Katalon regression project is complete

Good news! My QA automation project is now complete. Well, complete in the sense that I have a full test suite to run against QA and Production. No code project is ever really complete and there is plenty more for me to work on. But, at this point, I have a fully functional project with 30 tests that cover a majority of the functionality.

I recently finished the regression suite with all the tests running together. Small adjustments were needed due to some small timing issue, and a few leftover hardcoded values I missed on my previous pass.

A few initialization scripts were also written to setup and retrieve data before the test fully got underway. The suite also did it's trial by fire, by being used in a Production smoke test for our last deployment.

I'm obviously not going to let it run completely unsupervised, but it did very well. It checked all the data points it was supposed to and verified all the elements I was concerned with. By that measure it was extremely successful.

The next step is to keep writing and refining tests. Currently, there are no "create" tests, meaning nothing new is added to the system using this code. That will be changed for a few items as we moved forward. The next big step will be to make a complete "transaction" and verify all the information on that page.

There are several smaller tests that can be added, which will be quick to write since all the framework is in place and most of the functionality is a copy and paste of work already completed.

Like previous tests I've done, I will be getting with our product owners to see what other kinds of tests would be worthwhile. What bugs or issues are we seeing that could be detected with code? Is there something customer repeatedly do or an area that needs additional coverage/attention?

At this point, the project is working well and has uncovered a few bugs and logic flaws. When you step through the site one page at a time, one item at a time, and dig into options you normally gloss over, some issues are bound to come to light. Doing this sort of work is a great way to get reacquainted with all aspects of a site.

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How to get the URL of an image/icon with Katalon

For a test I'm working on, the status of an item in a table was shown using an icon. It is a yellow triangle for warning and a green checkmark for passed. For my test, I need to know which icon is displayed and act accordingly. In order to check that, I ended up reading the URL of the icon and checking which .PNG file is displayed. Like other elements on the page, the image needs to be defined as an object.

To define the image, I created an object with this reference:


It's sort of an odd reference since the icon is in a row within a table. But in essence, the /img lets us know we are defining and img object.

To get the text or URL of the object, we need to use the GetAttribute command:

agreementSigned=WebUI.getAttribute(findTestObject('Business Locations/img-Signed Agreement', [('row') : counter]), 'src')

For the above we have the .getAttribute which looks at the definition of our img object. We define the attribute as src since we want the image source. This will return either:

https://url/check_16.png or https://url/warning16.png

We can then use contains to see which icon we have:

if (agreementSigned.contains("check_16.png")!=true){

I haven't had to use this before, but getting the answer and putting it together took longer than I would have liked, so hopefully this helps someone out.

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Automated Functional Testing

With a pretty solid framework in place, I'm starting to use my automation code for functional testing. I've been able to adapt completed test to accomplish specific goals.

For example, I recently made a new test to add new products to our system. Each product has several options that can be configured. I was able to make a test to programmatically add several hundreds new items, in multiple configurations, and get the test done in a single day.

Using what I already had, I was able to copy and paste 50% of the code as my base. I then used the standard commands already used to populate the form the way I needed.

From my testing, it took me about 30 seconds to populate the form and click the different options. The code does it in 5 seconds. That is also 30 seconds at my best. If I were to have to sit there for 4 hours straight, not only would I stare blankly into the abyss, I would make dozens of mistakes and it would take longer and longer to complete.

I let it run for about 4 hours during the test period and made hundreds of new products, each one slightly different in name and options selected. By the time is was finished, just about every combination possible had been created. That's a pretty good test run.

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The automation project continues to blossom

My automation project is coming along very nicely. While not a very good gauge of progress, lines of code is how I track what I'm doing. At this point, I have crossed over 3,000 lines of code mark.

I'm not writing gibberish, as that doesn't help me. My goal is to write tests as quickly as possible, not necessarily as efficiently as possible. I'm not a dedicated automation engineer, so if I can't write, test, debug and complete the test in a single day, I'm painting myself into a corner.

I take a piece of functionality and break it down. I have 4-5 hours to complete whatever it is I'm attempting. If it's not ready to be committed by the end of the day, I need to rethink what I'm doing. Either my task needs to be broken down further, or I'm trying to do something that is more complicated than it needs to be. I don't need to be fancy.

Yes, I may repeat blocks of code that could be more efficient. I may copy and paste several things and only change 1 or 2 objects. That refactoring will come. But, when I start, I am following the quickest path to resolution.

If it takes me two hours to put a test together by copying and pasting the same thing a dozen times, I'm fine with that. I'm not being graded by how my code looks.

There is no point in spending 10-15 hours putting a test together that only does an hours worth of work. That's not efficient from a time perspective.

If I spend 2 hours putting something together, then run it for 4 hours, and make several hundred passes, that's worth the time. I can then go back with the time I've saved and make the test more efficient.

As I've said, I go through each test several times, making adjustments and improving it. But, at each state, it's still full functional and ready to be called into service to get the job done.

It's working and saving me time, that's all I care about.

Also, once we get to the usual lulls that come along, I turn around and do the opposite with the project. I mark my progress by how much code I can take out.

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Tracking the next phase of my automation development with Project Office

I picked up Project Office in a recent BundleHunt offer. Not to be confused with Microsoft Project, part of Office, Project Office is a standalone project management tool for the Mac by DK Consulting. It looks and works in a similar fashion to MS Project, but is more streamlined, works locally, and costs far less. Nor is it subscription based.

I’ve been looking for the right set of tasks to use it with, and this automation project seems like a great candidate.

To get started, I have listed the objectives I would like to complete for this next phase. For each task, I have entered the amount of time I expect it to take.

This is a good exercise on it’s own. I listed out the individual tasks, and broke down several other topics into their components.

Here are a couple of examples of what needs to be completed.

I need to create Execution Profiles
– QA
– Prod
Custom Keywords need to be implemented
Check for errors on the page
– Result table is visible
– Search box is available not be used
– Page has not timed out
– Check that a search has results
Find QA and Production data
Create QA Test Suite
Create Prod Test Suite

Now that I had my task list, tasks were reordered and connected in a meaningful way. I need the QA data before I can add it to the execution profile. The Custom Keywords need to be in place before I can call them and use them to check for errors on the page.

Now I really feel like I have a solid plan and a good overview for the scope of work in the next phase of development. I can now approach this as a series of 1 week sprints. And the end of each week, I should have a tangible amount of work completed moving me toward a complete test suite.

The reason this is being done in Project Office, is that although this is fully supported by my company, there are no Jira tickets or any other stories to support and outline the work I am doing. It is up to my discretion as to what tests I create, how long they take and when I work on them.

I could enter my own tickets to track time, but that doesn’t create a project timeline. Project Office is for my own project management benefit. It can certainly be used to show what I have been working on, how long it took, and be used as a gauge for how long the next automation project might take.

To that end, I should have a functional test suite ready to use for the next deployment in roughly 30 days. This may move because writing automation is not my primary job. We are doing development sprints for the site, so manual testing comes first.

However, by the end of May, I should have a fully functional test suite.


Project Office at DK Consulting

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