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It’s a tedious and time-consuming task. But without test maintenance, you’re opening your business up to major risk. And with it, your test automation costs skyrocket. Especially if you’re using code to build the automation that tests your graphical user interface (GUI).
However, there still seems to be confusion as to what this term means. We’ll explain what test maintenance is, the challenges you should expect when you’re maintaining your tests, and the test maintenance best practices.
What you can find in this post?
If you introduce any change to the software, even if it’s a minor change like a browser update, it can cause tests to break. Test maintenance ensures this doesn’t happen.
So when you build an automated test for your application under test, it’s not always a one-time job. Sometimes the tests break.
I know. It’s ironic.
The very tests you built to check for errors break themselves.
The thing is, GUI tests are fragile because of how often a GUI changes. And this creates an expensive maintenance burden. But there is a way to keep these costs low for an ROI of test automation.
Well, there are a few:
If you’re managing a small number of automated test cases, the maintenance costs may not be large.
But if you’re managing a big test suite spanning different technologies, this work quickly becomes unmanageable.
Let’s say the manual maintenance of every code-based automated test case of a GUI takes 10 minutes. If you have 300 test cases, that’s 50 hours (6.5 working days) of test maintenance per regression cycle.
That’s what the image below illustrates. The time you save building automation doesn’t always save you time or money compared to the maintenance costs.
To avoid this happening, you have to reevaluate the tools and practices you carry out for building test automation.
Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster from Experiences of Test Automation summarize it well:
“If testers without any programming knowledge can both write and run automated tests, then the automation will be of great use to the business domain and is much more likely to be widely used, further increasing the ROI”.
To learn more about visual test automation, and how to build both maintainable and scalable test automation, download our guide to building maintainable and scalable test automation. If you’d like to see visual test automation in action, check out our no-code webinar.