Testing Automation Best Practices

Testing Automation Best Practices

Testing is an important part of increasing overall software development efficiency after making updates or changes to your applications. Automating your testing process can save your organization time and money by accurately testing the tools you’ve built with increased efficiency and consistency. An automated test mechanism means that fewer internal resources spend time manually testing your product updates. Over the course of a project’s lifetime, this can make an enormous difference in your bottom line. Below, we will detail five best practices for testing automation to ensure that you are getting the most out of automated testing.  

1. Keep Your Desktop Simple 

Close all programs other than your automated testing tool and your application browser during recording and execution of your software tests. Other applications – especially those that alert the user with spontaneous notifications, such as email and instant messaging programs – can interfere with your testing tools and application browser, thus causing unexpected results during record and playback. If this is not an option, standing up a dedicated lightweight virtual machine (VM) is another great alternative. Check with your IT department and inquire on the Windows or Linux licenses available then use Oracle VM Virtual Box to virtualize a dedicated test environment.  

2. Adopt Naming Conventions 

Stay organized by adopting naming conventions for your tests. You will find it easier to manage test assets if you adopt a systematic naming convention that reflects important characteristics of the tests and test cases you create. For example, here are a few suggested test characteristics that you can incorporate in your test names: 

  • Functionality being tested 
  • A brief indication of the functional area or business process validated by the test 
  • Distinguish by priority. A short code, such as “P1,” to indicate priority can help testers more easily locate the tests that are critical or likely to be run most often
  • Execution order 

3. Record Your Tests 

A critical best practice when automating tests is to make frequent recordings. It’s important to assertively record every test step from each test. This will drive as much information into the recorded test, giving you the most accurate results. After the initial recording, play your script back and check that it does execute the designated steps. Clone that version before you add any logic or variable declarations. Continue saving versions of each major change leads to better recording cycles since you can always go back and redo logic and major script changes.  

4. Clean Up Tests 

Immediately after recording a test, review the recorded test data and correct actions taken inadvertently during recording, such as unnecessary or extra clicks on a clickable item (such as a check box), clicks on the wrong objects (such as links and images), or incorrect text entered into text boxes. This may also be a good time to evaluate whether you should incorporate reserved words and variables to replace static values that may be different when the test is executed. 

5. Avoid Creating Tests and Test Steps That Are Duplicated Elsewhere 

When multiple tests validate similar functionality, it increases the complexity of test maintenance and the amount of manual work necessary to add or change test functionality later. Follow these recommendations to help keep test duplication to a minimum: 

  • Drive similar tests into test cases 
    • Do this any time multiple tests have the same logic and where the only difference among the tests is the data entered or validated. A test to hire two employees or to create ten new vouchers would be a good candidate for taking advantage of test cases 
  • Isolate sequences of test steps into called tests or libraries whenever the steps are identical 
  • A procedure that verifies or sets the same setting on an installation table would be a good candidate for putting into a library if multiple products or tests modify the same setting 

By following these best practice tips you’re setting your testing automation tool up for success. For more information on automated testing particularly when it comes to PeopleSoft , check out this webinar recording for “PeopleSoft Automation – Testing, Data Entry, and Validation with PTF” available here. 


  • Maddie Caron

    Ms. Caron serves as Elire's Marketing Specialist, specializing in content writing and digital media communications. Maddie works to deliver relevant industry updates and technical blog posts to educate and engage Elire's audience.

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