Software Testing 101

Scriptless Automation

With digital transformation dominating the technology landscape, software development has evolved to include many new practices. Agile development, DevOps and test automation are the key drivers enabling the speed and quality required for rapid development. Many organizations have adopted automated testing as it reduces the efforts, time and costs remarkably, if implemented right.

But often setting up test automation is a challenge in itself because of the time required to code, create automated tests and maintain them.

One approach that has emerged to resolve this problem is scriptless test automation or scriptless testing. It reduces the time required to set up automated tests by reducing the code/scripting needed.

Basically, scriptless test automation helps testers and business users to embrace automation without spending too much time and effort on scripting. You can build test automation without the need to understand coding. Scriptless testing also optimizes the scalability of your test automation efforts.

Faster automation time

The faster you can automate, the quicker your product will be released. Scriptless can help automate large test suites considerably faster. You can increase the delivery speed, time to market. This also reduces the total time spent on automation which is an important metric when you consider the cost of automation. This time can be utilized in improving test coverage, leading to faster and better detection of bugs, early on the in the cycle. So, in effect, scriptless testing helps you achieve shift-left testing.

Reliability and maintenance

Scriptless test automation provides a seamless and structured way of implementing test automation. Scriptless test suites are also easier to maintain. This is an important factor because maintenance is what generally consumes a lot of time and is the longest and most critical phase in the product development lifecycle.

Updating changes and maintenance of the test suites is easier with scriptless test automation. It supports agility and response times. Scriptless test automation is built with the intent to maintain traceability of all reusable components and enables object-oriented test automation throughout the lifecycle. This is the key difference between scripted test automation and scriptless. Test automation created using scripts is prone to fail during maintenance as the framework is not designed based on reusability, traceability and maintainability.

Another advantage of scriptless automation is that companies don’t need to spend time and efforts on training resources on scripting. Or hire additional resources who have the skillset for this purpose. Manual testers can very easily adopt scriptless test automation. On the other hand, if you do have skilled automation engineers, they can move up the value chain by integrating DevOps pipelines, white box testing, designing test suites etc.

Business user and SME expertise

Coding is a challenge for non-technical stakeholders. Scriptless test automation enables business analysts and subject matter experts to participate in the test automation strategy. It helps bridge the gap between business expertise and technical domain knowledge to get more accurate results. The product is tested repeatedly and there are fewer chances of software defects on release.

What scriptless testing is not

Scriptless test automation may suggest a no scripting or coding approach. However, it doesn’t eliminate the need for coding completely. Nor is it a substitute for a test automation tool. It is simply a flexible testing framework that has minimum exposure to code.

Scriptless testing also doesn’t make test architects redundant. Since scriptless test automation is a more structured model and majority of the test cases can be automated by functional users. Test architects can help identify the more reusable parts of test scripts. When operational scope is widened, newer components can be added to the application and then the test architects can integrate them.

Based on their expertise and knowledge, test architects will be involved in identifying possible reusable part of the test scripts. When operational scope spreads out, few new components will be added to the application and then test architects will be involved to integrate them.

Testers can enhance automation scripts with scriptless testing to highlight the core functionality of the application. This approach can reduce the number of licenses for the testing tools.

To script or not?

The answer depends on the level of system functionality your testing addresses. Use scriptless testing if you need high level function verification and scalability for future feature enhancements. But use standard code-based testing for middle and lower level testing. If your goal is to test features in depth, exercising all the parameters and logic paths, you will need script-based testing.

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