As software products increase in complexity and as workloads also increase, automated testing becomes a highly recommended part of the development cycle. By subjecting software to a series of prolonged tests that check for integrity, error handling, and bugs, developers can identify more bugs faster, without labor-intensive processes.
Automated testing by itself is no guarantee of a successful testing process. After all, the introduction of testing scripts produces a whole new requirement for internal development and tracking. When implementing automated testing, the scripts used must be written and documented just as the application being tested so that team members can understand what the scripts are doing and why some bugs are overlooked.
The extra work required to produce well written and well documented test scripts is usually worth the work saved and the efficiencies gained over manual testing, especially when a project is in its preliminary stages. Automation can make sure that all tests are done the same way and that no important steps are left out while freeing up valuable personnel for productive work.
Most organizations should attempt to progressively automate software testing rather than attempting to implement automation in a single step. With written scripts, every step can be evaluated manually before becoming part of the automated process. Additionally, test automation software Borland's Silk products should be considered to help develop thorough routines.