Choosing what to automate

[Me] :- Guruji, I have seen that most, but not all, types of tests can be automated. But is there a way in which we can safely classify a section as not a candidate for automation?

[Guruji]:- Yes, Certain types of tests like user comprehension tests, tests that run only once, and tests that require constant human intervention are usually not worth the investment to automate.

[Me] :- Wow, Any specific criteria that you think can help us?

[Guruji]:- Well, there is no hard and fast rules as a criteria. But, I will list a few examples of criteria that can be used to identify tests that are prime candidates for automation.

High Path Frequency - Automated testing can be used to verify the performance of application paths that are used with a high degree of frequency when the software is running in full production.  Examples include: creating customer records, invoicing and other high volume activities where software failures would occur frequently.

Critical Business Processes - In many situations, software applications can literally define or control the core of a company’s business. If the application fails, the company can face extreme disruptions in critical operations. Mission-critical processes are prime candidates for automated testing. Examples include: financial month-end closings, production planning, sales order entry and other core activities.  Any application with a high-degree of risk associated with a failure is a good candidate for test automation.

Repetitive Testing - If a testing procedure can be reused many times, it is also a prime candidate for automation. For example, common outline files can be created to establish a testing session, close a testing session and apply testing values. These automated modules can be used again and again without having to rebuild the test scripts. This modular approach saves time and money when compared to creating a new end-to-end script for each and every test.

Applications with a Long Life Span - If an application is planned to be in production for a long period of time, the greater the benefits are from automation


Vinay Jagtap

A hard core Technocrat with over a decade of extensive experience in heading complex test projects coupled with real time experience of project management and thought leadership. Extensive experience in Performance, Security and Automation Testing and development of automation frameworks and ability to setup and execute Global service centers and Center of Excellences for testing.

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