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4 Secrets for a Sustainable Test Automation Program

September 1, 2022
   /   
by 
Sohaib Zaidi

Welcome to the era of Agile and DevOps, where test automation has become a must-have instead of a nice-to-have for enterprises that want to keep up with the competition. Test automation enables Agile and DevOps by increasing testing speed, extending test coverage, and broadening the scope of testing, enabling teams to quickly respond to changing user needs. Still, QA teams may feel that sustaining a test automation program for their ERP requires too much time and effort. 

In the early days of test automation, tools only offered a simple record and playback function that enabled users to capture a process and turn it into an automated test script. While this was certainly a breakthrough at that time, record-and-playback didn’t provide sustainable test automation because the test scripts were fragile and composed from dynamic elements. 

Read our blog about building a business case for test automation. 

Wondering what sustainable test automation is? It is the ability to maintain test automation. A truly sustainable test automation has minimal impact on people and processes over the years. It is achieved by deploying automation frameworks to shield testers and processes from automation tools and technologies that are constantly evolving.   

Ideally, sustainable test automation will reduce your test efforts by replacing manual tests with automatic processes. For instance, test script maintenance can be automated, making test automation more sustainable for enterprises due to not having to manually maintain test scripts for each ERP update. This blog presents four tips to enhance your testing and explains how Opkey’s no-code platform will help you achieve a sustainable test automation platform. 

1. Keeping tests stable minimizes test maintenance

When you implement test automation for highly dynamic applications like Oracle Cloud, Workday, Salesforce, SAP, Veeva, one of the biggest challenges test engineers face is continuously maintaining test scripts each time an update is rolled out by a vendor. Whenever a new element ID is introduced or changed due to an update release, scripts tend to fail. Manual identification of these objects can be very cumbersome. 

Key to success: Self-healing test scripts

Test script maintenance is a great burden on QA teams because it slows down the entire testing cycle and impacts the software delivery lifecycle. Opkey solves this problem with AI-powered self-healing test scripts, which autonomously identify changes in object properties (Name, ID, Xpath, CSS etc.) and alert the relevant users, enabling them to fix broken tests with the click of a button. Furthermore, non-technical users can fix test scripts themselves, because no coding is required. For testing critical ERP systems like Oracle Cloud, Oracle EBS, SAP, Workday, or Kronos, Opkey’s self-healing scripts reduce test efforts by 70%, bringing you closer to sustainable test automation.

2. Include business users in ERP testing plans

Many organizations choose a test automation platform without consulting their business users. This is a mistake. Business users work with ERP applications daily and should be consulted when setting up test automation because they know the applications and processes best. Furthermore, they’re accountable for the success of ERP implementation/migration. While implementing test automation, these key points that should be kept in mind:

  • Business users aren’t programmers.
  • They don’t have much time to learn new frameworks.
  • Test script retrofitting for customizations can be a huge effort.                                                                  

Key to success: Use no-code tools and test automation platforms 

Opkey knows that business users call IT teams at the first sign of bugs and errors. Opkey’s no-code test automation platform allows non-technical users to create and maintain tests without coding. This means business users, who use these programs every day and know their ERP system best, have the ability to create sustainable tests around their most used processes. Business users can control testing themselves, which means that QA teams can spend less time trying to maintain tests, and business users devote less time to testing and focus on value-add tasks. 

Opkey comes with pre-built test accelerators so you don’t have to start from scratch. Apart from this, Opkey’s drag-and-drop interface allows business users to retrofit these pre-built test cases to their unique business processes. This significantly alleviates the test burden of the business users and allows them to focus on their value-added tasks.  

Want to learn more about the financial benefits of test automation? Read our Ebook, How to save money with test automation.

3. A surprise reason tests can break: issues with object locators 

When object properties are modified with new functionalities, traditional test platforms can’t recognize the objects.Traditional test automation tools operate in a webpage, with the help of these object locators, such as ID, Name, XPath, or CSS. When objects are unrecognizable, you’ll see unstable or broken tests, which derail your testing team’s productivity.

Key to success: Intelligent object recognition

Opkey’s AI-powered smart object recognition algorithm is capable of identifying elements across 150+ enterprise applications including Windows, Java, AJAX, WPF, Mobile, Mainframe, APIs, legacy and HTML5. Our intelligent fix feature prevents your tests from failing by finding errors in object recognition, and asking you to accept the object element fixes. You can now fix objects without hours of reviewing code, or burdening the testing team.

4. Sustainable testing means tests should be scaled quickly 

On average, creating a single, robust automated test script takes 30-40 mins. When test scripts are used for multiple devices and configurations, the total time and effort required to test them increases exponentially. Scaling your testing manually is nearly impossible. 

Key to success: Test mining and self-configuring engine

Opkey plugs into your ERP environment to immediately discover the tests you’ve been running on your system, also referred to as legacy tests. Opkey simultaneously mines your process logs to identify gaps in test coverage. You can then fill in the gaps in your test coverage with our library of 30,000 pre-built, automated test cases. This will help you achieve ~90% test coverage in just hours. If you want to understand how test automation can increase your ROI, read our blog.  

Conclusion

Test automation is the key for enterprises to maintain agile development. While sustainable test automation seems challenging, Opkey offers a suite of tools to make creating, automating, and maintaining tests easy for all employees.

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