Last Updated on March 21, 2023 by Larious
Automation testing has become an integral part of software development as the world constantly evolves to digitise every process. Automation testing helps boost the speed, efficiency, and accuracy of software testing, resulting in better-quality software applications. However, maintaining automation test suites can be challenging, especially in large-scale projects.
As software changes, tests need to be updated accordingly to ensure that they continue to provide accurate results. Failure to maintain automation test suites can lead to false positives, false negatives, and ultimately a decrease in the quality of the software being developed. A well-maintained test suite can save considerable time and effort on testing and bug fixing.
In this blog, we will discuss seven strategies for maintaining automation test suites that will help ensure that your tests are reliable, up-to-date, and effective.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What is Automation Test Suite
Automation testing suites can be understood as the collection or group of test cases to run a test with diverse test scenarios. For example, a test suite for purchasing a product could have different test cases like:
Test case 1: Login
Test case 2: Adding product
Test case 3: Make payment
Test case 4: Logout
Test suites function as containers of test cases that have various stages of specifying the progress of test execution. With automation testing suites, you can execute automation test cases using automation testing tools and later compare the result with expected and predicted outcomes.
Today, cloud-based automation testing platforms are highly preferred by testers for their scalability, reliability, and flexibility. LambdaTest is one of the most used cloud-based automation testing platforms. It is the ideal platform for building and running your automation test suite.
With its seamless integration with popular testing frameworks like Selenium, Appium, and Cypress, you can easily automate and execute your tests on a farm of 3000+ browsers, devices, and OS. With LambdaTest, you can achieve faster, more accurate test results and ensure the quality of your software application.
7 Strategies for Maintaining Automation Test Suites
Maintaining automation test suites can be daunting for even the most experienced testers. As software systems become more complex, it becomes increasingly vital to identify and address issues early on in the application development life cycle. This is where automation testing comes in. It authorizes testers to run tests repeatedly and consistently to ensure the software functions as intended.
However, as with any technology, automation testing can also present its challenges. Test suites can become outdated, unreliable, and difficult to maintain. Even minute changes to the system can render previously successful tests ineffective. To address these challenges, it is crucial to have a strategy in place for maintaining automation test suites.
Invest Time in Maintenance to Avoid Test Suite Failure
As the test suite evolves and changes over time, it is noteworthy to invest time in maintenance to ensure the test suite continues to run smoothly. This includes regularly checking for broken tests, ensuring tests are up-to-date, updating test data and resources, and refactoring test code as needed. Additionally, investing time in setting up and managing a Continuous Integration (CI) environment can help minimize test suite failure.
Environmental changes, such as changes to the application under test, test environment, and test framework, can cause test suite failure. Additionally, automation engineers should be aware of changes to application code, as they may require changes to the test case. Regular maintenance ensures test suites do not become outdated or fail unexpectedly, leading to significant financial losses.
Utilize Test-Driven Development
Test-Driven Development is a software development process involving a unit test before the implementation code. With TDD, a unit test is written to determine the expected behavior of the code under test. TDD also authorizes software developers to detect bugs and document the code they have written quickly. This is predominantly useful in maintaining an automated test suite since it ensures that the tests are always up-to-date. It also ensures that any changes in the code are documented.
Test-Driven Development entitles developers to ensure that newly written code is compatible with existing tests and that the existing tests are compatible with the new code. This helps to maintain the stability of the test suite and makes it easier to detect and fix any issues that may arise.
Utilize Version Control
Version control systems such as Git, Subversion, and Mercurial can be utilized to store and track modifications in the test suite. It helps to ensure that only the most up-to-date test suite version is used in the automation process. Version control also entitles us to the easy rollback of tests if any issues arise. It also allows multiple users to work simultaneously on the same test suite, reducing test maintenance costs.
Version control also authorizes software tests to be tested in different environments, ensuring the tests run consistently across multiple platforms. This allows for greater confidence in the results of the tests. Furthermore, it entitles easy access to older versions of the scripts so that any changes that have been made can be easily identified and rectified.
Develop Automation-Friendly Software Applications
Developers should understand test automation and utilize the proper coding methods and processes to ensure the code is amenable to automation. This weaves using proper naming conventions for test objects and assures data is stored in compatible formats. It also incorporates designing proper test data management strategies. Doing so will ensure that automation test suites are easier to maintain and will save time and money in the long run.
Additionally, developers should also consider designing components that are modular and reusable to reduce test maintenance costs. Testers can reduce the time and effort needed to develop and maintain automation test suites by ensuring the code is well-structured and organized. Also, using strategies such as test automation frameworks, test harnesses, and test scripts can assist in minimizing the amount of time and effort required for maintenance.
Automation test suites should be periodically refactored to ensure that tests are running as expected and to improve test readability and maintainability. Refactoring involves reorganizing the test code to make it easier to read and understand and making code changes that improve performance and reduce lines of code. This can assist improve readability, diminish maintenance costs, and help assure that the automation tests are up-to-date with the latest modifications in the software application.
Refactoring also entangles eliminating redundant, obsolete, or duplicate tests, improving code readability, and reducing the number of lines of code. This will help ease maintenance and ensure that the tests run efficiently. In addition, refactoring can also help make automation tests more robust, reliable, and efficient.
Implement a Robust Test Framework
A robust test framework should be implemented to ensure the automation test suite is easy to maintain. It provides the necessary coverage for the applications under test. It should incorporate modular components, which can be reused to diminish the manual endeavor and should be efficiently extensible to acclimate new test cases. The framework should also provide rugged reporting and logging capabilities to identify and resolve any issues quickly.
The robust test framework should also be designed to integrate with other test frameworks or tools used in the test environment. This will allow for greater test coverage and improved scalability. Also, the framework should provide the ability to quickly identify failed tests and provide the ability to debug and rerun tests quickly. It should also provide the ability to easily add new tests, allowing for easy maintenance of the test automation suite.
Automate Test Data Creation
Automating the process of creating test data can help improve the speed and accuracy of test execution. This can precede the time spent manually creating test data and can also eliminate the need for manual data entry. It also helps to ensure that tests are performed against the correct data, making them more reliable and accurate. Automating test data creation can also help save time and resources, authorizing testers to focus on other tasks.
Additionally, automated test data creation reduces manual errors that can occur when manual test data creation is employed. Also, automated test data creation reduces manual errors that can occur when manual test data creation is used.
Bonus Tip: Create a Schedule for Routine Test Suite Maintenance
It is important to have a regular schedule to maintain the test suite and ensure the tests are up to date. This schedule should be used to review the test suite regularly and ensure that the tests are running properly and accurately. Additionally, it is important to check the test suite when making changes to the application to ensure that the tests are still valid. This can help reduce the time spent on maintenance and ensure that the tests are running correctly.
Maintaining automation test suites is a crucial and ongoing task for any organization that utilizes automated testing. By implementing the seven strategies discussed in this post, you can ensure that your test suites remain effective and efficient, saving your team time and resources while providing accurate and valuable insights into the quality of your software.
Besides the strategies mentioned, organizations should also consider including other best practices, such as keeping their testing framework up to date, assuring proper documentation for each test, and ensuring that tests are written in a maintainable and efficient way.
This will help them ensure that their automation test suites run at their fullest capacity and provide the most accurate results. With a solid maintenance plan in place, you can optimize your automated testing process and achieve a faster time to market with higher-quality software