Developing and launching a successful software product, service or app is typically a laborious task, usually executed under very tight deadlines. A particularly arduous and time-consuming part of the process is the testing and quality control, yet it's an absolutely vital element to ensure the product is truly market-ready.
Yamini Gajapathy is head of testing practice at Wipro Limited, South Africa.
Many organisations automate all or parts of the testing process to reduce cost, strain and time taken by doing it manually. Tools and software specifically designed for test automation help businesses to shorten the test life cycle however, they require specialised development skills such as scripting and programming, as well as dedicated time and resources to be fully functional.
It’s also important for programming and development teams to collaborate with product specialists to ensure that the objectives of test automation are achieved.
Unfortunately, not all organisations possess the in-house skills required to put these tools to use effectively, especially when time is of essence. Even when they do, scripting, programming, developing and even maintaining the automation software to test a specific new software or service still takes a considerable amount of time before it can be used.
Scriptless test automation enables businesses to bridge the gap between manual processes and full test automation.
What is scriptless automation?
Despite its name, scriptless test automation still requires something of a script. However, it’s a far more basic script – more of a menu than a script - that empowers users to begin automating test cases quickly, without the need for extensive coding, if any at all.
Essentially, the tool uses a menu-type script, where users are presented with a series of questions or options. They can choose from the options before moving on to the next set of options, and so on until the process is complete.
The result is a tool that can be used for testing even by inexperienced users in a relatively short space of time, enabling testing to continue while the full automation process is programmed. In some cases, this scriptless method negates the need for any further automation, and – as the tool evolves – it eventually becomes the only testing automation tool required.
Scriptless automation can be used for those repetitive albeit essential tasks in a formalised testing process that’s already in use. Alternatively, it can be used in areas where manual testing is particularly difficult or onerous.
How does it work?
Essentially, scriptless automation breaks the automation process down into bit size chunks through a framework. Menu scripts are developed easily, through a step-by-step approach and then used to automate the process.
Readily available keywords – menu items – are used to build and maintain automated test cases. These keywords are defined around user-based actions such as ‘click’, ‘select’ or ‘next’ which are required to move the application user on to the next phase until the process is completed.
Here additional people, resources, infrastructure or technology are not required.
Where it makes sense
One area where scriptless automation is already flourishing is in the mobile recharging space. The introduction of scriptless testing automation is to allow mobile users to recharge their phones through menu selections rather than having to log into a system recharge manually, saves users time and ensures that the solution works.
In the banking and financial services industry, new software platforms that enable users to open accounts allow them to do so through scriptless automation, rather than having to go to an office, branch or over the telephone. The entire process can be automated in the system, allowing customers to simply click through menu options to open an account.
There are a score of use cases where scriptless automation can be effected to the benefit of the business, enabling a level of automation that evolves into a fully automated scenario. Readily available as an outsource solution through partners who specialise in agile development and automation, scriptless test automation dramatically reduces user acceptance testing requirements in a very short time frame so that the business can continue to innovate.
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