End-to-end testing is an essential step in ensuring that customers have a smooth experience with your product. However, with a wide range of tools available, it can be challenging to choose the right one. Therefore, it is important to define your requirements and then select the most suitable tool for end-to-end automation.
Read on below to better understand the different tools available in the market.
What is End-to-End Testing?
A product that is made available to customers is typically composed of multiple components that work together. Each of these components may have been individually tested before release, but if the overall integration and behavior of the product are not tested, it can lead to unexpected bugs. These bugs may not be rare from the customer’s perspective and may frequently occur while they are trying to accomplish their goals. This can be frustrating and detrimental to the company’s reputation. To avoid such issues, end-to-end testing is employed, which is designed to consider the customer’s perspective when creating test cases.
Types of End-to-End testing
There are two approaches you can take when designing your test cases. To understand these approaches, let us consider the example of a banking site.
Horizontal Testing Approach
With this technique, your test case is supposed to span across components, that is, horizontally across the width of the application. Let us consider the above example of a banking application. The test case could begin from the login page and go to the funds transfer page. Thus, we can see that the test case flows across different components.
Vertical Testing Approach
Contrasting the horizontal approach is the vertical approach which tends to dive deeper into a single component. For example, your test cases would dig deeper into the login module, to begin with. You could test the validations on the username and password sections for valid and invalid combinations of credentials.
Benefits of doing End-to-End testing
Any product or feature you release is ultimately supposed to solve a pain point or benefit the end user in a certain way. Thus, being able to simulate real-world scenarios in a test environment and testing the workflow end-to-end assures a seamless user experience, leading to customer satisfaction.
Being able to perform end-to-end testing also helps view and vet the application from the end user’s perspective. This enables identifying bugs that might otherwise not get caught during module-level testing.
Automating critical user journeys from an end-to-end testing perspective allows for releasing the product quicker after every iteration of enhancements and changes. This, in turn, also helps market these new additions sooner to the end users.
This mode of testing can, in fact, be done by leveraging different groups of people, not just the tester community. For example, the product group might have certain insights as to how the product should work. This knowledge can be leveraged during testing. Likewise, client-facing teams might also have input on the product’s behavior, which can be incorporated into the testing flow.
Challenges in doing E2E testing manually
From the points mentioned above, we can see that end-to-end testing is a holistic approach. You need to have a thorough knowledge of real-world scenarios and business use cases to be able to formulate necessary test cases. Additionally, there can be many ways to perform a single operation, and testing all of them manually may be a huge overhead.
Another challenge that often comes up is writing test cases considering different components and their variants. For example, if an application is expected to run across multiple browsers, then testing needs to be done for all of them. This can be daunting and pricey for an organization.
Types of tools available in the market today
As beneficial as it is to do end-to-end testing, it can be a long and tedious process. Thus, having tools to help automate all these user journeys and workflows is ideal.
Some popular tools to consider
Listed below are some of the popular tools that are used for end-to-end automation in the market.
Selenium is one of the most widely used tools in the market specifically for web automation testing. Using the various components of Selenium, you can create an environment for testing your web applications. Being open source, it is readily available and can be set up to write test cases in different programming languages, thus eliminating the need to learn a new language. You can use other third-party integrations like Junit, SauceLabs, or any other reporting or development tools.
Key points to keep in mind: Selenium isn’t the easiest tool to work with, requiring a lot of dependencies and third-party configurations. Additionally, test maintenance can be a huge burden if tests aren’t developed correctly.
This tool does not support cross-platform, nor multiple tabs or browser window interactions in a single test case. Additionally, it does not allow testing across domains in the same test case. Maintaining test automation cases tends to be time-consuming with this tool. Cypress is available in both paid and open-source versions.
testRigor allows for the easy creation of test cases using simple English. This tool enables manual testers and non-technical individuals to participate in software testing by automating complex test cases. The tool has a light learning curve and provides great error reporting capabilities, making troubleshooting easy. It also enables the generation of test scripts through the record-and-play method by downloading the necessary extensions.
testRigor allows you to perform cross-platform and cross-browser testing and supports mobile, web, and desktop applications. You can focus on rapidly expanding your test automation and spend very minimal time on test case maintenance. testRigor leverages AI to eliminate the need for identifiers in test cases, supports behavior-driven test creation, and mitigates bottlenecks during parallel execution. Available in both open-source and paid versions.
SmartBear supports integrations with other tools like GitHub, Jenkins, Selenium, Azure DevOps, etc. With built-in error reporting and analytics, you can get an in-depth understanding of failures. This tool supports behavior-driven test case writing as well. However, you may need to consider your budget before buying this solution as it’s the most expensive option on this list.
This is more of a service than a tool that helps relieve the burden of testing the product. QA Wolf requires a quick demo of your application. Based on this, they create a plan to build an entire suite of test cases. Any failures that are identified are reviewed, tested, and logged by QA Wolf. It also integrates with other applications like GitHub, Salesforce, and Slack.
How to choose from these tools?
Based on your needs, you can have different parameters to consider when reviewing the tools available in the market for end-to-end testing. Listed below are the parameters that are usually assessed in these tools.
Usability: This is an important consideration. Since the quality of the product is a cumulative responsibility of all members, having a tool that is easy to understand by technical experts, as well as people of other related disciplines, is beneficial.
Some new low-code and no-code (ex: testRigor) automation tools greatly improve usability by allowing all team members to participate in test creation and maintenance. This means that there will be more eyes on the tests, and they’re more likely to stay updated throughout the product life cycle.
It typically makes sense to invest a bit more into the tool pricing to get the benefit of faster test creation – making the price per test lesser than with some slower open-source solutions.
Integrations: Having necessary integrations with third-party tools is needed to make sure your tests and reporting fit well into the workflow. Decide if you need the tool to support integrations with any bug-tracking tools you’re using (such as Jira), if you would like your tests to be a part of the CI pipeline, etc.
User Interface: Having a well-organized and intuitive user interface is essential.
Lastly, you might also want to consider the pricing of the tools to decide which version, be it enterprise or open source, works for you. Many of these tools offer customized enterprise packages, and some can be tailored to your organization’s needs.
To ensure the quality of your product, performing end-to-end testing on it is essential. Since end-to-end testing will help catch issues that might occur when executing real-world scenarios and workflows, automating these test cases is essential to achieve consistently high product quality.
End-to-end testing tools are meant to maximize test coverage and adoption while minimizing costs and learning curves. Based on your needs, you can pick from the mentioned options.
See the summary below for the tools’ highlights and limitations.
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