Improving Productivity with Automated Unit Testing

Feb 15, 2024 | Test Automation Insights

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Unit testing is essential for catching bugs early in the quality assurance process and fixing them faster. However, conducting these tests manually can be a tedious, time-consuming process. Learn about the benefits of automated unit testing and how they can make your software team’s job easier throughout the project lifecycle.

 

What Is Unit Testing in Software Engineering?

In software testing, the definition of unit testing is using blocks of code to verify the accuracy of a smaller block of code within your app. This process helps your team determine functionality and ensure the code runs as expected.

There are also multiple types of unit tests, including:

  • Statement coverage testing
  • Branch coverage testing
  • Decision coverage testing
  • Control flow testing
  • Data flow testing

 

The Benefits of Software Unit Testing

Software unit testing is critical for guaranteeing the functionality of your application. At a glance, these benefits include:

  • Identifying problems sooner
  • Improving code quality
  • Reducing the cost of debugging
  • Enforcing good coding practices
  • Increasing security for your clients and users

Unit testing is essential for improving your application’s overall performance and security, making it a critical part of the software development life cycle. Your developers and testers can also reuse test cases across other applications, making quality assurance easier during future projects.

 

How to Perform Manual Unit Testing

While unit tests are essential for improving your software’s overall quality, writing them can be tedious to do manually. Here is the manual version of the process at a glance.

Setting Up the Test Environment

Before you begin writing your unit test, you first need to set up the environment where the test will take place. This often includes working within the testing framework for your coding language and importing the framework into your script. If your application uses multiple programming languages to function, you’ll have to replicate this process several times to test each language.

Write the Test Case

Once your test environment is in place, you can start to develop the test cases in a file of your choice. Create tests to verify the functionality of every specific feature or behavior you need your code to do. This can get repetitive and tedious very quickly. You’ll also need to make sure you account for important code paths before running the test, or you may encounter errors.

The process of writing regular test cases can also become more challenging after new updates to your software, adding more overhead to your project as a whole.

Run the Test Case

After you’ve written your test case, you can execute commands within the terminal of the code platform you’re using. The command will run the test cases you defined in the file and report any errors or failures it may encounter. This is where it becomes essential to double-check your work, especially if you’ve been repeating this task many times over.

Analyze the Results

Some manual testing tools provide reports to help you determine if your tests have passed. However, these reports may or may not have details on the failures or errors depending on the types of tools you’re using, making it difficult to find the exact location and nature of the problems.

This in turn can delay the project’s progress, especially as you work to achieve 100% test coverage.

 

Can Unit Testing Be Automated?

Yes, unit testing can—and often should—be automated to streamline the QA testing process. The benefits of automating unit testing include:

  • Increased coverage: Automating your software unit tests allows your software testers to increase the depth and scope of their testing capabilities, ultimately increasing your product’s quality.
  • Improved accuracy: Using automated software unit testing tools reduces the likelihood of human error that naturally comes with manual testing methods. This allows your team to debug even the most complex use cases with relative ease.
  • Better scalability: Even if your project calls for a large amount of test cases, automation allows your team to expand their work with a limited number of people.
  • Enhanced debugging capabilities: Automating the unit testing process makes it easier for your software testers to detect potential bugs in your software that can impact performance and otherwise hinder its overall quality.
  • Reduced costs: When your development team can automatically detect and resolve bugs in your code more efficiently, this cuts down on labor costs and makes it easier to improve your software’s profitability.
  • Faster release times: Using automation to run unit tests allows your team to release your software faster, in turn allowing your software to make more money.

Ultimately, unit testing automation allows your software developers to release higher-quality products earlier.

 

How to Automate Unit Testing

While the process can vary slightly depending on your team’s specific circumstances, most follow a basic general framework.

Choose a Testing Framework

Choosing your automated unit testing framework depends on your testing team and their skill level with the testing process. You should also choose a framework that can match the scale of your operations and potentially be used for other applications that may need these types of unit tests in the future.

Create the Test Cases

Robust test automation tools like Ranorex Studio make it easier to build powerful tests without coding. It will also lead you through each step of the testing process and generate the information you need.

Automate the Tests

Ranorex Studio allows you to automate your unit tests within just a few clicks, without needing to code. The platform also includes record-and-replay functionality to make automated tests easier to replicate and edit to reflect the actions that are needed.

Analyze the Results

The most powerful automated testing tools allow you to analyze the details of your test results in a fraction of the time you’d be able to do so manually—and with a fraction of the guesswork.

 

Why Choose Ranorex for Automated Testing?

Ranorex provides a secure framework for all types of unit tests, making it easier for your team to replicate these tests at scale across all parts of your project and future releases. Over 4,000 companies around the world trust Ranorex for our commitment to comprehensive testing tools, security, and user-friendly design.

Easy Test Design

As part of the Ranorex family of products, Ranorex DesignWise allows developers to create their own unit tests quickly and easily for quality assurance. Even with custom-built code, this tool allows them to detect potential bugs and improve user experience at scale, all while saving time and frustration.

Excellent Security

Ranorex allows testers to conduct all types of unit tests off the grid, before publication. This reduces the likelihood of security breaches during and after release. Our tools also securely store your team’s credentials to make the testing process easier.

Ranorex is designed to streamline the development process with secure data handling at the forefront of every test and feature, be it through functionality testing, cross-browser testing, or anything in between.

Powerful Object Recognition

Ranorex Spy is unmatched in its object recognition capabilities. This feature allows you to ensure more impactful, stable automated tests, saving you time and money on test automation.

Using machine learning, Ranorex Spy instantly tracks all UI elements, including dynamic elements within your software, to provide detailed control information on each one for use in the validation process.

Flexible API

Ranorex API enables developers to work across as many platforms as they need for their application, all using their .NET IDE of choice for C# and VB.Net. It works with a full array of API methods to improve testing across all browsers and device types, all while still offering the best object recognition capabilities on the market.

 

Start a Free Trial of Ranorex Today

Ready to improve your team’s productivity and your product quality with automated unit testing? Start a free trial of Ranorex today and see how much time you can save with this handy tool.

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