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Is Scriptless Test Automation for You?

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The decision to use scriptless test automation should be based on your test objectives. In order to choose the kind of testing appropriate for your requirements, it’s helpful to first think about the different goals and benefits of scriptless and scripted testing.

The term “scriptless” refers to the use of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) rather than code “scripts” to test software performance. Often, the goal of scriptless testing is to automate the testing of high-level performance and accessibility functions. It’s helpful to work with an automation expert to determine what to automate and to create strategies for test data planning and any custom scripts required.

A scriptless test automation framework is a well-structured, methodical approach towards implementing test automation.

It’s important to remember scriptless testing isn’t the same as script-free. Instead, scriptless testing uses available or custom code assets to build and maintain the automated test cases which are then performed through the GUI.

Benefits of Scriptless Test Automation

If system feature checks are your primary concern, as in a sanity check, automating from a drag and drop GUI makes sense. A primary point to consider is how much maintenance (think people-hours) ongoing sanity checks will require. If the target code changes frequently scripted testing will consume large amounts of time and resources by requiring new test code for each change in the target code.

The primary benefit of scriptless testing is cost-reduction. Using the scriptless GUI environment to automate high-level testing is easier and faster to do than writing scripts for each code change. Scriptless testing also eliminates the need to repeatedly debug scripted test code with each update. Scripts are built for the GUI one time, tested, and then used to test the target software. Finally, scriptless testing is highly scalable to meet increased testing demands.

It’s easy to see how these time-saving benefits increase productivity and reduce costs.

Scriptless test environments can be built faster and maintained easier, creating a less burdensome update environment.

The Downfalls of Scriptless Test Automation

If your goal is to test a feature in depth, exercising all its parameters and logic paths, coded scripts are often unavoidable. Here, the goal is to pump data variations to the parameters and cause failure conditions. In order to thoroughly test system output you’ll need capabilities that simply aren’t available through the GUI and shouldn’t be automated.

To script or not to script?

The answer to this question lies in understanding which level of system functionality your testing will target then using the appropriate method to make the most efficient use of resources. The essential difference between scriptless software testing and scripted software testing is level of testing required. Use automated scriptless testing for high level function verification and scalability for future feature enhancements. Use standard script based testing for middle and lower level testing where thorough testing of the input parameter space with resulting outputs can be done.

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