Introduction

Automation has become an integral part of any software development process. It has contributed to the digital transformation of many organizations worldwide. In this era where agile development is adopted widely to stay ahead in the competition, the demand for automation has become inevitable. Organizations are relying on their fast and sleek websites and mobile apps as their primary source of revenue generation, customer interaction, transaction processing, feedback, etc. Keeping the website usability and mobile apps at the focus, it becomes absolutely necessary to automate the testing process to provide a better user experience through a stable and friendly UI, and web test automation can make this possible.

Web automation testing is transforming the whole software industry. It has made the testing process so easy for testers that it has enabled them to catch and resolve issues in the development process rapidly and effortlessly. Adopting Agile development is a costly affair and demands quick delivery in a limited timeframe. The responsibility to identify issues in a timely manner and ensure a quality software release at the same time demands more from the testing teams. Web test automation eases this pressure to perform by providing high test coverage, easy identification of prevailing issues, and enabling faster test execution.

What is Web Automation Testing and why is it important?


Before moving ahead, let’s briefly understand web automation testing life cycle. Web Automation testing is performed to check the efficiency of the website user interface (Web UI) using a suitable automation testing tool. It is done using customizable and reusable test cases. Web test automation ensures that the changes to the product are pushed consistently so that the updated product is delivered to the customer with the help of a well-organized workflow. Using tools has its importance in performing automated web testing. Tools help in easing the overall process of automation testing. They easily integrate with the bug-tracking system, generate reports with detailed logs, and much more.

Why should we perform web automation testing?

  • We all know that it is the time of agile software development and performing web automation testing helps your organization to stay aligned with the promptness of agile methodology in software development. 
  • Many organizations depend on cloud computing, and cloud computing depends on automated testing tools. Testing if your software is working as expected and is accessible anytime, anywhere could be a daunting task to check manually. Hence the need for web automation testing comes in place. Using the right Cloud testing platform to automate your web app testing is essential.
  • Automated test scripts ease the process of regression testing.
  • Automation testing tools provide a broad code coverage which consequently keeps the website functionalities fit and working.

Although everyone wants to perform web testing automation considering its benefits; implementing it is not as easy as it may sound. Testers face many challenges that need to be tackled before they can enjoy the benefits of automation. Let’s discuss them in detail.

What are the different Web test Automation Challenges?

Websites and mobile applications are the mediums through which businesses interact with their consumers and vice versa. Web automation testing helps with enhancing the user interaction flawlessly and uses it to test the functionality of the web applications. Here are a few challenges that the testers face while performing web test automation:

1. Frequent UI Changes in the web application

To meet the changing demands of the customers and to stay congruent with the constant technological improvements, businesses keep adding new features, integrating new functionalities or third-party tools and also add new logic to the code resulting in continuous evolution of the web application. It becomes challenging for the testers to handle these frequent UI changes in the web application. As a result, the testers struggle to maintain the UI test scripts. Frequent changes cause scripts to even fail at times and leave the tester to start afresh again.

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2. Effective Handling Large amounts of data

Multiple error handling has never been easy with UI test automation. When the testers in an organization handle large-scale projects involving intricate scenarios and massive data volumes, it becomes difficult to resolve errors with web test automation. Testers spend most of their time creating UI Test scripts to accomplish such complex tasks within constricted timelines. So, they try to switch to manual testing from automation testing, making the error handling cumbersome when testers manually countermand error messages and automate them.

3. Longer script execution time

Everyone wants to automate their tests faster but should note that it takes enormous amounts of time to execute a Web test automation script depending upon the number of test cases you are dealing with. Hence, web test automation is a time-bound approach to automation testing. Testers are working hard to analyze the quality of releases in a limited time frame under a fast-paced agile development environment. Not all the automation tools support the record and playback of UI automation tests. This makes it difficult for the testers to create and maintain effective automated UI test scripts. 

4. Handling Image Comparisons

One of the most important aspects of Web test automation is handling image comparisons. During user interface testing of a website, ensure that you detect and handle different pixel variations (like shape, size, color, etc.) effectively to make the image comparisons worthwhile.

5. Testing UI elements is Complex

Technology is ever-evolving and with this progress, the organizations also add new features and functionalities in their web application. These enhancements add more complex web UI elements like embedded frames, flowcharts, diagrams, infographics, maps, etc. These elements make web automation testing extremely hard and challenging.

6. Difficult to calculate ROI for UI automation

We know that a web application undergoes continuous evolution, which is why its UI also keeps changing. The website UI has to be adjusted according to those changes, consequently changing the test scripts. This also signifies that the time spent on Web UI automation testing will also increase, resulting in delayed delivery. It is tough to calculate the ROI for web automation testing while the testers consistently perform the UI testing.

 7. Review Code Standards 

We have learned that creating Web automation tests is a time-consuming process. Without meeting the coding standards, it will become extremely tough for coders/testers to modify or review them in the future. Since every developer who builds the application has a different coding and commenting style, they must follow the coding standards to avoid any complexity while reviewing and maintaining the code afterward.

8. Which web automation testing tool to go with?

One of the biggest challenges that organizations face today is choosing the right automation tool. Web test automation highly depends on the tools you choose and adopt. There are many web automation tools in the market today. Some tools even specialize in UI automation testing. Choosing the right web automation tool depends on your budget, and the requirements of the projects, etc. It is suggested that you first evaluate your business requirements and the tool before finalizing it so that you don’t end up with an irrelevant application.

How to Overcome the Web Test Automation challenges with ease?

1. Using Codeless web automation testing tools

One of the ways that testers can overcome the web test automation challenges is by preferring codeless Web automation tools. Codeless tools make the process of maintaining the scripts easy. It relieves testers from the burden of making frequent changes to the code. This process can save the tester’s time and costs-involved by enabling them to create reusable scripts.

2. Choose the appropriate framework for UI web automation

Selecting a relevant Web automation tool is a crucial decision to make. The automation testing tool that you choose should be compatible with your workflow and should be:

– equipped with record and playback features

– able to generate screenshots to identify the cause and sequence of the errors

– able to perform error tracking

– integrate well with test management tools

3. Choosing Common UI elements

A business should always try to uncomplicate web automation testing. The developers can choose common UI elements that testers can effortlessly identify and understand. In this way, it becomes easy for the testers to strategize and test efficiently.

4. Adopt best practices for web automation testing

Adopting best test automation practices is a fundamental step towards achieving successful web automation. It is necessary to maintain the best code review and other organizational governance mechanisms to deliver sustainable outcomes.

5. Leverage an object repository 

Leveraging a shared repository always helps organizations reduce test maintenance costs and efforts. If you create a low number of UI test cases in the initial stages then gradually increase the number as the testing progresses, you will be able to effectively perform Web automation testing and ensure a high rate of successful test cases. This will also improve the overall test coverage.

Conclusion

Indeed, automation can transform the business and organizations implement the right strategies and tools. But, you should know that automation is not the only option to improve business efficiency. It is instead one of the tools to bring effectiveness. Before deciding whether or not to implement Web test automation, one should always keep in mind the challenges that you might have to mitigate to perform web automation testing. Once you are equipped enough to overcome the challenges, it becomes easy to deliver a robust web application and seamless user experience. So, to truly benefit from web test automation, the QA team should first focus on resolving its challenges.

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