In the automation testing process, the test data and environment must be updated to execute software testing smoothly and seamlessly, as we can see from our experience writing automated tests in software automation testing. Most testing professionals likely started using old and the same user credentials and wrote verification points based on data already in the system.
The result of these tests depends on whether the system’s data remained unchanged since the test was written successfully and indicates data consistency, while failure suggested data alterations. The solution to this automation testing issue is updating the test data and environment.
Test data are the testing inputs used to perform the software application testing by changing various scenarios for software. In this article, you will see a brief introduction to automation testing, and then you will see how you can manage and update the test data and environment.
What is Automation Testing?
Automation testing is testing your software application or website using many automated tools. You can perform many activities using these utilities, such as fetching the data, controlling the testing process, and comparing the outcome to improve the testing efficiency. The various benefits of automation testing for software applications are that it has more accuracy, saves time and money, increases the testing scope, allows reusability of test data, etc.
Various Ways to Manage and Update Your Automation Test Data and Environments
Now, let us see how you can manage and update the test data and environment in the automation testing.
- Define the Test Data Scope and Requirements
Defining the test data requirement is one of the first and most important steps to managing and updating your automation test data and environment. Without collecting the test data, you can not start defining the test data. So, first, the developers and tester should collect the test data so that the test data requirement can be used properly.
These are the criteria that your test data must meet so that it supports your test cases and the client’s objectives. Identifying the automation testing scope is one of the most important practices that should be followed to execute your automation QA process. You must decide which tests to automate and which to drop to manage and update your automation test data and environment. Not all the tests may be perfect enough to be automated in the QA process. Some tests compulsorily require human involvement to get executed. Various criteria can be used in automation to improve testing efficiency.
The following criteria are test complexity, test frequency, test stability, test priority management, etc. This can be very helpful in managing and updating your automation test data and environment. Analyzing these criteria helps determine whether a specific test is worth automating in quality assurance testing. Also, you can leave the unnecessary tests to be manual for better testing efficiency and outcome. Some automation tools can be used to determine your automation testing scope and manage and update your automation test data and environment.
- Use Test Data Management Tools
Test data management tools and utilities help create, store, update, manage, and manipulate your test data. Test data management tools in automation testing help the developers and the testing team to make their software application testing process easy and efficient. The test management tools can also be integrated with various other software tools like VCS (Version Control System), defect tracking, and CI/CD systems. Using these additional tools helps to keep up with the latest trends and innovations in the test automation process.
Using the test management tools for reporting and documentation also helps to speed up the test automation process. There are various features offered by these software management tools, such as a customizable dashboard, various types of widgets, real-time metrics, interactive reports, graphical representation, etc.
There are some key points that should be considered while choosing the right test management tools for reporting and documentation. These are the application’s technological stack, the team’s experience, and your budget. Selenium, Appium, and TestComplete are a few well-liked automation testing solutions. Selecting the appropriate automation tools demands careful thought.
- Technological Stack: The technological stack of the software application has an impressive effect on the tools you choose. While some automation testing systems are better suited for desktop software or mobile apps, others specialize in web applications. There can be no compromise on compatibility with your tech stack.
- Budget: Many types of automation technologies range from open-source solutions like Selenium to for-profit solutions like TestComplete. Naturally, your pick will be influenced by your budget. Remember that purchasing a dependable instrument can frequently result in long-term cost savings.
- Team Expertise: Consider the knowledge and experience of your testing team. It might go more smoothly if they are familiar with a particular automation tool. On the other hand, consider the learning curve if they must start from scratch.
- Use Virtualization and Containerization Techniques
Virtualization and containerization are the software testing techniques used to create and run multiple test environments on a single physical machine. It means there can be many virtual machines on a single machine that can be used to perform software testing, imitating various configurations, resolutions, operating systems, etc, on those virtual machines.
This helps a lot in getting feedback for your software application and managing and updating your test environment. Many cloud-based software testing tools like LambdaTest provide different emulators and virtual machines that help developers test their websites like real web browsers. These virtual machines provide an environment that is different from your existing system.
LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform to run manual and automated tests at scale. The platform allows you to perform both real-time and automation testing across 3000+ environments and real mobile devices.
This platform is designed to cater to manual and automated testing demands, offering a host of features that enhance scalability, efficiency, and the overall testing experience.
LambdaTest leverages artificial intelligence to orchestrate and manage the execution of tests intelligently. This ensures optimal resource allocation, scalability, and responsiveness to varying testing demands. The platform seamlessly accommodates both manual and automated testing processes. Teams can execute tests manually for real-time exploration of applications or automate repetitive test scenarios for efficiency.
As we know, cross browser testing across older and newer versions also increases the website’s efficiency. Using these containers and virtual machines provides these features to test the website at a low cost and with much efficiency. Also, using the virtual machine has more advantages over a traditional testing setup. It provides us with an environment where we can test our website or web application for a range of web browsers and their versions, and you can easily update and manage your test environment for automation testing.
LambdaTest, with its AI-powered capabilities, stands as a comprehensive solution that aligns with the dynamic needs of modern software testing, enabling teams to deliver high-quality applications confidently.
- Isolate and Refresh your Test Environments
The test environment is the hardware and software configurations that try to imitate the production environment. It is that part where the software application runs. Isolating and refreshing the test environment at a specific time is crucial to managing and updating your test environment and data. Refreshing your test environment is important to test the software functionality, compatibility, scalability, and other important factors of the testing software under different conditions.
However, these are not the only factors that affect the test environment. Some external factors may affect the test environment during the automation testing process. These external factors are network issues, configuration changes, user type, etc. Hence, isolating your test environment is useful in such diverse conditions. This helps to manage and update the test data and test environment. Isolation is simply separating the two test environments from each other, such as staging and limiting access to the authorized testers. Refreshing means restoring your test environments to a clean and consistent state before and after each test cycle.
- Document and Report your Test Environments
Documentation and making a report of your test environment are very crucial steps for managing your test environment. Documentation of your test environment is defined as creating the factors affecting the test environment during the automation testing process. These factors are the environment’s hardware, software, network, and security configurations of your test environment. After creating the test documentation and reporting, there is also a need to communicate to all the involved stakeholders about these reports.
Documentation is a very useful method followed by expert-level professionals to manage and update your test environment in the automation testing process. Various types of tools are used in the documentation process to manage and update your test environment. Some essential tools and techniques for documentation and reporting are using the BDD (Behavior-driven Development) framework, documentation generators, many report plug-ins, etc.
These tools and techniques help the software developer to generate your test documentation of the test codes and results. There are also some other benefits of following the documentation and reporting by the developers to manage and update your test environment in the automated testing process, such as increased testing efficiency, all the stakeholders being aware of the current software status, and they can provide their feedback to manage and update your test environment.
While performing the automation testing process of software applications, it is important to update and manage the test data and test environment. This is because, with the same existing test data and environment, the software application doesn’t get tested against diverse scenarios. So, it is an important part of software application development. Also, there are numerous ways and best practices to do so, but here in this article, you have seen the best and most popular ways to manage and update the test data and environment for automation testing. Happy learning!