Cypress – Web Testing Automation Of 21st Century?

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03 January 2020 Apphawks

“The web has evolved. Finally, testing has too.” These two sentences not only describe the world which we, QAs, live in. They also sum up the tool that I want to talk about today. 

I admit it, I took the liberty of copying them from the page of the company that created the framework. I did it to both tease you about it and prove that it’s more than just an ad. It’s the truth. 

Gone are the days when Selenium was the jack of all trades in the industry. Now other tools take its place, some better, some worse. One stands out though. Ladies and gentlemen – here is Cypress.

A Newcomer in Web Automation

What is Cypress exactly? 

Well, it’s an all-in-one tool used to run end-to-end tests on web apps. That means you no longer have to configure your framework, your assertion library, your Selenium wrapper etc. separately. Instead, you get a package with everything ready from the get-go. 

It doesn’t use Selenium, being based on its own architecture instead, thus avoiding a lot of Selenium-based errors. Because it’s focused on web apps that are based greatly on JavaScript, Cypress also executes tests in JS (although TypeScript is also accepted if you feel like using it instead). 

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That, in turn, makes work easier both for devs and QAs due to language familiarity.

What probably makes it stand out the most is its “time travel” ability. While there are some other frameworks that simplify your work by e.g. also automatically waiting for an element to be visible/active (yup, I’m talking about you, TestCafé) the ability to “go back in time” is unique to Cypress.

 You can “go back” to every command Cypress executed and check the application’s state before and after it was issued. That way you can see what your script saw at that moment.

time-travel example CypressTime Travel Example in Cypress

Another great addition, albeit somewhat irritating at times, is the ability to automatically restart tests. Whenever you make a change to your code, no matter how insignificant, your currently open spec(s) will automatically run again. That way you can immediately see changes you made being reflected in tests. This can greatly improve your debugging times.

A small, yet very helpful feature, is the “Playground Selector”. While not accurate 100% of the time, it will take care of finding selectors for you. You no longer have to build them, instead just use what Cypress proposes.

Cypress – An Ease Of Use

Now that you’ve heard about the tool, let’s take a look at some simple tests you can write. I won’t guide you through the configuration etc., because the team has a great tutorial for it right here. Below I will just use the examples they provided on their page and describe them.

The shortest test you can write would probably look like this: 

passing test in cypress

passing-test-examplee in cypressPassing Test Example in Cypress

This is the simplest test you can create. What it does is next to nothing (a basic assertion), but it’s useful to get familiar with the tool. By the way, instead of writing 
 expect(true).to.equal(true) 
you can also  write 
assert.equal(true, true).

Similarly, you can write a failing test in the same manner: 

failing-test-example in cypressFailing Test Example in Cypress

As you can see, our previously “green” test is now “red” with Cypress also writing down the error below. These errors usually point you exactly to where the problem is so it’s easier to debug them. 

This is how a “real life” test would look like (I added more comments for clarity): 

real life test

real life test example in cypress
 Real Life Test Example in Cypress

As you can see, it’s an easy test. First, we tell our script to visit   https://example.cypress.io. Then, we search for a specific element and click on it. After that we assert that the URL has actually changed. Next, we type fake@email.com to the .action-email input field. Lastly, we check this field’s value.

Note how at the end of the test we chain all the commands off of the previous ones. Basically, almost every command can be chained off like this. However, we need to remember that most of those chains have to start with cy.get()  or cy.contains(). That way our test will know what element to work on.

Obviously, there are a lot of other things Cypress can do. For the sake of simplicity though, I just focused on the basics. If you would like to learn more, then I invite you to check their documentation. You can find it here.

A problem child

Unfortunately, just like every other tool, Cypress also has some flaws.

The biggest of them is the lack of cross-browser testing support. While it is being slowly introduced (with Firefox getting more and more support in the recent versions) it’s still a long way to go. 

For now you can only use either Chrome or Electron (and, as mentioned before, Firefox, though to a certain degree). While it isn’t really the reason to abandon the tool completely, it’s worth knowing that it’s still missing some things.

Despite its support for React apps, Cypress sometimes gets lost when working on them. This is most often represented in it incorrectly loading the changing (animated) layout, breaking it completely and failing the test. 

Surprisingly, recreating the same action in the Cypress’ UI manually does not yield the same result.

With Cypress bundling a couple of tools you have to keep in mind that some of them will eventually become outdated. While not really that problematic most of the time, this can be an irritating thing in some situations (for example, when  have.focus  assertion was broken). 

Indeed, the team tries to keep everything up-to-date(ish), but sometimes changes introduced force them to stick to the older version. This eventually leads to some problems and requires hacking (with the example mentioned before being already fixed in newer versions) to solve some problems. Consider it a cost of not having to update anything yourself.

Because Cypress depends greatly on asynchronous solutions and callbacks, you are eventually going to face callback hell, especially if you want to hold, for example, a text value of multiple elements for later use. 

In that case, instead of writing something like this:

await async approach in cypress

You have to write something like this:

closures approach in Cypress

Basically, whenever you hold a reference to some element (e.g. its text) you have to do the rest of your test in that callback until you compare this value or use it again. If you don’t do it, you won’t be able to access these references.

Now imagine having more than three elements here. Callback hell indeed. And no – before you ask, you CAN’T use async/await instead. Yes, it is readable…ish. But definitely doesn’t look good.

Possible alternatives for Cypress

The first thing that comes to my mind that you can use instead is TestCafe. It uses a similar waiting logic to Cypress’ while also supporting cross-browser testing. 

It may be somewhat cumbersome to use at first, especially if you’re not familiar with async/await, while also lacking a great runner interface, but aside from that it’s just as powerful as Cypress. 

In certain situations it can even outperform it. Whatever the reason may be for you to stop using Cypress, you can safely go with TestCafe.

testcafe example
TestCafe example

If you don’t mind a little bit of fiddling before writing your tests then you can also check out Webdriver.io. While it requires more configuration (you can use boilerplate projects though) it’s also an easy to use and a very reliable tool.

Both of the tools mentioned here also use JavaScript/TypeScript, which makes them stand out. Of course, if you feel brave, then feel free to use Selenium. Though with such a broad range of other tools, why would you even want to? 😉

An ultimate solution for Web App Testing?

Despite all its flaws Cypress is a great tool, definitely worth checking out. It’s easy and fun to use, it has a great community and support from both them and the people developing the tool, it’s powerful. 

Seeing how the development currently goes, with all the features being added and bugs being fixed I can honestly say that it can greatly define the future of test automation!

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Selenium Webdriver & IDE – Most Feasible Web Application Testing Tools

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14 May 2019 Apphawks

Table of Contents

Introduction to Selenium WebDriver

If you want to know more about Selenium WebDriver & IDE – you are in the right place. 

Web Drivers are frameworks for web automation that permits users to carry out tests on any browsers like Firefox, Chrome and others. Selenium is a software used for web application testing. It is a portable framework, which enables the users to perform functional tests using its tools. 

These tests do not require the user to learn any test script language. Being an open source software web developer can use it without getting charged.

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Selenium Webdriver and Selenium IDE are two of the several components of Selenium. Selenium WebDriver consists of a collection of open source Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). 

These APIs are used for web application testing automation.  Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a kind of prototyping tool, which comes as Chrome and Firefox add-on. This tool develops tests instantly through its history recording and playback feature.

Selenium WebDriver and Selenium IDE: what are these?

As mentioned above, Selenium WebDriver is used to verify whether the functionality of the web application is according to the requirement. Being a successor to Selenium RC (Remote control tool), this tool supports several browsers ranging from Firefox and Chrome to Safari. 

WebDriver tests web applications alone and are not qualified for window-related application testing. By the use of external tools such as Sikuli and AUTOIT, Selenium WebDriver can be used for windows component handling. This tool also supports several programming languages such as Java, C#, PHP and the likes for test script writing. 

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On getting an opportunity, WebDriver switches to the native operating system to drive browser instead of JavaScript commands, which are browser-based.

Selenium Webdriver and IDE

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Selenium IDE provides a complete integrated environment for performing Selenium tests. As an add-on extension only available in Chrome and Firefox, Selenium IDE carries out 3 steps on functionality tests: recording, editing and debugging. 

IDE ensures resilient tests by recording each interaction with elements of multiple locators. This is useful for enabling successful playbacks even if anyone of the locator fails. This tool allows reuse of test cases by the use of the run command.

selenium ide firefox

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With the use of plugins, the functionality of Selenium IDE can be extended or merge with third-party services.

History and development Selenium WebDriver & Selenium IDE

Selenium software was developed in 2004 by Jason Huggins. It was created as an internal tool at ThoughtWorks. With the entry of Paul Hammant into the team of programmers and testers at ThoughtWorks, the development of the second mode of operation occurred. 

This tool was later called Selenium Remote Control (RC). It was open sourced tool. In 2007 when Huggins joined Google, he continued to work on the stabilization of Selenium RC with the help of other Google programmers. 

The same year, Simon Stewart at ThoughtWorks created WebDriver which is a surpassing browser automation tool. In 2009 after the Google Test Automation Conference, both the projects were combined and called as Selenium WebDriver or Selenium 2.0.

Selenium IDE was developed by Shinya Kasatani from Japan. He used the IDE module to envelope the core code and wrap it into the Firefox Browser. This enabled test recording and playback in the same plugins. In 2006, he donated Selenium IDE prototype to the Apache’s Selenium project.

Work Functionality

Selenium WebDriver Architecture Framework consists of four components.

  1. Selenium Client Library: Libraries such as Ruby, Python and Java are supported by Selenium. This helps in the use of Selenium software in various browsers.

  2. JSON Wire protocol over HTTP: JavaScripts Object Notation (JSON) Wire Protocol is used for transferring information between HTTP servers. It is a REST API.

  3. Browser Drivers: These Drivers transfer information with respective browser. This is performed without compromising the confidentiality of internal logic of browser’s functioning ability.

  4. Browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari are few of the multiple browsers supported by Selenium.

Selenium WebDriver Architecture

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Automation scripts reproduce the user interaction on a webpage, by using Selenium commands. An HTTP request is created for each Selenium command and forwarded to browser driver. Browser drivers receive the HTTP requests using an HTTP server. 

This server interprets the command and forms the steps for implementing the commands. This leads to the execution of implementation steps on browsers. 

The command execution status is reverted back to the HTTP server which forwards the status to command scripts.

The necessity of Selenium WebDriver & Selenium IDE

Selenium software is open sourced tools which makes it freely available for anyone. This helps any company to extend the frameworks and use as it pleases them. The other reasons why Selenium WebDriver and Selenium IDE is needed is:

●   Unattended application testing is easier to execute using Selenium and its components

●   Execution of multiple scripts can be performed parallelly

●   Language bindings with multiple scripts make the work quicker and convenient

●   Documentation and reporting is easier

●   Due to language binding, these software tools can be used as language and platform challenger

●   The standard functionality of Selenium can be expanded to a larger extent using a library of plugins

Compatibility issues of Selenium WebDriver & Selenium IDE with Angular JS apps

Automation of Angular JS apps using Selenium WebDriver and IDE is possible. The main issue is the use of different elements in the creation of Angular JS. 

These elements are different from the elements that are recognized by Selenium. Examples are ng-model, CSS. As a result, WebDriver are not able to locate the Angular JS element. 

This leads to direct compatibility issue between Angular JS and Selenium use.

selenium

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Selenium WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver provides APIs (Application Programming Interface) to easily integrate with different programming languages. The languages can be Java, C#, Python, Ruby, Perl, PHP, etc.

For example,

How to integrate with C#

Selenium Csharp

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Before integration, infrastructure like the visual studio and visual studio setup needs to be present.

●      Open visual studio to create a project. you need to click on the create new project option.

●      Then you need to click on the test project appearing on the right panel.

●      Select the unit test projects. If finding the test project option is hard, an alternate way is there. The user can select the online template option and search for the template.

●      After this, the addition of Selenium references or drivers in C# project will be required. In order to do this,

●      open the solution explorer

●      expand the project

●      Then right click on the references

●      There will appear some options from which, you need to choose the ‘Manage NuGet Packages’ option. Then a new screen will appear on the display.

●      There, you need to search for the Selenium WebDriver and click on it.

●      Then install it.

●      After installing, go to references and select the UnitTest1.cs option. This will give access to start actual coding for the integration of Selenium WebDriver in C# application. There are some references which need to be added. The added references provide all required classes and properties. It is also important to install chromedriver on your local machine. As per your expected browser, download a proper WebDriver.

●      Now you can run the test cases by selecting the run tests option.

Selenium IDE

In order to install and integrate Selenium IDE, the user need to have Mozilla FireFox and an active internet connection.

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– First, you need to launch and add FireFox followed by installing it.

– There will be a Selenium IDE icon on the display, which you need to click.

– Go to the FireFox DevTools in FireFox. FireFox devtools helps to inspect the HTML elements of the web application under test.

– You will get the name of the element from this, which your selenese command would act upon.

– Right-click on the page and select the inspect element. The shortcut for that option is Ctrl + Shift + I. you will see the interface.

– Then right-click on any element and keep the arrow over the copy to choose between CSS or XPath. This helps in object identification. The developer tools in chrome can also be used to identify object properties.

Plug-ins

There are different additional FireFox plug-ins and add-ons created by other users. Those can be supported by Selenium IDE. Selenium IDE comes with 4 plug-ins by default. 

Those are Selenium IDE: C# formatters, Selenium IDE: Java formatters, Selenium IDE: ruby formatters, Selenium IDE: python formatters. 

These four plug-ins help Selenium IDE in converting selenese into different formats. You can see the list of all the add-ons you have installed in a plug-in tab available. 

It also displays the name of the creator and the version number respectively.

User extensions

Selenium IDE supports user extension. It provides advanced capabilities to the system. User extensions are in JavaScript files form. There are two fields available for installing the extensions. 

You can specify their absolute path in any of these two fields in order to install them. The two fields are available as options in the dialog box. 

They are namely, Selenium core extensions (user-extensions.js) and Selenium IDE extensions. There are a lot of extensions you can browse and install from here.

Platforms that are supported by Selenium WebDriver

There are currently 5 such browsers or platforms which are well supported by Selenium WebDriver.

Selenium browsers

Firefox

FireFox support is the latest one. The latest and it’s previous release, the latest and the previous ESR (extended support release) are supported by the latest version of Selenium. 

For example FireFox 27,26,24,17 all are supported by Selenium 2.40.0. It can easily be run on any platform supported by FireFox for those versions. A user can also install a custom FireFox extension.

IE (internet explorer)

Internet Explorer version 7,8,9,10 and 11 are supported by Selenium WebDriver. Version 11 needs some additional configuration. Each release is tested by the Selenium project on windows 7.

Safari

Safari uses SafariDriver. It requires safari 5.1+.

Opera

For opera software, opera driver is there. It is also known as

OperaChromiumDriver. The driver is a WebDriver implementation adapted by opera after being derived from ChromeDriver. This feature enables programming automation of chromium-based opera products which are supported for desktop and Android platforms.

Chrome

It uses ChromeDriver and supports all chromium projects. It is available for chrome on both Android and desktop versions (Mac, Linux, Windows, and ChromeOS).

Selenium WebDriver – Coding Languages

The need for testing the variety of web application is fulfilled by implementing Selenium WebDriver. It is a collaboration of an open set of function and procedures. 

They are set to examine the features and data of the web applications to test its accessibility. Its work is to verify that the web browsers meet the expected results. It is only restricted with examining the test results in respect to a web browser as a whole. It is not ideal for testing the security features of a web application. 

Regressive testing of web browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Safari is not possible with such Selenium scripts. With also the exception to the functionality, compatibility and performance-based issues in testing. 

It can be accessed using the same code of action with supportive programming languages like Java, C#, Perl. It is considered to be effective in accessing various versions of operating systems introduced by Microsoft, Apple, and Linux.

Coding Languages

The web applications are made more reliable and flexible with this high but simple form of programming in Selenium web id. These unique for of the testing environment require some specific interpreters and applications for backing the test results. Some of the topmost coding languages are given below with a brief description:

JS  

Selenium Webdriver programming requires Javascript. This makes the system more organized as well. Let’s check out how it helps. These add extra efficiency in its performance. 

Java Scripts are the most commonly used form of coding languages. It is easily accessible by one who intends to use it for viewing the data as required. It helps in improving the test performance acting as an interface that executes the web browsers. 

Java scripts are user-friendly that uses a JavaScript Executor for a Selenium Webdriver. It is a basic scripting language working behind the web pages in every browser. The commanding language makes any changes in the web browsers. 

The web browser responds in accordance with the easy coding as per Java Scripts. It’s a compact programing language that can be pretty confusing for the beginners. It is easily accessible with complicated programming. 

A basic JavaScript can be considered as an easy and simple coding language. There is complexity in the nature of the newly introduced web browsers. It might be hard to understand the programming structures.

Java

Selenium webdriver requires this too. It is one of the pillar programming languages of this. Let’s check out its functionalities. 

Unlike JavaScript, Java is considered to be a strict programming language. This is completely different from JavaScript. It is a more complex form of coding language.  

It is a class-based general programming language. Java codes can be easily accessible with any platform that works on Java. 

This can be done without any issue. They are basically written on using bytecodes. Java codes are similar to C and C++. Java is more popular as compared to some client-server web browsers.

Python

Selenium webdriver has the power of Python too. This is a classy language, Let’s check how it helps. 

Python is a high-level programming language used for coding. Its main feature is its code reliability due to its language is constructed to help programmers. 

The programmers are able to code with clear and logical designs. It is an object-oriented approach with codes for any kind of projects. It is also effective in functional programming due to its dynamic typing procedures. 

Python is a combination of counting various reference with a huge collection of information during a program’s execution. It also offers various supportive features that involve filters, map, and dictionary for functional programming. 

It is a full compact programming language that is very popular for coding interfaces for web applications. The developers find it simpler and with less complexity for coding with their own requirements.

Ruby

Selenium uses Ruby as well. This is one of the most important coding languages used in selenium. It is a balanced functional programming with imperative programming. 

Ruby is structured with various languages like Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp. With a better scope of coding with ruby, there are a number of coders worldwide. It is a scripted language with an ideal syntax. 

It is considered to be more power in programming languages. It consists of variable actions and properties. As an object-oriented programming language, it consists of a bit of code which is implemented to its methods. 

Ruby is a simple and easy language for the coders due to its flexible nature. It acquires the nature identical to the objects and methods used for codes. 

A programmer can easily add coding to the methods and instruct on its functioning criteria.

PHP

Selenium requires PHP also. It makes the drive more user-friendly. A scripted language is available with an open source license. It is in an interpreter that is primarily used on Linux web servers. 

PHP is a hypertext preprocessor that also serves as a recursive acronym. The Personal Home Pages Tools previously inspired it. Its main execution process is carried out on the web browsers acting as a substitute for the ASP technology. 

The user encloses the PHP coding scripts with the HTML prior to replying for the respective request. The PHP scripts then interpret the web page and the performance followed. 

The HTML pages vary according to the interpretation results of the scripts.

Learning about Selenium IDE

The portable architecture, selenium is used for testing of applications on the web. It renders a tool for playback which assists in performing functional tests. 

These tests do not require a code or scripts. Along with this, it renders a language which is domain-specific for writing tests in any of the languages used in programming. 

The Selenium IDE, short for Selenium Integrated Development Environment is a tool which can be used for the development of test cases of Selenium. 

It records the actions of the users in the browser with the help of Selenium instructions. The element’s context decides the parameters of recording the actions.

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The Selenium IDE does not require any extra set-up to use it. Only, the installation of the extension in the browser is needed. Selenium IDE is used t use and provides quick results or feedbacks. The open source tool can be used for automation of tests on the web applications. 

The Selenium IDE can be used with any operating system and in any browser. It is one of the best advantages offered by Selenium IDE.

Is Selenium IDE helpful in creating test cases?

Selenium IDE is an excellent tool for the creation of tests cases. In Selenium IDE, the users can create test cases in a few simple steps.

• Launch the browser and Selenium IDE.

• Open the web application in which the test cases are needed to be run.

• Switch on the record button.

• Right click on the blank space in the web application. A dialogue box will appear showing the menus of the Selenium IDE.

• Perform the activity for which you need a test case to be created.

Say, for example, if the user wants to create a test case for an invalid login. Then, the user should open a web application which consists of a login form. The user should enter an invalid ID and an invalid password while logging in.

• Turn off the recorder and save the test case. The test case will be saved in ‘.html’ format.

• When the playback button is clicked, the whole script will be executed flawlessly.

In Selenium IDE, the users can open more than a single test at a particular period in time. The list of the presently opened cases of tests is displayed in the pane of test cases. 

When the user opens the suite of tests, the pane, which consists of test cases, will open automatically and will show the list of test cases. The test case, which is presently selected, will appear in bold. 

After the playback takes place, the cases of the test are stated either as ‘passed’ or ‘failed’ with the help of codes of colour. 

The green colour denotes that the test has passed and the red colour signifies a ‘failed’ test. In the end, the summary of the cases of the test is given. 

It shows the number of tests, their status, and the necessary information.

Reporting bugs with Selenium IDE

A bug is a flaw or an error which results in malfunctioning of the software or application. It makes the system to behave in an unintended manner and produce unexpected outcomes. 

It is mandatory for a software tester or a developer to find the flaw in the application or software. It helps to maintain a smooth flow of the application and to produce the desired results.

Selenium IDE is a good tool to locate and identify the bugs within the application or software. The users must understand the software or application prior to the initiation of the testing. 

Selenium IDE helps in preparing efficient test cases. These test cases are useful in testing the application in an effective manner. 

Also, Selenium IDE helps in creating enough amount of data for the test which states the conditions and requirements of the test. In this manner, the Selenium IDE proves itself as an effective tool for identifying and reporting the errors.

At the end of the process of testing, a summary of the test appears. The summary helps in learning about the condition and functioning of the application. 

The resultant outcome of the application can be compared with the expected outcome to find the defect or flaw in the application.

Selenium IDE helps in producing a specific and concise report of the bugs in the application. Some of the qualities which a bug report should possess are given below.

• The report must be precise and short.

• The total numbers of failures and success should be mentioned in the report.

• It should identify all the main causes of failures in the application.

• It must cover all the aspects of the test.

The Selenium IDE aids in generating a bug report which fulfils all the qualities mentioned above. We can conclude that it generates an effective bug report which is very beneficial to the developers and testers.

Using Selenium IDE for manual testing

Manual testing is a procedure of testing the software in which the software is tested for defects by an individual. The accuracy of the behaviour of the application is tested in manual testing. 

The success of the manual testing lies at the mercy of the tester. The tester must be able to understand the application properly and the objective of conducting the test. An incomplete knowledge might result in the generation of an outcome which is not much helpful.

In such a situation, Selenium IDE proves itself as a simple and useful tool which aids in performing manual testing. It helps in creating cases for conducting the test on the basis of which testing can be performed. 

It provides a summary of the test cases and records the results. The testers can analyze and evaluate these test cases for testing the application. 

Also, Selenium IDE helps in identifying the flaws or defects in the application or software. The identification of bugs in the application is very important for the healthy well-being of the application.

Continuous Integration in Selenium

Continuous integration (CI) is a progressive process whose aim is to verify and assure software accuracy. 

To ensure the proper running of the software, a set of tests runs automatically after each commit. And if any of the tests fail, instant feedback reflects saying “build is broken.” 

A few of the CI tools are CircleCi, Jenkins, Bamboo, Bitbucket, etc. CI’s main aim is to avoid the challenges of integration.

continuous-integration-testing

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In software development, integration is the process of integrating the software components that are created individually to form a whole product. Some of the advantages of CI are:

●       Bugs can be detected early

●       It helps in code break determination

●       When the code base reverts to the bug-free state then only a small number of changes are lost

●       Provides availability of “current” build regularly

●       It enables the continuous deployment

●       It enables automated testing

●       It reduces the risk of longer time-consuming projects.

●       Quality of the software increases

CI Pipeline

To build a web application and to deploy it on the web servers, a set of developers to write code is required that further builds the web app. This code is assigned in the version control system by the developers and is taken through the build phase. 

Build phase is the first phase of a pipeline where with the proper tag of version the code goes to the system of version control. After the build phase, the testing phase comes where different kinds of testing are done. The unit test is one of them. 

After the completion of the test, the code is deployed in the test server. It is the deploy phase where the app and code can be seen in the simulator. Once the code is deployed, one may run the other sanity test after which it can be deployed to the production. 

If in any of the steps and error is found, an email is sent to the developing team and they fix the problem. The developing team pushes the codes in the version control system and back to the pipeline.

This lifecycle prolongs till the deployable product or code is available that is deployed to the production server where it is validated and measured.

Tools that can be used as Selenium

Selenium has a set of tools for automation testing and few of them are listed below:

  •  Selenium IDE
  • Selenium WebDriver
  • Selenium RC
  • Selenium Grid
  • Jenkins
  • CircleCI

Jenkins

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It is a continuous integration and deployment server built in Java. Jenkins provides CI services for any of the language combinations and codes using pipelines.

The main goal of Jenkins is to built and continuously test the software. It also monitors the other external running jobs that are executed. It helps in saving the time of the testers. It displays the result at the home page of the project.

The main reason for the Jenkins success is its facility of extension and open source. Jenkins has more than thousands of plugins for the extension of its functions.

It has been used by different huge companies such as Sony, Facebook, Netflix, eBay, Yahoo, etc.

Jenkins is available with a comfortable installation facility, various browsers for the plugin, configuration, extension and its ability to connect with other more computers.

Jenkins prefers Maven integration for making and testing the project in CI.

CircleCI

CircleCI

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It is also one of the continuous integration tools used for testing applications, building and deploying them quite easily and rapidly on various platforms. It enables the user to set up it easily without any problem. 

One of its main features is that it is based on the cloud server that does not require any further external servers. Due to its feature of the cloud-based system, it does not require maintenance and supports all software devices such as mobile, laptop, desktop, etc. 

It is integrated by GitHub, Appfog, dotCloud, etc. CircleCI is also used by many large brands such as Amazon, Spotify, Facebook, etc.

Maven Integration with Selenium: It is an automation tool for the projects of Java language. Maven can be used to configure and maintain the selenium tests. 

It works on the basis of the page object model, adds the software required for selenium testing, integrates with selenium, can be downloaded and installed. 

In the case of new versions, only the update of POM XML is required and Maven set the updated software.

Selenium IDE

Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is one of the tools that create the test through its record and playback feature. It is an easy learning tool and can be installed effortlessly. 

But to use it for all it’s possible, the user should be able to use JavaScript, HTML or Document Object Model. 

It records the actually performed actions by the user. After recording Selenium IDE exports, it as a script that can be used further by other programming languages. Its main constraint is that it supports only Firefox browser. 

For each element with which it interacts with Selenium IDE records the multiple numbers of locators. Selenium IDE supports various languages such as Ruby, C#, Java, Python, etc. 

One must have expertise in one language and code to work with it. 

The languages preferred are Java or C#.

Selenium RC

Selenium RC is one such tool that gives consent to write UI tests of automated applications in any of the programming languages.

 If the scripts are required to be executed in browsers other than Firefox, then Selenium Remote Control is used. It is a great tool for testing the complex interfaces by the user under the CI system.

 Also, it is a perfect tool for the Selenium IDE users, who prefer to write the tests in the programming languages that are more expressive than other HTML formats. This tool is available in two parts:

●      A library of the client the most liked computer language of the user

●      A server that launches and destroys the browsers automatically. Further, for web requests, it acts as an HTTP substitute.

The new version of Selenium

Change is the mother of innovation. Change is necessary to keep up in track with the upcoming trends and the latest technologies. Also, in order to excel in the marketplace, it is necessary to bring changes which satisfy the users and mesmerizes them.

Earlier, Selenium was just a tool for testing the projects which were developed by internal sources. With the progress in time, several new features were added in Selenium to make it more advanced and user-friendly. Selenium acquired huge fan-base and gathered trust and reputation from its users due to the continuous developments in it which impressed them.

Due to the new features which are incorporated in the latest version of Selenium, the setup and usage of Selenium have altered a bit. In order to use the latest version of Selenium, the users must lay emphasis on some of the requirements.

  • To run the latest version of Selenium, the Java’s minimum version required is Java 8+.
  • If the users run their script in versions of Firefox greater than 47.0.1, then they will need a GeckoDriver for the smooth functioning of Selenium. The versions of FireFox lesser than 47.0.1 does not require a GeckoDriver.
  • The Apple users can run their tests in Safari with the help of SafariDriver.
  • Updation of Guava to version 21 has been done.
  • The latest version of Selenium does not support FireFox 47.0.0

In addition, there are many changes which are incorporated in the new version of Selenium. Some of the changes are listed below.

  • In the grid, fixes related to stability are made.
  • All the nodes of the grid are capable of offering help.
  • It has been updated to the newest release of HtmlUnitDriver.
  • The newest version enables the gathering of logs for the stand-alone server.
  • The profile of FireFox is passed to GeckoDriver and FirefoxDriver.
  • The newest version of Selenium cannot run Selenium RC by direct means. It requires an interface of WebDriverBackedSelenium and emulation to do so.

Is the new version more customizable?

Yes, of course!

Changes are made in Selenium for the convenience of its users and ease of its usage. The newest version is highly customizable to make its usage smooth and easy. When the testing of software is done with Selenium, a report of the outcome of the test is presented. 

The reports state the errors, bugs, the status of the test, and many more things. Sometimes, the users might need fewer data in the reports, or else, want the outcome in another format. 

The format of the report and also, the data within the report can be customized as per the requirement of the user. 

Also, the interface of the Selenium can be customized as per the convenience of the users.

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Web Application Testing Tools: Starter Pack

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17 April 2019 Apphawks

Web Application Testing Tools

Web Application with Selenium
Selenium

The web applications that are involved in the activities of an enterprise requires thorough tests in terms of their developments and up-gradation. 

Though web application testing tools such as Selenium IDE and HP QTP are very popular for automatic testing of the latest developments in the applications but due to the complexity in automated testing these tools may not be popular. 

Basically, it is due to the feature of recording the action of the user when an app is navigated and then playing those actions each time an application has to be navigated. 

Selenium is based on Javascript that supports various browsers like Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, etc. However, an application can be tested on multiple browsers if the HTML standards are used in a web application-testing framework. 

If the user does not want to open a new window of a browser during application testing, the HTML unit browser can be used as it completely works in memory. 

While using Selenium as a testing tool a web page is fetched by applying a URL on a browser after which the content is verified with few commands and if any of the given commands does not succeed, the test becomes a failure. 

The interactions in a web application and performance validations, all are recorded in a log file and whenever this test ran a log serving as documentary evidence is generated which is sharable with the user. 

Web Application Testing with Cucumber

Cucumber

Cucumber is an application-testing tool that is used by the programmers of a computer for testing other web applications and can be used with Selenium and other application testing tools. 

It works on automatic acceptance which is based on the BDD framework i.e. Behaviour Driven Development Framework.  

When cucumber runs, it fetches the data specifications from features and examines the list of steps using an automated framework and then run these steps against the system. 

Cucumber tool supports the native JUnit which is an open cause unit testing framework for programming languages like Java. 

Read more=> Web Application Testing: Know All About It

In cucumber tests, a feature file becomes a point of entry where a test is described in a descriptive language such as English. 

To create a feature file right-click the directory in the project tool window where feature file is to be created than choose the new file from the target directory of the context menu and type <name> in the dialogue box. 

Various advantages of using cucumber tool are:

  • Cucumber testing tool helps in improving the communication between technical & non-technical members of a project
  • It is an efficient tool for web application testing
  • It focuses on end-user experience
  • It is helpful for business stakeholders to read code easily
  • Its writing test style allows trouble-free use of codes in other tests

Web Appication Testing with Metasploit

Metasploit

A Metasploit tool is a tool that is meant for upgrading and executing an exploit code next to the distant focused machine. 

A Metasploit framework is an application platform for upgrading, testing and executing its uses. Metasploit can also be used as a penetration testing system to create security testing tools.  WMAP is a tool that can perform in danger checks on web applications. 

WMAP is a web application scanner which is been incorporated into the Metasploit framework in plugin form. 

When the plugin is loaded in this framework, a new workspace creates after which a target URL is scanned. After the scanning of target URL WMAP modules is checked.

Web Application Testing with TestComplete

TestComplete is another web application testing tool that provides various solutions to automates tests for different web application devices by Smartbear Software. 

Using TestComplete as a testing tool, test coverage can be increased which reduces the unnecessary steps in the testing process and a high-quality software can be obtained. 

No other software-testing tool provides the reusable tests as the TestComplete provides. It also provides a faster delivery process using GUI tests. 

It provides various features such as Test Visualizer, GUI testing, scripted testing, playback, and test recording, etc.

Recommended Reading:
 

21 Top API Testing Tools You Need To Know

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26 March 2019 Apphawks

Do you want to know more about API Testing Tools? You’re in the right place.

API testing tools might have an impact on the quality assurance process even if you are expierience QA Specialist.  As you know, API Testing is considered as a crucial for automating or integration testing especially with Agile software development. 

API Testing Tools will help you with unit testing, functional testing, load testing, security testing, Web UI testing or penetration testing. To test an API you will need to use testing tool to drive API.

We would like to propose a set of most popular API testing tools which you need to know if you want making your tasks more efficient.

API Testing Tools List

  • API Fortress
  • Apigee
  • Assertbile
  • TestMace
  • Fiddler
  • HttpMaster
  • JMeter
  • Katalon
  • Postman
  • Rapid API
  • Rapise
  • ReadyAPI
  • Rest Assured
  • Runscope
  • Soap Sonar
  • SOAPUI
  • SOAtest
  • Swagger
  • TestingWhiz
  • Tricentis Tosca
  • vRest

API Testing Tools details

API Fortress

API Fortress

API Fortress is a continuous testing platform for APIs. It is the final piece to complete your continuous integration vision. One platform to test functionality, performance, and load.

With API Fortress save time with automated test generation, benefit from true cross team collaboration, leverage your existing version control system, and seamlessly integrate with any CI/CD platform

Apigee

Apigee is a full lifecycle API management platform that helps businesses accelerate with APIs. Apigee gives enterprises control over and visibility into the APIs that connect applications and data, across the enterprise and across clouds.

Google acquired Apigee in November 2016. 

Assertible

Assertible

Assertible is use to test and monitor production web services, create scheduled assertions, and gain confidence in crucial infrastructure.

Assertible provides a reliable first line of defense against web service failures by providing simple and powerful assertions to test and monitor your APIs and websites. Lower the number of false positives in your automated QA tests and be confident your APIs are healthy.

TestMace

TestMace

TestMace is an IDE for working with APIs. Product is currently in beta testing, but the current version is stable and has a number of important advantages that can be useful for QA professionals and developers. 

Some of which are: creating API testing scripts and scenarios of any complexity, Syntax highlighting, autocompletion, custom and embedded variables (e.g env), undo / redo, swagger API Import, Postman project import, Javascript code in tests.

Fiddler

Fiddler

Telerik Fiddler is part of a family of developer productivity tools for .NET and JavaScript ninjas from simple Fiddler Script to extensions which can be deveped using .NET language.

Fiddler is known as a proxy debugger, and its ability to capture traffic from nearly any source means the fastest way to generate API tests is to simply capture the API traffic from an existing client and modify and augment those tests as desired. 

The new APITest extension to Fiddler greatly enhances its power to validate the behavior of web APIs.

HttpMaster

HttpMaster

HttpMaster is a web development and test tool to automate testing of web sites and services, including RESTful web services and API applications, and monitor their responses. 

With HttpMaster you can easily execute and monitor requests to simulate client activity; it can execute requests against various web servers and display complete request and response data. 

HttpMaster is also able to generate high volume of web traffic for improved testing and comes in two editions; free Express edition and commercial Professional edition.

JMeter

Jmeter

Apache JMeter is open-source software that is popular for performance testing and is designed to load test functional behavior and measure performance. Apache JMeter may be used to test performance both on static and dynamic resources, Web dynamic applications. 

It can be used to simulate a heavy load on a server, group of servers, network or object to test its strength or to analyze overall performance under different load types.

JMeter can read your testdata from the CSV file out of the box. API can be tested with multiple sets of data easily.

JMeter has a ‘Response Extractor‘ s  – which can be used to extract information from the API response (JSON / XML / Regular expression) and use it in the subsequent requests in the test.

You can easly integrate JMeter with Jenkins to run the test periodically and Jenkins has a plugin for JMeter to parse the result file & display nice charts.

Katalon

Katalon

Katalon Studio uses Apache Groovy, a scripting language for the Java platform. Groovy is a powerful dynamic language, which is ideal for creating test scripts. For test execution, Java libraries and Java compatible languages like JRuby and Jython are supported.

 It has been a successful solution for many automation projects ranging from small to large teams for enterprise clients. Katalon Studio is free to use.

Katalon Studio supports the built-in integration with qTest, a powerful and easy-to-use test management system.

Katalon Studio is a test automation solution that leverages Selenium’s core engine. Although it uses several Selenium functionalities, it is not simply a Selenium wrapper.

Postman

Postman, a complete API development environment. With this app, developers are able to send requests, save responses, add tests, and create workflows.

Frequently, testers are required to perform an API testing and with an app like Postman this process becomes easy and it features a powerful and simple GUI, giving the ability to save the history of tested API requests, making reporting much easier.

Rapid API

RapidAPI is the world’s largest API marketplace where over half a million developers find and connect to thousands of public APIs. 

RapidAPI processes 400 billion API calls each month. Its directory includes APIs from Microsoft, Stripe, SendGrid, Slack, Foursquare, Eventbrite, Yelp, Google Translate, Spotify, NASA, ProductHunt and more.

Rapise

Rapise

Rapise is a powerful and flexible software test automation platform that leverages the power of open architecture to provide the most rapid and flexible functional testing tool on the market today.

Rapise helps you test it all: web, mobile, desktop, & APIs. Rapise records tests, then lets you edit them in its easy-to-use spreadsheet-based editor. Or you can dig into their JavaScript-based engine that’s a breeze to extend.

ReadyAPI

Ready API

ReadyAPI allows you  to build complex end-to-end functional, security, and performance tests with both the ease of an intuitive interface and the flexibility of an IDE.

ReadyAPI not only has a insightful dashboard built in for quick up-to-date testing metrics, but also outputs JUnit, HTML, CSV, or other customizable reporting formats.

Rest-assured

rest assured

REST-assured is a Java library that provides a domain-specific language (DSL) for writing powerful, maintainable tests for RESTful APIs.

REST-assured was designed to simplify the testing and validation of REST APIs and is highly influenced by testing techniques used in dynamic languages such as Ruby and Groovy.

Runscope

The next API testing tool is Runscope.
A Runscope API test is a group of one or more HTTP requests executed sequentially to evaluate the uptime, performance and correctness of an API. For each step in the test, you can define Assertions to validate response data and Variables to extract data to be used in subsequent requests.

SOAPSonar

SOAP Sonar

SOAPSonar provides automated testing of each API independent of client, device or intended Consumer. Automatically generating a UI to provide immediate feedback to developers, testers, integrators, and security professionals. 

Fully automated, SOAPSonar requires no scripting or script maintenance, reducing time and skill level needed. 

Regression testing can be automated, providing early identification of changes to the API or versions. Support for message and protocol layer identity standards allows for cloud testing.

SoapUI

SoapUI

SoapUI is the world’s leading Functional Testing tool for SOAP and REST testing. 

With its easy-to-use graphical interface, and enterprise-class features, SoapUI allows you to easily and rapidly create and execute automated functional, regression, and load tests. 

In a single test environment, SoapUI provides complete test coverage – from SOAP and REST-based Web services, to JMS enterprise messaging layers, databases, Rich Internet Applications, and much more. And that’s just the beginning.

SOAtest

SOAtest

Parasoft SOAtest brings artificial intelligence and machine learning to functional testing, to help users test applications with multiple interfaces simplifying automated end-to-end testing.

Parasoft SOAtest mitigates the cost of re-work by proactively adjusting your library of tests as services change.

Parasoft SOAtest efficiently transforms your functional testing artifacts into security and performance tests, to increase re-usability and save time

Swagger

We couldn’t forget about Swagger on our API testing tools list.

Swagger is a powerful yet easy-to-use suite of API developer tools for teams and individuals, enabling development across the entire API lifecycle, from design and documentation, to test and deployment.

Swagger consists of a mix of open source, free and commercially available tools that allow anyone, from technical engineers to street smart product managers to build amazing APIs that everyone loves.

TestingWhiz

TestingWhiz is Codeless Automation Testing Tool which is providing automated testing solutions to global enterprises and software companies for their Software, Web, Mobile, Database, Cloud, Web Services and API testing.

TestingWhiz will be going to Automate, Execute and Manage Test Cases Effortlessly & Efficiently. It also allows users to verify the critical functioning of their web applications and deliver efficient and effective web interfaces.

Tricentis Tosca

Tricentis Tosca

Tricentis Tosca allows testers to rapidly create API tests and integrate them into end-to-end test scenarios. Even if you’re new to API testing, it’s simple to get started in minutes. Just generate tests from service definitions or let the API recorder generate tests as you interact with the front end or run UI tests.

vRest

vRest

vREST is an automated REST API Testing tool which provides functions to validate your REST APIs. This is the core function of vREST. 

Writing API test cases will ensure you to avoid any bugs after handing over the application to the client. You will be more confident on the build quality of your web application.

On the graph you will see some of the API testing tools (features vs. costs).

api testing tools

What is Exploratory Testing? An Introduction to Exploratory Testing

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Apphawks

Table of Contents

What Is Exploratory Testing?

Exploratory testing is a technique or a method whose aim is to discover the flaws during the process of software development. 

This technique of testing is concerned about the qualitative assurance of the software. It is used to discover the anonymous issues during the process of development of software. 

Along with this, it is also used to know the issues after the process of software development has completed. 

Apart from discovering the flaws, the technique of exploratory testing is also used to get information about the application. In addition, it is utilized in designing the regression and functional tests, which will be executed in the near future. 

How is Exploratory Testing done?

The exploratory test is operated by humans, that is, it is done manually. Moreover, the testing can be open-ended. Open-ended testing requires the person who is testing to know what to test and how to test. 

Furthermore, the testers of exploratory tests should be able to think and analyze like the users of an application. Also, they should be able to determine how the users of the application will behave. 

Generally, exploratory testing is used when the cycle of development of an application is about to reach its termination. This implies that the testing is generally carried when the application is about to end. 

This is to help the testers of the application to obtain a precise view of the working of the application in the production. The exploratory testing is done to find out the working of the software and also, to find how the software will deal with the wide range of cases.

The technique of exploratory testing has achieved fame and focus in the present time. 

Exploratory testing has been successful in receiving the attention of professionals from the industrial sectors. Exploratory testing gives authority to the tester. However, the authority is linked with great responsibility. 

Furthermore, it provides freedom and varied opportunity to the tester of the application to find out and the different spheres in which quality can be enhanced. The tester has the benefit of the show his skills, experience, and knowledge from a distinct point of views. 

It helps to improve the system’s quality, which is under test.

Exploratory testing renders several advantages, but minor one. Some of them have been described below:

•    Exploratory testing is beneficial as it does not need much preparation. The bugs can be determined at a good pace. The process of exploratory testing does not demand much documentation. The tester just needs to know the objective of the test being conducted to initiate the experiment. Furthermore, the charter of the test recognizes the fields, which combine additional values in the process of testing. Thus, it saves a lot of time.

•    The testers can utilize the strategy of deductive analyzing as per the outcome of the previous round of analyzing. This acts as a guide for the tests, which are to be conducted in the future. 

•    The technique of exploratory testing does not require finishing a series of tests before they jump to another target. This feature helps in locating the bugs more efficiently. In addition, it accelerated the process of detecting the bug.

•    Along with the process of automated tests being conducted, the testers can also learn simultaneously. The testers can derive adequate knowledge from the feature or document to learn more about the behavior of the system. The testers can understand the causes of failure of a production or a test. 

•    Exploratory testing is beneficial in the changing environment of the production unit. When the product is in a developing stable, which is not stable, the technique of exploratory testing can be used to test the alternating product. 

Exploratory testing helps the tester to identify major loopholes in the software and ensures that the application meets the end users requirements. This test is an approach rather than a technique. This means the subsequent action to be taken is governed by the current path of action.

Challenges Faced in Exploratory Testing

Several hurdles are experienced during exploratory testing. Some of which are:

  • Learning the application or software use
  • Knowing the cause of failure
  • Determining the requirement of tools 
  • Determining the best test cases for execution based on the application
  • Reporting and documentation of exploratory test results are challenging as it does not have any planned cases to compare the outcomes
  • Determining the endpoint for exploratory testing is difficult as test cases can be developed on further thinking for execution.

When Should Exploratory Testing Be Used?

Exploratory testing is performed when the application or individual feature of any application is nearing completion. This will help the tester to achieve a clear understanding of the functioning of the application as used by end users. Exploratory testing is used in scenarios:

  • To identify and recognize old and untested bugs in the application
  • To understand the working, functionality of the application and how the interface looks like
  • To determine new queries and find solutions to it
  • To ensure that the application can function to its full capacity in terms of its development
  • When the new tester is involved in the project
  • When the application needs to be evaluated
  • The knowledge gained from performing exploratory test can be used for preparing test scripts. This can also help in performing tests in a later stage of application development.

Choosing the right testing technique involves considering a number of factors. These factors are external and internal. 

The internal factors include:

1. The model used: Models used to develop the application plays roles in governing the technique to be used. 

2. Testers experience and knowledge: This is another factor that plays an important role. The knowledge the tester has about the system and the technique to be used will have a significant influence on the tests performed on the software or application. 

3. Analogous defects: Having an understanding of the similar types of faults will help in the quick understanding of the bug problems in the application.

4. Documentation: The availability of existing reports and also the reliability of the information (mainly the availability of latest information) will have an impact on the choice of testing technique. The way the information has been documented will also have an influence on the choice of techniques.

5. Test objective: The tester can make use of cases as a sensible approach if the test objective is to analyze whether the test can cope with the basic operational task. A rigorous and detailed technique has to be used in the test objective requires thorough testing.

External factors that influence the choice of testing techniques are:

  • Type of system used
  • Risk assessment: The need for thorough and formal testing is higher when the risk is greater.
  • Regulatory requirement: This depends on the standards or guidelines laidby some industries and in turn govern the technique to be used.
  • Budget and duration of the project. This is a crucial factor. As the time allotted for testing is more, the tester can perform follow an elaborate testing technique to get the best out of the testing. When there is a timeconstraint, the tester will be forced to cut short the testing process. Along with duration, the budget allotted will also play an important role.

Exploratory testing is a simultaneous process of learning, designing a test and execution of the test process.  

This testing emphasizes on the testers adaptability and learning. Exploratory testing is all about finding, investigating and learning.

Exploratory testing helps the tester identify major faults in the application quickly. Therefore, helps in developing the application in such a way to meets the requirements of end users. 

This testing method is cognitively structured and significantly manageable.

testing_is_learning_loop

source

How To Do The Test?

The depth of the exploratory test carried out by the tester is very difficult to interpret in words. However, quantification of work done and time spent has to be provided in metrics and progress reports to the team and the managers. 

The solution to this is the Session-based testing which manages and tracks the work carried out on a timely basis approach. 

There are 5 stages in session-based test management (SBTM) which are:

Create and classify bugs based on Taxonomy

This stage requires the tester to categorize the types of faults (or bugs) found in past projects of the test application. An in-depth analysis of the root cause of fault has to be carried out. After analyzing, the tester has to find the risks and come up with ideas to test the application.

Test Charter

A test charter should be able to suggest what and how to test the application along with what needs to be looked into. In exploratory testing, the tester will not have pre-scripted test criteria to follow. 

These criteria are developed real-time as the testing is carried out. The tester can note down ideas as these are the starting point of the test. Test charter can help in determining the way the system can be used by the end user. 

Time-Box

In this stage of the session, a pair of testers work together on the application for not less than 90 minutes. 

Basically, there should not be any hindrance of time by mails, phone or messages in those 90 minutes. This session can be extended as well as reduced to 45 minutes. 

The aim of this session is to encourage the testers to act to the response from the system on time to get correct outcomes.

Result analysis

In this stage, the tester will be able to provide an evaluation of the defects and analysis of the areas covered. The tester will also be able to produce the learning from the test which can help in future testing.

Cross-examine

This stage involves the cross-checking of the results. The output results produced by the tester are compiled and compared with the charter. This also involves checking the need for any further testing. 

Points to consider during exploratory test execution:

  • The tester should have a clear idea of the mission of testing the application
  • All the questions raised during the testing has to be tracked
  • Always make notes of what needs to be tested and why it has to be done. Also makes assessments on the quality of products
  • For effective testing, it is better to work in pairs
  • Make sure to test more as the chances of executing the right test cases are high

The tester should also monitor the following during exploratory testing

  • Coverage of test: The tester should take notes on the test case coverage and also ensure the improvement of the software quality
  • Risks to be covered: The risks to be assessed in the application have to be noted along with knowing the important ones to be considered.
  • Maintain a test execution log: The test execution logs should be recorded for the purpose of future use and documentation.
  • Queries: All the issues and queries  on the system has to be taken note 

Advantages Of Exploratory Testing

A larger area covered

In exploratory testing, the test is conducted all over the area from the starting to the end. Hence it covers a greater amount of area in less time, compared to other kinds of testing. 

After testing, test execution is done simultaneously in the same area.

No pre-planning or preparation

No preplanning is needed in case of exploratory testing as there is no specific documentation or instructions to follow. Also, the preparation time is very less or no preparation at all. 

That’s why it saves more time & is done more efficiently due to less preparation requirement.

Less time required

As we already got from the above statements, exploratory testing requires a very less amount of time. It is very much lesser than the scripted testing, which is a more time-consuming process. 

The less time of exploratory testing makes it a more efficient process, which results in a better product.

Intellectual development

The exploratory testing is solely done by an individual tester, whose knowledge, and experience is all that needed for the test to be conducted. The success of the testing depends on the degree of on-spot cognitive thinking of the tester. 

Therefore, during the test, this boosts the tester’s mind to a higher level. Also, he tries his own skills in this platform of software testing, designing & executing. 

This develops a person’s thinking capabilities, exercises his mind & trains him for the upcoming events. The tester gets better ideas in the field of software, which help him make better decisions & creative approaches in software applications. 

It results in the overall intellectual development of the tester, which further results in the development of future applications.

More bug detection

Unlike scripted testing, exploratory testing works all over the area & watches over every little corner for the mistakes & defects. 

The defects are in the form of bugs, which are detected, and analyzed, by the tester. It is followed by thinking of the replacement solution, and execution. The design testing of the software generates an idea in the tester’s mind that if the test-area is completely correct or there are any mistakes. 

If the tester’s mind detects any mistakes or bugs, the correction execution is done simultaneously. In this way, the bigger test area covers the detection & correction of all the parts in a consecutive manner, which is different as well as better than the scripted one. 

ExploratoryScriptedContinuum

 source

In scripted testing, due to the patterned structure of study & correction, the tester misses most of the parts, which result in improper final work product. 

Hence, in bug finding, the exploratory testing comes in handy and does the work more efficiently, which is one of the main advantages of it.

Unlike pre-scripted testing, exploratory testing requires the person to read, think, report and learn the testing application effectively and rigorously.

Lesser steps

Another advantage is that in this kind of testing, hardly two to three steps are there, namely a tester, test ideas & the final product. 

It decreases time as well as increases the efficiency of the work. Lesser steps mean lesser confusion, a decreased chance of being tangled in steps and making mistakes or skipping some parts. 

If we compare the exploratory testing with the scripted one, we can easily notice the advantages in the time management & less confusing fields. 

The involvement of several steps in scripted testing reduces to a few in the exploratory which makes it relevant in the software-testing field. 

No limitations & restrictions

There is no documentation or pre-planned script provided in case of exploratory testing. Therefore, there is no certain restriction or limitation about sticking to the script or to a planned way. The tester works freely on the application and uses his own knowledge and skills fully to achieve the goal. It helps to get the work done in an easier & better way.

Disadvantages of Exploratory Testing

Difficulty to find mistakes

The exploratory testing does not have any specific standard for the correction of the mistakes. It solely depends on the professionalism & experience of the tester itself. 

This kind of situation results in difficulty to find mistakes & bugs in the software application, because the tester may not get all the mistakes perfectly at once. 

Sometimes some mistakes get skipped by the tester further resulting in a bugged product.

Chances of mistake

Due to some improper skills of a tester, a correct thing can seem incorrect to him. In this situation, the tester tries to correct or modify the already corrected parts of the application. 

This kind of mistakes totally depends on the knowledge of the tester if what he has learned is right or wrong. 

Needs in-depth application knowledge

Ignorance of the tester causes failure of exploratory testing as it needs skillful testers to get conducted properly. Therefore, a very professional & skillful writer is the one who can be perfect for this job. 

To make the most out of it, an exploratory tester needs to have in-depth knowledge about the software application he is working on, or else there are higher chances of finding mistakes in the final product. 

So even if this testing is considered less hardworking & less time-consuming, the drawback is that it takes more time for a tester to get the in-depth knowledge prior to the test.

No prior review or standards

One of the main drawbacks of exploratory testing is that there is no prior review or any standards, which can help to review the application. It makes the task more difficult for the tester in this waythat he has to view, then review using his own knowledge completely. 

This does not provide any documentation or script by which the tester can know if he is going the right way or not. No provision of proper script or instruction makes the tester doubt his knowledge & decisions, which results in mistakes in the final product.

Unavailability of test-cases

Other than unavailability of certain documentation, scripts or instructions, there is also no availability of past test-cases. Every project in exploratory testing is different from each other. They come with different bugs and different software designs, which is all new for the tester.

 This is one of the main disadvantages of exploratory testing, that the tester needs to do it all alone only by the knowledge he has, without any test cases for reference. 

In addition, one perfectly done exploratory case cannot be used as a future reference too. 

Difficulties in time-management

It is also one of the disadvantages, which one can stick to particular problematic area of an application for so long, that other area does not get that much of time to get analyzed. 

Exploratory testing is mainly done where there is not enough time or there is a certain time limit for completion of the task. 

In those cases, time-management can be very difficult at times which results in an improperly analyzed final product. 

Role Of Exploratory Testing In Agile Projects

Exploratory testing is concerned about the discovery, study, and learning about the bugs in the process of software development. 

This technique does not limit the tester to the given set of commands. Exploratory testing is a crucial happening in the agile atmosphere. It helps the testers to cope with the rapid speed of development of the projects of agile software. 

First, let us get comfortable with the methodology of agile before diving into the process.

The methodology of agile focuses on proper planning, quick delivery, and progressive developments. The methodology aims at delivering rapid responses to changes. As the demand for updates in the software has increased, the need for rapid development and quick delivery has also increased. 

In the methodology of agile, the software is dispatched in small units. Each individual unit goes through a process of planning, estimation, development, integration, testing, and release. 

Due to the continued dispatching, the automation of the test becomes mandatory because the developers require a quick response to the well-being of the application. These checks act as tests for regression and make sure that the software does not regress. 

agile testing cycle

The exploratory testing goes hand-in-hand with the automation of the test. While the automated tests check for the issues in regression, the exploratory testing lays emphasis on new characters, which are developed. 

Exploratory testing allows the testers to make themselves familiar with the application and domain in an agile surrounding.  The testing helps the tester to check each unit separately. Thus, the understanding of the software improves and the testers become more proficient. 

The testing consists of two major spheres. At one side, the programming is supported, whereas, the other side evaluate the product. At the former side, writing of the units of code is performed. Furthermore, on the other side, the final product is checked, and evaluated. 

The skilled exploratory testers who work on the agile projects utilize the strategy of exploratory testing to inform the team about the flaws in the product. The testing can be conducted without a structure and freestyle. 

The exploratory testing in agile environments helps the tester to locate the areas, which have high risks. The exploratory testing and agile methodology can be combined as an excellent aproach for testing.

Exploratory Testing Technique 

Exploratory testing is described as finding, investigating and studying. The testing is concerned about the liberty and responsibility of the person who is testing to judge the system while it is being executed.

The cases for testing are not built beforehand. The technique of exploratory testing is made to fulfill the requirements and they render the need for exploration during the course of testing. 

The technique of exploratory testing includes investigation and improves the design.. The process of the exploratory technique is structured and continuous. 

The technique of exploratory testing demands less amount of planning. The technique is based more on execution. The process of exploratory testing does the base work and makes a path for the automation of the test. 

In the process, the testers of the application are required to work on the application and explore the bugs within the system. The planning of the technique requires the advancement of the charter of the test. 

It defines and decides the objective of the approach. Along with the execution of the test, documentation of the main elements in the process of the test is also done. 

As the technique of exploratory testing is a rapid and process which is quick in adapting the changes within the environment, it is used in agile environments. Along with this, the testers gain the freedom and flexibility to determine the bugs.

Types Of Exploratory Testing

Exploratory testing can be done in several ways. Scenario-based exploratory testing, Strategy based exploratory testing, and Freestyle exploratory testing are some of the types of exploratory testing. 

•  Scenario-based exploratory testing

The scenario testing is a method of testing the software, which takes into consideration the scenarios for performing the tests. 

The scenarios can be hypothetical stories or situations, which assist the tester to fix a challenging situation. The tester can understand and evaluate the scenario in order to work on the system of the test. 

In an ideal situation, the test is a challenging, complex, and credible story whose solution is easy to comprehend. The cases of test differ from that of scenario-based cases of the test. The test cases have a single case under consideration; whereas, the scenario-based test cases cover a vast range of tests. 

In a scenario based exploratory testing, the scenarios can be the actual scenario of the user, scenarios of the test or that end-to-end. After the primary testing has been performed, the testers can insert the modifications based on their observations and learning. 

•    Strategy based exploratory testing

In the strategy based exploratory testing, the approach of the test is focused. This kind of testing lays emphasis on the objective of the cycle of development of the software

The strategy based exploratory testing is built to throw light on the major issues, which are involved in the process of testing. This kind of testing focuses on the objectives and tactics of testing advance functions. 

The estimated time and resources which are needed for the project, and the environment of testing is also given importance. The tactics of the test manifest the mitigation of the risks from the stakeholders to the levels of the test. In addition, it describes the kinds of tests, which are needed to be performed, and the criteria of their exit and entry. 

The design of the development documents forms the basis of the strategy for these tests. Primarily the design of documents of the system is used and the design based on the concept can be utilized occasionally. 

The design of the documents demonstrates the software’s functionality to be utilized in the latest release. For all the stages of design’s development, a related strategy of the test has to be built in order to test the latest features of the sets.  

•    Freestyle exploratory testing

The freestyle kind of exploratory testing does not follow any rules or regulations. They do not hold themselves accountable for the purpose of any kind of coverage. 

Moreover, freestyle kind of exploratory testing is beneficial when the user needs to get familiar with the application at a good pace. 

When the user needs to evaluate the work done by the testers, freestyle exploratory testing is used. Furthermore, the user can investigate the flaws and conduct a quick survey with the help of freestyle testing. 

Exploratory Testing Tools

Exploratory testing tools are utilized for storing information and data. This stored information determines the process of testing and plans and the activities during the process of testing. 

The tools of exploratory testing render the idea of shaping the process of testing and enable the analysis of data at a good speed. 

The tools of testing allow the user to communicate across the several projects of the team. The testing tool consists of everything which is needed to perform the task  and eliminates the extra efforts required to install several applications.  

Session tester

Session Tester

Session tester is an exploratory testing tool for managing and recording Session-Based Testing.

Session tester helps the users to have a command over the management and metrics of the process within the test. 

Session tester forms the structure for the basic major improvements in the sphere of detection of error and productivity. 

Session testers prove themselves beneficial when the formal needs are dynamic in nature or else when there is an absence of formal needs.

Test studio

Test studio makes the process of exploratory testing effortless and less time-consuming. Along with this, Test studio increases the efficiency in the exploratory testing procedure. 

Test studio is an in-browser kind of extension, which is very easy to be used. The extension makes it possible for the user to send his ideas and respond to the members of the team. The user can report about the bugs and flaws of the system directly from the application,  can also attach annotations and screenshots of the issues. 

Furthermore, the user can share his opinions through electronic mail. Also, the user can send a word documented or PDF containing the description of issues within the system. Test studio supports all the main browsers.

Qtest explorer

qTest Explorer records the interaction of the user with the application. Then, the explorer utilizes the recorded information to create the documents automatically. These documents consist of details about the communication amidst the application and the user. 

qTest Explorer supports a variety of technologies and application on the web and the apps of the desktop. 

qTest Explorer tracks all the steps during the process of execution of the test. The tools enables the users to prepare notes and capture the screen while the test is being carried. 

Along with this,  helps the users to prepare and submit the documents containing the records of defects in a detailed and precise manner to the tools, which detect the defects. 

 qTest Explorer creates session reports, which fulfill the requirements of the testing based on session. and records the tests for their analysis.

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