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Most organizations today leverage Test Automation to increase test coverage and speed up the execution process. This, in turn, helps them in achieving faster time to market and provides an edge over their competitors. However, these benefits are moderately being offset by the fast & frequent changes to applications which cause test automation scripts to break.

The existing scripts can break either due to changes in the application flow or by the changes made in the application’s objects and their attributes. Fixing broken scripts is not always easy since it requires a lot of effort in triaging the root cause, subsequent updates in the scripts code, and a dry run to validate the fixes. The large-scale usage of the latest process/methodologies like Agile and DevOps has resulted in more application changes and subsequent frequent releases. These unavoidable changes result in more maintenance efforts than ever before.

Frequent changes in the applications slow down the development process and could very well create a hurdle in the adoption of test automation. Hence, there is a need to design an automation framework that can easily identify object changes in the applications and can take corrective actions automatically without human intervention for smooth script execution.

What is Auto-healing in Test Automation?

Test Automation Framework with an auto-healing capability addresses the leading cause of test script failure i.e. object/property changes. It solves the challenge of object identification by automatically searching the changed objects and identifying changes in the object property using the closest new attributes. Thus, it ensures that the test does not break even if one or more properties of the object are changed.

By using the Auto-healing feature manual script updates are no longer required and scripts need to be modified only when there is a change in the application workflow or deletion/addition of an object. This significantly reduces the script maintenance efforts enabling the script development team to focus on creating new scripts. It also reduces the chances of reporting false positive defects. Auto-healing also makes scripts more dynamic to adapt the changes in the application.

How Does It Work?

Pyramid Consulting’s proprietary Object Manager utility captures all the available attributes of the objects during the script development process. These properties and their attributes are used later for the identification of broken objects at the time of test execution using the Auto-healing feature of the automation framework. All object types (Button, List, Link, etc.) have different attributes which make it easier to define the locator's priority at the object type level and helps in quickly identifying the changes.

Test Automation Framework with Auto-healing feature supports two levels of object identification criteria. In the first level, the user can set locators priority against all object types in the configuration file, and in the second, which is optional, the users can mark attributes priority at the time of capturing each object through the object manager utility.  If no changes are made to default attributes priority in the object manager, then locators will be picked as defined in the configuration file.

During the execution, if test automation fails to find an object with its default locators, the auto-healing mechanism gets activated and tries to search with other pre-configured locators associated with the object. If test automation finds the objects with other associated locators, the test continues running. As soon as test execution is over, test framework log reports highlight the failed locators and propose a replacement found by auto-healing feature for the failed locator.

Why Do You Need It?

The introduction of the test automation framework powered with auto-healing features into your quality assurance system changes the whole paradigm of test automation by greatly reducing the maintenance efforts and costs. Some of its major benefits include:

  • Reduces workload on teams and improves productivity
  • Frees up developers to focus on writing generic test scripts
  • Drastically reduces the time and efforts needed to update automation scripts
  • Reduces manual intervention and self-debugging
  • Improves Testing speed to help remain competitive

Conclusion

Test automation frameworks powered with auto-healing capabilities help you achieve an edge over your competitors by developing apps faster with reduced maintenance efforts, cost, and time. Pyramid Consulting’s next-generation test automation solutions are there to make your testing process more effective and seamless.

Kamlesh Yadav

About the author

Kamesh Yadav

QA Architect

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