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Smoke Testing – How and When to Perform?

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Smoke Testing - How and When to Perform?

The term “smoke testing” is derived from the tests conducted on hardware which detects if the hardware, in its initial phase, catches fire or smokes. In software testing, smoke test is done to detect if the software is stable and ready for being subjected to further in depth testing. Also known as the “build verification testing”, it is primarily used to detect if there are in problems with the important functionalities of the software in which case further testing would be a waste of both time and money.

Smoke testing is essentially done to create criteria based on which the QA would accept or reject the particular build of the software for further testing. It has many advantages like exposing various issues related to the integration of the various modules of the software which may have been introduced due to the code change. It helps in providing confidence that the code written or changes does not majorly affect the quality or workability of the software. Smoke testing also ensures that the problems that may have been introduced due to the new codes are detected early.

How to Perform Smoke Testing?

  1. As the procedure is related to the new codes written or changes brought about in the existing codes so it is important to be in contact with the developers to get a hang about the possible functional changes and interdependency changes brought about by it.
  2. A checklist is to be made to keep a track of all the changes that requires checking with the help of the process.
  3. Smoke tests usually points out the primary weak points of the software which prevent the software from working properly, hence a code review should be +done before smoke testing to get rid of the defects and faults of commission.
  4. It is performed with the help of pre written test codes or with the help of automated tools.
  5. Debugging should be done before smoke testing as it deals with only the functionality changes brought about by the changes in the code and should be done on a clean environment.
  6. Smoke test should touch all parts of the software and hence should be wide in coverage yet shallow.
  7. In depth testing should be avoided at all cost as the main idea is to detect if the testers are capable of conducting further tests on the software or not.

When to Perform Smoke Testing? Smoke testing should be done every time a new software has been created and the codes have been reviewed to check if the software is feasible for further testing procedure or for running, as a matter of fact. It is usually done in the initial phase of software development lifecycle when the software is not yet stable. Smoke test should be performed before the developers team releases the software to the tester and should be tested by the testers before taking the software ahead for further testing as it checks the crucial parts of the software to ensure that it is capable of running properly and that further testing is required. Smoke testing is essentially conducted in the acceptance testing, integration testing and system testing levels of the software testing lifecycle.

So that’s all you need to know about smoke testing and when the procedure is to performed and according to Microsoft it is the most economic method of detecting problems with the software. So it should be performed by everyone to avoid loss of capital in testing a software which is incapable of functioning normally.


Automation Testing of an eCommerce Application

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eCommerce application Automation Testing

The ecommerce applications have made it easier for businesses to offer their products and services to customers residing on various regions. But the businesses have to make changes to the web store frequently to attract and engage the website visitors. Often minor changes made to a web store affect its functionality and performance hugely. That is why, most businesses use a variety of tools and frameworks to test their ecommerce applications quickly and efficiently. The test automation tools further help testers to perform the required tests repeatedly and frequently without putting extra time and effort. But each business must focus on a number of key points to automate ecommerce application testing effectively.

Best Practices for Ecommerce Application Testing Automation

Identify and Address the Key Challenges

Before automating your ecommerce application testing, you must identify and address the key challenges related to functionality, security and performance. You must check the website thoroughly to ensure that the visitors can find and buy the required products quickly. Likewise, you also need to check if the website can effectively handle a higher number of visitors and online transactions efficiently. Also, the application must allow customers to perform online transaction with utmost privacy and security. The key challenges will help you to decide the appropriate test coverage.

Figure Out Important Requirements

When you decide to automate ecommerce application testing, it becomes essential to invest both funds and resources. So you have to make a plan based on several requirements. In addition to setting up a budget for the test automation project, you need to schedule the testing efforts and define the objectives to be achieved in each test cycle. At the same time, you must define the scope of each testing to ensure that all aspects of the web store are covered. The initial planning will help you to save both time and cost in the longer run.

Identify the Tests to be Automated

The initial planning will further help you to decide the types of tests to be conducted and scope of each type of testing. But each process in an ecommerce application needs to be tested based on specific functionality, action and validation criteria. For instance, you have to test user login, search functionality and shopping cart based on different criterions. That is why, it is important to figure out requirements for testing each process, and prioritize the requirements. Based on the prioritized requirements, you can decide the tests that need to be automated.

Design the Test Automation Framework

The quality of the test automation framework will have a direct impact on the outcome of the test automation project. So you must design a comprehensive test automation framework by covering all automated tests. The framework must include the test scripts and the scenarios of various automated processes. Based on the framework, the testers can easily execute the tests, and obtain relevant results by generating test reports.

Pick the Right test Automation Tools

After designing the test automation framework, you have to pick the right test automation tools based on the type, scope and requirements of testing. As the tools selected by you will have a direct impact on the test automation project, you must choose the tools based on a number of key parameters. It is always important to compare the available tools based on key parameters like features, performance, extensibility, licensing cost, maintenance cost, and required training. You must take advantage of many open source test automation tools to automate more testing efforts without investing additional funds.

Focus on the Application’s User Experience

The popularity of each ecommerce website nowadays depends on its user experience. So each test scripts and processes must focus extensively on user experience. You must decide the tests to be performed based on the nature and types of changes made to the ecommerce application.   At the same time, the testers must repeat all tests to ensure that the changes made to the application do not affect its user experience. Likewise, they must repeat all tests to ensure that the application delivers quality experience across many devices and platforms.

On the whole, each business needs to implement a comprehensive and customized strategy to automate ecommerce application testing. However, it is also important for the business to pick the right test automation tools to check all aspects of the web store quickly and effectively.

A Look into the Future of Test Automation Tools

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The Future of Test Automaton Tools

Since it has been brought into light and people have slowly gained knowledge of the software testing procedures, it has become one of the vital parts of the whole software development life cycle which strives to provide better and bigger software to the customers leading to better customer satisfaction and preventing all the possible glitches that could have caused customer dissatisfaction. This in turn has ensured that the mega minds of software technologies pay better attention to the software testing procedures which has paved way to test automation tools in place of manual processes by which software testing was initially done.

In the current days, automation tools have taken up a large portion of the software testing procedure and replaced the manual testing process at large. With the constant advancements, customized automation testing tools are now being produced in order to provide more optimal results to the whole testing scenario. But what next?

But before getting into the future of the test automation tools, we need to look back on the huge changes that have been brought about in the UI interfaces. The CRT monitors have now been replaced by the LCD ones, no longer can you see big, space consuming laptops, and people are now fond of small portable devices which are efficient at the same time. This has paved the way for mobiles and tablets which has now become the platform of development as well as testing of the various software. Along with the devices, there has also been a huge change in the internet which has become far more accessible and easy to use. All these changes have affected test automation tools hugely.

  1. Test automation tools are now being programmed in order to support these new and developing UI interfaces and technology.
  2. With the development of newer software is coming the requirement of developing newer test procedure to test them and free them of the ever advancing bugs which are also striding towards the future.
  3. With the advent of newer testing procedure, people are finding the need of test automation tools to cope up with this change.

UDD or UI Driven Development is now largely influencing the test automation tools where the tools along with the testing procedures will be controlled by gestures of the respective testers. The UI Driven Development has some key features which are to be taken into consideration for its development which are as follows:

  1. Plug-in Manager: The whole system has to be supported by various plug-ins that will contribute to the whole system. This should also ensure that the addition or removal of a plug-in would not affect the set of core plug-ins and the whole system wouldn’t have to be restarted for normal operation.
  2. Discovery: The newly developed test automation tools should be able to use the already using codes and discover them in a new fashion which will be useful in the future. Reverse engineering is to be used for the benefit of the suture of test automation tools.
  3. Execution and Reporting Engines: Execution and reporting engines are to be introduced which will increase the flexibility in the method of testing of the various software as well as help in the consolidation of the various results available from the different tests performed.

This was in short a look into the future of test automation tools which is going to be introduced into the world of software testing in the very near future to ensure the betterment of quality of software and profitability of the organizations.

Is Test Automation the Key to Successful Application? – An Insight

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1-Is test automation the key to successful application - An insight

Software testing procedure is the key to the success of any software application and it is a proven fact. The software which undergo software testing procedure prior to launching has better customer satisfaction and success rate than their counterpart which was released without any testing. This is because software testing helps in detection of the various flaws that may ultimately result in the dissatisfaction of the customers. The detection of these flaws helps the developers to rectify them and make the software a stronger one.

Automated testing or test automation is a part of the software testing procedure where the certain pre written codes or special software which automatically test the software under examination and provides the tester with the results and at times can also compare the results of a current test with a past one to show the improvements made on the software after rectification or to give an idea about the most persistent problems that have been lingering on for quite some time now so that special heed may be given to these problems.

Automated testing helps in betterment of the software being tested which in turn leads to the success of the same. But before deciding whether test automation is the key to the successful application or not, first let us check out the various benefits of test automation.

  1. Testing Improves Accuracy: Monotonous software testing leads to mistakes. Even the most experienced and professional tester is prone to committing mistakes when they are performing manual testing for a long period of time. This can be avoided completely with the help of test automation as it is conducted by the machines and can run the same tests for hours at a go without a single mistake and same consistency.
  2. Increase Test Coverage: Test automation increases the depth of testing procedures along with the scope. While manually testing a software, testers often omit the lengthy tests for obvious reasons of time. Test automation helps in conduction these tests. Also test automation can take a peek into factors like memory contents, data tables, file contents, and internal program which are usually surpassed by manual testing to provide a detailed report of whether the software at stake is performing in a desired way or not.
  3. Automation Does What Manual Testing Cannot: Controlled web application test with the help of thousands of users is something which can only be achieved by the help of test automation. It can create scenarios of tens or hundreds or even thousands of virtual users who will be using the software at the same time. This is something which can never be achieved by manual testing methods.
  4. Automated QA Testing Helps Developers and Testers: As test automation is conducted by machines so even developers with little knowledge about software testing will be able to conduct them. This helps them to rectify the preliminary errors before sending them for software testing which helps in saving time and effort on both fronts.
  5. Team Morale Improves: This is quite obvious. Test automation takes care of the monotonous and time consuming jobs which leave the team members free for attending the more challenging jobs and for developing better testing procedures which will provide them with more accurate results about the working of the software thus helping them to make even better software.

Thus you can now see that it is pretty evident that test automation hugely enhances the chances of success of an application by improving it in terms of quality leading to greater customer satisfaction.

4 Major Challenge while Executing Mobile Test Automation and Overcoming Them

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Challenge while Executing Mobile Test Automation

The massive popularity of mobile apps encourages many businesses to develop innovative applications by targeting popular mobile platforms. But users now have option to choose from millions of mobile apps available in different app stores. So it becomes essential for the business to focus on the app’s quality and user experience to get higher returns.

However, the enterprises require testers to test all aspects of the application within a shorter amount of time to reduce time to market. Many businesses automate their mobile application testing efforts to help testers to complete all tests without putting any extra time and effort. However, each business has to address a number of key challenges to automate their mobile application testing efforts effectively.

Addressing Top 4 Challenges in Mobile App Testing Automation

1) Choosing the Right Devices

Each mobile app needs to deliver quality user experience across a wide variety of devices. Often developers find it easier for test the iOS and Windows Phone apps as these platforms power only specific devices. But Android apps need to run on various models of smartphones, tablets and phablets. So the test automation must clearly define the targeted devices to make it easier for QA professionals to perform the tests. However, a business cannot invest in a large number of mobile devices. That is why, it is important for the project manager to pick some of the commonly used mobile devices, and use simulators to cover the rest.

2) Picking the Best Software

Each business has option to choose from a large number of mobile app testing tools and frameworks. Some of these tools are commercial, whereas others are open source and free. That is why; enterprises often find it challenging to pick the right software. It is always important for businesses to explore ways to reduce project overheads by using open source testing tools and solutions. But the open source tools do not provide IDEs that can be used for designing, executing, refactoring and maintaining tests. So it becomes essential for businesses to invest in commercial testing tools. To address the challenge, the business must spend some time in assessing the pros and cons of each tool according to the needs of the project. The evaluation will help it to pick the right software without spending a lot of money.

3) Monitoring Changes in Application’s Behaviour

Unlike conventional software applications, mobile apps are used in a variety of environments. The performance and user experience of an app will differ according to the connection. For instance, a user may access the mobile app with a number of internet connections like Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G and 4G. The performance of the app will vary according to user’s internet connectivity. That is why; the testers need to assess the functionality and performance of the app across many environments. At the same time, they also need to identify the bottlenecks affecting the app’s performance in individual environments. The business has to invest additional funds to emulate the probable environments for testing purpose. So it needs to identify the common factors that affect the app’s performance in various environments. The testers can use tools to assess the application’s performance based on these common parameters.

4) Implementing Data Driven Automation

While automating their mobile application testing efforts, many enterprises opt for data-driven automation. The automation technique enables testers to process a large number of business requirements within a shorter amount of time. For instance, data driven automation will help testers to check if the app displays appropriate error message for specific input submitted by the users. The business can simplify date-driven automation by asking testers to list the minor business requirements to be tested in a spreadsheet, and execute the test script to assess these requirements sequentially. The test script will gather business requirements from the spreadsheet and execute the tests in sequence. The testers can further enhance the scope of the test strategy simply by increasing the number of rows in the spreadsheet.

However, no business can automate all its mobile application testing efforts. The test automation tools cannot assess the application’s user experience accurately. As the app’s user experience will have a direct impact on its popularity, specific tests have to be conducted manually. That is why; the business must identify the tests that can be automated effectively to address the key challenges in an easier way.

Top tools for automated testing of JAVA apps

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Top tools for automated testing of JAVA apps

The automated testing is the present and pretty much the future of testing. Most of the tools used for automated testing in JAVA apps are open source, those derived from Junit. But these tools vary from sector to sector depending upon the business purpose and validation components.

JAVA apps are one of the most popular things on the internet. The internet is flooded with these apps. But what are the tools which help creating and making the JAVA app as good as it is. There are various tools available in the market,which play a crucial role in testing for such apps.

The following are the important automated tools used for testing JAVA apps:

JSUnit: JS is an open source Unit testing JavaScript framework. JS Unit is literally the extension of J Unit, which is required for JAVAscrit testing. So if you are familiar with the JUnit, walking through the JS Unit won’t be difficult for you at all.

Jasmine: Jasmine is an open source Unit testing framework meant for JavaScript. The frameworks such as RSpec, JSpec, Screwnit etc. are the base for this testing tool. The tool comprises of two blocks- describe block and it block.

Qunit: JQuery developed Qunit. The tool can be used to test regular JavaScript coding and understanding the software is pretty much simple too. The results obtained are simply displayed on the screen which is quite easy to interpret and understand.

JSF: JSF is an integral part of a web-based framework for User Interface development. The standard reusable components can be easily used to create a UI. Java Server Faces containXML, Bean & other tags.

XML: XML is another extension of Junit. The unit performs validation of XML structure and comparisons between the actual and expected XML is made.

EJB: The Enterprise JAVA Bean is basically revolving around the Business logic. JunitEE could be used for the EJB based projects though the JUnit is still the most popular choice.

Karma: Karma is one of the most popular testing tools for Angular application. It is maintained by the Angular team at Google. It runs various test cases and files with the configuration of karna.confs.js and displays the result via the command prompt.

HTML Unit: HTML unit is an open source library comprising of a headless browser. HTML itself has a huge role to play in the JavaScript and thus the HTML unit is extensively used for integration testing. The JavaScript program is designed to run inside the web container, butthe HTML unit can also be used to test the view part in the absence of the container.

WATIR: Watir is a popular web application testing tools developed in Ruby. It requires the tester to have a fair knowledge about its language Ruby and all the functions that are required to be performed are written in Ruby.

Swing: Swing comprises of a set of libraries in JAVA to create a rich GUI. Among the popular unit testing frameworks are the frameworks such as Abbot, UISpecs4J, Fest, QF-Test.

These were the top 10 tools for automated testing of Java apps. Share other tools, if you any, below in comments.

Tips to Choose your QA Testing Partner Wisely

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1Most of the large organizations these days are in favour of outsourcing the QA department to a specialized organization so that their team can concentrate solely on the developmental features of the product. As the software testing procedure is a prime factor in the success of the software and hence its popularity, choosing a good QA testing partner for your firm is of utmost importance. The following tips will lead you to a wise selection of QA testing partner.

  1. Look at their Client Portfolio and Testimonials: One of the best ways to judge the work of an organization is by reviewing their past works. Their portfolio will give you the various works that have been done by them which will show how experienced and skilled the workers are and then you can judge whether they will be able to fulfil you criteria or not. Software development is a vast region and your QA testing partner should be able to provide you service irrespective of the topic you work in.
  2. Cross-Cultural Compatibility Study: Many IT companies are now choosing QA partners at a country which is different from where the development team hails from. In such cases, it is absolutely necessary that the management pays close attention to the cultural, social, economical and political situation of your partner country. Also check out if other companies are outsourcing their work to the country you have selected. If a large number of other companies have selected your choice, it simply shows that you choice deliver trustworthy services.
  3. Cost of Contract: When you are in a business organization, your primary concern should be profit of the organization. Outsourcing the QA department often helps in saving funds ultimately adding up to the profit of your company. While choosing a QA testing partner, you must take notice of the cost at which the service is provided. Offshore QA testing partners (especially in the Asian countries) offer highly skilled labours at cheaper rate than in USA or UK.
  4. Work with Project Management and Collaboration Tools: Most of the large QA testing firms usually work with project management and collaboration tools in the first place. However, as precaution is always better than cure, you should be clear on the terms that your partner should use project management software like GIT and collaboration tool like MediaWiki or Collaboration in order to yield better results out of the testing procedure. It also makes the procedure easier and a lot faster.
  5. Insist on a Project Manager: When you are selecting your QA testing partner, you must make sure that your project is being handled by a senior official who is experienced in his job and is capable of taking major decision as and when required. If your project is being handled by a novice, chances are that it may go haywires due to the lack of experience and leadership qualities of the same.
  6. Proper Documentation: Detailed documentation of the work that has been done by your QA testing partner is an absolute must as it will help you in future references.

These pointers should suffice to help you to choose a good QA testing partner who will help you to prepare a better product that will gain customer satisfaction, ultimately leading to the goodwill of your company.