Codeless Automated Testing
No Code / Codeless.
Traditionally, functional, UI, end-to-end, etc., test automation involves writing test scripts so that testers don’t have to perform repetitive tasks manually over and over again. This job is typically done by either QA engineers or developers and requires writing a lot of code. In 2022, most companies have less functionality covered with automated tests than they desire and cite the complexity of finding the right talent as well as the slow speed of test creation as the main obstacles.[raw]
If that doesn’t sound ideal to you, you’re not alone. There’ve been many attempts to simplify an approach to test automation – and make it accessible not just to engineers but to everyone. You might’ve already heard of such terms as “low code,” “no code,” “codeless,” and today, we’ll dig deeper into each of these and help you form a solid understanding of them.
We’ll also answer the question: does true codeless automation exist, or is it simply a marketing trick?
Low Code Test Automation
No Code Test Automation
Codeless test automation tools
Where a user can simply press the record button, proceed through the test case steps, then press stop – and receive an executable test case.
Many automation tools have this feature; however, it typically results in rather messy test cases that require many optimizations to achieve readability and stability. It is also common for automation engineers to clean up and improve these test cases in the next step.
Another big disadvantage of such tools is that the test recorder is typically a browser plugin, which means you won’t be able to create any cross-platform end-to-end tests this way.
Truly no code / codeless testing tools
Where a user can create, execute, modify and maintain any test cases entirely from scratch without prior coding knowledge. Such tools are a lot rarer than the first type; however, this should be your preferred choice if you’re looking for a codeless solution. For the rest of this article, we will primarily discuss this type.
- Easy support for behavior-driven development.
- Improved visibility and communication within the software team. Anyone can read the tests and make sense of the logic.
- Huge time savings, and the entire process is much more efficient. In traditional (coded) test automation, manual tests are often written first, which are converted into automated tests in the second step.
- Tests take less time to write; therefore, reaching the desired test automation coverage becomes more accessible.
There are a lot of details – and not all no-code tools are the same. We’ll talk about the key points to look for in the next section.
And what about the low code automation? It allows code insertion on top of the user interface providing visual codeless automation. Some coding knowledge is a prerequisite as it offers only a portion of reusable components, while any new desirable functionality can be incorporated using low-code scripting. This means that you still need engineers to write tests (even if partially) – which is one of the significant limitations of the traditional scripted test automation.
Now that we’ve defined what low code automation and no code automation are, you might have a very logical question. If you have an option to pick a truly codeless tool, why settle onto something in between?
So for the sake of this article, let’s focus on codeless UI automation. Remember everyone’s old friend, Selenium – a powerful UI automation tool? Now, we will iterate over some data points and compare the traditional scripted Selenium approach with codeless automation.
Why Codeless Testing?
Test scripting poses many obstacles to any organization, including complicated framework setup, lengthy scripting times, test code maintenance efforts, loss of productivity, etc. Codeless automation frees time for both developers and testers to focus on product development and accelerates testing. As software teams are often asked to do more with less, no-code testing with the right tool is capable of ultimately shifting the perspective of QA testing.
Typical test designing with Selenium in a BDD (Behavior-Driven Development) includes the following:
- POM (Page object model) creation: Relating to every web page, we define a POM class containing paths to find web elements and their associated methods to handle the desired automation.
- Test scenarios development: Page-based test step creation under various test scenarios and outlines.
- Script modeling: Respective code in one of the supported programming languages needs to be written corresponding to each step inside test scenarios.
In contrast, codeless automation leverages specified tools (developed using ML and AI) to help create the test scripts, which require lesser time to author, reusable for different test scenarios.
Many teams complain about automated tests being flaky – any minor change in an element under test can cause test scenarios to break. Testers find maintaining the Selenium code even more frustrating than the test design as it becomes hard to find the elements causing code to break and fix the associated impacted areas.
In general, test stability and maintenance is a very important topic, as it can quickly become a full-time job with traditional test automation. Recent developments have made this process a bit more straightforward; however, it’s still a heated topic for many QA teams.
What about codeless automation, does it solve the test maintenance issue? Not necessarily. Some no-code or low-code tools include self-healing capabilities, making tests more adaptable to radical changes. The tool can learn the entire DOM structure and fix any change in the background without impacting the ongoing test execution.
Codeless UI Testing
Let’s dream, just a bit! Imagine a tool that has it all. End-to-end tests with complex logic, although without a single line of code, automatic error grouping makes maintenance a breeze, cross-platform and cross-browser support, as well as integrations with all major tools.
Such a revolutionary tool exists, and it’s called testRigor. Let’s look into the specifics:
- Your existing manual tests become automated ones with minimal editing. Oh, and no need to search for locators such as XPaths, ids, etc. – the extensive ML algorithms will analyze the page and do it for you. Just refer to an element how a human will see it on the screen.
- The test maintenance issue is Solved! Truly. Our existing customers share data points such as maintenance, taking up to 20x less time than they used to spend with Selenium. This was made possible with the newest technologies, which analyze a lot of data on the pages you’re working with and make tests ultra-stable.
- Initial setup takes 5 minutes, and creating each test takes about the same time as writing a manual test case. Impressive, right?
Here’s an example of what a simple automated test written on testRigor can look like:
login click "Create Case" click "Select Provider" enter “ProviderName” enter "Jack" into "Patient First Name" enter "Sparrow" into "Patient Last Name" enter "01/03/1980" into "Patient DOB" enter "invalidEmail" into "Email Address" check that page contains "Patient Email is not a valid email" enter "[email protected]" into "Email Address" check that page does not contain "PatientEmail is not valid email" click "No" below the "Does Provider Participate with a Network?" enter "id" into "Member ID" enter "(0123) 456-7899" into "Insurance Phone Number" click "Create Case" grab value of "(?<=Number ).*$" from roughly below "CASE NUMBER" and save it as "caseName" click "Logout"
Looks great, doesn’t it?
Benefits of Codeless Automation
What’re the ways other teams benefit from adopting testRigor as a UI end-to-end automated testing framework? Being a cloud solution, all the infrastructure- and server-related concerns are taken care of for you.
- Seamless Continuous Testing – With an included integration with the most popular CI/CD tools, you can run your tests as often as needed.
- Improved Test Coverage – Since it takes a lot less time to automate tests with testRigor, there will be a much higher percentage of test cases covered.
- Improved SDLC – CI further helps to improve the software testing lifecycle by providing fast and reliable feedback to the teams upon any code change, leading to risk mitigation.
- Improved End-to-End tests – The time has come – end-to-end tests are finally ultra-stable, and the team can rely on them to deliver test results.
No Code Automation Testing
To get started, identify which tests to automate first – the typical approach is to start with the high-value repetitive tests, eating valuable team resources and time. Smoke and regression test suites are common to be the first automation candidates.
If you have no automation in place yet, you might choose to use testRigor’s autonomous test creation feature – where the tool scans your website for most commonly used use cases and creates automated tests based on them.
You might also decide to use the included record-and-playback feature, speeding up test creation even further – which is usually the first choice of testers new to testRigor.
Alternatively, you can even hire a testRigor’s QA professional who will write tests for you!
With a great abundance of codeless automation benefits, companies ought to migrate faster and indulge these techniques in their agile development workflows to attain better product quality. In the meantime, testRigor’s goal is to make test automation more accessible to everyone on the team and more reliable – leading to higher quality products for your customers.