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Going back to the time, when internet was first introduced, businesses moving towards their digital goals, were extremely inconsiderate of the quality assurance practices.  

Nevertheless, the expanding focus towards sustainable tech made way for the advancement of testing methodologies. This includes the evolution of manual testing practices as well as the introduction of test automation tools.  

As of today, there are numerous testing tools available in the market. Some of them are easy to use or maintain while other demands extra proficiency to work on scripting or pushing for automation coverage.  

Actually, the growing complexity of the applications demands a growing line of code, which ultimately calls for more maintenance efforts on scripts and frameworks. And therefore, to overcome the hassle of extensive exertion done on automation processes, the concept of scriptless test automation came into existence.  

At BugRaptors, we have very closely witnessed the evolution of test frameworks and with all our gathered expertise and insights to the existing and upcoming technologies, we would like to highlight the way enterprises need to move toward 5th generation test automation frameworks.  

Test Automation Frameworks: The Evolution 

test automation framework

Record & Playback: Generation One 

The first generation of test tools was more of browser extensions or plug-ins that worked at recording the interaction of the tester with an application. Furthermore, the frameworks evolved at auto-generated test scripts and executing the test process. These frameworks were very helpful to work on tests that were repeated multiple times.  

Use & Re-use: Generation Two 

The second generation of test frameworks worked on the modular approach to testing. These worked on divided tests into building blocks to get maximum coverage. These frameworks break the test cases into reusable pieces and place them in a library for future references where different units could be combined to work on other unique test scenarios.  

Data-driven Scripts: Generation Three 

The introduction of generation three test automation frameworks worked at creating application-specific scripts that were coded with the provision of accommodating variable datasets. The data is either kept in the spreadsheets or database table. Besides, input values for the tests are extracted from data files and are stored in variable test scripts. 

Action Keyword Scripts: Generation Fourth 

The fourth generation of test frameworks worked on mapping a keyword to a test action such as a mouse click or any specific keyboard strokes, etc. The test process is aimed at a series of operations that are executed for a given set of actions invoked by keywords. The frameworks supported drag-and-drop capabilities where testers could simulate user actions for a given keyword.  

Wondering what capabilities automation frameworks could offer?  

Find your answer on our recent Tech Talks With Sowmya Sridharamurthy 

Drawbacks Of Previous Generation Test Automation Frameworks 

  1. The conventional test automation tools were very complex in use. They not only required more time to execute testing but were expensive to maintain while the mastery had a steep learning curve.  

  1. Record and playback tools had limited potential with chances of breakdown at any point in time. For instance, even the most minor changes to the presentation layer code could lead to breaking the recording process and may even require testers to start over.  

  1. These frameworks needed strong coding skills of the testers to address any changes in the software with a need to write scripts in a tool-specific language, which ultimately increased the workload.  

  1. Testers from different backgrounds and capabilities often end up with inconsistent scripting standards. It not only caused project overhead but even hampers operational efficiencies.  

  1. Lastly, UI-based test scripts are quite disadvantageous due to the lack of reliability with the execution that depends on an unamendable GUI (Graphical User Interface). 

Fifth Generation Test Automation Frameworks 

The fifth generation of test automation frameworks and tools are all about scriptless testing. These work on a combined yet simplified methodology of working on objects, keywords, and descriptors that are worked by the execution engine.  

fifth generation tools

However, the shift from fourth generation to fifth generation frameworks was a major move from the use of graphs, keywords, and scripts. The fifth-generation testing works on recorded test sequence, some of which can be listed as Ranorex, Mabl, etc.  

The Functioning Of Fifth-gen Test Automation Frameworks 

During the application setup, the tool executes the default tests that are mandatory for any application. To work on these tests, the tool only needs access to login credentials of the app as they are intelligent enough to login and navigate through the app features.  

The tool works on accessing the application through browser sessions running in containers or virtual engines that are contained in the cloud. The tests are run to work on certain operations such as recording the output, processing the results, and supply the insights to the user again.  

All in all, the fifth-generation test tools allow easy participation of business stakeholders in the review process while complementing developers, testers, and business analysts. Thus, introducing them in the early phases of the software development lifecycle could allow improved script designs and high ROI while supporting the agile practice.  

Benefits Of Fifth Generation Test Frameworks 

  • Better speed calling for improved time to market and agile goals.  

  • Reduced overall maintenance cost and overheads 

  • Easy configuration allows easy conformation of test assets to varying requirements 

  • Convenient testing with easy plug and play features 

  • Added efficiency with up to 80 percent reduction in scripting efforts, allowing testers to focus on other core features and skip the repetitive peripheral actions.  

Myths That Testers Need To Avoid 

When it comes to scriptless test automation, there are certain myths surrounding the process that must be resisted. These include:  

  1. No Code 

Scriptless does not mean no code. It refers to adapting the existing code. 

  1. No Effort 

The record and playback capabilities save you efforts but there is nothing like no effort. 

  1. It Is Automated! 

Automation checks must be designed to work well and precisely on any issues, bugs, or defects. 

  1. Zero Programming 

Basic programming skills are always helpful as they enable testers to interact well with the tool.  

Adopting The Fifth Gen Or Scriptless Test Automation 

Scriptless test automation offers a disruptive perspective to the test process changing the fundamentals of testing through better quality at reduced cost and integration of early testing in the development process. More importantly, scriptless test automation is an enabler of agile development, which even brings in the perspective of non-technical stakeholders in the test automation process.  

From designing superior tests initiatives with minimal programming knowledge to simplified test design and execution, it allows better tracking and maintenance of test process.  

And just in case, you need some expert assistance integrating 5th generation test automation to your already existing test procedures, BugRaptors can help you gain an edge. 

For more information, write us at info@bugraptors.com  

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Parteek Goel

Parteek Goel is a highly-dynamic QA expert with proficiency in automation, AI, and ML technologies. Currently, working as an automation manager at BugRaptors, he has a knack for creating software technology with excellence. Parteek loves to explore new places for leisure, but you'll find him creating technology exceeding specified standards or client requirements most of the time.

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BugRaptors is one of the best software testing companies headquartered in India and the US, which is committed to catering to the diverse QA needs of any business. We are one of the fastest-growing QA companies; striving to deliver technology-oriented QA services, worldwide. BugRaptors is a team of 200+ ISTQB-certified testers, along with ISO 9001:2018 and ISO 27001 certifications.

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