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Enabling continuous testing for an E-commerce application using Selenium hybrid framework

Introduction:

E-commerce applications need to be active at all times to meet the needs of increasingly demanding customers. This means that the software development process for such applications has to be able to handle constant change and churn in a timely manner. One of the biggest challenges in continuously delivering quality software is ensuring that the testing process can keep up with the pace of development. This is where automation tools come in. 

Though there are hundreds of commercial and open source automation platforms are available in the market today, In this article, we are going to discuss how a selenium based hybrid framework can be used to enable continuous testing  in the development and maintenance of an e-commerce application. 

Common challenges in testing an E-commerce application  

Web applications are under immense pressure to offer a streamlined and satisfying digital customer experience while ensuring the quality of their product. In order to achieve this, they must use shift-left and enable continuous testing throughout the software development life-cycle. However, this is easier said than done. Many e-commerce applications are complex, with a hybrid architecture that consists of both legacy and modern components. This can make it difficult to set up a continuous testing framework that covers the entire application. 

Considering hybrid selenium based framework 

A typical hybrid framework is a combination of both Data-Driven and Key-word driven framework that has been built on top of selenium. Selenium is an open-source popular web-based automation tool. It supports popular browsers like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, works on all major OS and its scripts are written in various languages i.e. Java, Python, JavaScript, C#. This framework is basically code structure that makes code maintenance easy and efficient. Using hybrid framework leads to increased code reusability, higher portability, reduced cost of script maintenance, and better code readability. It is based on the principle of shift-left testing, which means that tests are run as early as possible in the software development process. 

Why hybrid framework is necessary for e-commerce applications? 

Hybrid framework is particularly well-suited for testing web applications built using the Selenium tool and available for use with a number of popular Continuous Integration (CI) tools, such as Jenkins. Enables Continuous testing for e-commerce applications. It helps to ensure the quality of the product, prevent production issues, and reduce the need for regression testing. By using it, e-commerce organizations can easily set up a continuous testing framework that covers the entire application. 

A hybrid framework allows testers to choose the most appropriate tools and techniques for different testing tasks. This can be particularly useful for e-commerce applications, which may have a wide range of features and functionalities that need to be tested and can help reduce the time & effort required to test the application that need to be released on tight timelines. 

Steps to enable hybrid framework for continuous testing of an e-commerce applications: 

Set up a continuous integration (CI) server: A CI server is a tool that automatically builds and tests your application every time you push code changes to version control. This helps you catch bugs and other issues early in the development process. 

Choose a testing framework: There are various testing frameworks available for different programming languages. Some popular options include JUnit for Java, PyTest for Python and Mocha for JavaScript. Choose a framework that is well-suited to your application and the language you are using. 

Write test cases: Test cases are the individual tests that your testing framework will run. They should cover a range of scenarios and test the different features of your application. You should aim to have a good balance of unit tests, which test individual components of your application, and integration tests, which test how those components work together. 

Set up test automation: Once you have written your test cases, you can automate them using your CI server. This means that every time you push code changes, the CI server will run your tests automatically to ensure that the code is working as expected. 

Monitor test results: As your tests run, you should monitor the results to see which tests are passing and which are failing. This will help you to identify any issues with your code and fix them quickly. 

By following these steps, you can set up a hybrid framework for continuous testing of e-commerce applications and ensure that it is working correctly. 

Some more additional points: 

  • Framework was designed to accelerate the test automation. 
  • Most importantly, you need to develop a test plan that identifies the key functionalities of the e-commerce application that need to be tested continuously. These could include checkout, payment processing, order tracking, and user account management, among others. Additionally, it should map the testing resources so that the framework can be utilized efficiently. 
  • Create positive and negative test scenarios with multiple test data to obtain maximum coverage. 
  • With framework one can complete tests faster, which is essential in a field where customers need top-notch software that runs quickly. 
  • It helps in implementing Continuous Integration (such as Jenkins) to check the build quality as soon as any change is made to the code. 
  • Jenkins keeps track of results and displays them as a trend graph. This provides a clearer picture of how previous tests have performed. 
  • Using framework, you can set up to automatically record results and share them with the team once tests are completed. 
  • It ensures the tests are executed more consistently by automated tests. 
  • Regularly review and update the testing process to ensure that it is effective and efficient. 

However, some e-commerce web applications can be difficult to automate due to their dynamic nature. They change their content and functionality based on the user’s actions, so it’s hard to test them in the same way you would do for traditional web pages or apps. 

There are several challenges involved in automating dynamic web applications. Some challenges include: 

  • Identifying the elements on the page 
  • Navigation across pages 
  • Form submission 
  • Handling popup windows 
  • Waiting for page elements to load 
  • Identifying the correct URL to test 
  • Accessing data stored in cookies 

Dynamic web applications are a special breed of web apps and they are a great way to deliver content and interactivity to users, but they also come with a set of challenges.  

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re working on an app that uses dynamic content:

  • Don’t use traditional testing methods when testing dynamic content. Traditional approaches often don’t work well with dynamic web apps, because they rely on the static nature of static websites to provide a stable base for testing.
  • Make sure your tests are written in terms of what the user can do rather than what the server can do—you want to test how well your app works as opposed to how it works with other parts of the system (like databases).
  • Create a new type of resource that can help solve these problems. A resource would be an object containing all the information about how a dynamic web app should behave, including when it should be loaded and what information it should provide when it loads.  

Benefits of using a hybrid framework with selenium: 

Increased test coverage: A hybrid framework allows developers to test the application from different angles and increase the overall test coverage. 

Reusability: A hybrid framework allows developers to reuse test scripts and reduce the time and effort required for testing. 

Improved maintainability: A hybrid framework allows developers to easily maintain and update test scripts as the application evolves. 

Enhanced flexibility: A hybrid framework provides the flexibility to choose the most suitable approach for a given situation, ensuring that the tests are effective and efficient. 

Integration: Automation framework is in such a way that it is easy to integrate with other applications. Easy integration for CI/CD pipelines allows running Selenium tests in Jenkins and other CI/CD pipelines. 

Conclusion: 

Eliminates post-production defects. Continuous integration and continuous deployment with test automation helps to identify errors and bottlenecks in product early in the development lifecycle (Shift-Left).With framework (Re-usable methods), QA team can reduce Automation effort. Helps reducing overall testing costs & improve the project’s quality while QA automation engineers develop, maintain and optimize automated testing as well as achieve quick regression cycles using automation test suites. With the incorporation of automated testing, more e-commerce sites can maximize their potential.       

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