Action Based Testing (ABT) is based on the importance of test design to drive automation success. It uses uses a modular keyword-driven approach, which means that tests are organized in “test modules” and built of sequences of “actions”—each consisting of an action name (keyword) and zero or more arguments. In our TestArchitect tool we define these in a spreadsheet-like format that is easy to work with. Test modules can contain multiple test cases that need to fit into the scope of that particular module. The test cases can form a narrative in which each test case can set up the preconditions for the next one.
A major contributor to success in test automation is test design. If tests have many unnecessary detailed steps and checks, even a skilled automation engineer will not be able to make the automation efficient and maintainable.
In his latest TechWell column, Hans Buwalda discusses multi-station testing with actions, in particular using the “lead-deputy model.” In this model, a lead machine is responsible for most of the UI interaction of a test, but will also assign commands to the one or more “deputy” machines. The “deputy” machines work like normal test machines and are able to interpret and execute actions. They can work in sync with the lead machine, or in parallel.
“A clever automation engineer alone is not enough to fix a situation where tests are not well designed.”