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How RPA is Shaping the Future of Software Testing?

April 03 2020
Author: Blogauthor

The software development industry has emerged as one of the top industries in recent years with software development trends growing in terms of potential, implementation, and acceptance. The jaw-dropping spend of $3360 billion globally in software development in 2019 bears testimony to this fact. (Source: Standard Firms). A seamless operation of the software is a must when it is released in the market. This is exactly where software testing has a vital role to play!

Software testing ensures that a software/application is free of bugs, glitches, or any other errors so that it offers users a great experience.

Initially, testing was done manually by testers who conducted several tests such as performance testing, regression testing, load testing, and many others to ensure that the software was free of any type of operational errors. However, this method of testing had several shortcomings such as being time-consuming, prone to inaccuracies, could be conducted only during the working hours of the organization performing the test, etc. This prompted the need for better testing methods to overcome these limitations.

As technology advanced, the market soon had automation testing tools available that had the potential to overcome the limitations of manual testing. Automation testing tools were used extensively across the globe for software testing. Automation testing became the mainstay in 2019 which had 44% of IT organizations expecting to automate 50% or more of all testing. (Source: Katalon)

But things did not end there! This is because the human mind is never at peace with any particular system or method. Our hunger to find more efficient methods in every field leads to innovation. With scientists and researchers working in a variety of fields simultaneously, we have new technologies available to us that are leveraged in different ways to simplify existing systems.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one such technology that has automated processes in diverse fields over the years. And, with the benefits it offers, it is expected to find more widespread adoption in the years to come.

Before we dig into how it has redefined the testing landscape, let us look at the definition of RPA.

What is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic Process Automation is essentially the use of robots to automate repetitive tasks. The bots in RPA are capable of emulating human activities to perform rule-based tasks.

The demand for efficient methods that enhance productivity, shorten time to market, and are cost-effective have paved the way for RPA in most industries.

The working of RPA Based System Steps Include

  • RPA defines a series of steps for a process to be performed by a robot.
  • The process is converted into the software with the help of codes.
  • The robot executes these steps for a specific process.

Benefits that RPA Offers

  • It automates repetitive tasks and business workflows with great accuracy.
  • It is capable of working round the clock without any breaks.
  • It saves time, efforts and money.
  • It offers accessibility and visibility facilitating monitoring and review of log processes completed by RPA tools.
  • It minimizes the need for resources for performing high-value tasks.

Due to these benefits, Forrester’s prediction that the RPA market will total $2.9 billion in 2021 comes as no surprise! (Source: The Enterprisers Project)

Role of RPA in Software Testing

The demand for new releases, product offerings, and service excellence requires pervasive process automation that minimizes errors and optimizes processes. These needs have paved the path for the implementation of RPA in end-to-end testing to minimize the turnaround time, enhance efficiency, and provide more accurate outcomes.

The traditional QA process involved coders scripting testing tasks. This was a time-consuming process. RPA facilitates automated scripts that results in superior QA which is 70% faster for tests and test-related activities. (Source: Automation Anywhere)

RPA offers an agile and automated QA and testing strategy that facilitates rapid releases without compromising on quality to meet the demands such as shorter time to market and high-velocity deployments.

RPA deployments may include a heterogeneous mix of applications, components, and technologies that run on multiple operating systems. Therefore, open-source automation testing tools such as Selenium, Sikuli, AutoIt, Robot class, etc. can be lever-aged in end-to-end testing along with RPA to streamline and accelerate the testing process.

The established RPA testing strategy goes through various stages. Firstly, the creation of test data followed by triggering the bot and finally validation of the business process.

RPA Testing Strategy:

  • Determine the tasks in the testing process that can be optimized with the help of RPA.
  • Determine the manual or testing requirements for different processes.
  • Test the applications/actions/outputs, etc. that are generated by the RPA bot.
  • Combine the different open source automation testing tools to enable scripting end-to-end automation testing.
  • Create a single automation script based on test data to bot execution and validation across impacted applications/systems.
  • The automation script thus created can be reused for testing in higher environments such as System Integration Testing or User Application Testing.

Precondition Check:

Step 1: The QA team triggers the Automation script.

Step 2: The TDM team creates test data.

Step 3: The automation script triggers the Bot from the control hub or through a specific job.

Step 4: The RPA defines the sequence of actions to be performed in the RPA process flow.

Step 5: The RPA process is initiated, and actions performed according to the sequence defined in the RPA process flow.

Step 6: The automation script validates the application output if RPA implementation is successful.

Step 7: Validation is carried out for all the applications being tested ac-cording to the actions or output by the bot.

Step 8: A test report is created for review purposes by the automation script.

Benefits of RPA in Software Testing:

  1. RPA minimizes end-to-end testing by structuring and collaborating the APIs.
  2. It enables meeting the present customer demands for producing faster and better outputs.
  3. RPA in software testing minimizes errors and produces high-quality products with minimal efforts.
  4. Programming skills are not required by teams for RPA based testing.
  5. The codes created can be reused.
  6. It helps bring agility across functions and industries.
  7. Robotic Process Automation facilitates multiple application testing.
  8. Minimizes human errors encountered in continuous manual or automation testing.
  9. It resolves the issues in critical test automation.
  10. It supports a web-based, legacy, desktop, or mobile application since it is platform-independent.
  11. It facilitates a scalable testing environment by allowing parallel execution by assigning a virtual workforce at any stage.

Top RPA Tools in Test Automation:

  • UiPath
  • Automation Anywhere
  • Blue Prism

The Bottomline

Robotic Process Automation is gradually becoming an integral part of QA. It is shaping the future of software testing by offering cost-effective solutions. It minimizes human efforts by deploying resources intelligently.