Automation is quite a prevalent form of testing. But why this concept of partial automation, what is its significance? In software testing, it may sometimes be not possible to achieve the desired results through complete automation. One may have to resort to manual testing of the application, or the meaning of partial automation extends to automating only few parts of the application. Test automation tools help to automate repetitive tasks such as product installation, test data creation, GUI interaction, problem detection, defect logging etc. This activity helps testers to focus on some of the important parts that are worth consideration by saving investment of human efforts.
There may be situations where a tool may pose certain limitations due to which it may be difficult to carry out testing. Some of the cases are :
Let us consider the idea of human intervention in the process of testing. Sometimes the results produced by automation tools, need to be reviewed manually to examine its accuracy. For example an automation tool can test the outcome of a specific test scenario but to what extent it has is valid or accurate is a question to be addressed. A human mind is capable of analysing from different dimensions. He can apply his ideas and add variations. So we get a blend of both automation and manual testing methods, that offer advantage from both these approaches. The concept of partial test automation comes into the picture in the context of those tasks that are error-prone and a little complicated, such as setting up the test environment or collection of test results. Partial automation helps to sharpen human skills/capabilities of the testers allowing them to uncover facts that might otherwise be difficult to unravel. So the amalgamation of both techniques – automation and manual, are a great way to achieve the results in an efficient way.
The various approaches to software testing offer a way to add much needed sophistication that is required in the current day scenario. Applying the right strategy in the right form is the need of the hour.