Quality assurance (QA) can be defined as part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled —internally to management and externally to customers, government agencies, regulators, certifiers, and third parties.
It is also defined as all the planned and systematic activities implemented within the quality system that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that a product or service will fulfill requirements for quality.
Quality assurance automation is one of the most critical processes in the software industry as well in any other sector as it gives higher accuracy, better reporting capabilities, coverage, resource efficiency, bug detection, and reusability. Right now, automation testing for QA is the talk of the town within the software industry.
Automation testing is a process using an automation tool to create and run automated test cases and predefined actions on software application software without using manual labor or testing.
The goal of automation is to reduce the number of test cases to be run manually instead of eliminating manual testing. The testing tool takes actual outcomes and compares it with the expected result to generate detailed test reports. With that being said, it is without a doubt that the essential part of the QA automation is the tests and the test results it produces.
Here are some of the importance of using QA automation:
The most significant benefit is the reduced need for software testers. Test automation results in a higher quality of work, reducing the need for fixing glitches after the product is released, which translates into reduced costs.
It can help reduce time-to-market and launch a bug-free product, by taking care of repetitive tasks with a smaller number of resources on-board, in return maximizing return on investment (ROI).
Reduces the testing time, working hours and resources
It saves time by eliminating the need to write extensive test scripts, and it can be reused. It can help with manipulating, creating, and protecting the testing database, which allows us to reuse data. Bugs can be detected during the development phase itself, which leads to shorter product development lifecycles.
Test scripts can be 24/7 with minimum to no human intervention. It also allows automated cross-browser testing tools such as LambdaTest, which can reduce the efforts by executing the same test cases many times on multiple browsers in parallel. While manual setups take time initially, automated tests tend to take a shorter amount of time.
A strong mechanism for quality checks
The tests can be run 24/7 without the need for manual input, thus ensuring thorough quality checks. The reports of the QA automation can also be used alongside manual testing procedures to crosscheck your test results. The reports are extensive and give the software tester details such as scripts executed, scheduled, bugs found and fixed, etc.
The effectiveness of QA automation testing will be dependent on the quality of the test data being used.
Easy and clean programming
It has a defined folder structure which can easily trace the items. It handles errors and recovery scenarios within the framework rather than in the scripts. Scripting guidelines, naming conventions, and standards are documented. Moreover, proper trace-ability is visible to understand the coverage of the automation and execution of the defects.
Automated testing also includes testing of web applications on all the browsers. The framework is environment independent. By configuring the browser, OS, etc., the framework can be made environment independent.
It offers a high level of scalability through additional test executors to the testing platform or tool.
Before deciding on conducting automated testing, here are some quick questions you should consider: How big/small is the project? What is the scope of the project? What are your resources (i.e. budget)? Will your budget allow you to spend much on QA automation? Will the cost of automation be cost-effective? How much time can you save with automated tests? Who are the involved stakeholders in the project?
It is also noteworthy that test cases that are newly designed and not executed manually, which includes frequently changing requirements, and that are performed on an ad-hoc basis, are not suitable for automation. There should also be cautious in adding tests that are overly complex as it will slow down the feedback cycle.