Automation testing has become the new industry standard for developing modern applications. This is because with the help of test automation the developers can massively improve the quality of the application during the testing phase. However, app development companies are also trying to integrate automation testing with applications that have been already produced and are live. The most common approach for applying automation testing to old applications is using automated test cases during the process of updating these apps. Many developers prefer the Playwright automation testing tool to apply automation test cases to old application codes. There are also other popular alternatives like selenium and Cypress. In this article, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about applying automation testing to old codes.
We will also discuss some of the best practices that can help the developers to smoothly execute this process. Let us begin our analysis with the basics of automation testing.
The Basics of Automation Testing
The simplest definition of automation testing is the process of automatically executing the test cases without any form of human intervention. In this testing process, the developers have to use automated test files which will consist of multiple predetermined parameters for successfully conducting the test cases. While implementing automation testing, the developers also have the liberty of changing these parameters according to the requirements of the development project. Automation testing also allows developers to reuse the test cases. This means the developers can easily store and reuse a massive section of the codebase in future development projects as well. There was a point when the developers could only use the selenium test suite to implement automation testing on web applications. However, currently, there are many more alternatives like Playwright and Cypress that are easily available in the market.
One thing that all developers must understand is that the initial expenses of introducing automation testing are quite high. So, app development companies need to have a definite idea about their business ventures and possible profit margin to understand whether they can sustain the expenses of automation testing. Many app developers believe that the best way of understanding the capabilities of automation testing is to integrate it as a long-term investment. The app developers should also understand that automation testing and manual testing are interdependent. This is because with the current technology it is almost impossible to replace the need for manual test cases. Certain testing processes like visual testing and exploratory testing are almost impossible to conduct without the assistance of an experienced human developer.
Playwright is an open-source tool to verify the proper functioning of modern web apps. Since it is open source all of its features are available to developers and do not require any form of payment. This is very beneficial for individual creators and small companies who cannot afford to invest thousands of dollars. One of the massive drawbacks of Playwright was that the developers could not use it to verify the functioning of mobile applications. However, Playwright aims to solve it by adding this feature in the future update. It is worth mentioning for the application developers that this feature is still in the experimental stage and may be unstable.
Unlike its competitors, Playwright allows the application developers to initiate multiple test cases on the web application. Some of the common tests that can be performed using Playwright are functional testing, end-to-end testing, and unit testing. Different test cases help the developers to ensure that all the components of the application are working as intended. We would recommend the new developers begin their automation testing journey with the help of unit testing. This is the most basic form of testing as it divides all the components of the application into small segments. This nature makes it very simple and almost immune to errors.
Best Practices for Automating old Code
Let us take a quick look at some of the best practices that can help the developers to automate the old codes:
1. Understanding the Defects
Since the developers will be implementing automation testing on old codes, it is a high possibility that all the defects in the application are already visible to the developers. So, the best practice in this regard is to first analyze the areas that need to be resolved. After this process, the developers can start writing the automation test codes for these issues. Many experts believe that the best practice for writing automation test cases on old codes is first creating test files for understanding the defects and debugging them. Then the developers should start to slowly transition to those areas that are working perfectly but might require some form of improvement.
2. Test Types
Choosing the proper test type is very important when the developers are trying to implement automation testing on old codes. One of the best practices is to first begin with functional testing and slowly proceed toward accessibility testing. These two forms of testing help application development companies understand whether the critical aspect of the application is working perfectly. Therefore, we can easily say that these two testing types play a critical role in ensuring the proper and stable performance of the application. Therefore, app development companies need to start automating the old codes from the basics. It is also one of the best practices to divide all the elements of the application into smaller segments for ease of testing.
3. Understanding The need for Encapsulation
Encapsulation is one of the most important processes of the automation testing lifecycle. Many application developers think that encapsulation is not required while they are working with well-written unit test cases. However, it is a complete myth because, without encapsulation, the test cases can be flaky and very hard to keep track of. Another error that can rise due to the absence of encapsulation is that all the elements of the web app can function properly when combined but there might be certain subtle errors in the individual performance of these elements. Therefore, the developers must verify the functioning of the application at not only the system level but also at the level of individual function. This process will help the application development companies to start spreading the automation test cases throughout the entire framework of the application.
4. Understanding the Initial Focus
At the time of implementing automation test cases on old codes, the developers must have a clear idea about their initial focus. For instance, customer testing is an important process that the developers must keep track of while automating legacy applications. Depending on the type of the application like web-based, native or cross-platform, the developers must understand the case scenario of the software. It is also important for the application developers to have a proper idea about the target audience and the intended features. This will help them to customize the automation test cases and serve a wider segment of users. Applications that depend on user interaction must properly understand the user inputs and provide the relevant output. This is a very important segment that all developers must check and properly verify.
All the practices that we discussed above will help the application developers to properly implement automation testing on legacy applications. It is also one of the best practices to keep track of all the testing processes so that the companies can improve the collaboration between the development and the testing team.
Influence of Platforms and Tools in automating old code
Initiating automation testing in old codes and platforms can be troublesome for developers who do not have prior knowledge in this segment. However, there are various platforms and tools available in the industry that aims to solve this issue. This is because these tools help the developers to simplify certain segments of the automation testing process and even write the test cases automatically. Moreover, certain cloud platforms help developers to eliminate the hassle of maintaining highly expensive device test labs. These labs are very important as it helps the developers to understand the performance of the application on multiple real devices. However, the expense of maintaining such a physical lab can be almost unbearable for small companies and individual application testers.
Cloud platforms help to solve this problem by allowing developers to test the apps on cloud servers. These servers provide access to hundreds of real devices and allow developers to test from anywhere in the world. For accessing all of these features the app developers only have to pay a minimum license fee. We can learn more about cloud platforms and the benefits of cloud testing by shifting our focus towards LambdaTest:
To introduce LambdaTest, we can see that it is a safe platform to conduct modern cross-browser compatibility test cases on web apps. Cross-browser compatibility is a very important part of the modern testing phase to ensure that you provide the best performance to your customers. This is because with the help of these testing processes the developers can ensure that the application is stable and accessible on multiple OS versions and browser versions. Various modern practices like parallel test execution help LambdaTest to improve the efficiency of the test cases by almost fifteen times. This platform allows the developers to import the automation test cases from multiple tools like Playwright, Selenium and Cypress. While using Playwright test files, the testers can test its accessibility on over fifty different browsers at the same time.
LambdaTest improves the accuracy of the test cases by combining the results from not only multiple emulators and simulators but also hundreds of real devices from cloud servers.
The Final Verdict
So, we can justify that the possibility to integrate automation testing on old codes isn’t a complex one. With proper idea and best practices, the developers can easily initiate automated test files on web applications that have already gone live. Many market experts also believe that it helps to further improve the quality of the application and maintain an activity log. However, as we already discussed, the application developers need to have a proper idea about automation testing to successfully implement this process. So, app development companies need to spread adequate knowledge regarding all the best practices. Lastly, app developers need to understand the role of different tools and platforms in the success of this process.