In this technology-driven world, a lot of things have been changing rapidly. Every year thousands of websites and software are being developed. But, developing software is not that simple, there are many things that you should consider for every software project, such as:

  • What problems do you want to solve with this software?
  • Is this the right way to resolve that problem?
  • Which technology you should use?
  • What development strategy you should use?
  • How to structure your team and lastly
  • What and when to test?

The last step in the website development life cycle is often overlooked. Though it’s not a bad decision when you’re at the starting stage of developing software or web application. But, when a product or web application start growing, testing or quality assurance becomes a priority for every organization for its success.

While many large organizations and professional software developers agree that testing of software or web application is crucial for its success, we are still finding the best ways to do it. Well, there are some companies that rely on manual testing, but most organization have already decided to move to automation testing for better productivity and coverage.

One of the important aspects of automation testing is selecting the appropriate test cases and determining the actual return on investment. In this article, we will talk about how to identify if your test cases are ready for test automation or not.

Why Automation Testing?

Automation testing is not something that overpowers or replaces manual testing; rather it completes it. Automation testing also needs a strategy in place like manual testing with proper arrangement, management, and monitoring. However, automation provides better performance, test coverage, speed, and productivity for testing. And once you implement it correctly, it’ll be a blessing for the entire web development team and the organization.

There are many benefits of automation testing, some of which include:

  • Helpful in executing routine tasks like regression tests and smoke tests.
  • Make it easy to organize the data.
  • Helpful in executing the test cases with complicated logic.
  • Highly beneficial for cross browser testing.
  • Execute test cases quickly that cannot be executed manually.
  • Helpful in locating the number of iterations of the unknown test case execution.

Some businesses and developers consider automation testing as a supporting tool for manual testing. Therefore, it’s essential to understand that automation testing is the best way to increase the proficiency, value, and test coverage of a software or web application testing. While saving time, it also improves test accuracy, as manual testing involves repetitive tasks that can be time-consuming and prone to human errors. Now, let’s talk about functional testing, whether to you should automate it or not.

Functional Testing – Whether to Automate or Not?

Functionality testing is one of the crucial parts of automated web application testing. It mainly includes testing the user interface and user flow of the web app. Having an app with a comfortable UX flow, you’ll want to test its functionality after sending it to production. The functional test coverage ensures that you can securely repeat and improve its functionality without affecting the ability of users to achieve things. So, should you test functionality with automation or manual approach?

In my opinion, automated testing is an excellent approach as it is faster and free to execute. And these factors definitely save a lot of time for developers. For automation testing, you test just a working selenium script once, and then you can perform as many times as you want and get quick results. However, these benefits come after a developer has written such scripts. And that’s where the biggest obstruction occurs.

One of the biggest problems that most developers and testers often face with automation testing is when they try to modify or change their web application, the automated tests tend to break unexpectedly, which asks for re-investment to keep them up-to-date.

Manual testing doesn’t have any of these problems, it works as expected and gives reliable results. But, manual testing creates high costs and long turn-around times. So, we cannot go directly for this solution, unless and until we don’t have a better solution.

But, the primary concern of web developers and testers is determining when and how often something is going to break?

Determining When to Use Test Automation

Determining when and how often test breaks is not easy to answer, it highly depends on the specific situation that you’re in. In general, five types of test breakages are recorded by most testers. If you keep these impending breakages in mind, it will be easy for you to define which areas of your application need automation testing.

1. Component Locator-Based Breaking

After validating any part of a web app with the test scripts, it is necessary to find and examine a DOM component. You can achieve it by text, attributes, or its place in the hierarchy. Each of these steps can break – modifying the page designs, renewing copy, or redesigning the layout may jeopardize your skills to find the same thing consistently. It is one of the most common reasons for test breakage and cannot be eradicated easily.

2. Value-Based Breaking

When you test text input fields of your app, you’ll have to ensure that correct values are accepted by them, and when invalid values are provided, they display correct errors. Whenever you modify something in the back-end, you’ll have to change the test cases to avert them from breakage. Likewise, when you’ll add a new input field, the earlier script might try to present a form with lost data until you update the script.

3. Page Reloading

Page reloading entirely relies on the back-end. Generally, when you go through some user flows, it may ask for page reloading. But, if you reload the page at an inappropriate time, it can break the test. There are several reasons that can result in broken reload login in test scripts when you make changes in your application, such as:

  • Reloads required at different points
  • Reloads doesn’t take place anymore
  • Reloads require different amounts of time than previously

These are some of the main reasons that can cause breakage in test scripts during page reloading.

4. Pop-up Windows

Pop-up windows are often used in web applications; therefore, they need to be tested. It’s normal for test scripts to display their existence or absence, so it will break whenever the web app is updated to modify the relevant behavior. However, this has been found as a least-frequent reason for broken tests.

5. User Shift Time

Some web apps often use logic to sign out inactive users after a specific period of time by using test scripts that were inactive for some time to justify that the actions took place when they were expected. These types of tests often break when the permitted session time changes.

After knowing, which areas of your web application need test automation, you’ll have to select the correct test cases for automation testing.

Selecting Correct Test Cases for Automation Testing

To select the correct test cases for automation testing, follow the below steps:

  1. Verify the parameter on which your test case will be based for automation testing. For instance, below we have verified test cases executed with the following parameters for an application.
  • With a different set of data
  • Different browser
  • Different environment
  • Complex business logic
  • Large amount of data
  • Different set of users
  • Test cases require special data
  1. Make modules by breaking each application. And for each module, evaluate and try to locate the test cases that are required to be automated based on the specific parameters. Below is a list of modules that can vary for projects to projects.

Y – Yes, N – No

This list can also be used to find the automation test cases.

  1. Merge and assemble the test cases for every module specifically as shown below.
  2. Once you find all the granular level details, you can represent them as shown below.

This way you can easily select the correct test cases for automation testing. However, you should also consider some attributes which form the basis of deterring the ROI, such as purchasing and licensing cost of automation testing tool, time to develop and maintain scripts, etc.


Determining whether your test cases are ready for automation or not is very crucial for automation testing as it can affect the overall process of your web application development. In this article, we have mentioned the main risks involved in test breakage and how you can select correct test cases for automation.

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