What is Automation Testing in Software Development?

Relia Software

Relia Software

Quang Duc

Relia Software


Automation testing is an automatic technique where the tester writes scripts by own and uses suitable software to test the software. See automation testing tutorial.

Automation Testing in Software Development: An In-Depth Tutorial

Table of Contents

The use of automated testing has revolutionized the software industry. All tests had to be performed manually before the advent of test automation. This manual method was time-consuming, error-prone, and costly. Automation testing can be considered as a key enabler for the recent proliferation of mobile applications. Let’s discover further details about automation testing in this article!

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What is Automation Testing? 

Automated testing is a type of software testing that eliminates the need for human intervention. This takes place by running a set of test cases automatically using specialized automation testing tools. 

Repeatedly putting a test suite through its paces can be a time-consuming procedure. Therefore, using a test automation tool makes it much easier to draft the test suite, re-play it as needed, lessens the need for human involvement, and boosts the ROI of testing.

The System Under Test (SUT) is fed test data, expected and actual results are compared. Besides, in-depth test reports are generated automatically with automated testing. 

Automation testing is a worthwhile investment for any company trying to expedite their software testing process, but it does need some financial and human resource commitment.

What is Automation Testing?
What is Automation Testing? (Source: Internet)

Types of Automation Testing in Software Development

The various forms of automated testing are as follows:

  • Unit testing: is a step of software testing in which the smallest logically-isolated chunks of code are put through their paces. It is performed while the application is being built. 

  • Integration testing: separate software modules are brought together and evaluated as a whole in integration testing. This procedure is performed to ensure that the component meets the required functional specifications.

  • Smoke testing: is a kind of software testing used to ascertain if the final product is reliable. It's the last review the program undergoes before going public.

  • Performance testing: a software's performance in terms of stability and responsiveness under a given load is evaluated during performance testing.

  • Regression testing: To ensure that modifications to previously built software have not broken any previously implemented functionality, regression testing is performed.

  • Security testing: is a subset of software testing that seeks out and reports flaws in the application's security mechanisms. An company can use the results to pinpoint the weak points in its security system and implement improvements.

  • Acceptance testing: After system testing, the final phase of software testing is acceptance testing. It's useful for gauging how well received the software is by actual users.

  • API testing: The purpose of API testing, which is a subset of software testing, is to ensure that the Application Programming Interface (API) is fully functional, secure, and reliable.

  • UI testing: Software testers can verify the proper operation of every field, button, and other graphical element by employing UI testing.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Automation Testing 


Enhanced Accuracy 

Since automated tests are programmed to behave in a predetermined way, they eliminate the possibility of human error. Automated tests remove the possibility of human error, such as forgetting a step, during execution.


It's possible to overlook critical problems if testing isn't standardized and consistent. Automation suites are crucial in situations requiring continuous testing, such as when initiating routine regression test runs.

Automated testing ensures that each test case is carried out in the same way each time it is run. They can be executed frequently throughout the day to catch any new problems as soon as they appear, boosting trust in the software's quality.

Reduced Expenses

Projects that deal with complex infrastructures or multiple types of applications tend to experience the greatest return on investment (ROI) through automation. One of the most common obstacles to using automation is the high price tag associated with doing so.

Setting up and establishing automated workflows takes time, and that's not only true for software test automation. However, the ROI in precision, swiftness, and regularity is assured over time.

>> You may consider: How Much Does It Cost To Design an App?

Increased Test Scope 

Reusable automated test suites can be executed on a wide variety of browsers, devices, and OSes. Tests can be expedited by isolating the most common user environment, locking it down, and running the test suite. Testing on legacy browsers, devices, and operating systems (such iOS 13) can be facilitated by using cloud environments.

Enhanced Capability to Reuse Tests

Testers save time by not having to manually build and run tests before each testing cycle because automated tests may be saved and reused across many systems with a single click. 

Regular Checkups

Automated tests can be executed often and at any point in the development process, including but not limited to the coding stage, the integration stage, and even after deployment. They can be built into the software's development process and executed automatically after each code commit.

No Human Intervention

A large number of people are needed for manual testing, but automated testing can run its test cases without any help from a human.

Enhanced Scale

The scope at which your test team operates can be drastically increased by automating your tests. This is because automated testing may be done around the clock, every day of the week. The most dedicated quality engineers can only work 60 hours per week. As a result, you may put the same amount of time and energy into a far larger number of tests. This is crucial, as test engineers are in short supply.

Increased Speed of Delivery

You presumably feel constant pressure to roll out additional functionality. But if you release an app with bugs, you might lose all that progress in a matter of minutes. You can perform regression testing much more quickly with automated testing. As a result, the time it takes to implement a new feature and make it available to the public is greatly reduced. The quicker you can provide new features, the more competitive your business will be.

Streamlined Releases

In the conventional model of software development, testing is performed only after the final product has been coded. However, re-testing your software frequently throughout development is possible with test automation. Smoke tests can be executed whenever new code is pushed. At the point at which a new function becomes stable, testing can begin. That implies your entire release procedure will run more smoothly and quickly.


High Initial Cost

Spending a lot of effort and money on automation testing at the beginning is inevitable. Selecting the tool and developing custom software is a laborious process.

Impossibility of 100% Test Automation 

In most cases, the goal is to fully automate the testing process. However, not every test case can be automated in the actual world. Some test scenarios call for human oversight and action. In other words, technology can't test everything the way people can (in terms of design, usability, etc.).

Impossibility of Automation Testing for All Testing Types

Testing the system's friendliness to users cannot be automated. Because automated tests rely on textual descriptions to validate output, testing of visual or aural content cannot be automated either.

Programming Knowledge Requirements

Test scripts can be written in any of the programming languages supported by the various automated testing tools. Therefore, the ability to code is essential for automation testing.

Incorrect Positive and Negative Results

There may be occasions when an automated test fails, giving the impression that there is a problem with the system when in fact there is none. False negatives can occur if tests are written to ensure only that a certain feature exists, rather than that it actually performs as expected.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Automation Testing (Source: Internet)

What Kinds of Tests Should Be Automated?

When considering whether or not a test can and should be automated, there are a few things to keep in mind. The most crucial ones are as follows:

  • Repeatable: The examination must be one that can be (and will be) routinely repeated. If a feature is going to be phased out, there's no use in automating a test for it.

  • Determinant: The exam must include discrete passing and failing criteria. In other words, a computer should be able to determine with relative ease whether or not the test was successful.

  • Repetitive and Tedious: Humans are notoriously bad at routine work. Our thoughts stray or we become sidetracked. If a test requires you to do the same thing over and over, it's probably preferable to let a computer handle it.

  • Business-Critical: You should make every effort to automate and frequently schedule mission-critical tests. That way, you'll know for sure that this check is always being made.

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Automation Testing Life Cycle: Steps To Implement Automated Tests

The Scope of Automation Testing

It is important to determine whether or not automation is possible before beginning the testing process. The following factors should be taken into account while determining the extent of testing automation:

  • Which parts of the process can be automated, if any?

  • What is the team size and overall effective costs?

  • Which tests need to be automated, and how should this be done?

The Proper Automation Testing Tool

Without the proper testing tool, automation testing is impossible. When making this important choice, it is important to keep in mind the following aspects of the testing life cycle:

  • The resources on board are familiar with the tool.

  • Total budget and flexibility.

  • Project-building technologies and programming languages.

  • Choosing a tool with a support team to handle questions and difficulties.

Automation Testing Plan, Design, and Strategy

In this stage, you will formulate a plan, design the architecture, and develop a strategy to realize your test automation objectives.

  • Test plan: Test standards and procedures, hardware, software, and test data requirements must be developed.

  • Test design: Design the test architecture to decide how the tests will be executed.

  • Test strategy: Pick an appropriate automation testing framework.

Setting Up The Test Environment 

You must prepare a machine, either locally or remotely, to execute the test cases. It needs to be able to handle on a variety of platforms of desktop and mobile apps, and browsers.

Executing Automation Testing Script

The next step is to run the test scripts and see if everything works as expected. This phase entails testing for functionality and cross-platform compatibility. If the test case fails, you must also create a bug report.

Generating Test Reports and Conducting Analyses

The testing life cycle has reached its conclusion. In this step, you'll examine the test results and decide whether or not further testing is required. To ensure that the test scripts can detect application bugs, test results are generated. When testing is complete, reports are distributed to project participants and clients.

Best Practices of Automation Testing

The following are some recommendations for automated testing best practices:

  • Plan carefully for testing: It's crucial that the evaluation is well-defined and written. The test cases ought to be self-contained and elementary in nature.

  • Arrange the timing of test runs: Planning the test so that one test generates the state for another test is useful since it facilitates the sequential execution of test cases. 

  • Use tools with automatic scheduling: Make use of automated testing scheduling tools if at all possible. 

  • If a test fails, an alarm will go off: Choose a tool that notifies you of a failed test if at all possible. The next step is to choose whether or not to proceed with the test. 

  • Test strategies should be reevaluated as the software evolves: There is no point in wasting money testing the application's older functionality, hence it is crucial to regularly reevaluate the test plan.

Why Automation Testing Fails?

Poor preparation and lack of strategy

Without a well-defined test plan and approach, the testing process can become fragmented, making it difficult to locate and fix software flaws in a timely manner. 

Inadequate familiarity with the being-tested-on application

The features, behavior, and outcomes of the program should all be part of this comprehension. Knowing the program inside and out can help you determine which test cases can and should be automated and which ones are less important, less time-consuming, and less repetitious.

Not using cloud computing

Instead of purchasing expensive hardware, QA teams may use on-cloud testing to run automated tests on a wide variety of browsers and devices. This method has the potential to bring the speed, adaptability, and cost savings required to develop top-notch software. 

Without the overhead of investing in the correct hardware and software configuration, a cloud testing environment can more realistically mimic the conditions in which the application would be utilized.

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Lack of collaboration between development and testing teams

Automation testing calls for developers and testers to work together closely. The integration of testing into development and the prompt resolution of any issues encountered require close collaboration between the two groups. 

Selecting the wrong tool

The testing tool must be compatible with the software being tested and the criteria for that testing. Choosing the wrong technology might waste time and money and lead to botched test automation.

Automation Testing vs. Manual Testing


Manual Testing

Automation Testing


Slow, manual test case execution required. 

Faster, permits automation-based simultaneous test case execution. 


More human error-prone.

Automation makes test cases repeatable and less prone to human error.


More work to manage huge test suites.

More work to set up, but less to maintain once automation scripts are written.


Tests can be reused, but require manual execution, limiting the scalability of testing.

Tests can be reused multiple times with minimal effort, enabling more comprehensive and scalable testing.


Limited scope, manual effort and time make full test coverage challenging.

Covers more testing, including regression, making full test coverage easier.


Lower upfront cost because it doesn't require specialist tools or technology, but labor costs can rise over time.

Higher upfront cost due to specialized tools and technology, but can become cheaper over time due to efficiency.


Manual testers must understand the application and be able to identify and report faults.

Needs a tester who knows programming languages and automation technologies and can create and maintain automated test scripts.

Automation Testing vs. Manual Testing (Source: Internet)

Common Misconceptions About Automation Testing

Automation will provide you with more free time

The misconception that automated testing will give you more free time is both true and false. In manual testing, most of the time is devoted to exploratory and functional testing where you would manually search for errors. Once that process is complete, the manual tester must repeatedly go through the same steps over again.

With automated testing, that time is cut drastically. The work for automated testers is instead spent coding the tests and making improvements to these tests repeatedly as adjustments are needed. Once the test is complete, however, automated testing allows for the recycled use of tests so that they do not have to go through this whole process again. 

In essence, the time spent on the mundane tasks and repetition a manual tester would go through is instead spent focusing on larger, more important issues involving the software you’re developing.

>> Read more: 6 Leading Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Methodologies

The Cost of Automated Testing is Too High

At first, the investment in automated testing might seem cost prohibitive, especially if you’re a smaller company. But analysis has shown that, over time, automated testing pays for itself.

As mentioned previously, automated testing frees you up to focus on larger issues such as customer needs, functionality and improvements. Automated testing also reduces the cost and need for multiple code revisions, so over the course of time, the investment pays out.

Automated Testing is Better Than Manual Testing

The reality is, there is no “better” or “worse” in the automated vs. manual debate, there’s just “different.” Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

Manual testing is performed by a human sitting in front of a computer carefully going through application via SQL and log analysis, trying various usage and input combinations, comparing the results to the expected behavior and recording the results. 

Automated testing is often used after the initial software has been developed. Lengthy tests that are often avoided during manual testing can be run unattended. They can even be run on multiple computers with different configurations.

In the end, both manual and automated testing have their roles, especially if the software you’re developing is too large and too complex to rely just on the manual approach.

Automated Testing Inhibits Human Interaction

Another common misconception about automated testing is that it undermines human interaction. In all honesty, automated testing is more clear-cut and faster than what humans could do without suffering extensive human errors, so this misconception is understandable.

On the other hand, automated testing provides QC and development teams with more time to focus on big – new – complex features. This creates chances for them to have discussion/interaction while finding a way to implement and test those features.

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In conclusion, software development cannot succeed without automated testing. It improves application quality and dependability while decreasing the need for laborious manual testing. By using the correct methods and equipment, businesses can boost the quality and efficiency of their testing, find errors sooner in the development process, and ultimately provide customers with better goods. 

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