Scriptless Test Automation. How can it change Software Testing?
Back in those far-off days, there was only one way to test software - manual testing. Still, the need for QA process optimization has given rise to automated testing. These days this type of testing is of great use. Such an approach to testing lets QA teams accelerate a testing process and deliver products of higher quality. Still, with the ever-growing demand for extremely fast product delivery, conventional automated testing is not able to keep pace anymore. As a result, scriptless testing has appeared to go further and eliminate the challenges of conventional automated testing.
What is Scriptless Testing?
Conventional automation testing suggests writing a code to be executed for automated software testing.
In contrast, scriptless testing, as its name implies, is aimed to eliminate or minimize hand-coding in the process of auto-test creation. Instead of writing code, it is needed to indicate test steps to be executed and a scriptless testing tool then turns these steps into the execution code.
But what does stay behind the scriptless testing technique? Let's consider the most widely used approaches of scriptless automation testing:
NLP or Natural Language Processing is actually a branch of artificial intelligence enabling systems to understand human language. Scriptless automation testing tools of this type use NLP grammar to create test cases making test case automation as easy as writing common English statements.
When it comes to the model-based approach, the TOSCA tool at once comes to mind. In this case, a model is created rather than test scripts. The three essential components are used to automate test cases that are app technical details, test scenario logic, and test data. Each component is stored on a standalone basis but all of them are merged during test execution. The core model storing the app technical details is updated whenever any app changes are detected. It gives an opportunity to handle test case maintenance with ease.
This approach relies on the image-matching technology used to recognize any UI defects in an AUT.
In this case, as you have already guessed, keywords are used to determine actions to be performed. The maintenance of such tests is also pretty easy. If an app has undergone some changes, the keyword should also be changed whereas the test case remains unaffected.
Testcomplete is a great example of a tool utilizing the key-driven approach.
According to the object-driven approach, objects to be tested are identified in an AUT, and test steps are generated by adding corresponding actions to these objects.
If you feel that this approach is what you need, the Worksoft tool is the best option for you.
Drag and drop approach
This approach is extremely simple - everything you need to do is to drag and drop. Sounds great, doesn't it? Scriptless automation testing tools of this type give an opportunity to create test actions by dragging and dropping straight from a website. All that is required is to open an AUT in one of the supported browsers and drag and drop needed test actions into your testing tool. Later these actions can be used in a different order and with various test data in order to automate particular test scenarios. Ascentialtest is a tool that can be used if you have got interested in this type of scriptless testing.
AI is a promising technology for software testing. Currently, there are a few successful AI-powered tools. One of them is Test.ai. This tool studies and analyzes user behavior and then tests mobile apps in a way that a real user would do. The main focus, in this case, is on user experience testing.
The scriptless process is all about reducing the time and effort needed to write test scripts and shifting the focus from code writing to business logic validation.
Merits of Scriptless Test Automation
Now as you have a clear idea of what scriptless testing is, let's figure out its main advantages.
Traditional test automation lets save time on testing, but scriptless testing lets save time not only on testing but also on test creation and test maintenance. As a result, using scriptless testing you have a great opportunity to speed up the whole QA process, receive first feedback as soon as possible, and deliver a product to a market within the shortest possible time.
A low learning curve
Scriptless testing tools do not require knowledge of any programming language. As a result, any person even not highly tech-skilled one can successfully use it. As a result, there is no need to worry about hiring highly skilled tech staff. Manual testers can perfectly cope with test automation in case scriptless testing is implemented. Besides, in the case of a high workload, there is no need to ramp up a team as with scriptless testing tools test creation and execution are pretty simple and fast.
Better communication in a product team
A product team consists of the most diverse specialists either technical or business-related. Scriptless testing allows engaging even business-related team members and subject matter experts in the process of product testing. They can preevaluate the state of affairs taking into account also business requirements, while stakeholders as well can keep an eye on the ball.
Painless test maintenance
What makes scriptless testing indeed helpful is its easy test maintenance. Traditional automated testing usually required a lot of time not only on writing scripts but also on their further ongoing maintenance. Modern scriptless automation tools enable painless test maintenance or even self-healing.
When it comes to scriptless testing there are much fewer test-related errors as test creation is smooth and well structured. As a result, it significantly reduces the time needed to debug and fix test-related issues.
To go scriptless is a great way to cut down costs. There is no need for highly paid technical experts and expensive tools. Besides, you can forget about time-consuming and therefore expensive script writing and maintenance.
Scriptless vs. Scripted Tests
Scriptless and scripted automation testing are two sides of the same coin - both are focused on fast and efficient software testing but apply different approaches. So let's compare them to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
|Criteria||Scriptless automation testing||Scripted automation testing|
|Script Writing||Script writing is needed in rare circumstances when test customization is needed||It is all about script writing.|
|Programming Skills||Programming skills are needed in rare circumstances when test customization is needed||Advanced programming skills are a must.|
|Test Maintenance||Tests are easily maintained or sometimes even self-healed.||Test maintenance is time-consuming and is performed on an ongoing basis.|
|Involved Parties||Business analysts, stakeholders, manual testers, project managers, etc. can be involved.||Only automated QA engineers are involved.|
|Learning Curve||Low. Scriptless automation testing tools are user-friendly and extremely easy to use.||High. Rich experience and hard skills are required to write test scripts.|
|Infrastructure Setup||Infrastructure setup is easy and fast.||Infrastructure setup is time-consuming and can be pretty challenging.|
|Test Creation and Execution||Fast.||Compared to scriptless testing, it takes a longer time.|
|Coverage||Scriptless testing covers the limited scope of test scenarios (Much also depends on a tool being used).||Conventional automated testing can cover almost all test scenarios.|
Now, as you know the main peculiarities of both approaches you can decide which one to choose. Still, if you have already had a smooth and robust traditional automation testing workflow it makes sense to keep using it while introducing scriptless testing for high-level function verification in order to scale your testing.
The Most Commonly Used Scriptless Test Automation Tools
The efficiency and success of scriptless test automation mainly depend on a chosen tool.
Making up your mind which tool to use, consider the availability of the following options that determine the main abilities of a tool:
Easy test step generation for test cases;
A repository for reusable elements and objects;
Test case recording;
Test execution on multiple browsers and hardware;
Test execution on either a cloud platform or an on-premise setup;
Efficient test data variation handling;
Generation of comprehensive reports on test outcomes;
Customization function enabling testers to write their own code to cover certain parts of test cases if needed.
Third-party tool integration support.
To help you make the right decision we have completed a list of the most helpful and commonly used scriptless automation testing tools:
The Future of Scriptless Test Automation in Software Testing
The aim of automation testing and scriptless automation testing in particular is to speed up the software testing process and to eliminate or at least cut to a minimum human intervention. The future of scriptless test automation is indeed bright and associated with the active use of AI and ML. Taking into account great advances in this realm, we can expect that in near future completely autonomous testing will be used.