12 min read

The rise of codeless automated testing

Quality assurance

An informative guide to automated testing and why it’s becoming prominent.

We have come a long way since manual testing ruled the software world. As soon as Selenium was introduced back in 2004 as means of automating test cases, it took center stage as tech teams realized that in the long run, it offered a good return on investment. And since it was open-source it had all the momentum behind it which has led to its fame among testers today.

As companies started investing in automation it meant that manual testers had to embrace coding. But many non-coder testers struggle to embrace automation. After some time Selenium introduced Selenium IDE which paved the way for manual testers who had difficulties learning code. Simply put, any person would be able to record steps of a test case of a website or a web application by simply recording it and playing it back when needed. Those steps could be converted into a Selenium-supported program language if needed. Though it was deemed beneficial, there were noticeable setbacks as well.

As technology kept evolving and the complexity of software kept increasing, the capabilities Selenium IDE offered seemed insufficient to meet the needs. A mix of both manual testing and powerful codeless automation testing could prove a very efficient and deadly combination. Thus, creating the pathway for the rise of advanced and powerful codeless automation tools. Future Market Insights (2021) predicts that the demand for Codeless Automation Testing is set to increase by 15.5% in the next decade.

Picture credit: Testsigma

What exactly are codeless automation tools?

When it comes to automation testing, an Automation Engineer could be seen as a mix of a programmer and a QA Engineer. Coding often seems to be a distraction when it comes to a tester as it could be seen as deviating from the main role of a QA Specialist. Codeless automation takes center stage here, as it enables testers to continue automation testing using these tools thus taking away the need to learn advanced code. Although this is regarded as the “Codeless Future” it doesn’t mean that there will be no code involved at all. It simply means that there will be a minimum code required.

So, how do these tools work? These tools are simple to install with minimum rigmarole. A Tester should have sound knowledge about the requirements and business logic before getting started. Once the test cases are defined, the tester simply needs to click on a record button and run through the test steps and click on the stop recording button at the end. The tool will automatically capture the URLs, the data passed, and functionalities and create the test scripts. The test scripts can be categorized and organized as Test Suites.

Testers can run these test scripts as regression tests and can even edit these test scripts if the functionality has changed. This record and play feature not only saves time but also has proven very efficient as it enables users with minimal exposure to automation to easily record and manage test scripts. These tools are quite straightforward as they can get, and they require very little training to get started. In a nutshell, this is how code-based automation testing that required a lot of effort, time, and patience, has now transformed into a codeless testing World.

Picture credit: mobilelive

Self-healing? What else do codeless automation tools offer?

One of the problems with automating test scripts is that there will be maintenance that needs to be done on a regular basis. As we all know change is constant and in web applications we may see regular changes being done by developers to fix bugs or even improve user experience by carrying out UI changes. Every little change can have a big effect on automated test scripts.

Let’s take a simple example of a login screen of a web application. The project team decides to change the position of the login button as well as its size. This could be a small change from the Developer’s perspective but from a tester’s perspective, they have to re-look at the login test flow as well as all other test cases that involve the login flow.

This is where the self-healing traits of codeless automation tools come in handy. Most of the advanced codeless automation tools utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) based self-healing algorithms which combine codeless automation with machine learning (ML) which results in automatic updates in the test flow when it detects any changes.

Healenium is another technology that provides self-healing capabilities and it is open-source. When invalid elements or when there are elements that are unable to detect in the existing test scripts due to changes made in the code, Healenium replaces such elements with new values that match previous elements. These self-healing traits enable more resilient tests and reduce the time and effort put in when it comes to maintaining test scripts.

Codeless automation offers much more than resilient test scripts. It takes less time to automate a system and it reduces the effort spent on maintenance. According to Software testing trends for 2021, almost 38% of IT firms have brought AI / ML into their testing efforts with an intention of ensuring Continuous Improvement / Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) while mitigating production level bugs as it automatically handles processes.

Speed is one of the main features of codeless automation as it accelerates the delivery of projects. Since less time is spent on automating scripts and more time on writing comprehensive test suites the quality of the products will be higher. Testers will have more control over the test scripts and the efficiency will also increase as all of this will be performed in a highly controlled environment.

Scalability is another key factor when it comes to codeless automation tools as most of them are cloud-based. If you take a traditional automation tool like Selenium, scalability has proven to be expensive and inefficient. Codeless automation tools that are cloud-based make upgrading or maintenance look effortless as you can scale up or down depending on the requirement of a project.

Can’t decide on which codeless automation tools and platforms to use?

As the importance of codeless automation tools surges, and with trends and predictions all pointing towards a future that is building around codeless automation, there are a number of tools that have surfaced in the recent past. Each tool shares many common features as well as unique features. This has made the decision of choosing the required codeless automation tool even more challenging. When deciding on an automation tool it is of utmost importance to select a solution that integrates effortlessly with the team’s current workflow. Let’s look at three of the most popular and in-demand automation tools.

Katalan Studio

Katalan studio has been one of the most sought-after tools in the market as it offers testers automation capabilities across desktop, mobile, web, APIs, and applications. One of the main reasons for its popularity among testers is the simple-to-use features that make it easier for both experienced and beginners. Below listed are a few features that give Katalan studio a cutting-edge over its competitors.

  • Limited programming knowledge to get started
  • Robust test generation on all platforms
  • Self-healing capabilities
  • Powerful and advanced reporting features

AccelQ

AccelQ is regarded as one of the most perfect tools among testers and its AI-powered automation capabilities have seen them rise to the very top. A powerful tool with robust features as mentioned below has taken AccelQ right to the top of the codeless automation tools list. Implementation is effortless and enables manual testers to quickly grasp the concepts of automation.

  • Natural English coding, No-Code Automation with self-healing capabilities
  • One-stop platform for both Manual & Automation testing
  • Promotes efficient visual test designs by creating app blueprints
  • Generating test scenarios and test cases with its projecting and path analysis traits

Perfecto

Perfecto is the most trusted codeless automation tool when it comes to huge teams as its scalability features are second to none. Network virtualization and user simulation capabilities ensure that end products will be of high quality, as issues would be identified and sorted as soon as possible. Quoted as providing services across multiple industries and catering to more than 50% of fortune 500 companies, Perfecto has established itself as one of the leaders in the codeless automation industry.

  • Cloud-based secure web and mobile testing
  • Smart analytics and reporting capabilities
  • AI-driven test maintenance capacities
  • Self-healing capabilities

Are codeless automation tools the future of test automation?

As codeless automation tools offer many features that increase the productivity of tech teams, it is not surprising that it is heading towards an era where it has the potential to become mainstream. The whole concept is based on the idea that anyone in an organization, from development teams to testing teams, even the teams who don’t directly involve themselves in the production, should be able to utilize such tools. Considering the fact that it is limited or no programming knowledge required, along with the robust and advanced features and functionalities it offers, it is safe to say codeless automation starting to look like the future of test automation.

It is quite common that a single bug in a complex software solution can result in huge financial losses for organizations. The speed and reliability of codeless automation tools along with skilled automation engineers could prove a powerful combination to overcome this.

The demand for automation engineers is unlikely to reduce, as firms look towards investing more and more in automating the testing processes. These tools could simply fast-track and build solid test scripts that are easily maintainable with unique features it offers. In the future, we might see codeless automation tools that are sophisticated and smart enough to completely eliminate the requirement of coding test scripts.

These tools seem to be the answer for the ever-evolving IT industry where methodologies such as Agile and DevOps have taken center stage. The QA solutions have to keep pace with the demands of Agile and DevOps. Codeless automation has removed the barrier of entry for a wide range of users when it comes to automation and its easy-to-use interfaces and simple functionality have been a much-needed booster to the software industry.

Although the advancement of technology through the likes of ML and AI has taken automation testing to new heights, the true potential of codeless automation tools is still yet to be seen.