Category Archives: Automation Testing Tools

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Is Robotic Process Automation changing the Test Automation Game?

RPA has taken the IT world by storm. I won’t say that it is the newest thing in business because it has been there around for about 10 years now. But now is the time when it is spreading like wildfire. More and more companies want to adopt it.

To set the context, let’s look at how AI has broken all the barriers of our imagination. I bet that a few years ago when we used to see robots in movies, we would think that they are just part of our imagination or even if we considered them to become reality someday, we always thought that the day to be many years away. But what we never imagined was that technology will progress so much so soon. Today Artificial intelligence is making machines more and more human-like. They want machines to not only follow our instructions but to think, and possibly also to exhibit emotions. It is almost like humans want to assemble humans in labs. No wonder then that a robot named Sophia was very recently even given citizenship of Saudi Arabia.

Now going back to Robotic Process Automation. Going just by the words,  it seems like  Robots automating processes. The catch, however, is that that when we say Robot, we don’t mean an actual physical robot, but a virtual one –  the automation program.

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What’s the big deal about RPA in Software Test Automation?

Many could argue that in traditional Automation also we were creating automation programs. So what is all the hype about?

The key distinctions according to me are :

  • It is script less: Coming from a Manual testing background it was always a challenge for me to always keep learning the latest scripting languages but now I don’t need to learn any programming language to automate a test scenario. You just need to be good with your logics and should be able to think out of the box scenarios.
  • Focus is back to product quality: I am not saying that in Traditional automation the product quality was getting hampered, But in my own experience I feel that when I was working on Automation via scripts, most of my time was getting consumed in writing code and at the end of the day, only very few scenarios were automated, and I was not able to cover as much scenario and I didn’t have the time to dive into variety of scenario. So I feel that out of two 1 thing was always getting compromised either the Coverage or the deadline. But with RPA tool this problem of mine has been resolved to a great extent.

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How things work when Automating Test cases with RPA

There are many RPA tools available in the market like UI Path, Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism and many more. You can use any (FYI: I am not promoting any specific tool).

There are few basic criteria on which all the RPA tools are based on:

  • Already defined user actions: Most of the user actions that one can think of while automating a test case like the click of a button, mouse hover, opening browser, typing into a text box and many more, they are already defined and the user doesn’t have to code.
  • Built-in decision logics and looping statements: The best part about using RPA tool for creating scripts was, I didn’t have to worry about the syntax of my decision logic and adding loops, for example, do-while, for, etc. They are built-in and I just needed to use them.
  • Configuring of user events through Parameters: Every user action or event that we use can be easily configured using its parameters. Almost every property of a user event is made available so as it can be customized as much and as easily as possible.
  • Easy to create variables: RPA tools make it very easy to create a variable without stressing upon the syntax.
  • Error handling: If there is an error that occurs while configuring the user events or in the full flow, RPA tools have very good error handling mechanism. It helps the user to narrow down the area of error and also gives very clear and specific error messages making it very convenient for the user to correct the error.

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What RPA has changed in my Automation Testing approach?
  • So as I said above, for me RPA has put the focus back to thinking about logic, covering some out of the box test scenarios, rather than spending hours just automating the basic functionality.
  • RPA has improved my testing coverage also, as I am able to cover number and different types of scenarios.
  • Thanks to RPA, I am able to automate the test scenarios faster as I don’t have to write every single line of code on my own.
  • Another advantage of using an RPA tool is, I face less number of errors while automating a test case. As in RPA tool, they have built-in codes for most of the logics and I just have to make sure that I use them in correct flow.
  • With RPA tool, I was able to manage my scripts much easily as most of the times it just making tweaking into the properties of the built-in user actions.
  • Also when I create my scripts using RPA tool, they are more easily readable and I am able to explain them to another person in a better way
  • Being from a manual testing background, it was always a big challenge for me to always keep on learning the latest scripting languages but now I don’t have to invest my time learning the coding languages.
  • I can invest my mind in more decision making tasks rather than some boring and repetitive tasks that can be done by machines also.

Now, when I extract the essence of all the benefits, the bigger picture that I get is RPA helps to increase Test Automation Coverage, reduces the time required, hence reducing in the process the cost of Testing and in turn increasing the Company’s profit.

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Having said that, I did face some challenges while automating test scripts with RPA tool

1) I was not able to automate everything
Having worked with different scripting automation tools, I feel that there are some scenarios which I can’t achieve using RPA tools like I am not able to automate scenario which deals with complex Database entries, multiple formats of input or unstructured input data.

2) It executes at a slower pace
When I execute a script created via any RPA tool it executes at a UI speed but when I run a script created using scripting languages, it is much faster. So I feel that RPA is comparatively slower than the processes automated using traditional automation.

3) Not much available on Web, so need to explore yourself
Test Automation using RPA is relatively new. So there are many built-in user actions and functionalities of different tools that you have to explore on your own and not much help is available on the web. So that was also one of the challenges that I faced.

4) It can increase a company’s Test Automation cost
When I started automation using RPA, most of the RPA tools that I came across were paid and just 1 or 2 had free versions available and that too had not much-advanced features contrary to the open-source scripting tools available in the market. So I feel that this can also prove to be a disadvantage as it will increase the cost of Automation for a company.

But I feel that the pros somewhere outnumber the cons and the proof of this is that more and more companies are investing in Test Automation using RPA. So in my opinion, if you are the one who wants to adopt RPA in Test Automation, then the time to act is now.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. To know more about our company, please click on Mindfire Solutions. 

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Google Puppeteer

Puppeteer : Is it time to ditch Selenium?

Google has introduced a new library based on Chromium’s dev tool protocol. The library grants high-level API to interact with chromium and handle most tasks which you can perform using Chromium dev tools. The library is implemented in node.js and is really easy to get started once you install required packages using the node package manager.

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Why Puppeteer?

Puppeteer flexes its muscle where selenium misses out. It is not just limited to interactions with the web application under test performing tasks like for e.g. interacting with dom, submitting forms, generating screenshots and pdf of web pages but also in intercepting network activity, throttling CPU and network, generating timeline trace and mocking API amongst some. The puppeteer can be easily be used to write end-to-end automation test suites with the benefit of getting a detailed timeline of the performance of all the assets (images, javascript files and so on).

Engineers can easily switch between headless and non-headless modes. While writing the automation suite, non-headless mode gives a good view of how the browser is interacting with the application under test and helps in debugging; just like in Selenium. But in production, we can execute suite in a headless mode as it reduces execution time and save resources.

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Is it really that Good?

Yes, it enjoys the goodness of async code execution. You can always perform multiple tasks simultaneously following the latest javascript async await conventions. You can test the behavior of your application under different screen sizes. The network can be throttled on demand to find out how your application will run at low internet speeds. For e.g. if you want to test the error messages in an application when a user loses internet connectivity, puppeteer can easily handle such a scenario. Mocking APIs can also be achieved with utmost ease. For instance, if you want to test your “payment completed” screen but don’t want to go through the payment gateway flow, you can easily perform it with puppeteer by mocking the API response. With a detailed performance matrix, puppeteer can easily be used for performance testing.

So what are the drawbacks?

Google puppeteer supports only Chromium and Chrome out of the box. Third party implementations are available for Firefox and Internet Explorer. But they are experimental as of now and are missing a good chunk of the firepower. The documentation available is minimal as compared to selenium.

Why should you prefer Puppeteer over Selenium?

The targeted audience is the major deciding factor. If it majorly comprises of Chrome users you should go ahead with Puppeteer. Other factors include performing automation tasks which are not possible with selenium, like testing Chrome extensions, mocking API calls and so on. Selenium follows WebDriver protocol and has been from a very long time in the market compared to puppeteer hence itis better documented compared to puppeteer.

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Conclusion

Puppeteer is a powerful library which has revolutionized the automation testing by overcoming functionalities missing in WebDriver protocol used by Selenium. Although it is still in the early stages, it promises a bright future, backed up as it is by the illustrious Chrome dev tools team.

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If you have any queries in this field, talk to Mindfire Solutions. For over 19+ years now, we have been the preferred Software Development Partner of over 1000+ Small and Medium-sized enterprises across the globe.

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Selenium vs Appium

Both Selenium and Appium are open source test automation tools. Selenium simplifies automated web application testing by supporting many browsers, operating systems, and programming languages. Appium comes with features to simplify automated testing of native, mobile web, and hybrid apps.

The testers can use Selenium to evaluate various websites and web applications running on desktop browsers. They can use Appium to test different types of mobile apps running on iOS and Android platforms. But Appium drives the iOS, Android, and Windows apps through Selenium WebDriver. Continue reading Selenium vs Appium

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Best Automation Testing Tools For 2018

Best Automation Testing Tools For 2018

A steady increase is being noted in the number of enterprises implementing agile methodology to deliver software applications rapidly. Many enterprises adopt DevOps – as an extension of agile methodology – to deliver high quality software applications by unifying software development and IT operations. Both agile methodology and DevOps emphasize on continuous delivery and test automation. The enterprises should coordinate the manual and automation testing efforts to get the best results. Continue reading Best Automation Testing Tools For 2018

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