8 Things to Define for Successful Large Scale Test Automation Implementation

8 Things to Define for Successful Large Scale Test Automation Implementation

Though automation testing does not look a very lucrative or a viable option first hand due to the costs involved with regards to setting up the environment or the tools themselves – in the long run, its benefits surely surpass the initial hiccups. That said, like there’s a method for every madness, to maximize your ROI using Test Automation, you need to have a very specific plan of action.

Kalyan Rao Konda, President of Gallop — one of the largest companies that specialize in providing testing services — told Joe Colantonio in an exclusive interview that while people usually approach test automation from a technical aspect, and they actually forget the business side of it.

Kalyan also mentioned that more often than not, the “large product development companies and also in large enterprises like banks, insurance and healthcare, … (are) organized in business units by product development groups.” This results in everybody approaching automation in their own way using different set of tools, which creates an atmosphere of inconsistency.

So, what really might constitute the best way of implementing test automation so as to maximize ROI? To start with, the following need to be defined to achieve the target:

  1. Define the Product Roadmap: Kalyan again says that before organizations begin automating anything, they must ensure that they have an end goal in mind. There should be absolute clarity on what do the organizations need to automate, lest there be confusion and chaos around the whole process and the efforts prove to be a big scale failure. The effort being put in towards test automation must not be treated as an afterthought, but rather it must be given due importance at the beginning of a project itself.
  2. Define the Test Process: To meet the roadmap defined, a clear definition of the test process is a must. This process must be defined keeping in mind the risks, costs, and trainings involved while implementing test automation.
  3. Define the Framework: Whether an organization selects a data-driven or a keyword-driven framework, or a mix of both, defining and selecting the framework will have a definite and a positive impact on your ROI as it will help you implement the roadmap you defined earlier.
  4. Define the Tools to be used: While testers can choose from a wide variety of solutions, erroneous decisions regarding the test automation tools can lead to effects that may not be reversible. Hence, selecting the right tools is a business-critical requirement for ensuring successful test runs. All variables such as integration capabilities, installation requirements, overall cost, maintenance, and compatibility with the testing environment must be kept in mind while deciding upon a tool.
  5. Define the scope of Script Management: The scope of script management usually hovers around the broad areas of standard processes that are well documented, logging the errors that are generated, and most importantly testing if the script written is able to withstand unexpected behaviours.
  6. Define the Manual Effort still required: Automation is an end result of a lot of manual activities such as script and test case writing, setting up the machines and then selecting the tests, and once the test is run – analyze the results. These are by no means tasks that can be done in a jiffy, and need to be planned for – both in terms of costs and efforts.
  7. Define the Testing Team: If an organization understands the importance of the manual effort required, it must then give due diligence while planning the work and effort estimation with regards to the team size and the skills required for the implementation of test automation.
  8. Define what will be the True Measure of your success: A few good examples of this definition may include measuring benefits such as faster go-to-market time, improved ROI, or, on the other hand, that the number of bugs have increased.

Defining the above surely requires a lot of forethought being given to their execution, test automation implementation at an organization so that the efforts do not go in vain.

If you are a large organization trying to implement an automation strategy, Contact Gallop’s team of test automation experts and our tool agnostic test automation framework that consists of a huge library of keywords that helps you build your tests quickly and efficiently, and seamlessly integrates with leading commercial and open source tools.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

4 Steps for a Rapid Test Automation Assessment

4 Steps for a Rapid Test Automation Assessment

In today’s competitive business environment, enterprises and organizations need to assess the best way to implement test automation for their different projects. This has created an awareness regarding the value that automated software testing can bring.

A properly established test automation methodology brings in predictability, repeatability, and agility, and thereby drives software development to a higher degree of quality. Test Automation Assessment helps analyze whether or not an application needs to be automated. Based on certain criteria, recommendations are made that help decide whether an application really needs to be automated, and the benefits that may thus be achieved. Test automation assessment is usually performed either for clients with an existing test automation framework, or for clients with a need for a new test automation framework.

However, to consistently develop best quality applications, organizations need to continuously test the automation process. Rapid Test Automation Assessment (RTAA) is a commonly used approach that helps organizations test the process.

What is a Rapid Test Automation Assessment?

If the test automation assessment is to be completed within shorter timelines than the normal time frames, RTAA becomes a necessity.

RTAA refers to a fast analyses and implementation of a TAF that fits in a small environment, specifically created based on the criticality of the test cases.

4 Steps for a Rapid Test Automation Assessment

  1. Understand the Existing System: This involves assessing the current state of quality assurance and testing practices being followed. An initial understanding of the system, their technology, processes and testing information will be taken up as part of the assessment. An overall understanding of the system is known through understanding of the objectives, a know how of their technology stack is taken up, user flows will be identified, and analysis of the manual test cases if any will be taken up.
  2. Assessment: Usage of the tools and the extent of their automation readiness approach will be determined in this step. A requirement traceability matrix analysis is prepared that details the extent of test cases, business requirements, and details of the functional requirements and areas of quality improvement. Tool feasibility and confirmation along with automation ROI analysis is also taken up as part of the assessment approach. But most importantly, the top few of the most business-critical test cases are identified.
  3. Conduct a Proof of Concept (POC) to Validate Feasibility: This phase consists of implementing a TAF for the environment and executing only the selected critical test cases for conducting a POC. The POC will help identify financial and operational benefits and provide recommendations regarding the actual need for complete automation.
  4. Recommendation & Implementation: Specific test automation tools, automation feasibility, and automation approach will be clearly defined in this phase.

The key assessment focus areas are automation framework, automation integration and its fitment in the SDLC. In automation framework focus area, reusable function libraries, test object maps, exception, error handling etc. will be detailed. In the automation integration focus area, test management,  source code repository, defect management, continuous build management etc. will be defined. In the fitment in SDLC focus area, details like existing /target automation coverage, metrics, test prioritization etc. will be detailed.

Outcome of the Rapid Test Automation Assessment                                                          

The outcome of this rapid test automation recommends appropriate automation strategies and executes them to enhance testing quality, reduce testing effort, schedule and ensure return on investments. An extensive report of the process, tools and people will be given. Predictions for effective project management, simple details on the response and need for continuous involvement with business teams and the need to absorb changes suggested by business will be defined. Implementation of tools to effectively track defects and a well defined test strategy document covering all aspects of testing needs will be provided.

Gallop Solutions is an independent software testing service provider in the U.S, with more than a decade of experience. Gallop’s team of automation testing experts designed test automation frameworks which consist of a huge library of keywords that helps you build your tests quickly and efficiently. Our tool agnostic test automation framework seamlessly integrates with leading commercial and open source tools. Contact Gallop’s team of test automation experts today to know more about rapid test automation assessment as we have performed it for many of our clients.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Web Services Test Automation: Framework, Challenges & Benefits

Web Services Test Automation: Framework, Challenges & Benefits

Web services provide a standard means of interoperating between software applications running on a variety of platforms and frameworks. These services form basis of a connection technology such that services are connected together into a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Further, services communicate with each other using web services, the most used connection technology of SOA. Web services effectuate a standardized way of integrating web-based applications using XML, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Description Language (WSDL), and UDDI open standards over an internet protocol. A Web service is offered by an electronic device to another electronic device, communicating with each other via the World Wide Web. It is also true that a failed web service creates havoc not only to the managers but also to the administrators who are responsible for the server’s wellbeing. A failure also causes problems to the clients trying to call the particular web service.

The most important primary elements of web services are repository, messaging, and service. Since web services are distributed over networks and applications, the testing requirements need to be inclusive of the interfaces. Web services are inherently vulnerable to additional risks in the areas of integration and interoperability. They can be implemented using any programming language on any platform, provided that a standardized XML interface description called WSDL is available. A standardized messaging protocol called SOAP is also used at the same time. Web services often run over HTTP but may run over other application layer transport protocols as well. Automating web services testing facilitates reduction of overall testing efforts.

What are the challenges faced by Web Services?

  • Lack of assurance of trustworthiness
  • Improper provision of client’s input parameters might be a major challenge
  • Malicious users can manipulate the different parameters at times to draw unauthorized information
  • Unavailability of source code is a major challenge to white-box testing

Web Services Testing

Web services provide seamless connections from one software application to another over private intranets and the Internet. Web services’ testing considers functionality and load aspects to check how a Web service performs for single clients and scales as the number of clients accessing it increases. Testing of Web services is useful to prevent late detection of errors, which requires complex and costly repairs. Testing enables the detection of errors, evaluation, and approval of system qualities at an earlier stage. An automated test approach in particular helps to efficiently repeat tests whenever needed. In particular, test automation will be essential to a sound and efficient Web services development process, for the assessment of the functionality, performance, and scalability of Web services.

Web Services Testing includes the following tasks:

  • Generate the client or skeleton code for the web service
  • Define the required test inputs
  • Invoke the web service using the client or skeleton code
  • Client or skeleton code generation and response verification
  • Verify that the actual response is similar to that of the expected outcome

Web Services Testing Tools

There are various web services testing tools available, such as ManageEngine, QEngine, SoapUI, TestMaker, WebInject toolsets etc.  These tools are built on open source tools/libraries/frameworks and thus help reduce overall costs and help increase automation efficiency by minimizing initial coding effort. These tools help to quickly create and execute automated functional, regression, compliance and loading tests. Finally, they help reduce dependency on technically skilled resources. In today’s fast paced world, a quicker test cycle at lower cost is vital to stay competitive and thus reusable test automation frameworks coupled with open source tools and technologies is a key solution to shrink test cycle time and related costs.

There are Web Services test automation frameworks available that are designed and developed by many testing service providers and adopting them reflects more effectiveness. Some of their important features & benefits are detailed below.

Web Services Test Automation Framework Features

  • Customizable frameworks developed based on the need
  • Flexible test suites and test cases can be configured
  • Enables test script creation with minimal coding effort
  • Instantly sets the headers and assertions for SOAP requests
  • Easily parses the XML requests with inputs
  • Minimal or no scripting required from the end user
  • Enhanced reports and logs provided for reference and future action

Benefits by Adopting Web Services Test Automation Frameworks

  • Improves performance and reliability of the SOA
  • Eases testing of both SOA-based and REST API-based web services
  • Supports test execution of web services in a cloud environment
  • Ensures 100% Functional Test coverage

Gallop Solutions, with years of automation expertise in open source technologies have developed Web Service Test Accelerator (WSTA). It is a proprietary, easy to use framework and automates the web services testing of SOA-based applications at the interface level and reduces the need to support testing in parallel to the development phase. The accelerator supports both functional testing and performance testing of the web services and reduces test case authoring effort by 80%.

Contact Gallop’s WSTA specialists to know more about this framework.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Automated Testing on Real Vs Virtual Devices

Automated Testing on Real Vs Virtual Devices

There are key differences between automated testing on real devices and on their virtual counterparts (emulators). Let’s go through a comparison to assess the best path for your organization to take with regard to your test automation practices.

A closer look

Here, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of automated testing on real devices and virtual ones.

a. Advantages of real devices

  1. Testing real world conditions (weather, location, network, etc.) are much easier and provide deeper insight into app functioning in a variety of situations
  2. Screen resolution, picture brightness in different lighting scenarios, etc. are also easily  testable
  3. Interoperability testing is far easier with an actual device
  4. Device performance is faster than corresponding virtual models, which means that evaluating app performance will yield more precise results

b. Disadvantages of real devices

  1. Conducting automated tests on actual devices is a relatively expensive affair, which would hinder projects that are restricted by time and budget
  2. Because of the wide range of platforms and devices, it is difficult to efficiently carry out testing in a limited time period
  3. During the app development phase for unit testing, real devices are much harder to connect to the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) than emulators, which would suffocate the project

c. Advantages of virtual devices / emulators

  1. In situations with severe deadline pressure, getting access to real devices might be challenging, so emulators can serve as reasonable substitutes for testing in such cases
  2. Budget constraints can impact the team’s decision to invest in real devices. Virtual environments can save money and time by allowing testers to continue with their tasks without having to spend on devices that may not in fact be entirely appropriate for the particular tests they want to execute
  3. Emulators tend to be open source and easily downloadable
  4. Web app testing is more convenient with emulators

d. Disadvantages of virtual devices / emulators

  1. For extended periods of evaluation, emulators may not be appropriate because extended usage can be measured best on a real device
  2. The costs may add up when your team discovers that their emulator may be incompatible with certain apps or app elements. In such cases, they might need to invest in software patches to allow testing to continue
  1. Emulators may support only a limited number of mobile operating systems, which could render them useless in many cases

Now that we’ve summarized the pros and cons of each, let’s look at a few testing tools for the Android platform (the most common mobile OS today, so therefore an obvious option to consider).

  1. Robotium: A free UI testing tool, Robotium is often labeled as “Selenium for Android.” However, you need to spend time with the program source code to run your test automation suite, and is not entirely appropriate for interacting with system software.
  2. Ranorex: Can provide comprehensive reports along with pictures, but the element search facility is a little sluggish.
  3. Appium Automation framework: Uses the WebDriver interface to run tests, and supports a number of programming languages, and also supports mobile web browser testing. However, its reporting facility is not very well implemented, and XPath support on mobile devices is poor.
  4. MonkeyRunner: A popular tool where tests are written in Python, MonkeyRunner can run tests on both real devices and emulators. But a crucial constraint in this tool is that you need to write scripts for each and every device. Furthermore, the test need to be altered every time there’s an alteration to the UI of the program under testing.

Thus, it should be clear now that there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to using real devices and emulators, and the kind of tools we should be looking at for the most popular mobile operating system. QA teams need to assess their own project requirements and decide what combination of real / virtual would best suit their needs for a given app, and what sacrifices they’d be willing to make when choosing a test automation tool.

Gallop’s Test automation accelerates regression test efforts in a cost effective manner and our certified test automation specialists have expertise in diverse frameworks and methodologies. Contact us today for your test automation services.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Selecting a Programming Language to build Selenium Test Automation Suite

Selecting a Programming Language to build Selenium Test Automation Suite

Selenium is a widely used open source, portable software testing framework for web applications. Though Selenium comes with a test domain specific language (Selenese), other programming languages (Java, C#, Ruby, Python) can be used to script tests as well. Tests made in other languages communicate with Selenium via calling methods in the Selenium Client API. Selenium is therefore client language neutral.

All organizations shifting to Selenium for their web app testing face one common question:

What language do we select to build Selenium based test automation suites?

Let’s start off by looking at programming languages as a whole. Though many different languages exist and new ones are still being created, one must note that, roughly 90% of the concepts one learns in a specific language are also applicable to entirely different languages. When one is familiar with the core basics (program design, control structures, data structures, and basic operation of a programming language), developing similar skills with another language simply boils down to understanding the syntactical nuances.

So, which language should one pick? As an individual, the answer is straightforward: go with what you’re most comfortable with.

Dima Kovalenko, in his book titled Selenium Design Patterns and Best Practices, illustrates the flexibility of Selenium, by showing how some common Selenium command sendkeys translate across major scripting languages.

Consistency offered by the WebDriver API across languages, simplifies the process of porting test knowledge of one language to another. Test engineers become greater assets to their organizations as they can be relocated to any web project, written in any programming language, and still be able to create tests for it instantly.

Uniformity between different Selenium bindings is applicable to most commands in the Selenium API. But, one must note that the quoted example is a little oversimplified. Action commands are framed in the same format in every language. But when using different languages to script code, over time, differences will become apparent between the languages. Therefore, actions that function well in a particular language might be redundant and counter intuitive in a different one.

As explained above, no clear favorite emerges when choosing a scripting language for Selenium. But which one should an organization select?

The answer to this question is less straightforward. Some factors have to be considered:

  • The current language being used by an enterprise for development: If an organization has everyone using Python, then that should be the ideal language to use.
    • Introducing a new language isn’t easy. Using a language that QA testers are already comfortable with, is the most convenient choice. It is also much harder to operate Selenium using a new language.
  • Local support for the programming language should also be considered. If local developers are experienced with a particular language, then that language is a better choice for QA teams. In case testers require help with the language, defects, or development tools, it becomes easier to make use of the already available in-house expertise.
  • For individuals who haven’t programmed before, using script-friendly languages like Python, Ruby etc. could be the best way to go. They have an easy learning curve, and also allow Selenium tests to be written quickly and with less code.
  • Java is the most commonly used language, but its scripts can be complex because of the relatively complicated syntax.

When all is said and done, every language has something unique to offer, and so there is no absolute winner. Selecting the most appropriate language comes down to the team’s particular situation, and what they’re trying to accomplish. It is important in this regard to seek some guidance and real-world help from players who have some experience in the field, and whose insights can aid you when making that crucial pre-development decision.

At Gallop, we have in-depth expertise in providing Selenium test automation services. Our Selenium Test Automation Services cover a wide range of browser, OS, and device combinations, and provide an end-to-end cross-browser test automation solution. Leverage the experience of Gallops’ top Selenium experts and Contact us today.

REFERENCE:

  1. Selenium Design Patterns and Best Practices, Dima Kovalenko

http://cdn.oreillystatic.com/oreilly/booksamplers/packt/9781783982707_Sample.pdf

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

How to Add Visual Testing to Existing Selenium Tests

How to Add Visual Testing to Existing Selenium Tests

Selenium is a free, open-source testing tool that is used to automate testing. It is mostly used to test software on their functional aspects and isn’t optimized to include testing on their visual aspects. There exists a strong misconception within the industry on the ease of automating visual testing. These opinions are unfounded as the automation of visual testing isn’t extremely challenging. Therefore, while almost every aspect of testing today is automated, a lot of enterprises still employ the use of manual testing when it comes to visuals. This forms a bottleneck for these organizations when it comes to achieving continuous deployment. Automating visual testing is rather simplistic. Automation is also possible for both new and existing Selenium tests.

What is Visual Testing?

It is defined as the act of inspecting an application’s graphical user interface [GUI] and ensuring it is displayed as intended. It is also occasionally labelled as visual checking or visual regression testing. As the name suggests, the objective of visual testing is to find visual errors. Errors like misalignment of objects, font, layout, rendering issues, etc. It can also be implemented to verify the content on a page, which makes it lucrative for websites with high graphical functionality [charts, graphs, dashboards, etc.].

Visual Testing and Selenium:

Since Selenium isn’t designed to test visual appearance and/or the CSS-Code directly, other approaches have to be considered:

  • By defining style guides
  • Document Object Model [DOM] comparison
  • By running a screenshot comparison
  • By checking the syntax of CSS and HTML

The comparison using the screenshot method is the easiest to implement. With the use of a third-party software, such as Applitools Eyes, one can add testing checks even into existing Selenium tests. Add another program like Sauce Labs to the mix, and one can test across almost every browser, device, platform, and configured in any combination. The many variables involved magnify the operational complexity, but implementing the other existing open source/commercial solutions makes Visual Testing feasible. It adds tremendous value and is also becoming easier to implement with every passing day.

How does it work?

Let’s consider a single automated visual test. During the test a single page is looked at and every distinct element displayed on it is verified to render correctly. Therefore, even on a single page, hundreds of objects are checked for various characteristics [position, overlaps, incorrect rendering, etc.]. A single visual test directly translates into a hundred different verifications. This process repeats itself with each distinct visual test. It can then be scaled to each browser, operating system, device, screen resolution, etc. taking one a few steps closer to continuous delivery.

There are several tools that can be used along with Selenium to perform Visual Tests (for example, Applitools Eyes). Though they might be different from each other, all of them follow variations of the following workflow:

  1. Run the Application Under Test [AUT] and take a screenshot
  2. Compare the screenshot taken with a ‘baseline’ image. [A representative image for the intended GUI]
  3. Report the differences, if any
  4. Update the baseline image as required

Every time a script is run, a screenshot is taken. A screenshot taken initially becomes the baseline image used for comparisons in the future. Every subsequent run, the newer screenshot is verified to be within the mismatch tolerance limit specified for the baseline image. If the mismatch exceeds the tolerance limits, the script fails. Once the script fails enough times, the baseline image can be updated automatically to ensure it represents the newest version of the GUI, but only when instructed to do so. With this method, Visual Test automation can be easily incorporated into existing Selenium tests as well, and the shortened development cycle makes continuous development much easier.

On 1st June, 2015, SeleniumHQ labeled Gallop Solutions as an Aluminum Level Sponsor on their official website, www.seleniumhq.org. This recognition confirms Gallop’s position as a specialized software testing service provider, committed to making sure clients get value from their QA investments.

Gallop’s Selenium Test Automation Services cover a wide range of browser, OS, device combinations, and provide end-to-end cross-browser test automation solutions. Leverage the experience of top Selenium experts, IP-led testing frameworks with an assurance of world class quality. Contact Gallop Solutions today.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Successful Test Automation with Selenium and Cucumber

Successful Test Automation with Selenium and Cucumber

 

Selenium and Cucumber are a great combination when it comes to web application automation, as Cucumber allows you to write your tests quickly in English-like language and Selenium allows you to run on various combinations of browsers. Let us have a look at some details on how to put them together.

The Basics

Web application regression testing is done to assess the app compatibility across a range of browsers, but this method tends to be a burden on both time and money. A better method would be the use of multiple test suites to be driven across a number of browsers.

The obvious benefit of this approach is that errors and glitches get identified early in the production pipeline, and can be resolved almost immediately.

When using Selenium with Cucumber for test automation, tests are written in feature files that can be understood by various stakeholders in an agile environment such as the BA’s. Cucumber also comes with its ability to support multiple scripts and programming languages, the Selenium API is one that allows to drive the browser.

An overview of the process

Cucumber essentially acts as a common ground between developers and non-technical stakeholders. The BDD style is used in writing tests, which is easily comprehensible and doesn’t require any deep knowledge of code (basic commands i.e., Given, When, Then). After the acceptance tests are written into feature files, Cucumber picks the feature steps and executes the step definitions defined in the respective programming language. The Selenium WebDriver API can be called in these step definitions to drive the browsers.

More details

Cucumber does not communicate directly with the applications, it needs to be used in conjunction with tools such as Selenium WebDriver, and Cucumber acts more like an execution framework. Cucumber’s use of English-like language (Gherkin) for its programming function, test case execution is supported with features and scenarios executed based on their definitions.

There are 3 steps for writing automated tests that deliver high value while requiring only low maintenance using Cucumber:

  1. Define scenarios: The acceptance tests are written in English-like language called Gherkin. The scenarios defined are based on the user stories and features defined by the BA team. Sometimes, the BA also creates the Feature files for use by the testing team.
  2. Create step definitions: Once the scenarios are defined, the steps have to be implemented for execution. This can be done in a variety of different languages supported by Cucumber. For instance, if a language like Java is selected for implementation, the necessary classes and methods are defined by creating a project structure. The project can have references added to the Selenium jars, so that the packages can be imported and used to implement the steps to drive browsers using Selenium API.
  3. Define UI Element descriptions: One of the best ways to define UI element descriptions is using the PageObject design pattern. PageObject pattern makes automated test maintenance easier. This is because any changes made to the page elements are abstracted into the PageObjects itself, without the need to update feature files and step definitions.

Concluding Words

We’ve described the working relationship between Selenium and Cucumber here, but there are of course a number of BDD tools that can be used together for the purpose of building test automation suites that deliver high value to your business and do not require heavy maintenance.

Gallop Solutions – Specialists in Software Testing

Gallop is a leading provider of software testing solutions. With our vast experience in testing the web applications, we help our customers to reduce the execution time of testing, leading to cost-effective solutions. To know more about our testing services contact us today.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

7 Reasons to Invest in Open Source Test Automation Frameworks

7 Reasons to Invest in Open Source Test Automation Frameworks

This article discusses seven reasons testing organizations take the open source automation route rather than the traditional automation frameworks.

  1. Inexpensive

The cost of ownership for an open-source test automation framework is considerably lower than for regular testing tools. The major advantage of Open-source is low licensing costs and fairly minimal hardware requirements. Furthermore, testing components are more easily reusable, and their high degree of scalability ensures that they can easily manage load and performance testing. Organizations can also make use of flexible pricing plans that allow testers to adjust their total cloud storage according to their specific testing needs.

  1. Customizable

The open-source software itself can be altered easily to suit a testing department’s particular requirements. This easily editable code allows for smoother functionality, which, in the case of closed proprietary software packages, becomes more difficult, and occasionally perhaps even destructive.

  1. Better support and collaboration

Online communities abound for open-source automation frameworks, which allows testers to overcome obstacles by consulting the vast fields of information available on the web. Teams in different locations can also collaborate via the centralized server, without the need to make several downloads and uploads in the constant flow of information transfer.

  1. Rapid testing

Test cycles with open-source tools tend to be shorter than with traditional tools. Setup and tool deployment are also pretty quick, and there’s no need for a tedious install. Updates happen in real-time without affecting productivity, and the overall time to market is reduced, thereby giving organizations an important push ahead in the endless app delivery race.

  1. Overall quality

Users and developers play a crucial role in creating the automation framework, so such platforms are more likely to be superior to proprietary packages from a technical standpoint. A software suite produced by a small number of developers is less likely to be technically sound than one created by thousands of developers from around the world. A huge number of developers and users work constantly to tighten the security of open-source frameworks, and an equally huge number make innovations, improvements, and enhancements that translate to a higher quality package.

  1. Virtualization

Virtualization allows organizations to make the best use of their resources, which ensures that testing is ultimately more efficient and user-friendly. Virtualization also allows the easy sharing of resources with an associated dip in costs.

  1. Freedom and greater security:

In using open source automation tools, organizations can free themselves of the restrictions of being tied down to one particular vendor. In such cases, the vendor’s priorities make things very inflexible for testing teams: vendor priorities, timetables, usage rules, and various other requirements that greatly limit the potential of all their testing tools. With open source software, however, the decision-making and execution power is entirely in the user’s hands, along with a global community of users and developers that can provide support whenever it’s needed.

Also, in terms of security, open-source software is definitely superior to traditional frameworks.

This boils down to one obvious reason – when there is a larger number of people working on and evaluating a framework, it’s easier to identify and take care of any flaws, errors, glitches, etc. The exact opposite is the case in expensive proprietary software packages, where the vendor gives assurances of security, and the customer can do nothing more than take their word for it and hope they don’t run into any major issues at critical junctures during the development and testing process. The knowledge of bugs in the platform architecture is known only to the vendors, who can take a very long time to patch things up. These delays, of course, detract from customer productivity.

* SeleniumHQ labelled Gallop Solutions as a Aluminum Level Sponsor on their official website, www.seleniumhq.org. This recognition confirms Gallop’s position as a specialized software testing service provider, committed to making sure clients get value from their QA investments. Learn more about Gallop’s selenium test automation here.

 

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Leveraging Selenium Grid in Public/Private Cloud

Leveraging Selenium Grid in Public/Private Cloud

Selenium-Grid is a method of testing using Selenium that enables simultaneous testing on different devices running different operating systems and browsers; basically a number of machines running multiple tests in parallel. Selenium Grid has two versions at the moment – Grid 1 and Grid 2 – but the newer Grid 2 is now more widely used. It has been designed to follow a hub and node fashion, where a single device known as the hub runs the test, and the nodes are constituted of various other machines that do the execution. Selenium-Grid supports distributed test execution.

When should one use Selenium-Grid?

Usually, there are two reasons for using Selenium-Grid.

  1. To run tests against multiple browsers (even varying versions of the same browser) running on different operating systems on different devices.
  2. To significantly reduce time consumed for a test suite to complete a test pass.

A Selenium-Grid is extremely useful for reducing time on large and long-running test suites by executing the test pass on multiple machines at the same time, thereby dividing the time consumed by the number of machines used. This allows teams using Agile software development to receive test feedback faster. As mentioned earlier, another feature is being able to run tests on multiple environments (browsers, browser versions, machines, operating systems) at the same time.

Since the core idea is to run automated tests with Selenium, the ability to scale your testing is paramount. Therefore, organizations look to build a local infrastructure that can help scale their testing or be able to test against more browsers or operating system platforms. The infrastructure, however, comes at a significant cost, and so becomes cumbersome to maintain. A large organization can afford to run such a setup, which offers its own benefits, such as control over the system, and greater efficiency. But the downsides are high setup costs and getting fault positives because of infrastructure malfunctions.

The alternative is to implement a public/private cloud service to help scale up test suites.

Selenium Grid

Clouds and Selenium-Grid

Using a public/private cloud enables the use of Selenium-Grid on the cloud, thereby entirely eradicating the need for any infrastructure and ensuing maintenance costs. A cloud-based testing bed is much more convenient to implement as depending on the cloud service provider one can immediately gain access to a large number of browser and operating system platforms to be able to test one’s mobile and web applications. Clouds are available for use throughout the day and help substantially increase developer productivity. Also, the use of a cloud provides various feedback mechanisms such as logging, screenshots and video support, thereby appreciably reducing debugging times.

Some of the benefits of using the cloud are:

  1. Support for any new testing platform or updates for existing ones is almost immediate. In the case of using actual infrastructure it could take weeks or months to source the required hardware to run tests depending on the testing platform – for example, a new operating system for a mobile device. But the cloud is updated almost instantly with the latest platforms that hit the market, be it a new browser version or support for a new type of device.
  2. Another feature of a public/private cloud is the ability to scale testing based on one’s specific requirements. It is up to you if you wish to choose to test against 10 or 50 browsers at the same time. The cloud is usually on standby and will create Virtual Machines based on your requests and needs.
  3. As already mentioned before, debugging becomes appreciably easier. Screenshots and videos are recorded at every step, so with this kind of visual information it becomes much easier to pin-point a test failure instead of having to wade through a complex Selenium log.

The only downside to using a cloud is that since one has to use the internet the use of a cloud is usually much slower as compared to a local grid, because the test has to travel to and from the cloud via a network that might not always be reliable. This issue can be worked around by running many parallel test runs, which shortens the overall testing time.

* On June 1, 2015, SeleniumHQ labeled Gallop Solutions as an Silver Level Sponsor on their official website, www.seleniumhq.org. This recognition confirms Gallop’s position as a specialized software testing service provider, committed to making sure clients get value from their QA investments. Contact Gallop for you Selenium Test Automation needs.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Challenges and Solutions in Managing Selenium Test Automation Projects

Challenges and Solutions in Managing Selenium Test Automation Projects

Selenium is a well-known open source testing tool, which provides a robust set of tools that supports rapid development of test automation for web-based applications. It provides a vast set of testing functions designed to fit the needs of testing web applications. Operations in Selenium allow many options for locating UI elements and methods to compare expected test results with actual real-world application behavior. It also supports almost all web browsers to run test cases and also supports many different programming languages to help create or modify test scripts. Languages such as: Java, Ruby, PHP, .Net, C#, Perl, etc.

Challenges faced using selenium automation testing, and how to solve them

Selenium at times fails to function correctly if a dynamic event or change takes place during the test cycle. A few common problems faced are listed below, along with how to mitigate them with selenium test automation.

  1. Dealing with pop-up windows: Selenium can sometimes fail to record common popups in web apps. To handle any kind of alert popup, you can apply a getAlert function. Before actually running the script, you must import a package that can generate a WebDriver script for handling alerts. The efficient interface brings with it the following commands: void dismiss(), void accept (), getText(), void sendKeys(String stringToSend). The first two basically click on the “cancel” and “OK” buttons respectively on a popup window.
  2. No event trigger from value changes: Because Selenium does not initiate events with a change in values, one must do it oneself using fireEvent: selenium.FireEvent(cmbCategory, “onchange”);
  3. Timeout resulting from synchronization problems: One should ideally use selenium.IsElementPresent(locator) to verify that the object is in a loop with Thread.Sleep
  4. Testing Flash apps: To automate flash apps with Selenium, one can use Flex Monkium. The application source code must be compiled with the swc files generated by Flex Monkium. Then the app and the Selenium IDE are connected, and the tests can be recorded with IDE.
  5. Unexpected error launching Internet Explorer. Browser zoom level should be set to 100% by default for the IE browser to overcome this error
  6. Protected Mode must be set to the same valueerror occurs when trying to run Selenium WebDriver on a fresh Windows machine. This issue can be fixed by using capabilities as below when launching IE

DesiredCapabilities caps = DesiredCapabilities.internetExplorer(); caps.setCapability(InternetExplorerDriver.INTRODUCE_FLAKINESS_BY_IGNORING_SECURITY_DOMAINS,true); WebDriver driver = new InternetExplorerDriver(caps);

* On June 1, 2015, SeleniumHQ labeled Gallop Solutions as an Aluminum Level Sponsor on their official website, www.seleniumhq.org. This recognition confirms Gallop’s position as a specialized software testing service provider, committed to making sure clients get value from their QA investments. Attending Selenium Conference 2015 at Portland, Oregon on Sep 8-10th 2015? Schedule a meeting with us.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.