queries), session management, and the back-end processing of data. 

The types of tests used can vary widely depending on the project requirements; there may be unit tests for individual functions, integration tests for combining multiple components, functional tests checking user interactions with endpoints, performance/load testing, and system-level stress tests - each has its own set of test case specifications. 

Automation is also an important consideration; it is generally not feasible to manually repeat certain test cases (e.g., those requiring large data sets), so it makes sense to automate them instead. 

Ultimately, knowing your scope helps you decide which test cases make sense to create and how much time needs to be allocated to develop and maintain automated scripts.

6. Design a modular framework

Designing automated test cases should include building a modular framework that can easily modify the test cases without having to start from scratch. This framework helps monitor each test case's progress separately to ensure quality assurance through tracking. 

For example, if the code for a particular feature changes, only the affected module needs to be modified instead of rewriting the entire script. Additionally, this design makes new additions more accessible as further modules can be added and integrated into existing programs. 

Such a design also allows for sections of tests to be reused across various scenarios and environments. All this makes it simpler for testers to modify or extend their tests as per changing requirements with minimal effort.

7. Utilize reusability

Reusability is essential when designing automation test cases, as this helps in reducing redundant code and execution time for each test case. Instead, reusable and modular functions should be created which are specific to their purpose and can be used in different contexts or tests. 

For example, a test case that verifies a login functionality should not reinvent the wheel but use generic functions such as 'enter username' and 'enter the password' and then confirm a successful login using these functions rather than writing all the code from scratch. 

Additionally, it is essential to ensure that all error conditions are designed with appropriate input data to catch any potential errors early in the development cycle.

8. Consider non-functional requirements

When designing automation test cases, it is essential to consider non-functional requirements such as security, performance, usability, and scalability. For example, tests should be written to ensure that data is kept secure within the application and verify any encryption mechanisms when testing the system's security. 

Performance test cases should focus on ensuring that an application can run efficiently under various load scenarios. Usability tests should validate how user-friendly an application is for end users and whether it meets their expectations. 

Finally, scalability test cases must ensure that an application can handle large amounts of data or many users without compromising performance or availability. 

By considering all these non-functional requirements, automation test cases can provide comprehensive coverage across all areas – making them more robust and better able to identify potential issues early on in a development cycle.

9. Identify repetitive tasks and processes to maximize the efficiency of automated tests

Examples of such tasks that can be automated include

  • Custom publishing processes.
  • Performance testing with multiple load levels.
  • Validating reports generated by a system under test.
  • Running regression tests on workflows. 

Automated process tests are also helpful for daily maintenance tasks such as verifying database backups or checking system availability. It is essential to take time to review existing manual processes and identify areas where improvements through automation can be applied, which could reduce manual efforts and improve accuracy.

10. Predict the anticipated outcomes

Designing automation test cases involves predicting the anticipated outcomes and using best practices to ensure that the scripts being written adequately meet those expectations. 

For example, when creating a test case to validate the functionality of an online web form, it would be essential to consider where errors might arise and create scripts based on expected outcomes in each scenario. This could include validating that all required fields are completed, testing for random characters or maximum lengths in text boxes, confirming that the proper response is sent after a submit button is clicked, and ensuring that any pop-ups or alerts appear correctly as expected. Writing automated tests with these outcomes in mind will help ensure that the application is thoroughly tested and functioning as expected.

11. Embed test data into the code

This helps keep the tests more reliable and maintainable. For instance, rather than hard-coding a specific value into an assertion, you can use parameterized test data that is read from a config file or stored in an external source. 

An example might be writing a test to verify that when a button is clicked, it leads to the correct page being displayed; by parameterizing the URL for that page and storing it externally, any changes needed to update the URL will only need to be updated in one place. In addition, this allows for different sets of data points to be used depending on various scenarios and environments (such as staging versus production).

12. Maintain standard coding conventions

This means that it is essential to develop a set of uniform rules or standards to ensure consistent and reliable code in automated tests. For example, this could include providing all code is adequately commented on (including details of why a particular step should be taken) and that naming conventions are used consistently throughout the project. 

Additionally, it is important to use meaningful variable names and indents, which help increase the code's readability and help ensure that all development team members can quickly identify any coding mistakes. All of these steps help reduce the chances of errors occurring during the automation process and allow for efficient troubleshooting if issues do occur.

13. Avoid Manual Processes

Best practices for designing automation test cases involve avoiding manual processes, as manual processes are often time-consuming and error-prone and can increase the cost of test development. 

Examples include writing code for data population instead of manually entering data into the application, using iterative loops or functions to run repetitive tests rather than running each one individually, and taking advantage of automated builds and deployments instead of deploying applications manually. 

Automation allows you to cover more in less time and helps improve the quality of tests by reducing the possibility of human error.

Automation Testing can be done on various platforms available in the market, and one such hot tool is LambdaTest. It is a cloud-based automation platform that helps us to perform automation testing of web and mobile apps across 3000+ browsers and real devices and OS combinations.

Getting Started with automation testing on the LambdaTest Platform

Are you tired of dealing with unreliable and slow on-premises server infrastructure for running Selenium, Cypress, Puppeteer, Playwright, and Appium automation tests? Do you need a reliable, secure, and scalable cloud-based infrastructure?

Suppose you need a reliable cloud-based infrastructure for running automation tests. You might also need help finding enough dedicated servers with the exact configuration you require. This can lead to limited scalability, which prevents scaling up or down quickly when needed.

Moreover, it is difficult to ensure data security as any system hosted on-premises can potentially be exposed to malicious threats.

LambdaTest provides instant access to more than 3000+ desktop and mobile environments for browser and app compatibility testing. The cloud-based infrastructure is reliable, secure, and highly scalable, so there's no need to worry about significant upfront investments in hardware or software setup costs. 

With LambdaTest, you can cut down test execution time significantly so you can move quickly through the development and delivery process. You never have to worry about slow testing speeds holding your team back again. Get unmatched test execution speeds with LambdaTest today!

Try LambdaTest's Test Analytics suite–which provides real-time visibility into your testing efforts so you can quickly spot any bottlenecks or high-impact issues–and figure out what needs to be fixed so developers can release better software and build brand confidence along the way.

Getting started with Automation Testing on the LambdaTest Platform is straightforward.

To get started, you need to sign up for a free account and configure an automation testing environment with Selenium WebDriver or js-WebDriver compatible language bindings such as Java, C#, Python, Node.js, etc. 

Once setup is complete, you can start executing automated cross-browser compatibility tests across multiple desktop & mobile browsers hosted over the cloud Selenium Grid of the LambdaTest platform. 

The real-time test results are recorded in the dashboard along with full-page screenshots after each step & detailed log reports, which make debugging easier in case of failure. You can also configure concurrent automated test runs for maximum throughput with support for integrations like Jenkins & TeamCity.

Conclusion

Designing compelling automation test cases is crucial to any successful software development cycle. By following the above-mentioned best practices, you can ensure that your automated tests provide the most value to your team and project. With thoughtful planning, you can create tests that have lasting power and help keep everyone on the right track when delivering quality software on time. 

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