Automated Testing

Ensure Quality With Automated Software Testing

Creating a new software system is a substantial effort that requires extensive planning, expert execution, and meticulous testing. A successful launch doesn't mark the end of the system's journey, however, it is only the beginning. Successful systems experience evolution and improvement throughout their lives as they are adjusted and updated to accommodate their users' changing needs.

Automated software testing has proven itself to be one of the most critical tools to support the stable and continuous evolution of a system. A thorough automated test suite codifies the system's business rules and serves to document the application's design. During the initial development, the test suite helps the engineering team add new features while maintaining existing functionality. After launch, the knowledge stored in the test suite becomes a critical resource for the maintenance teams to leverage, allowing them to evolve new features without compromising existing functionality.

Why Develop with SitePen

At SitePen, we believe that quality is the single, most important aspect of any project we undertake. Our commitment to delivering bug-free solutions infuses every part of our development activities.

You will start to experience this as soon as you reach out to us. Our Sales and Project Management teams work with you to understand your goals and expectations, identifying the characteristics that have the most significant influence on the application's quality.

Our engineering team will then develop the solution with these goals in mind. They also create extensive suites of automated tests that ensure that the code continues to work as intended. Finally, we continuously monitor the project in search of refactoring opportunities to improve the code's structure as it evolves. While not usually considered an essential aspect of quality assurance, we have found that superior code organization often leads to exceptional quality in the final product.

As the application approaches completion, we will shift the project to examine the quality of the solution. During this phase, we conduct tests that exercise all aspects of the complete solution. We verify the business logic's correctness, ensure the code is performant and will not bog down under real-world workloads, and harden the application against the vast array of security threats that today's applications face.

Naturally, the final decision concerning the quality of the application resides with you. We will work with your infrastructure team to deploy the solution to a staging environment that allows you to conduct your own quality assurance verification. When all findings have been identified, we will resolve them, ensuring that you receive the most reliable and accurate application possible.

Benefits of Automated Testing

No single testing strategy is perfect; a multi-dimensional approach combining various manual and automated testing techniques is needed to ensure that a system performs as required. Among all of these tools, however, we have found automated testing to be the most overlooked but ultimately valuable tool available to today's development teams. An automated test suite codifies business rules to allow the system's workflows to be exercised quickly, efficiently, and repeatedly thus allowing regressions and bugs to be identified and corrected before they are deployed to production.

  • Accelerated Results and Increased Accuracy

    Automated test suites document business rules and system architecture in a manner that allows system integrity to be quickly and easily confirmed. After they have been developed, automated tests are not subject to human-induced errors or delays. This characteristic makes the automated tests a speedy and reliable proof of the system's integrity - a vital attribute when making go/no-go decisions regarding production deployment.

  • Increase in Test Coverage

    At their most basic level, automated tests are programs that are designed to verify other programs. Since they are programs themselves, they can be instrumented to yield additional insights into the system-under-test. One such metric is test coverage. By instrumenting the system-under-test, the development team can quickly identify code that the test suite does not execute. This insight helps guide the development of future tests and highlights areas of potential weakness in the codebase.

  • Reusability of Automated Tests

    When a system is primarily verified by manual testing, every test run requires a substantial amount of human interaction and is often time-intensive and error-prone. Automated tests only require human interaction during their initial development and verification. They can then be repeatedly executed, yielding remarkably consistent results.

  • Faster Time to Market

    A common concern with creating automated test suites is that the additional code required to write the tests will delay the project. Writing tests does indeed need more code to be written, but this is offset as the system's complexity grows beyond the engineering team's ability to easily verify that new features don't introduce unexpected regressions. Automated tests encode design decisions and rules as the system develops and quickly identify regressions before merging into the main development code.

Automated Testing Tools

Automated test suites for today's web applications are powered by various high-quality tools and frameworks that simplify their creation, execution, and maintenance. While we pride ourselves on our ability to adapt to each customer's technology stack, there are a few tools that we find especially valuable.

Selenium Automated Testing

When ThoughtWorks released the first version of what would become Selenium in 2004, it became one of the first tools designed to allow a program to simulate a user's interaction with a web browser. Today, it remains one of the primary tools used by development teams when creating end-to-end tests that simulate users executing real workflows.

Cypress

Cypress is a self-contained testing ecosystem, supporting the creation of unit, integration, and end-to-end tests. This diverse feature set allows every major type of automated test to be written using this single tool. Cypress offers a rich set of test-writing features and an extensive set of support tools that allow tests to be debugged and analyzed to ensure that they are performing as expected.

JMeter

JMeter is an open-source project that is designed to load test web applications. It provides a test development model where test engineers can precisely control how the target application will be tested. Once the tests are developed, load tests can be automatically executed and analyzed via HTML-based load reports.

k6

k6 is another popular load testing tool for web services and web applications. It offers a complete set of capabilities for writing tests that ensure that the application performs well in various loading conditions, such as load testing to guarantee performance, stress tests to confirm system capacity, and soak tests to verify application stability over time.

Appium Testing

In many ways, Appium can be considered the mobile equivalent of Selenium. Whereas Selenium is designed to automate web browsers, Appium automates a test suite's execution on the vast array of available mobile devices. This capability makes it a vital tool when developing many of today's applications since users often insist on the ability to access systems using their personal or corporate-issued devices.

Industries We Serve

Among SitePen's greatest strengths is its wide-ranging experience across multiple industries. We have worked with some of the most notable names in numerous markets, with each engagement serving to refine our ability to address each enterprise's individual needs. Among the industries that we have worked within are:

  • Financial services
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Public Safety

Choosing the Right Software Automated Testing Team

Many companies offer themselves up as testing experts. While some organizations might be able to succeed at being this specialized, we have found that the best testing teams have developed expertise in many different aspects of the software development process. The best automated testing teams naturally include testing experts, but they also need members that understand project management, software design, and application architecture. These skills inform the testing process by enabling the team to identify which tests to write and why they are essential. Additionally, the testing specialists in top-performing teams have a great deal of familiarity with the various testing tools available and develop the right mix of tools to maximize the effectiveness of the test suite while minimizing complexity.

Benefits of Automated Testing Services

During the creation of an application, a vast amount of knowledge is gained by the development team. This knowledge is distilled and codified into the application's source code, but the nature of software leads to the business context being lost in the actual program code's details. Automated tests provide an "outsider's perspective" of what the application is supposed to do. While each test's implementation might be complicated, the tests' structure and naming often serve as a primary resource for maintenance teams as they evolve and refine the system to continue to meet the users' needs.

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Automated Testing FAQs

What Is Automated Testing?

In software development, automated testing is a quality control strategy that utilizes programs designed to confirm the proper behavior of other programs. Test automation programs are often written during the creation of another program or system to ensure that the target system meets correctness, performance, and resource utilization requirements.

What Are the Advantages of Automated Testing?

Automated testing provides three main advantages. During the system's initial development, a properly constructed automated test suite ensures that existing features continue to behave as expected as new features are added. Automated testing also enables application developers to improve the application's structure by allowing them to extensively refactor and optimize the codebase while ensuring that regressions are not introduced. Finally, automated test suites are a valuable tool for maintenance teams to adapt the system to meet the users' changing needs without compromising the system's integrity.

What Is the Difference Between Manual and Automated Testing?

Manual testing involves human interaction at some level. Typically, one or more testers execute a series of test scripts that define the inputs that they should provide to the system and the expected results of those interactions. Involving people in the process is helpful since testers can identify suboptimal behavior that is not codified in the test scripts. However, manual testing tends to be error-prone and relatively slow since the testers' involvement makes them a part of the system-under-test.

Automated testing requires human interaction as well, but their role is different. Instead of conducting the tests themselves, the engineers construct programs that exercise the target system to simulate some of the system's intended behavior. While this often requires more upfront work than manual testing, the resultant test programs can be executed repeatedly, consistently, and efficiently.

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