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Testing is a crucial part of ensuring the quality of your business-critical processes. For businesses using ServiceNow, the ServiceNow Automated Test Framework (ATF) is an obvious candidate. But it’s not necessarily the best solution for your team if you want to scale your testing efforts while keeping resource spending low.
What you’ll learn in this blog post:
ATF is ServiceNow’s own framework for test automation. It’s an application that allows ServiceNow users to run automated tests on their ServiceNow instance. With it, users can verify ServiceNow applications and any customizations they have created within those applications.
ServiceNow is custom to several updates a year, including major upgrades that improve the application and add new functionality.
Although these upgrades are intended to offer great benefit to businesses, they also come with a major drawback: They require extensive testing. Many teams simply don’t have the bandwidth for this, which means that they either postpone their upgrades or wait until they're forced to do them.
In addition to the regular upgrades, developers will also modify ServiceNow instances and customize things like field inputs, which also requires testing before release.
In fact, any change to ServiceNow, whether caused by internal development or external upgrades and changes to the environment, will need thorough testing. And it’s not just new functionality that needs to be tested - for the most part, it’s regression testing that’s causing the biggest pain in quality delivery, and that acts as a major time sink.
The consequences of skipping or rushing these tests, however, can be incremental. Any bug that’s pushed into production could have incremental consequences for ServiceNow users who put their trust into this application and rely on it for handling their customer data and business-critical processes.
ATF and other test automation tools can help teams overcome the challenges of testing in time for release, ensuring quality delivery at speed.
There are a number of benefits to automating ServiceNow. ATF is one test automation solution of many, and will be the right fit for some teams, while others will benefit from using an alternative solution.
In the following, we’ll outline some of the most prominent advantages and disadvantages of ATF, helping you make an informed decision about choosing a testing framework. In this connection, we also recommend reading our article on test automation frameworks and why they sometimes fail.
The benefits of introducing test automation in general include making testing more efficient and speeding up the software delivery cycle, as well as reducing the risk of human error, which is a consequence of tedious, manual work.
With faster, more accurate testing, teams can identify bugs more quickly, when they are less costly to fix, and increase the customer experience and quality of the product for the end-user. Overall, a greater stability and confidence in the SDLC can be achieved.
Using ServiceNow’s own solution for test automation comes with some advantages.
When comparing the use of ServiceNow’s Automated Testing Framework to manual testing, you’re way better off with ATF. But automated testing is nothing new, and there are many more options for test automation today. In other words, the question isn’t “should you automate”, it’s “what will the benefits be and how quickly can you see them?”
ATF is far from an all-in-one solution. Although it provides specific functionality for ServiceNow testing, it’s still lacking critical features for end-to-end testing.
Perhaps with future updates, ServiceNow will provide a more comprehensive solution with more capabilities, but there’s a good chance that it will still be limited to testing ServiceNow, and that it will require ServiceNow experts for setup and maintenance. This means your IT landscape will grow unnecessarily complex over time and that your automation will be costly, also with time, making it difficult to scale.
For this reason, we suggest choosing an alternative to ATF.
Leapwork’s no-code test automation solution for ServiceNow lets you test every aspect of your ServiceNow instance, and more.
→ Learn more about the capabilities of Leapwork’s no-code test automation platform
→ Watch our on-demand webinar on ServiceNow test automation
→ Download our comparison chart of ATF, Leapwork and Selenium