Codeless test automation software has advanced light-years, solving many challenges that were initially presented. As more regression testing solutions veer away from requiring knowledge of coding scripts, the “no-code” revolution in software testing has ascended.

There was a time a few years ago when record-and-playback test automation tools gained a bad reputation among DevOps teams as they did not scale well. Since many testers were testing against ever-changing applications maintenance became a nightmare.

During that same period, there was a shift in paradigm which led to a 360-degree circle back to the need for codeless test automation tools.

At one point, product teams realized record-and-playback tools caused more issues than solutions and shifted towards software developers in test (or SDETs.) These are hybrid developers who can code yet their focus is on testing. As we have seen with many in the industry (including our clients) developers are innodated with maintaining test scripts that distract from innovating. In time, the complication created a shortage of automation engineers. Product teams then sought to shift the load towards Testers to solve the problem. Again, this presented a challenge as this group generally lack coding skills.

Hence the importance of codeless test automation software…

Angie Jones, a test automation expert and practitioner, wrote a great piece a few years ago which outlines top features codeless test automation software vendors should include in their offerings. In my humble opinion, I strongly feel our AI-based test automation software, Autify, solves these feature requests.

Autify is aimed at enterprises that struggle to hire automation engineers. Our no-code software offers these product teams a solution to empower testers who have low-code or no coding skills at all. It uses a record-and-playback test automation platform. And for advanced users, they can add code to unlock infinite possibilities.

10 features every codeless test automation tool should offer

I will use Angie’s outline to illustrate how our software solves challenges for testers. These were the feature sets in high demand for DevOps testers:

1. Smart element locators

Autify codeless test automation uses ML to detect changes in UI when testing. Image source: TechCrunch.

In the past, when a tester wrote a test script and the user interface changed, the test would result in failure. Thus, creating more time and effort investigating the failure then re-writing the script. One of the key features of Autify uses machine learning magic to detect changes in the UI and still run tests.

Notice in the screenshot above, the checkout button changed in position as another button was removed. Yet, Autify detected the change and continued without failure. The “Results” feature of the tool shows side-by-side outcomes.

2. Conditional waiting

To avoid tedious writing of pause scripts, Autify allows testers to add in wait times for a specified duration. In the tool, simply click the + button between steps and Insert Sleep step from the options list. The time duration in seconds can be specified.

For advanced users, use the Insert JS step feature to write a conditional statement in Javascript.

3. Control structures

With past no-code tools, if an action had to be repeated 10 or so times, the tester had to record it numerous times. With Autify, a tester has a few options depending on the action.

Autify Javascript Step Feature

First, they can use JavaScript to write if-else logic to the test scenario. Second, they can use data to cycle through repeat options. In the test Scenarios section of Autify is a Data tab. A tester can create a simple CSV file and upload it as a testing step.

4. Easy assertions

Previously, adding assertions for actions during testing was cumbersome. With Autify, assertions are automatically added to each step along with screenshots for every step. Furthermore, is a tester wanted to elaborate assertion data there are a few fields of data for expansion.

For example, if there was a click action, the default label would state “Click element.” If an option was selected from a dropdown menu, the default label would state “Element text should be.” In addition, it would list the label text selected.

If a tester wanted to elaborate on the steps further, they would simply click the step in the Scenarios screen and add a Step name and/or Memo.

5. Modification without redo

Unlike older record-and-playback tools, Autify has robust features to add or modify steps without the need to re-record the entire test!

There are two options; “Record here” or “Record here without playback.”

For example, say you want to change the 5th step of the test. The Record here option will open the test window and cycle all previous steps and stop- awaiting your next actions for recording.

Note: Record here without playback option will open in Step 1 and await your recording instructions.

6. Reusable steps

Before, most test scripts involved logging into an application. Thus the tester would have to write this script leading to maintenance nightmares if anything changed.

Autify, solves this concern for testers with several features. First, it will auto-detect changes in UI. Second, it automatically saves input data entered for login details. Lastly, a tester can upload CSV data should they want to try different user accounts- perhaps when testing various user roles and permissions.

7. Cross-browser support

Although Autify initiates as a Chrome extension, it can be tested across all browsers, including mobile devices. Autify allows testers to test their applications on IE, Edge, Chrome, Firefox on macOS and Windows, as well as a range of iOS and Android devices.

8. Reporting

Detailed success and failure reports are automatically generated in Autify. Failures show the screenshot of where it failed, plus a side by side comparison, a base from the initially recorded script, and the failed result.

With all of this detail, there is no need for a tester to waste time figuring out where the failure happened or re-run test scripts. It will automatically be pointed out.

9. Ability to insert code

Although the goal is to shift towards a pure no-code environment, some users will want expanded capabilities by adding some code logic. Autify does not omit this feature. As mentioned earlier, a tester can write custom Javascript code if needed.

10. Continuous integration

We’ve solved this feature request with Autify. You can kick our API to trigger your test runs from your CI/CD pipeline. Please refer to our API document to learn more details.

Also we have sample repositories to guide you how to integrate with GitLab and CircleCI.

Conclusion

Autify solves many of the pain points experienced with older codeless test automation software. First, it is easy to record and playback tests. Even if the UI has changed, the software detects it can continue testing rather than failing. A tester can re-record or edit steps anywhere in the testing scenario. For more advanced functionality, Javascript can be added to steps. It is cross-browser and mobile compatible by default. Plus, it automatically saves screenshots of every step, makes assertions on behalf of the tester, and shows failure results side-by-side for comparison. Give Autify a try today!

We want to hear from our testers… Are there any more features you would like to see in a no-code test automation software?