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The world is turning digital; the world of business and enterprise, all the more so. Some businesses and organizations are making the leap from legacy systems to digital ones smoothly over a period of time whereas others struggle to keep up with the advances in the digital world that happen with lightning speed.

One of the major bottlenecks in the digital process is the critical stage of testing, the life cycle of which is generally as follows:
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How Testing creates a traffic jam
Companies wanting to improve and add value to their business realize the need to move away from outdated systems and adopt agility as a model. For this purpose, many invest heavily in technology, buying the latest products from the best sources. However, they soon realize that even the most advanced software (e.g. Oracle products) go through multiple and continuous updates and upgrades. Every update has to be tested in order to verify compatibility with the in-house systems.

Now, while theoretically, the testing process is a discrete step that occurs towards the end of the process cycle, the actual manual testing process can be quite complex, with multiple, layered steps. All this can slow down the entire process leading to deployment of an application. For a company that wants agility as its new defining quality, this can be counter-productive. On the other hand, automation of testing can greatly speed up the process, with more accuracy and efficiency, thus making the systems “agile” in the true sense of the term and taking the organization well into the digital age.

Here is when automated testing makes perfect sense:

  • Repeated testing after bug fixes. In other words, a lot of regression testing.
  • Tests requiring high number of users. Automation can create virtual users.
  • Frequent functional changes on the same or a similar GUI.

You need these for test automation:

  • Skilled resources – Having tools without having the resources to use them efficiently is of no use. Hence, availability of well-trained and capable testers is a must for making the most of the sophisticated test automation suites..
  • Long lifespan of the automation suite – If the automation suite does not run a minimum of 15-20 cycles, it is not good value for money. Therefore, do not use automated testing systems if the life cycle of your application is short or will be run only a few times..

Success story
A leading gaming company had this to say about their experience of trying out an automated testing system, with great success:
“[The technology] has drastically reduced the number of manual transactions we have had to complete in order to test our Oracle cloud [application] during either minor patches or major upgrades.”

Main Steps in Automated Testing:
As a tester, you need to be aware of the following key steps of automated testing:
1. Design
a. Plan test strategy and identify areas to create test automation assets.
b. Analyze feasibility of test scenarios.
c. Create automated test cases.
(a) Understand the test scenario.
(b) Identify/create test cases.
(c) Identify test data fields to parameterize.
(d) Configure validation points.
(e) Configure test cases in order for them to have long and stable life span of execution.
d. Identify sets of test cases that could be executed in groups; create test sets out of them.
e. Maintain existing automated test assets to suit changes in Application
f. Under Test (AUT).

2. Scope
a. Plan test cycles and identify test cases/sets appropriate for different types of test cycles i.e. Sanity, Smoke, Regression, Integration, System Testing, etc.
b. Plan start and end dates of test cycles and releases.

3. Perform
a. Execute tests automatically.
b. Validate results and look for defects.
c. Fix defects.
d. Re-run tests.

4. Review Release
a. Review the test results and progress of release.
b. Eliminate defects as per the test strategy specific to the project. E.g., the release criteria could be:
1. No P1s or P2s and max 10 P3s
2. No P1s or P2s and P3s
c. Sign off the process and release.

Conclusion
Oracle cloud applications can be personalized, secure, and can seamlessly link an entire organization from anywhere. Testing for these apps, if carried out keeping the above best practices in mind, can be efficient, time-saving, and yield accurate results with fewer iterations.
Test automation systems can be an effective way to maximize ROI, increase speed and accuracy of testing, increase the morale of the testers, and improve the quality of the software.

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