An Introduction to Codeless Test Automation
At Brainbox Consulting, we are specialized in the implementation of Software Test Automation. Software test automation has brought a revolution in the area of testing, offering a bunch of benefits like:
- Increased test coverage
- Early detection of defects
- Speeds up the release cycles
- Test reusability
- Increased test accuracy
But one should not forget that test automation has its own development life cycle and initial stages of development are really time-consuming.
Source: Brainbox Consulting, 2020
With industries heavily investing in test automation, there will always be an expectation of ROI. With conventional ways of test automation (developing scripts), early realisation of ROI is nigh impossible. This brings a need for codeless or workflow-based automation, which means No hand coding, just drag and drop of test blocks to create an automated test.
Codeless Test Automation
Codeless test automation is creating automated tests which allows you to test an application without writing a single piece code/script. This approach has been steadily evolving with constant innovation on this technology.
There are multiple approaches behind codeless testing. The most prominent are:
- Recording manual tests and playing it back
- Creating structured test flow diagrams using test blocks provided by tool(s) and later the test flow is used to run tests.
How does codeless test automation work?
Even if you call it codeless testing, it is not truly ‘codeless’. It just implies you don’t need to write code. In fact, while you record the test steps or create test flow by connecting the test blocks, the tool generates the code in the background that drives test automation. The automation tool(s) provide you with an abstraction layer, which translates simple user interactions to code. Thus, you can focus on creating test scenarios and evaluating the user experience of your application rather than struggling with the creation of the ‘chunks of code’ to test.
Some codeless test automation still leverages record and playback, but unlike legacy tools that record “static” test cases, and which are prone to break upon any minor change in the app or element within the app, codeless tools are equipped with machine learning and AI capabilities which allow test reusability, provide stability, and call for near-zero test maintenance.
Newly developed codeless tools leverage a modern User Interface to build stable test flows with support for key features like data-driven testing, test assertions and more. In addition, they introduce the concept of a “self-healing” mechanism, which can dynamically detect User Interface changes in an application, and modify elements on the fly, without needing to change anything in the pre-recorded test.
Commonly used codeless test automation tools
There are many tools available in the market that aims to simplify the testing process and allow users to create test scenarios without any coding skills and still ensure maximum test coverage. Here we bring to you a list of the leading ‘codeless automation testing’ tools in the market.
Leapwork: Leapwork is a relatively new codeless automation tool which works well for non-developers, technical specialists, and business users alike. It can be used for automating various software technologies like SAP, Salesforce, mobile web pages, Citrix, desktop applications, and even custom-built systems.
Tosca: Tricentis Tosca combines multiple aspects of software testing (test case design, test automation, test data design and generation, and analytics) to test GUIs and APIs from a business perspective. Two of the most frequently-noted technologies used in Tricentis Tosca are related to Model-based testing and Risk-based testing.
TestingWhiz: TestingWhiz is a codeless automation testing tool for web, mobile, database, cloud and web services testing. The tool makes test automation easy with its intuitive record/playback and drag and drop commands.
TestCraft: It is a selenium based codeless test automation platform ideal for regression and continuous testing. The tool comes with AI powered mechanisms for auto fix and maintenance of tests by automatically updating changes in the application during run time.
CloudQA: CloudQA is another popular automation tool which has an intuitive interface for codeless testing. It leverage record and playback tool and a feature rich SaaS platform. CloudQA has extended its capabilities to perform a wide range of tests for a single test case including synthetic monitoring, load testing and more.
EndTest: It is another codeless automated testing tool powered by machine learning. It comes packed with a ton of awesome features like self healing tests, generate random test data, advanced assertions, geolocation, screenshot comparison, live video, scheduler, Real Mobile devices, Notification and much more.
Testsigma: Testsigma is a AI-Driven SaaS Platform Test Automation Ecosystem for Web, Mobile Web, Android & iOS Apps, and API automated testing.
Ranorex: Ranorex Studio is a GUI test automation framework. Ranorex Studio supports development of automated test modules using standard programming languages such as C# and VB.NET.
Testim.io: Testim.io leverages machine learning for the authoring, execution and maintenance of automated test cases. It uses dynamic locators and learn with every execution. The outcome is super fast authoring and stable tests that learn, thus eliminating the need to continually maintain tests with every code change.
Advantages of Codeless Test Automation
Codeless automation testing tools are a perfect solution for the testers to speed up their work. These tools have taken over the market owing to their ease-of-use and speed. Codeless test automation is particularly useful when it comes to agile software development process (shorter iterations).
Codeless Test Automation offers several benefits. Some of them include:
- Compatible with The Speed of The Development Cycle
Codeless test automation is designed with graphical UI workflows, all code is created to make automation easy to learn and implement. The testing process can start automating the use cases as soon as UI development is done without wasting time and going through difficult coding and frameworks. This makes it possible to match the speed of the development cycle with continuous integration and testing in Agile.
- Lower Maintenance Cost and Scale Automation
Automated flows can be united into reusable parts to use as sub-flows across testing use cases. If changes are made into re-used sub-flows, these changes will go into effect through all testing use cases holding the module. That means for most of the part, it is not necessary to correct the automation flows every time the system under test changes as codeless test automation depends on native identification of the objects of test use cases.
- Outspread the Scope of Automation
Codeless automation process helps to support various types of applications, such as web, desktop, and virtual applications. More specifically, this means that automated tests can include various interfaces across applications as part or beyond the project. With this flexibility, it is easy to measure the amount of automation from one to several applications, especially, those that include testing automation between projects.
- Effortless Document Processes and Changes
Codeless testing including visual description of a process and a documentation of how that process is executed decreases the testing efforts. Automated tests are documented with video and logs using advanced testing practices. All actions and events can be recorded in audit trails.
Code-based automation requires programming skills and hence can often be tricky and complicated to use. Codeless test automation, on the other hand, has an intuitive GUI, thereby making the process of test creation faster and simpler. Thus, even a manual tester can efficiently perform test automation.
- Integration Capabilities with a lot of Features
By integrating features such as test management and issue management codeless test automation can transform a testing platform into an entire test suite.
- Supports Agile
Regardless of their abilities and skills, all testers, developers or even SMEs and project managers can contribute to the testing process using codeless automation.
Disadvantages of Codeless Test Automation
Although codeless automation provides a lot benefits, there are some limitations that are worth listing
One can get into a lot of maintainability issues, If the tests are not designed to be modular and reusable, especially when the number of tests drastically grows and application is continuously changing
Debugging will be difficult due to the limited facilities from the tool (one can’t put breakpoint as in IDE)
In conclusion, codeless automation is the future, but tests need to be designed modular and reusable to get the most benefit out of the tool. Without proper implementation, test automation can result in a disaster.
If you are looking to the perfect solution to speed up your testing efforts with a low-entry solution, we are there to help you implement best practices to improve the quality of your software!