The rise of development environments like Agile and DevOps means developer teams can now release application software even multiple times a day. While this has been a blessing for organizations, teams still experience a delay in production, primarily in the field of testing.
The GitLab DevSecOps 2021 survey repeats what the 2019 and 2020 surveys say—testing contributes to most app delivery delays.
Manual testing and even automation testing require a learning curve, steep or shallow, depending on the complexity of code. If enterprises want to accelerate the time to market and have the edge over their competitors, they need to do something about testing delays.
One solution can come in the form of scriptless or codeless testing. With scriptless testing, even non-coders can carry out testing and break down the silos existing between business and IT, leading to improved productivity.
Further, since scriptless testing relieves teams of the burden of writing manual tests scripts line-by-line, it frees up their time and allows them to focus more on growing their business.
The Evolution of Scriptless Testing
Traditionally, testers manually wrote and executed test cases before a product release. But it was a time-consuming and cumbersome process.
Selenium, a web browser automation tool kit, transformed the testing climate. It offered automation capabilities that saved time, reduced errors, and made testers’ lives easier. With Selenium IDE, the record and playback feature was introduced that further simplified the test automation process.
However, as environments became more agile, the complexity of testing also increased. In such an event, the simple record and plug features of automated testing proved insufficient. No doubt, automated testing takes less time to test cases, but it still requires scripts. So, either the testers have to learn the supported languages or employ resources that could code, which led to many difficulties.
The emergence of scriptless testing has proved to be a game-changer for testers. Codeless or scriptless testing is a method to automate tests using tools instead of writing a single line of code, with the aim to speed up the testing process and minimize manual intervention. By going codeless, enterprises can scale quickly and bring in more efficiencies across the organization.
Also read: DevOps: Understanding Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)
Why Scriptless Testing?
Scriptless testing came onto the scene to simplify testing and solve the pain points of testing teams. Some common challenges that these teams used to face routinely were:
- Slow test execution
- Lack of skilled testers
- Regression testing was a problem
- Partial coverage
- Greater chances of committing mistakes
Scriptless testing does away with all the issues and, in its stead, presents testers with a friendly GUI (graphical user interface) that speeds up the development process and makes it more user-friendly and accessible to everyone in the organization.
How to Implement Scriptless Testing
In scriptless testing, the code execution environment is replaced with user-friendly GUI interfaces anyone can use, irrespective of their programming skill levels. Basically, almost anyone, be they of a technical or non-technical background, can now create applications. Drop-down menus and an intuitive visual interface simplify the testing process, from test planning to test execution.
All that testers have to do is create test cases by choosing objects from the available drop-down menus without writing any code. However, this doesn’t mean that there is no test scripting. The test scripts are written in the back end but behind a layer of abstraction.
The job of the codeless tool is to transform the inputs into scripts that can be run later. Thus, testers get to focus on quality assurance instead of wasting time creating test scripts.
Equipped with AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) capabilities, these tools come with self-healing capabilities, record/play features, and a myriad of functionalities that give them a competitive edge over script-based tools.
Benefits of Scriptless Testing
- Speeds up time to market: Codeless testing reduces the time taken to create automated test scripts with little to no coding. Graphical workflows simplify the test creation process. As a result, delivery speed increases, and businesses can release products quicker.
- Cost-effective: With the switch to codeless testing, developers don’t have to be trained in coding or learn a new language. This makes the process extremely cost-effective and helps to save on resources.
- Steps are reusable: Unlike manual testing, where steps are not reusable, codeless tools reuse automated flows that help increase productivity and decrease maintenance. When you’re repeatedly using the same functionality, reusing it makes sense.
- User-friendly: Codeless tools come with an easy-to-use GUI that provides an easy and codeless experience to testers and non-testers alike.
- Increased test coverage: Codeless tools can work on a range of platforms like desktop, web, or virtual apps. This helps testers perform parallel testing and derive insights more quickly.
Also read: Democratizing IT for Rapid Digital Transformation
When to Use Scriptless vs. Script Testing
While codeless testing creates many opportunities, it will not replace manual testing completely. In fact, there are certain test cases where codeless is ideal and different scenarios where code testing is preferable.
For instance, when a test is repeatedly run without changing the code in any way, debugging, or automating regression testing, codeless is the best option. However, script-based manual testing is a better option when greater flexibility is needed, or usability is being tested.
Manual testing is also appropriate in the following scenarios:
- Usability testing: Usability testing measures the functionality of a software product and how it affects users. Since this involves human perception, opting for manual testing is better.
- Exploratory testing: In exploratory testing, tests are not created in advance, but testers think out of the box to uncover solutions to testing problems. Since it relies more on cognitive skills, it is well-suited for manual testing.
Below are a few codeless solutions that help in the automation of test cases.
AccelQ is an AI-powered codeless tool that automates web, desktop, mainframes, and other applications with minimum time and effort, speeding up the testing cycle. With natural English coding and self-healing capabilities, it integrates with existing DevOps toolchains to provide a unified view of the complete quality engineering lifecycle.
Katalon Studio is an automated testing solution that caters to the entire software development cycle. It supports auto-healing with its Smart XPath features and meets the testing needs of users on almost all platforms, such as web, API, and desktop apps.
Ranorex Studio is a test automation tool used to test mobile and desktop applications. It does not have its own scripting language, so it uses standard programming languages like VB.NET and C# to automate applications.
The Future of Scriptless Testing
Continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) and agile methodology have transformed software development practices. Today, there are frequent and faster releases, making manual code-testing an inefficient process. Codeless testing saves time and hastens the testing process, resulting in more significant ROI for the organization.
With such benefits, it’s unsurprising that the codeless market accounted for a market share of around 59.5% in 2021. Going forward, this number is going to increase as more companies realize the benefits of adopting a codeless testing solution.
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