The pressure on software development teams to deliver quality at high speed has never been greater. Teams must be able to test continuously and be agile in an increasingly digital world, driving the need for new methods of quality assurance.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at:
- What is parallel testing
- What are the benefits of incorporating parallel testing into your test automation setup
- Best practices for parallel testing
- How can you get started with parallel testing in the fastest possible way
What is parallel testing
Parallel testing is the method of running several tests across multiple combinations of devices and browsers simultaneously, as opposed to following a sequential testing approach, where you complete one test at a time before you continue on to the next.
In other words, instead of first completing a test on one device taking 10 minutes, then continuing to run the test on another device for another 10 minutes (bringing you to a total of 20 minutes of testing), you complete these tests simultaneously by distributing tests across available resources (bringing you to a total of 10 minutes of testing).
The purpose of parallel testing is to save you time. The amount of time you can save will depend on your available resources.
For example, if you have 100 test cases that take you 500 minutes to execute, and you run 10 parallel tests at once, you could reduce the 500 minutes to 50 minutes. If you have sufficient resources to run all 100 tests simultaneously, you can bring that time down to 5 minutes.
This will require many testing environments, in which you can run your tests. Some environments are more easily set up than others. For example, with Selenium Grid, you can set up automation to run tests on multiple browsers at a time. If you want to test on local desktops, on the other hand, you need to invest in the physical space and configuration of these, making scaling a tad more challenging.
5 Benefits of parallel testing
There are several reasons why parallel testing is beneficial to software delivery teams:
1. Faster test execution
Speed is without a doubt the greatest advantage of parallel testing. It goes without saying that by running more tests simultaneously it becomes possible to shorten the testing cycle.
2. Easier maintenance
One test can be used to test multiple environments, letting you cover many test configurations with less scripts (or automation flows, if your testing tool is scriptless). This gives you a leaner testing suite that’s considerably easier to maintain.
3. Better coverage
Testing faster will allow you to test more. Today’s consumers are using technology across an increasing number of devices and browsers, making it all the more important to prioritize testing on all these combinations. Parallel testing with multiple agents set up with different browsers and device combinations make that possible.
4. Higher ROI
By testing faster and testing more, you automatically get a higher return on your investment in test automation.
5. Faster feedback loops
Your CI/CD pipeline requires fast and continuous feedback from tests in order to let teams flow through the software delivery cycle at speed. By running multiple automated tests side by side, it becomes possible to deliver that feedback at a pace that can match continuous development.
Best practices for executing parallel testing
There are two things in particular to keep in mind when building parallel tests that will help ensure the best possible outcome of your efforts:
Ensure independence of test flows or scripts
When designing your tests for parallel execution, the tests must be completely independent of one another. If you’re transitioning from tests designed for sequential execution, this can be a challenge, and you may have to invest a substantial amount of time in redesign. A no-code tool will help trim down that time.
Ensure independence of test data
Similarly to the independence of test flows, it’s important that the data used as input for your tests is independent. Each data source must be connected to one test flow, and only one. If you connect several flows to one data source, there is a high risk that the test will fail due to several tests attempting to access one source at the same time.
If you’re building automation from scratch, or looking for ways to optimize your test design strategy, follow our guide to building maintainable, scalable test automation to achieve the best results.
Parallel testing with LEAPWORK
LEAPWORK’s no-code test automation platform lets you set up, execute, and maintain tests at speed.
Thanks to the 100% code-free user interface that uses flowcharts rather than script to display automated tests, teams can create test automation with ease.
Parallel testing is supported by LEAPWORK through multiple capabilities.
- First, LEAPWORK lets you parallelize thousands of web-based test automation flows on an onsite Selenium-Grid cluster of computers and devices—either in your network or in the cloud.
- LEAPWORK also integrates with Lambdatest, BrowserStack, and SauceLabs, enabling teams to achieve even better browser coverage.
- With LEAPWORK’s agents, you can run the same flow in multiple configurations, letting you scale your parallel testing as much as needed.
- LEAPWORKS’s scheduler enables teams to define when a flow should run and on which agents, whether at pre-selected times or after specified time intervals. Schedules can be triggered either on-demand (such as through REST API calls to LEAPWORK) or at a single or recurring time interval.
Combined, these capabilities will allow you to keep a high testing cadence, providing continuous feedback to development and securing the flow of your CI/CD pipeline.
Learn more about no-code test automation and see how LambdaTest & LEAPWORK integrate for better browser coverage in our webinar: How to Overcome Test Automation Challenges with Codeless Automation.