Looking for quick automation solutions with minimal coding and faster time to market? Manual testers can also perform automation development with little coding knowledge. This article gives you a complete overview of codeless testing — from its evolution and tools to myths and approaches.
Evolution of Automation Testing
Initially, manual testing involved writing test cases and executing them. Then, to reduce effort and execute faster, automation testing was introduced where we used to record and playback tools or programming languages to develop the automated scripts. With the current trend in the DevOps process, project delivery needs to be faster than ever before. There is always a knowledge gap existing between the developers and testers. The customers’ expectations keep evolving in the age of Agile and CI/CD processes.
Evolution of Automation Testing
Codeless testing minimizes human intervention with code and allows non-coders to perform test automation with faster time to market. It provides record & playback, drag and drop interfaces, integration of ML, AL technologies, and modifying elements on the fly. Therefore, you can incorporate it in continuous testing, sanity, smoke, and regression testing.
Codeless testing can be applied to all models, including Waterfall, V-model, and Agile methodologies.
When Should You Adopt Codeless Testing?
Here are a few common use cases for codeless testing:
- Manual testers find it difficult to start coding, and it is always challenging to learn extensive skills for automation framework development.
- Automation testers also find it time-consuming to debug failed scripts.
- Developing automation scripts requires a proper framework and maintenance, which consumes huge amounts of time and effort.
- Coding knowledge is needed to review the test cases. Automated test cases need to be accessed/reviewed by non-technical stakeholders, business analysts, product owners, SMEs, and other non-coders to ensure the correctness of the test cases.
- Customers need to outsource the projects for automation development.
Differences between coded and codeless testing
4 Approaches to Codeless Testing
You can perform codeless testing with the following methods:
1. Record and Playback
When you manually execute the test case in the application, the tool captures the actions and creates the scripts. These scripts are stored and can be played later for test execution. Testim (a record and playback tool) and TestComplete are a few popular tools that use this approach.
A screenshot of TestComplete
2. Keyword Driven
In this approach, you can create the locators as objects and inputs; and then select the items to perform actions like click, enter text, hover, etc. You can create test cases by creating a sequence of actions, building the flow, and running the tests.
TestComplete is a popular tool that uses keyword-driven testing for codeless automation.
For example, consider a login functionality, we can create the flow using the following inbuilt keywords:
- Start Application -> to start the application
- Open Browser -> to launch the browser
- Set Text -> to enter the text in the text field
- Tap -> to perform click action
- Delay -> to wait for a specific time period
- Verify -> check the landing page
The commands may vary depending on the tool.
In this approach, test creation needs technical details of the application under test, test scenario logic, and the data used for testing. Models can span from business logic to user stories and can be created by BA, developers, or testers. Once the model is ready, you can generate the test cases using tools automatically. When you change the model, the test cases are updated accordingly. Thus, we can maintain traceability using this approach. TOSCA is a tool that uses this technique.
4. Natural Language Processing
Here complex test cases are written in simple language and automated using NLP technology. We can run the test cases on the cloud with preferred mobile devices and web browsers. All stakeholders, including manual testers, can participate in the test creation process, ensuring quality and test coverage. Test Sigma and Functionize are popular tools that use this approach.
How to Select the Right Codeless Testing Tool?
To choose the correct codeless testing tool, consider the following factors:
Locating elements is a challenging process as these elements change dynamically with the introduction of new features. When you rerun the tests, if the primary locator is not found, it should be able to identify the page with alternate locators. The object-based identification allows us to test across web, desktop, and mobile platforms.
This is an important technique when there is any change in the UI objects. An AI-based algorithm detects the change and automatically updates the scripts which do not fail during the execution.
Example Scenario: Login button moved on the screen.
Consider a login button is moved from left to top right corner and renamed as “Sign in” and recolored. Intelligent NLP technology knows that it is calling the login API and understands that “log in” and “sign in ” are the same. Now, it is able to recognize the button and automatically update the scripts. It also updates all other existing scripts that refer to the “log in” flow.
Perfecto and Katalon are some of the popular tools that provide this feature.
The script should wait for the elements before proceeding to the next step while certain logical conditions are met. This reduces the execution time instead of waiting for a specific longer time. Features should be available to handle the synchronization and timeout challenges.
The tool should provide the loops and conditional features that help avoid repeatability and reduce code lines.
Tools should support string functions, extracting the values from objects or files, connect to the database, and handle API requests.
Tools should enable adding the easy assertion steps and verify the object repositories for availability and visibility.
Repeatable common steps should be captured as separate methods and inserted in any flow. In addition, we should be able to insert any custom script into the flow that supports languages of test pyramid layers.
This is required to record the test from one browser and run the same one on other browsers or devices.
Reporting plays a major role as it provides a visual display of the execution status. The tool should generate live documentation containing the passed, failed, and ignored test case details with possible reasons and screenshots of failures.
Integration with Other Tools
Tests are integrated with BDD frameworks, project management, DevOps, test case management, CI/CD pipelines tools, and parallel execution should be automatically triggered.
Here are some of the popular tools that provide these features:
Codeless Testing Myths
Codeless testing offers the best solution to ease the effort of automation. However, there are some myths around them.
There is a misconception that codeless testing does not involve coding. Codeless testing automatically creates a layer of abstraction that translates the user behavior into code.
Testers do not need coding skills
Though codeless testing tools cover test scripting, a minimum amount of coding skills are needed to write the custom code for complex scenarios and test data management.
Codeless testing reduces the scope of automation testers
Codeless testing improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the test scripts creation and execution. It reduces manual effort and helps manual/automation testers to make automation easier with faster delivery.
Codeless testing enables a wider range of users to utilize test automation and is becoming a vital QA practice. We can start the automation as soon as UI development has been completed without spending time writing the complex scripts and frameworks. This saves a lot of time and gives good test coverage. It also gives better reusability with AL, NLP features and empowers Agile development. Choosing the tools with the key aspects of its features, functions, programming languages, and integration with other tools will speed up the testing cycle and give a good ROI. It also gives time for testers to perform exploratory testing, which ensures better quality. So let us start adopting these tools and enjoy the benefits of automation development.
This post was published under the Quality Assurance Community of Experts. Communities of Experts are specialized groups at Modus that consolidate knowledge, document standards, reduce delivery times for clients, and open up growth opportunities for team members. Learn more about the Modus Community of Experts program here.
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