Retail industries engage their clients through online, mobile and point of sale systems. Hence, it is very important for these companies to remain relevant to the modern market trends. Customer loyalty nowadays is very fragile and easily lost of the services and responses fail to keep up to the user expectations. The continuous competition to roll out new features, offers, and customer experiences earlier than the competitors, often leads to overlooking of the test planning phase. A well planned strategy for test automation helps to maintain this pace and overcome the risk of inconsistent scenarios.
Strategy for Test Automation
- Carrying out a Proof of Concept on the application.
- Understanding the technical architecture of the application, the add ins depending on the technical architecture, the communication protocols, and the applicability of the automation tools and tool adapters.
- A quantitative evaluation and comparative analysis of automation tools based on criteria with specific weightages.
- A high level understanding of the application in order to modularize them.
- A correct selection of scenarios to be tested.
- Consider the ROI to assess the financial feasibility of the automation initiative.
- Include long term investments in order to ensure a robust and re-usable automation suite.
- Procure the right automation tool with the required add-ins in order to overcome the technical obstacles.
- Wherever possible simulate actions and calls in order to ensure end-to-end test coverage.
Process and Methodology
- Keyword Driven Framework: Modularization helps to maintain test scripts. Common functions can be scripted as re-usable functions/keywords which can be invoked by multiple scripts for different testing scenarios.
- Data Parameterization: A robust automation script should be data driven and designed in a way that test data can be supplied and manipulated during runtime.
- Early Automation: An automation framework that enables early automation or that which is built on the principles of early automation improves ROI. It helps to define Business Processes and Validation rules even before the application is functionally stable. When the application is ready, test scripts can be generated from the predefined models.
- Scope of Automation: It is very important to identify the right scenarios for automation testing. Typical scenarios that need automation are sales, return, exchange, discounts, promotions, price change and price lookup.
- Test Management: Interacting the automation suite with the test management tools help to leverage the UI features which make it easy to understand and report test execution status.
Environment and Infrastructure:
- Ensure that the same technology, hardware, platform available in the production environment is available for the test environment as well.
- Maintain a database at regular checkpoints.
- Maintain separate databases for manual and automated testing.
- Ensure that the right scripts are executed on the right environment and the right release version of the application.
Tools and Accelerators
- Automation tools need to be compatible with the technology platform on which the system is running.
- OS manufacturers are known to supply tailor made versions of OS to support a particular system. While selecting an automated tool ensure that it is compatible with the specific OS.
- Automation tools sometimes fail to recognize objects used with touchscreen UI features. Such touchscreen UI need to be automated using tools which can simulate object methodology.
- Technology accelerators can be used to simulate peripheral devices. These can help the automation tools to recognize the non-standard UI objects.
Test automation comprises of a comprehensive strategy by following a structured process and selecting appropriate tools and accelerators. There is no common strategy for any system, Each differ in their own respect. Hence, test automation strategies need to be molded accordingly.