Test automation - why, how, when

Xplorafory test

May 31, 2022
Test Automation – Why, How, When

In this blogpost, I will explain what test automation is, when you should use it and the main basics when it comes to the process. And you should definitely read this, because Test Automation is a very attractive and growing market today!

What is Test Automation?

Test Automation is a software testing technique that performs using special automated testing software tools to execute a test case suite.

The automation testing software can also enter test data into the system under test, compare expected and actual results and generate detailed test reports.

The goal of Automation is to reduce the number of tests to be run manually, not to eliminate Manual Testing.

test automation

Automation is checking, not testing

In automated testing, tests are executed automatically via test automation frameworks, along with other software and tools. That means, it only checks what you have asked it to check. Therefore, you can never replace manually testing completely with automation – you need both!

You want to save time with your test automation so you get more time for Exploratory testing.

Which Tests to Automate?

Test cases to be automated can be selected using four criterions:

  1. High Risk – Business Critical tests
  2. Tests that are repeatedly executed
  3. Tests that are very tedious or difficult for a human to perform
  4. Tests which are time-consuming

Tests based on newly designed features that aren’t tested at least once, tests for which the requirements are frequently changing and tests which are executed on an ad-hoc basis are NOT suitable for automation.

When to use automated testing

“Working as a Test Automation Engineer is one of the greatest feelings you can experience as a software tester”

Automation tools for testing

The Automated Testing Process

There are five steps followed in an Automation Process:

1. Define what to automate and scope of Automation
Find out what is to be achieved with the test automation, do not just start automating old test cases. Then you can decide which layers and tests it is most appropriate to automate.

2. Test tool selection
The requirements decided in step one is extremely important. Test tool selection largely depends on the technology the application under test is built on.

3. Planning, Design and Development
During this phase, you create an Automation strategy and plan, which contains the following details:

  1. Automation tools selected
  2. Framework design and it’s features
  3. In-Scope and Out-scope items of automation
  4. Automation testbed preparation
  5. Schedule and Timeline of scripting and execution
  6. Deliverables of Automation Testing

4. Test Execution
Automation Scripts are executed during this phase. The scripts need input test data before there are set to run. Once executed they provide test reports.

5. Maintenance
This is a needed part, but you want it to cost as little as possible. So, perform all the previous steps carefully and thoughtfully.

It’s also good to know that there are four types of frameworks (set of automation guidelines) used in automation software testing which helps you in the process.


The right selection of automation tool, testing process and the team are important players for automation to be successful. Manual and automation methods go hand-in-hand for successful testing. Automation is checking.

Further reading

Are you interested in learning more, get great tips or maybe become a test Automation Engineer? Download my E-book for free HERE.

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