How the Pros Design Automated Test Systems

Timothy Joseph
Timothy Joseph | March 26, 2019

How the Pros Design Automated Test Systems

The best QA designers approach every project with two things: an extensive toolkit and an open mind. They know that there is no single automated test system that can be applied to every situation. Every development environment is different, as is every domain and application.

The designer needs an extensive kit of technologies, tools, languages, and framework architectures to ensure they can build a successful system. They need the open mind to know which combination of those resources will work best under each new project specification.

 It is the application and other integrated systems that dictate how a professional QA designer shapes their automated test systems. Their value lies in having the experience to recognize the optimal configuration and having the tools and talent to achieve it.

How the Pros Design Automated Test Systems

Given the diversity of approaches to software development and the many platforms and domains they service, it is crucial that your QA tester understands your product as well as you do. To get started in your QA education process, consider the following elements:

  • Technology used for development will point to the right automation tool and language

  • Platform compatibility will determine whether an automation test system will communicate with the application platform

  • Automation Code version control system for consistent records

  • Environments covered with the automated test system

Your QA partner should take all these elements into consideration before starting to design your automated test system. Those variables are used with general automated test system best practices to create the final methodology.

Automated Test System Best Practices

Automated testing has its limits. There are some elements of the QA test phase that should not be automated at all, such as usability. Your QA team should be able to advise you on which tests should be conducted manually to increase test coverage and better analyze your product’s core code-level functionality.

Next, your design should address issues of maintainability, portability, and reusable data libraries. All address the preference for your test design to withstand changes within the application, such as those that occur during UI testing. Robust and easy-to-maintain test cases speed up automated testing while reducing downtime.

The automated test system should be able to cope with the introduction of new elements and features without significant alterations to its structure. Defining these desired features within your specific applications environment will guide your QA teams to select the right tools and framework for your project.

The Agnostic Approach to Test Tools and Frameworks

Having an agnostic approach to automated test system design works only if you have the technical expertise to implement your vision. There are dozens of combinations of automation frameworks and automation tools. Your QA tester should be an expert in them all, beginning with the most fundamental aspect of any test system: the framework.

Automation Framework Design

There are more than a half-dozen common forms of automated test framework. Most QA testers favor data-driven and hybrid frameworks due to their robust nature and reusable execution.

Regardless of your framework design, modular architectures are best. This system is built with independent components that can be altered without affecting the remaining pieces. This approach reduces maintenance, further reducing downtime. Your framework serves as the foundation for your automated testing. It must be configured with the appropriate tools in mind.

Wider System Considerations

It is critical for your QA tester to also consider the other systems that are integrated with the application. This point can significantly affect an automated test system’s design.

The Right Tools for the Job

There are an array of quality test automation tools available currently, including Selenium, Sahi, Ranorex, Squish, and Appium. Your QA tester should know the pros and cons of each and be able to use any of them to provide a suitable solution to your test phase. There are several other key factors to consider when designing a suitable automated test system:

  • Automated setup/launch of the controlled environment

  • Automated build deployment

  • Whether your product is a single- or cross-platform application (web, mobile, desktop)

  • The technologies used to develop your product, including preferred coding language

  • Execution report types

  • Tool integration

  • How data are relayed into script

  • Desired execution scope

  • ROI of automated test systems

Again, the key to designing an optimal automated test system is having a working knowledge of all the available tools, product technology stack, and integration with other cloud platforms.

The automated test system requirements need to be planned in advance so that testers can design a flexible automated test system that requires minimal maintenance and high availability to meet future needs.  If you want the kind of automated test system the pros use, you should hire a QA professional.

The Right Approach to Designing Automated Test Systems

Designing automated test systems requires years of experience. Every product represents a new puzzle that must combine the right tools, technologies, and frameworks to deliver a comprehensive test—one that still offers the speed and efficiency that make automation so desirable. The only constant is the designer’s need to bring an open mind to each new project and a ton of technical expertise.

QASource takes an agnostic approach to every new automated test system we design. We have the extensive experience necessary to identify the right approach to your QA test phase and knowledge of all the leading tools and technologies. Let our QA experts guide your test phase with a Free Quote, or call +1.925.271.5555 today.


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