What Kind of Software Tests Should Be Automated in the Testing Process?

Software testing

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Automation tests are taking the software development industry by storm. With so many phases involved in the software development life cycle, automation is mainly used in the advanced stages. Most web application tests are carried out through automation testing.

The testers can execute multiple tests simultaneously on a single machine through automation testing. Let’s first discuss them. But, before that, you have to bear in mind that automation mostly favors large and repetitive tasks. There are various reasons why most software development testers opt to use automation testing.

Quick, Accurate and Reliable

Even though creating automated testing usually takes time and effort, you can reuse these test cases. They can be executed faster than manual tests as they are less prone to errors. Due to the number of prerequisites involved in running each of the manual tests, errors are likely to happen. Automation testing involves a lot of repetition, which translates to great precision. All the results are usually made available to the development team in the least possible time.

Load Testing

With load testing, you can handle both expected and unexpected user loads. With manual testing, the process is usually pushed until the end of the software development cycle. Automation testing can run thousands of tests concurrently.

Increased Confidence

Automation allows the testers to repeat repetitive tasks quickly with the confidence that everything is working correctly or as expected. That’s usually so hard with manual testing as testing features, again and again, seems to be counter-productive.

Now that you have some basics on the benefits of automated testing, let’s dive into the kinds of software that should be automated in the testing process.

Performance Tests

In software development, performance is used to describe the speed and the responsiveness at which the testing process reacts. Some of the performance tests include search results response time, time to page load, and time for the first render.

This process creates measurements and various assertions for the above tests. The tests are automated, and then the alerts on any regression or loss of speed are sent to the testers.

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Unit Tests

These tests cover individual units of codes that are best measured in the function definitions. A single unit test usually covers an individual function. They assert the expected input to the function that matches the expected output.

Unit tests usually cover codes that usually have sensitive calculations. These tests are inexpensive and can be implemented quickly to provide a high return on investment.

Integration Testing

During testing, unit codes will often make an external call to the third-party service. That’s because the primary database doesn’t have access to the 3rd party code utility. Integration tests are usually used to mock 3rd party dependencies.

To some extent, integration tests are similar to the unit tests in how they are written and the tools used. They can be implemented as an alternative to the E2E tests. Though, it’s expensive to have the combination of unit tests and E2E already in place.

Regression Tests

These tests are used to verify that any recent changes to the code don’t affect the existing features of the web application. They verify that the old code works in the same way before making any changes to the web application.

It’s just fully executed test cases, which are then executed again to ensure that the existing performances work effectively. The test cases, in this case, are prioritized as per the business impact, frequently used functionalities and critical functions.

Functional Testing

This type of testing validated the software application against the specifications. Each software application is tested by providing appropriate input and verifying the output against the specifications.

It mainly involves black box testing, and it’s hardly concerned about the application’s source code. So, in functional testing, you will mainly concentrate on mainline functions, basic usability, error conditions, and accessibility.

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Smoke Testing

It’s also known as build acceptance or build verification testing. Smoke testing is a no exhaustive analysis that ascertains whether the program’s main functions are working without delving into finer details.

Some of the tools for automated smoke testing include PhantomJS and Selenium. Smoke tests are often implemented with every new build in the software development process. Thus, you can quickly determine the conformance to the requirements and the stability of the software.

Testing Automation Frameworks

Once you are sure of the automated testing you will carry out, the next step is to choose the proper framework. It helps organize the testing process as you will be able to standardize the testing process. This provides structure to everyone applying automated testing to the related project.

Several test automation frameworks are used.

  • Linear framework or record and playback
  • Library architecture framework
  • Modular based framework 


Automation testing has a lot of benefits to the company, especially when dealing with lots of repetitive tasks. You don’t have to worry about accuracy and precision here as there are no human interventions. You can automate many of the tasks mentioned above to increase the speed of the software testing process. Automated testing is cost-effective when dealing with large tasks. And that’s why it’s rare for it to be used for small tasks.