Best Practices for Successful Web Application Testing
March 15, 2022

Chakri Devarakonda
Tavant

In today's competitive world, there is no denying that only the best applications prosper and attract a lot of traffic. The massive digitalization in recent years has created a need for software application testing vital for all businesses across industries.

The following are some of the best practices for web application testing:

Combine Shift-Left with Continuous-Testing approach

Early fault or defect detection reduces the overall project cost and helps in producing a quality product. Shift-Left Testing means bringing development and testing together as early as possible to ensure that bugs are detected early. In the long run, it accelerates the delivery of the quality product and adds better test coverage. However, Continuous Testing (CT) is a process of executing automation tests as a part of the build/release pipeline to get quicker feedback on the build as early as possible. In today's DevOps world, there is a need to combine these two approaches i.e., "shift-left testing" and "continuous testing" to get exceptional quality. The aim should be to develop and integrate all tests in the build/ release pipeline as soon as possible to ensure early testing. Without this approach, we will end up testing in the later stages of project development which would incur significant cost and effort for defect removal.


API Testing

Rather than waiting for the user interface to be ready, the testing team should focus on API testing. As more and more organizations adopt the use of microservices, API testing is becoming increasingly necessary to ensure all interconnected components are working correctly. Furthermore, it also allows the testing team to make requests that might not be possible to test through the direct user interface, so if there is an issue with your web services, then this can result in unidentified bugs in your unit level code which might be very costly in later stages of software development life cycle and would need significant code rework to fix them.

Web services testing focuses on the business logic of the application under test. It ensures that business logic is working and while simultaneously checking for security standards. API testing also confirms that the overall system will perform even under varying loads, stress, or network conditions.

Organized Walkthrough of your test cases

This is more of a process than practice but good to follow consistently. Once the QE team gets involved early, they will have ample time to author quality test cases and increase coverage. In addition, once the team has a good set of test cases ready, it is strategic to then arrange a formal walkthrough session with all major stakeholders to procure feedback as well as improvise the test cases. The significance of Organized Walkthrough in the CI/CD/CT world is exceptionally high as it aims at the enhancement of the product by early uncovering of issues, test data needs, doubts, and clarifications. Additionally, the number of oversights in the end environment decreases hugely in the projects that use organized walkthroughs.

In short, we should perform peer group reviews of all technical product/project documentation on a regular basis to ensure consistency and correctness of the documentation.

Utilize your automation suite well

The significant feature of automated testing is its ability to perform hundreds of tests in minutes and record outcomes with accuracy and speed. Tests run repetitively based on programmed expectations, which can often be too tedious to perform manually.

Vendors today provide testing automation services/platforms as part of their quality engineering services to ensure continuous feedback into the product life cycle.

To achieve significant success with automation testing, teams must first define the results objectively and carefully plan the tests without bias creeping in. Our objective should be to automate 100% of the test that should be automated instead of automating every test. So, before starting any automation activity, figuring out what to automate (or not to automate) should be given the utmost importance.

NFR Testing (Non-Functional Testing- Performance and Security)

The ecosystem has changed with the arrival of cloud computing and microservices, and thus the importance of testing NFRs (security as well as performance testing) has risen radically. NFR testing serves to certify that the system meets all the non-functional requirements (e.g., performance, security, vulnerability, scalability, reliability, recovery, etc.) expected out of it.

NFR testing can have a big impact on the architecture of your application. Performing NFR testing is no longer a preference. It should be performed frequently, especially with all major releases, and should be clubbed into the release pipeline for best results.

Collaborate as a complete team

The agile methodology requires organizations to run software development and testing activities in parallel. Complete-team testing is more than just executing the tests together; it should be for improving the testability and usability of the product in several ways.

Working well with DevOps will assist the QE team in identifying the areas of impact from technical aspects, on the other hand, the programmers/DevOps team will get an advantage from the QE team inputs to understand functional flows, end-to-end business scenarios, blockers/critical issues of any kind. Working with DevOps will enable the QE team to execute their automated tests more efficiently in a CI/CD environment.

Conclusion

Web application testing focuses on a testing application that runs on the web. It tests various aspects like functionality, usability, scalability, performance, accessibility, etc. By following the practices mentioned above, it is possible to take a step in the right direction to build a high-quality product. Even with all these best practices in place, the basic testing types such as functional testing, smoke testing, and regression testing of the application should not be forgotten.

Chakri Devarakonda is Head of Quality Engineering for Tavant
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