To ensure that the software applications deliver a high-quality user experience, quality engineering teams rely on the strength of their end-to-end testing strategy. Quality assurance teams can validate the software and its various interconnected subsystems and integrated components adequately through the use of end-to-end testing simulations.
Many teams leave end-to-end user journey testing until the final stages of development because it’s time-consuming and complex – especially if they use legacy scripted solutions. As a result, production could be hampered and additional bugs could be introduced. QA teams can test user journeys more efficiently throughout the development pipeline by implementing a data-driven and agile e2e testing strategy.
In this blog we will have a closer look at 5 key tips that work like a charm and you can easily use them to determine whether or not your end-to-end testing strategy is working and how to adjust it over time. Considering that software testing is filled with jargons, our first step would be to define end-to-end testing (E2E).
Let us now get started!
What is E2E Testing?
The end-to-end testing method involves testing your software from beginning to end, exactly the same way that users will interact with it when they first use it. Each tiny movement your user makes is crucial, and each one is crucial to your success. It will be more harmful to the user’s experience if your software crashes during their interaction.
There are many levels of testing software. First is a unit test. It is a test where the programmer writes a small routine to be tested. Unit test is designed to give you quick feedback to make sure that certain characteristics are implemented correctly. As a next step, you would conduct an integration test to determine how two or more components work together after the unit test.
Unit along with the integration tests do not test the UI. It is only E2E testing that tests the UI. They are treasured and provide feedback, but there can still be bugs.
How E2E testing works?
Now, we will have a look at how E2E testing works.
It is quite significant to comprehend the differences between horizontal and vertical E2E testing. Although they both can produce positive results, they are helpful in different ways.
- Horizontal: The horizontal E2E test considers the entire application across multiple systems as a whole. It would be best if you planned ahead to set up these test environments and a well-defined workflow to conduct this type of E2E testing. It involves testing multiple systems simultaneously as an individual workflow event is verified from start to finish.
- Vertical: E2E tests take a look at the application as a whole, while vertical tests examine it on a layer-by-layer basis. Each layer must be tested individually and analyzed in a hierarchical order. Thus, rather than thinking of the application in terms of workflow, a vertical E2E examines these layers.
- Lifecycle of E2E Testing
In order to fully appreciate E2E testing and its usefulness, it is important to understand the lifecycle of E2E testing. Four main parts joined together, form the lifecycle:
- The test planning phase involves identifying the critical tasks, related schedules, and the resources you need to complete the E2E testing.
- Identifying the test specifications and creating the test cases are done in this step. You will also want to perform a risk analysis and a usage analysis before scheduling the tests.
- You will need to document the results as you execute the test cases.
- Analyzing the results after the tests is complete, as well as evaluating the whole process and performing additional tests if necessary is important.
The results of testing are analyzed as part of the evaluation process. The following metrics should be watched:
- The preparation status of your test cases determines their specific position in relation to your planned tests.
- The Test Progress Tracking metric lets you see how many tests you have completed, such as those that passed or failed, unexecuted or executed, and valid or invalid.
- It also provides insight into the severity and priority of your open and closed defects.
- A measure of the availability of the testing environment. It is determined by the number of hours scheduled for testing each day in addition to the actual operational hours.
Why is E2E Testing Important?
A modern application is built using a lot of moving parts. Enterprise-grade applications contain hundreds of components and thousands of dependencies, all of which are deployed on an infrastructure layer made up of multiple components working in concert. A single isolated system could work flawlessly and smoothly, but all this complexity creates massive avenues for unpredictable failures. These systems can, however, create conflicts and issues when they are grouped together.
Using LambdaTest, you can test across 3000+ browsers and OS combinations using Selenium, Cypress, Playwright, Puppeteer, and many others. With LambdaTest, you can run end to end tests across Selenium, Cypress, Playwright, and Puppeteer. With their new HyperTest offering, they are taking performance a step further, and offering dashboards to monitor flaky tests and parallel tests.
5 Actionable End To End Testing Tips That Work Like a Charm
You will find 5 end-to-end testing tips that work like a charm in this segment of the article.
1. Automate your tests and make sure it is codeless
Whenever you can automate something and you have a plan of repeating it, it’s perhaps a good idea. It is possible to automate a lot of aspects of software testing, and the benefits are numerous.
In today’s fast-paced software industry, organizations are required to deliver superior software swiftly and reliably if they want to stay alive and competitive. A software application is highly prone to regressions. Only if you retest your entire application every time someone changes it, regardless of how insignificant it seems, can you be sure that your code is of high quality. Sound feasible?
It’s only left for you to decide whether you want to release software on time if you still want to test your app. As far as testing is concerned, you’re left with two options: If you plan to release software on time, either do not test your app or you can simply leverage automated testing. Which one is your preference?
Automation testing comes in many forms, and many of them require coding skills. Let us take an illustration, unit testing is a type of testing that relies on code. For developers, writing them to test their assumptions about their code makes sense, and there is no reason why it should not be that way.
In E2E testing, the ability to create test cases without trusting on a code is a huge advantage. Codeless automation testing allows testers and other experts to help you without requiring any coding knowledge. The developers don’t have to worry about creating code-based test cases, so they can work on delivering new features or fixing defects instead.
As a precaution, you should choose a codeless testing solution that allows code when needed. Since you can’t anticipate the modifications you’ll make to your application, it’s important to have the ability to insert custom code into a step in order to future proof your test. Some of the custom code will need to be written by a developer, but your tool won’t need to be replaced.
2. Selecting Page Elements the Smart Way
When testing E2E applications, asynchronous loading poses a challenge because attempting to interact with a not yet available element results in errors.
The problem can be addressed in a number of ways. When searching for an element in Selenium and encountering a NoSuchElementException, your test script can either wait for a fixed amount (implicit waits) or until you define a criteria for it to meet. Page elements can be challenging in many ways, not just through asynchronous loading. Changes in their attribute can lead to brittle tests.
In order to avoid this problem, you can create more robust selectors for page elements by leveraging strategies. The data-test attributes can be used to find elements exclusively for testing purposes rather than relying on CSS selectors that can alter at any point. (For instance, data-test:<unique-value>).
3. Take advantage of Risk-Based Testing and test in the right order and at the right time
It might feel natural to test everything at first when implementing your testing strategy. The idea of achieving high test coverage is a worthwhile one, but truthfully speaking, we understand that you have limited resources. It is still difficult to test everything even after leveraging automation at all testing levels. That’s where risk-based testing comes in.
A risk-based testing approach to software testing acknowledges that each component of an application differs in several aspects, and is, therefore, not created equal. Analyze factors such as the complexity of the code, the importance of the area of the application for the line of business, and how often it has been changed, among others, for each part of the application. By doing this, you can identify the parts of the app that are both more likely to get damaged and most likely to cause harm if they are broken. With that information, you can focus your testing efforts from the start on those parts.
A risk-based testing approach can provide an answer to the question of what to test and how to test in your E2E testing strategy. The “what” question can be answered by the already mentioned approach. When you avoid approaches where software testing occurs only at the end of the SDLC, you can gain feedback sooner, which allows you to diagnose and fix defects at an easier cost.
This is perfect for you only if you realize the significance of testing in the right order. E2E testing does not make sense when developers are developing features for the first time. When the production code is complete, developers will write unit tests—either by applying test-driven development (TDD) or by writing them later. There is no way to test end-to-end before both ends have been finished, regardless of whether the team uses behavior-driven development (BDD). One of the E2E testing best practices we would like to recommend is arranging tests in the right order. Having unit tests from the start and running them before any other type of testing gives you the most precise feedback when they fail. As a result, you can catch bugs while they’re still easy to fix.
The E2E test cases should be created after each feature has been completed and only executed after the earlier types of testing have not caught anything. Since E2E tests tend to be slower and more complex, you should only execute them when the earlier types of tests have not found anything.
4. Test data must be accurate
Having a top-notch data in suitable quantities when your tests need it won’t matter how great your test cases are. The idea of simply copying data from production and then calling it a day may seem like a good one, but it comes with many drawbacks. Production data might not be able to represent edge-case scenarios that need to be tested, as well as tables that were recently added to the database. Those risks are most egregious, such as the risk of exposing personally identifiable information (PII) or business-critical data. This is why it’s essential to have an effective test data management (TDM) process. The most recommended approach is to generate test data automatically. It is important to use data masking capabilities to prevent sensitive data from being leaked to non-production environments if you must resort to production cloning.
5. Maintain a user-centric approach
This is perhaps the most significant piece of information in this blog: keep the end user at the center of your testing efforts. The easiest way to understand end-to-end test cases is to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. What are they trying to accomplish? Can they reach their goal easily? To answer these questions, you have to have a deep understanding of the final user.
You might be able to create user-centric test cases by utilizing the specifications generated by your company’s BDD process as inspirations for the requirements analysis process.
We have discussed the definition of end-to-end testing in this article and how to implement some of the best practices in it. End-to-end testing is one of the most imperative aspects of determining an application’s user experience. It gives you more assurance about the quality of your application to test the entire user experience, not just the button or the model.