Front-End Test Automation

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What is on the screen is the only thing that matters to end users. The company must check how the website looks and functions before publishing it. To ensure a flawless graphical user interface (GUI), user interface testing is imperative. Herein we will understand what is UI testing, its types, importance, and other details. We’ll also cover how it differs from back-end testing and the challenges unique to front-end testing.

What is Front-End Test Automation?

The user interface is the client-side part of the program. We can say that it contains everything that can be seen through the application.

Every web application has a three-layer architecture. This includes clients, servers, and information systems or resources. The presentation layer includes the client. UI testers test this layer. They do GUI testing and test the usability and how the website or application works.

For example, suppose you are testing a shopping application. User interface testers check whether the look and feel of the website meet the customer’s requirements. They also verify that necessary functions, such as adding a product to the cart or menu click events, are working correctly.

In Front-End Test Automation, anything which is visible to the user is picked up for automation.

Types of Front-End Test Automation

Developers are responsible for the continuity and stability of the product. But they cannot achieve this without testers. User interface testing involves several strategies. It covers a number of practices that have been prevalent in backend development for years. The testing strategy must be compatible with your codebase and testing team. To find the best fit, you need to know the types of front-end testing.

Following are the different types of front-end testing:

  • Unit Testing
  • Acceptance Testing
  • Visual Regression Testing
  • Accessibility Testing
  • Performance Testing
  • End-to-End Testing
  • Integration Testing
  • Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing

Types of Automation Testing Tools

All available test automation tools can be divided into three types in general as below.

Open-source automation tools

These tools are free platforms that allow users to access and use their source code. Users can fully deploy the code or modify it to suit their testing needs. This type of tool is free and developed by the community. Open-source tools are the most popular choice for many automation testers with programming because of their open access and ability to customize advanced test cases.

Commercial automation tools

Commercial tools are produced for business purposes and are usually distributed through subscription plans. Users must purchase a paid license to use the software. Compared to open-source software, this tool usually has higher quality features and extensive customer support that completes the entire testing process for businesses or enterprises.

Custom framework

There are niche projects for which a single open-source software or fixed commercial testing tool cannot meet the requirements. These are mainly due to differences in their testing processes and testing environments. In such cases, teams must develop custom software themselves. A custom framework is much more complex than the other two solutions and can be implemented by technical experts.

Criteria for Automation Testing Tool Evaluation

Does your team possess the necessary skills to best utilize the tool?

Automation testing is much more technical than manual testing. Many automation tools, especially open-source software, require testers to have sufficient programming skills to write and run test scripts. This technical barrier seems to be the most difficult to implement test automation for QA teams with limited IT backgrounds.

What is your team budget?

Test automation is not cheap in many cases. However, it will bring a positive return on investment for your team and your company in the long run if the budget is carefully calculated. Depending on your budget, it will be easier for you to choose the right software, open source, or commercial tool.

What features to look for?

While requirements vary from team to team, there are a few key factors you should always consider when choosing the right automation tool. These include:

  • Supported Platforms
  • Testable Application
  • Programming Languages ​​
  • CI/CD Integration Features
  • Reporting Features

How difficult are script maintenance and reusability?

A significant factor that increases the total cost of test automation is script maintenance. Prescriptive scripts for automation testing are inherently fragile. An ideal automation tool should be able to reduce such efforts, for example removing a target locator flake. On the other hand, the reusability of scripts saves you and your team time for similar tests, because you can reuse test scripts.

What are the integration capabilities?

The chosen automation tool must be able to integrate with CI/CD pipelines and external platforms to ensure test consistency. Strong and comprehensive integration also improves test management and team collaboration.

How and where can you get technical support?

Another important thing to consider is the support of your tool. For commercial tools, they should provide users with fast customer support for technical issues. Be sure to check out their official documentation and website to see what support you can get. When it comes to open-source software, a large and active user base is what you can always count on when you run into problems.

Top Suggestions for Front-End Test Automation Tools

SeleniumSelenium is an open-source umbrella project for a range of tools and libraries aimed at supporting browser automation. It provides a playback tool for authoring functional tests across most modern web browsers, without the need to learn a test scripting language.
Cypress.ioCypress is an open-source and free test automation tool. It can be used for front-end and application programming interface (API) test automation.
Playwright.devPlaywright is a framework for Web Testing and Automation. It allows testing Chromium, Firefox and WebKit with a single API. Playwright is built to enable cross-browser web automation that is ever-green, capable, reliable and fast.
Katalon StudioKatalon Platform is an automation testing software tool developed by Katalon, Inc. The software is built on top of the open-source automation frameworks Selenium, and Appium with a specialized IDE interface for web, API, mobile and desktop application testing.

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