For project managers facing the challenge of ensuring maximum project quality while accelerating the development process, the adoption of QA automation is one of the most effective strategies to achieve these goals in QA testing. In our blog article, we address your questions regarding software quality assurance.

In software development, especially in eCommerce, QA teams continually work on developing quality standards and procedures to ensure the maximum quality of the deployed software. In most eCommerce projects, manual tests are employed in quality assurance. Testers manually examine every aspect of the software and subsequently document the results. However, in a world where the speed and complexity of development are constantly increasing, manual testing can be time-consuming and error-prone, potentially leading to resource bottlenecks. This is where testautomation comes into play. Testautomation is an approach where IT teams use software tools and scripts to automatically execute repeatable test cases. This not only results in significant time savings but also enhances the reliability and consistency of the tests.

For project managers facing the challenge of ensuring maximum project quality while accelerating the development process, the adoption of QA automation is one of the most effective strategies to achieve these goals in QA testing. In our blog article, we address your questions regarding software quality assurance. We cover topics such as what testautomation is, provide guidance for your own project in the form of the Test Pyramid and criteria for testautomation implementation, and delve into specific test procedures like GUI testautomation, unit tests, and more.


  • 1. Manual Testing vs. Automated Testing
  • 2. What is Testautomation?
    • 2.1 Tasks of Testautomation
    • 2.2 Advantages of Testautomation
    • 2.3 Criteria for the Implementation of Testautomation
  • 3. Types of Testautomation
    • The Test Pyramid
    • 3.1 GUI-Level Testautomation
    • 3.2 API Interface Tests
    • 3.3 Unit Tests
  • 4. Testautomation KPIs
  • 5. Testautomation Software
    • 5.1 Selenium
    • 5.2 Cypress
    • 5.3 Robot Framework
  • 6. Conclusion

1. Manual testing vs. automated testing

Does manual testing actually have advantages over testautomation? To answer this question, let's take a closer look at how our QA teams operate. In manual testing, testers execute test cases "manually." This means they use the software like end-users to identify errors. In an iterative process, the QA team collaborates with developers to review and address the identified issues. Finally, the tests are conducted again to ensure that the corrections are effective and do not introduce any new problems.

[Translate to Englisch:] Grafik Manuelles vs. Automatisiertes Testen

Software quality assurance can encompass functionality tests, user interface tests, performance tests, and more. During manual QA processes, QA teams must pay particular attention to accuracy, as manual testing is prone to errors. Common sources of errors in manual testing include overlooking edge cases, insufficient test coverage, and the absence of a clear test strategy.

In this phase of quality assurance, human expertise is crucial, as testers primarily rely on intuition and experience to uncover unexpected behaviors and potential weaknesses in the software. Due to the increased risks associated with manual testing, testautomation can be the right solution to enhance efficiency and accuracy in quality assurance.

2. What is testautomation

But what is testautomation, and does it inherently work better than QA testing without automation? In the testautomation of our QA processes, QA teams use specialized software tools and frameworks to execute test cases automatically. Instead of repeatedly testing manually, processes are established that can run independently and only need to be adjusted and monitored by humans. So far, so logical. The benefits? Testautomation can accelerate the development process while positively impacting project quality. To achieve this, it is best to divide the tasks of QA teams into individual areas, address them individually, and assess their respective successes.

2.1 Tasks in testautomation

Test Planning: Test planning is a crucial step and forms the foundation for quality assurance. In this phase, the QA team establishes the strategy and scope of the tests, determining which functionalities are to be tested and which test methods are to be applied.

Test Specification Creation: Test specifications are detailed documents that precisely outline how a specific test is to be conducted. They include information about the aspect of the system to be tested, the test data to be used, and the criteria for test success.





Review Processes: In this step, the code or design is reviewed by developers or QA experts. This includes peer reviews, code reviews, or design reviews with the aim of proactively identifying errors, deviations from standards, or opportunities for improvement.

Test Execution in the form of multi-stage tests (Integration Test, System Test, Acceptance Test): Integration tests examine the collaboration of various system components, while system tests test the entire system in a production-like environment. Acceptance tests confirm that the system meets the requirements of end-users.

Establishment of Regression and Acceptance Tests: These tests are crucial to ensure that new software changes do not introduce additional errors and that the system meets the specified requirements. They are often automated to ensure efficiency and repeatability.

Introduction and Maintenance of Test Automation Procedures - Cyclical: The QA team implements and maintains test automation tools and procedures. This is a cyclical process that requires adjustments and expansions of test workflows with each new software version or feature release to consistently maintain and improve quality.

2.2 Advantages of testautomation

That automated QA testing brings advantages over manual testing should now be clear. However, the benefits of testautomation can vary depending on the application area:

  1. Efficiency: Testautomation works, as the name suggests, automatically and is thus independent of manual processes and schedules. This allows the QA team to conduct more tests in a shorter time.

  2. Reliability: It reduces the risk of human errors and ensures precise and consistent test results across multiple test cycles.

  3. Repeatability: Automated tests can be easily repeated as often as necessary, making them particularly useful for regression tests to ensure that new changes do not impact existing functionality.

  4. Scalability: They can be easily adapted to effectively test large and complex systems, which is particularly valuable in the dynamic environment of eCommerce.

In summary, in the context of eCommerce, both QA in general and testautomation, in particular, contribute to ensuring the quality of your website or app, strengthening its security, minimizing errors, and ultimately guaranteeing a seamless and satisfying customer experience. They support the flawless functioning of features such as product listings, shopping carts, checkout processes, payment systems, and much more. Establishing a functioning QA testing process is a step in the right direction, and implementing QA automation takes it a step further. But, is automated software quality assurance suitable for your project?

2.3 Criteria for using testautomation

Tests should not only save time but also money. Unfortunately, even testautomation is not a self-runner. Therefore, you need to consider a set of criteria to effectively support your eCommerce projects. Due to the growing complexity of IT systems, projects should initially be tested to determine whether QA automation is feasible. To check the criteria for the use of testautomation, a Proof of Concept (POC), which is an initial demonstration of feasibility, can be helpful.

The Test Object: The software or application (abbreviated as the test object) for which testautomation is considered undergoes constant changes. The reasons for this vary depending on the project. Continuous development is one of them, changes in the environment, such as new operating system versions or updated versions of components like databases and web servers, are others. Also, the ongoing adjustments to your own data must be taken into account as they influence the behavior of the software. Examples include price changes in online shops or updates to user data that directly affect test results. The test object must be clearly defined, and the team must be informed about adjustments so that they can assess the challenges.

Test Data and Tests: The test data used in test cases must be clearly separated from the executed test routines to ensure best practices in testautomation. This clear separation not only facilitates the updating of data during changes but also simplifies the verification of the relevance of specific data, such as login credentials. Additionally, it makes transparent which data is specifically used for the tests. Many test systems offer default solutions based on files or databases to enable this separation. The initial effort to set up this structure is a worthwhile investment as it significantly simplifies the handling of subsequent data changes.

Standards: Working with external source code underscores the need to establish consistent standards for the code. This applies to code obtained externally as well as internally developed by your team. As the developers' capabilities hopefully evolve continuously throughout the project, the quality of their code also improves. Early establishment of standards in the project or team ensures consistent notation and thus promotes clear communication. Many integrated development environments (IDEs) offer solutions or plugins that support automated checking of compliance with these standards, contributing to efficiency improvement and consistency of the codebase.

3. Types of testautomation

[Translate to Englisch:] Test Pyramide

Depending on the application area and goals, different types of testautomation are suitable. They are typically categorized into three types – System Tests, Integration Tests, and Unit Tests. The Test Pyramid is helpful in evaluating their respective use.

Roadmap/State of the Art = Testautomation

  • GUI-Level - Graphical User Interface (QA)
  • API Interfaces (Dev/QA)
  • Unit Tests (Developers)

The Test Pyramid:

The Test Pyramid is a concept that visualizes the optimal distribution of various types of software tests, ranging from the broad base of Unit Tests to the peaks of GUI Tests. As you ascend the pyramid, both execution time and costs generally increase. Simply put, System Tests correspond to GUI Tests, and Integration Tests correspond to API Tests. Unit Tests are the most fundamental and cost-effective form of testing.

3.1 GUI-Level Test Automation (QA):

These tests occur on the graphical user interface (GUI) and simulate user behavior to verify if the system functions as intended. GUI tests, which can be performed both manually and automatically, not only check functionality but also the visual appearance of the application.

3.2 API Interface Tests (Dev/QA):

API tests verify the functionality of application programming interfaces and are crucial for the backend of an application. They ensure that APIs respond as expected and integrate correctly into the overall system, which is essential for business logic and data management.

3.3 Unit Tests (Developers):

Unit tests target the smallest units of code, checking if functions or methods work as intended. They are a central part of continuous integration in the development process and are often automated to enable constant code validation.

Regardless of which test is suitable for your project, to evaluate whether they are set up correctly and functioning properly, KPIs for test automation should be defined in a collaborative workshop at the beginning of the project.

4. Testautomation KPIs

Which KPIs can be defined? To establish and maintain quality standards, a shared understanding of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of testautomation is crucial. This means clear reporting, such as tables, charts, and statistics, must be provided to demonstrate the progress and success of testing efforts. For testautomation, it is particularly important that such reporting processes are considered from the outset of setting up test workflows because automating these processes can additionally save money and time. So, what reports should project managers request?

[Translate to Englisch:] KPIs Testautomatisierung

1. Number of Test Cases: The total number of created and executed test cases can be an indicator of the extent of quality assurance efforts.

2. Percentage of Passed Tests: The percentage of successfully completed test cases relative to the total number of executed test cases can provide an indication of the quality of the tested software.

3. Code Coverage: The percentage of code covered by test cases. A higher code coverage indicates more comprehensive quality assurance.

4. Percentage of Automated Tests: Measures the proportion of test cases that are automated. A higher automation rate may indicate improved efficiency and consistency in quality assurance.

5. Number of Regressions: Measures how often previously fixed issues reoccur. A low number of regressions indicates that the QA team is effectively working to ensure that issues are permanently resolved.

6. Number of Open Defects: A KPI that provides an overview of the number of defects yet to be addressed. This number should decrease over time, indicating continuous improvement in software quality.

5. Testautomation Software

There is no one-size-fits-all software for testautomation. Depending on the use case, it should be individually determined which one is suitable. But if you are looking for testautomation software, an initial overview can still be helpful.

5.1 Selenium: Selenium is a very popular open-source framework for automated testing of web applications. It supports various programming languages such as Java, C#, Python, and Ruby, allowing tests to be executed across multiple browsers and operating systems.

Advantages of Selenium:

Versatility: Selenium supports a variety of browsers, operating systems, and programming languages. Community Support: Being an open-source framework, it has a large active community and many resources for help and support. Flexibility: Selenium allows testing complex scenarios and provides multiple ways to locate elements.

5.2 Cypress: Cypress is a modern testautomation framework specifically designed for modern web applications. It enables end-to-end, integration, and unit tests in a single framework.

Advantages of Cypress:

Simplicity: Cypress is easier to install and configure than many other tools, offering a clear and intuitive API. Real-time Reloading: Tests are automatically reloaded and executed when changes are made to the test code. Debugging: With its ability to 'freeze' the state of a test at a specific moment and its good integration with DevTools, Cypress is a powerful debugging tool.

5.3 Robot Framework: Robot Framework is a generic open-source automation framework for acceptance testing and acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). It uses keyword-driven, data-driven, and behavior-driven approaches and is written in Python.

Advantages of Robot Framework:

Simplicity: It has a simple, table-driven syntax that is easy for non-programmers to learn and use. Reusability: With its keyword-driven approach, it allows code reuse and facilitates maintenance. Plugin Architecture: It offers a plugin architecture that allows extending functionality through libraries and tools.

6. Conclusion

In the dynamic world of eCommerce, the ability to rapidly and reliably deliver high-quality software is not just a competitive advantage but a necessity. Test automation plays a crucial role in this: it not only enhances the efficiency and reliability of software development but also contributes to reducing time-to-market and increasing customer satisfaction. The implementation of thoughtful test automation is complex and requires experienced professionals who not only master the tools but can also develop a strategy tailored to the specific needs of each customer.

[Translate to Englisch:] QA Automation

If you are looking for robust quality assurance to elevate your product to the next level, it is advisable to turn to experts. The experience and expertise of Smart Commerce QA professionals enable us to provide tailored QA solutions that ensure the quality and performance of your eCommerce applications. If you have any questions regarding QA & Test Automation, feel free to reach out to us personally, and we will be happy to assist you! If you want to learn more about QA & Test Automation or gain insights into our projects in this field, feel free to download our whitepaper on the topic!


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[Translate to Englisch:] Smart Commerce QA Engineer Robin Reiche

About our author:

Robin Reiche is an experienced QA Engineer with over 13 years of expertise. He has been working as a QA Engineer at Smart Commerce for 5 years and leads the company's QA Guild. In his role as a QA Engineer, Robin is characterized by extensive expertise in test automation using tools such as Cypress. The application of Browserstack and Xray expands Robin's capabilities to test in diverse environments.

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