Technological developments need testing, before going to production. Otherwise, they could have errors, reprocesses, bad user experience, waste of time and investment.

When talking about certification, different types of tests are covered as functional and non-functional. Among the functional ones are the most important: The manuals that are complemented with the automated ones, both have the objective of testing the different scenarios that an end user might have, and thus, to locate the errors or vulnerabilities that a system has in its life of developing.

The manuals are executed by people and the automated ones, by ‘robots’, configured and developed, in such a way that they locate by themselves the great majority of functionality errors. In addition, they find flaws that experts overlook and shorten up to 70 percent of the execution time compared to manual tests.

The tests are usually done on websites, App, desktop software, video games, among other developments that many people use. Before one of these products goes into production, it must meet all the expectations the customer expects and the quality standards required by the standards.

If a tool does not have tests, before going out to production, it can have many errors, reprocesses, bad user experience, loss of time and investment, both by the client and by the developers.

What is Software Quality?

Software quality is a necessary complement in the development life of a system because it guarantees that the final product has value and meets the expectations expected by the end user.

The quality of the software is synonymous with efficiency, therefore, companies dedicated to technology development must have experts known as QA or Test analysts, who make up the Certification teams to analyze platforms before they go out to production or are updated.

You want to know more about QA or test analysts, read Learn about the important work of web development testers.

The quality of the software is the “degree with which a system, component or process meets the specified requirements and the needs or expectations of the customer or end user” (IEEE 6.10-1990).

It is also the “effective software process that is applied in a way that creates a useful product that provides measurable value to those who produce and use it.

What are Software Tests?

Software testing addresses the application of appropriate techniques and tools within a development process that determines the quality of the software. In this way, it ensures that the correct system is built and in the proper way.

The faster you apply the testing mechanisms in a development process, you prevent the project from getting out of time and the planned budget, since errors are detected in the early stages of the process.

Why do software tests? The tests are the ‘quality filter’ of a technological development, before making a version deployment or going to production, that is, when it is ready to be tested by users.

According to the need of the product, the QA or analysts perform different types of tests, but before starting them, they define a strategy to evaluate how many people are needed to play the role of QA in the project; how the information of the tests will be handled and how will be the process to execute them.

The tests are key to know the level of quality of the products, act on time, minimize risks and costs in the processes, decrease unsatisfied users by a system delivered incorrectly. They improve the image and credibility of the company that develops the technology.

To learn more about the importance of testing, read Keys to consider before performing a performance test.

What are Automated Tests?

A method of executing the same functional tests without human intervention. When making an automated test, keep in mind that it can be similar to a functional test, with the difference that when you run it, it does not require people, you can use it for finding errors that go unnoticed by the eye’s humans.

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Why Perform Automated Tests?

The main reason is time. It can be reduced by up to 70 percent in execution compared to manuals. In addition, by automating common activities that do not require human intelligence, analysts can devote more time to more critical tests and more elaborate paths, leaving the basics to automated tests.

The Benefits of Automated Testing are:

  • Speed
  • Reliability
  • Repetition
  • Programmable
  • Reusability

When to do Automated Tests?

  • In cases of tests that must be run in each new version of the application (Sanity Testing).
  • In cases of tests that use different data for the same actions.
  • When there are critical functionalities of the application (Smoke Testing).
  • Likewise, when there are functionalities that will not change in a relatively short period of time.

When do not?

In case the system is made only of content and has no critical functionality. Also, when the flows to be automated do not require much time in the execution of manual tests. And if those modules to automate are not yet graphically stable.

What tools are used to Automate Tests?

  • Selenium
  • Cucumber
  • Watir
  • Visual Studio Test Proffessional
  • JsTestDriver

What Technical Knowledge do you Need to Automate?

The main thing is to know some programming language with which you feel more comfortable for development such as Java, Phyton, C #, among others.

In addition, you have to identify the element you want to capture when automating, either by the CSS selectors with which we style a website or the XPath selector, which are the coordinates of the position of the element. There are also other ways to capture when automating, through attributes such as your ID, name or your style class.

What kind of applications can you automate? In the systems environment there is a wide variety of web-oriented, mobile and service oriented applications, since they are highly developed and must have greater control in the tests to deliver stable and quality products.

How much should you automate? Only what is necessary, you cannot automate flows that have nothing to do with the process, you should not complicate yourself with alternative and unnecessary flows. Keep in mind what you have to automate so you don’t need to do scripts.

What happens if you do it? What are the consequences? In case you want to do it, keep in mind that this takes a development time, which goes against the goal of saving time when you want to certify a system. In addition, there are systems that we cannot automate, so there is software for everything.

A clear example of this is a content system, automating it would be completely unnecessary because it does not have critical flows that are repetitive, since it is constantly changing its elements.

Meet the Tools of Selenium

Most Selenium QA engineers focus on one or two tools that best meet the needs of your project, however, learning all the tools will provide different options to address different test automation problems. Here we explain the most used tools of Selenium:

To learn more about software automation, read four Selenium tools to create your automated tests.

1. Selenium IDE

This tool allows you to record, edit and debug all browser events. With this information, people can reproduce tests easily and quickly in the real environment in which they will run.

2. Selenium Core

It is another tool provided by Selenium. A clear disadvantage that identifies it is that you cannot write or edit scripts as Selenium IDE does.

If we want to use Selenium Core, we must have access to the writing of the website because in order to capture the elements, we have to have an identifier that will facilitate this. In addition, there are browsers that allow us to search for the identifiers we need.

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An advantage of this tool to automate tests is that it has an easy integration with Selenium Remote Control. This means that when we capture an element, we can ask for an action that a common user would do and thus visualize it in a certain time. With this we can integrate functional tests on web applications. Automated testing would save us a great deal of time and make the execution of functional tests much simpler.

3. Selenium Remote Control (RC)

It is a test tool that allows you to write UI tests of automated web applications in programming languages: Java, C #, Ruby, Pytho, Javascript (Node)

This tool can be used against any HTTP website using a browser compatible with JavaScript.

4. Selenium WebDriver

The biggest change Selenium has had recently has been the inclusion of the WebDriver API. Driving a browser natively as a user, either locally or on a remote machine that uses the Selenium Server, is an advance in terms of browser automation.

Selenium WebDriver fits the same function as RC. It refers to both the language links and the implementations of the individual browser control code, this is commonly known as “WebDriver” or, sometimes, as Selenium 2.

With these tools of Selenium, we can reduce the time in the creation of the automated tests considerably, and these same tests can be executed as a complement in the execution of a functional test. Thus, we can choose the alternative that suits us. All we have left is to use them, get to know them and become familiar with them.

More about Selenium WebDriver

This tool allows the user to reproduce the real environment of the application. To which is added, that through an extension you can create the test scripts in a simple way.

To learn more about Selenium lee, Discover the features of Selenium WebDriver

The advantages of Selenium WebDriver are:

  • WebDriver is designed in a simpler and more concise programming interface along with some limitations in the Selenium-RC API.
  • Compared to Selenium 1.0, WebDriver is a compact object-oriented API.
  • WebDriver overcomes the limitation of the Selenium RC single host source policy.

And How does it work in Mobile Applications?

Using Selenium WebDriver mobile does not make much difference than doing it with the Selenium WebDriver for browsers. The only thing that changes is the drivers and the interface, which simulates an Android. Although there are very few stable tools that we can take advantage of, it is still possible to make them.

What can we automate with Selenium WebDriver? As Selenium WebDriver is useful for both browsers and mobile phones, we can capture anything an end user can do on any device.

With Selenium WebDriver we can automate those critical processes that would take us a long time to execute manually. For example, a form with more than four steps and a long process that is constantly being reviewed.

What are non-Functional Tests?

They are those that are made from a totally different perspective to automated testing. These types of tests are a means of quality control, which is performed in software applications to ensure that everything works well and to know in what circumstances they might fail.

Non-functional software tests allow us to know what risks the product is running and tell us if it has poor performance or poor performance in production environments.

In that sense, non-functional software tests are done in order to obtain information. They allow to explain what the product supports and if it meets the expectations of the customers.

In short, the main objective of this type of tests is to examine the speed of the server or the system to determine if it responds immediately, or not. They also help us establish how much load the server or system can handle and thus be able to know if it remains stable with different types of loads.

Benefits

  • Improves user experience.
  • Increase income online.
  • Use important metrics to tune your system.
  • Determine the bottlenecks as the database configuration.
  • It helps to establish if a new version is ready for production or not.
  • It allows interested parties to know the actual performance compared to their expectations.

The main objective of this type of tests is to examine the speed of the server and the system to determine whether they respond immediately or not. You also have to verify how much load the server and the system can handle. Also, check is stable or have different types of loads.