IT testing is known for the exhaustive number of test cases and manual toil - but is no longer a pain after “automation” in IT came as an angel in disguise. Execution times reduced there by increasing efficiency. First generation test automation tools provided macro recording facility which ran on synchronous API where the test execution engine fires a command and then waits for it to be executed. This tool was working well for short length automation and was also done by combining a logical sequence of such short length macros & the test flow.
Then Came - Second generation Test Automation tools - offering full-fledged scripting with more features and supporting better user interaction. These tools simplify most of the windows based common tasks like file operations, application launch, generating elementary test reports, etc. however, these frameworks require to be built on long term test automation to go live with quality.
Scriptless test automation came into play at this juncture with an approach to build an optimized test automation engine. The motive is to help the testing team to quickly build ready-to-use automated test cases and reusable code assets that have full test coverage.
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Scriptless testing - an alternative to coding?
The name “Script-less” suggests a NO to scripting & programming. Not to mislead, Scriptless testing doesn’t really eliminate scripting completely, and is not a substitute for actual coding of any test automation tool. It is an extremely flexible testing framework with minimal exposure to code. In simple words, it can be said that scriptless testing is an approach to conduct testing without scripting or coding in any programming language. It reduces the time required for creating automated tests by considerably minimizing the amount of scripting needed.
Scriptless test automation is a more structured model where majority of test cases can be automated by functional users and those are reusable scripts. It is a myth that test architects will be involved in scriptless testing but in real-time they are actually not. Based on their expertise and knowledge, test architects will be involved in identifying possible reusable part of the test scripts. When operational scope spreads out, few new components will be added to the application and then test architects will be involved to integrate them.
Scriptless automation is being refined to highly organized tools for use in multiple real time test scenarios. The developers of those tools shall have analyzed various business cases, deployment environments, operational scenarios before building each reusable components for their tools. Hence they offer a good standard of practical reliability as well.
With scriptless testing, testers can create better automation scripts that showcase the core functionality of the application. This type of testing will certainly reduce the number of licenses for the testing tools. Scriptless testing will be more useful for product development companies where the same resources can be leveraged for multiple tasks.
Though it has many advantages, there are few scriptless frameworks which have complex underlying codes that need to be maintained and updated periodically. Those frameworks are not free – they consume an initial & maintenance cost which is more than the tool’s cost. Therefore, choosing the right framework specific to your business requirement is the only manual effort you need to do!