When developing a modern web service, you need to be confident in its quality and stability. That’s why you will additionally require web services automation testing, which will cover the project’s essential requirements and allow you to release a bug-free product on time.
According to Market Research Future forecasts, by 2032, the market value of QA services will reach $68.9 billion, with a CAGR of 9.9%.
These figures indicate a demand for testing and automation services for all digital solutions among CEOs, developers, and project stakeholders.
The experts at ZappleTech have prepared material about the nuances of QA in web development and how to find and hire effective performers for this task.
Table of Contents
Nuances of Web Services Automation Testing
Generally, the QA process for this type of project differs somewhat from, for example, testing exclusively native mobile apps. The reason for this is the cross-platform nature of IT solutions and their dependence on the technical peculiarities of various browsers, including:
As well as a wide range of technical characteristics of mobile devices based on iOS and Android.
Due to the increased number of operations in such projects, comprehensive automated testing is required. It allows parallel testing on multiple iterations and platforms.
Challenges Arising During Automation
Due to the increased workloads, QA professionals encounter several challenges that can be mitigated. However, this is only the case when the team fully understands the project’s specifics and has experience with similar IT solutions.
Common challenges include:
- Parallelizing tests
- Prioritizing automation
- Selecting efficient technical tools
Let’s delve deeper into the last two.
Relevance of Test Coverage for Project Components
Not all elements of the project need to be automated during testing. It’s essential to focus on critical aspects, such as UI, API, performance, component loading accuracy, and more.
You can also automate less critical elements, especially when you have already completed the main part of the work.Mykhailo PoliarushCEO, ZappleTech Inc.
If you attempt to verify everything at once, you’ll face reduced efficiency and, as a result, mediocre IT product quality.
Selection of Tools and Technologies
The effectiveness, speed, and comprehensiveness of web services automation testing depend on the tools used. Working on the project requires specific instruments like Selenium, Jmeter, and Postman, which enable the team to address various tasks.
Additionally, the team needs a high-quality cloud testing environment that supports emulation of different software environments. This is the only way you can save time and resources by running parallel testing algorithms for various platforms.
However, this is only relevant if automation testing is genuinely needed.
In Which Cases Is Web Services Automation Testing Necessary?
The critical advantage of QA automation is its multitasking and multithreading capabilities. In other words, the more testing needs you have in your project, the more effective web services automation testing will be.
For example, suppose you are developing a digital product simultaneously for multiple platforms, such as a web version and cross-platform apps for iOS and Android. In that case, you will face a large number of tasks. In this case, you will need to solve them simultaneously to minimize production downtime, implement IT solutions on time, and ensure the proper quality.
This leads to three key criteria for when you definitely need web services automation testing.
Multifunctionality and broad functionality are the first reasons to automate QA. Only this way can you check all critical functions, minimize the influence of human error, and release a fully functional product to the market on time, especially for cross-platform development.
This is all thanks to the capabilities of automation, such as simultaneous parallel checking of different product iterations in independent test environments with emulators of physical devices and digital systems.
Large Number of Repetitive Tasks
Automation is essential to reduce time and effort for repetitive tasks and to check for program command processing correctness across various iterations, multiple modules, or the entire system.
You can do this manually, but the time and resources required for checks will significantly increase, and efficiency decrease.
The third reason is the number of specialists required for the project. In the case of web services automation testing, you will need a small team of engineers who will automate a significant amount of work in less time.
On the other hand, for manual QA, you will need more executioners and time, which could be used for achieving other project goals. However, this is not always a valid statement, as there are certain types of development where automation is not needed for all tasks.
When Can You Do Without Web Services Automation Testing?
Complete QA automation is not always economically feasible. This primarily concerns small projects with a limited set of functions and no critical components (e.g., payment gateways, etc.). However, this does not mean that automation is not needed at all; it’s just that its scope will be significantly smaller in practice.
For example, it’s practical to apply automation for testing compatibility with a defined list of devices in cross-platform apps. However, testing each function may be easier to do manually. This primarily applies to small projects.
The smaller the scale of development, the less QA automation it requires. For example, the basic functionality is tested manually in the main iteration, while compatibility is automatically tested in the cloud. This is an optimal model that allows you to work within limited resources and budgets, covering critical project needs and tasks.
If the application does not handle sensitive data and the program’s functions are not critical, web services automation testing may not be necessary, particularly for small-scale products. However, completely abandoning web services automation testing will lead to additional costs, as you will need a slightly larger QA team to perform complex tasks comprehensively.
No Need for Continuous Component Checks
If your project does not include dynamic components that require constant checks between iterations, you can do without manual QA for such components. However, automation is still beneficial for compatibility and performance testing, as it speeds up the QA process and reduces risks.
However, even in web services automation testing, things may not always work as expected, creating additional problems for both the development team and the QA provider.
Reasons Why Web Services Automation Testing May Not Be Effective
Even at ZappleTech, we sometimes hear clients talking about the ineffectiveness of automation. When looking into this issue, we often conclude that our client had previously ordered AQA for their projects and didn’t achieve the expected results.
Such situations are possible, but they are relatively rare and are typically the result of the provider’s incompetence in automation nuances.
Here are some typical examples of incorrect actions that can make automation harmful to a project:
Incorrect Strategy and Architecture
The first and most crucial issue is a faulty strategy and automation architecture. This means attempting to automate everything at once in a single test environment using a “universal” tool. Alternatively, the concept was based on non-critical priorities, focusing on secondary goals.
It is essential to define a clear project focus and ensure that all development team members adhere to it.
Lack of Experience in the Project Type
The second problem is trying to apply experience from other industries to the current project segment. From a technical standpoint, automation doesn’t differ significantly, but the concept is individual for each specific segment.
For example, if you are developing a project for financial services, the experience of a contractor in Real Estate would be at least illogical. The same goes for the gaming industry and other sectors.
Attempts to automate everything using resources like Selenium or any other framework in advance are often unsuccessful. Also, applying tools not designed for specific automation operations is a mistake.
A properly chosen and configured toolkit will allow you to achieve quality results throughout the development and testing of your digital product.
However, deploying frameworks and implementing a QA strategy is not enough. It’s also essential to measure the effectiveness of processes.
Evaluating the Success of Web Services Automation Testing
To understand how effective your QA project is, you need to establish a set of metrics, continuously monitor performance, and react promptly to risks. This is a general recommendation that will help you streamline seamless processes and communication between development and QA departments.
In the end, you’ll not only be able to assess the quality of the services provided but also the overall state of the project based on its technical component, documentation, and more.
ZappleTech experts have prepared five tips to help you optimize processes, track risks, and enhance the overall product quality through proper QA team management:
Setting Realistic KPIs
It’s impossible to “check everything and eliminate all bugs 100%” within the limited project timeframe, which usually lasts 6 to 12 months. Therefore, the first advice is to set realistic goals that your provider can achieve approximately within one sprint.
This optimizes the workload on the team and leads to better results compared to situations where providers work at the edge of their capabilities.
Implement a risk management system. This is an effective practice that not only helps with web services automation testing but also with other development processes, business operations, and more. Active monitoring ensures product status, team health, and compliance.
Risk management helps identify potential issues in advance and respond to them according to predefined templates. While it doesn’t eliminate all challenges, it minimizes their impact.
Clear testing priorities must be established within the QA project. Critical functionality that is crucial for the operation of the digital product should be prioritized. Focus should be directed toward these aspects to avoid having a perfect and smooth interface with non-working features.
This focus should be maintained throughout the development cycle, both by the project’s immediate execution team and by higher-level stakeholders.
Continuous Process Monitoring
Monitor everything; don’t just review periodic reports from a team leader. This is necessary for you to have a real understanding of the current state of affairs, challenges, and project issues. Your interest in the results is an additional motivator for the QA team, ultimately enhancing productivity and efficiency.
This is also important for you as the product owner since it will provide you with a better understanding of the work’s essence and equip you with new management skills that will be useful in the future.
Comparing Results with QA Project Goals
After completing each project phase, compare the results with the project’s expectations and goals. Ensure that the focus remains consistent and that critical bugs do not migrate uncontrollably between iterations.
Missing a critical bug at an early stage can turn into a significant problem, potentially leading to financial and reputational losses.Mikhail BodnarchukCDO, ZappleTech Inc.
You need a dedicated and expert team to effectively streamline internal processes and QA.
Criteria for Building a QA Team for Web Services Automation Testing
You can either hire a dedicated QA team, assemble it from freelancers, or create your own team based on your staff. However, you need to consider several nuances to acquire valuable professionals for your IT product’s automation testing.
Since the criteria for selection are generally the same for all collaboration models, ZappleTech experts have provided advice on team formation. Use them to gather a highly professional team capable of addressing any QA challenges in your project.
Select professionals who have worked on projects within your industry. This will reduce onboarding time, integrate the team members into your project, and familiarize them with the specific work requirements. You can learn about their experience through various means:
- Do questionnaire.
- Ask questions during direct communication.
- Review their portfolio.
If the potential contractor has their website and profiles on rating portals, this is also an excellent opportunity to assess their knowledge of service providers.
The next criterion is the specialists’ skills. This depends on your budget and project requirements. You can easily hire Senior-level experts, including Full Stack QA, but is it cost-effective?
For 99% of projects, having a few Middle-level testers and, one or two automation engineers, an architect, and a team leader is sufficient. The key is that they have experience working in your industry, use the necessary project tools, and have excellent self-organization.
Financial incentives are not always the primary motivator for effective work by QA professionals. Equally important is your enthusiasm as the product owner, the presence of a clear focus, project goals, and priorities.
Communicate the position, concept, and value of the IT product to providers of web services automation testing to demonstrate the importance of their work. Introduce a system of initiatives and bonuses, even if they are formal, as a reward for subcontractors’ efforts.
Avoid creating overly large or small teams. Evaluate the project’s scope realistically, communicate with the IT department, and determine specializations and the number of team members covering the development and testing QA needs.
It is best to consult with a company representative that provides the relevant services and jointly determine the team’s composition and size. This is an optimal way to balance the budget expenses and the quality of your project’s automation testing.
Don’t forget to also consider the technical aspect of QA, consulting with experts, or following the advice in this material.
Choice and Integration of Tech Tools
Most QA service providers have an established set of tools. Even if you insist on your framework, they will likely present a thousand and one arguments for why their technical foundation is more efficient. We at ZappleTech agree with this stance, as we have also developed our own set of tools that actively enhance our clients’ digital products.
However, you should have a rough idea of which tools your project needs to avoid potential complications during testing.
Defining the Project’s Primary Needs
You need to clearly define the concept of the final iteration of your IT product and prioritize testing based on it. For example, if the key feature of your digital solution is fund transfers, the following areas will be the top priorities:
- Security, such as encryption algorithms and KYC policies.
- APIs for exchanging payment data with banks.
- Connection stability with the operational server.
- GUI and UX, their usability, and efficiency.
- Compatibility with platforms and native functions.
These priorities should serve as a guideline for service providers.
Choosing Relevant Frameworks
The toolkit depends on the testing areas that are critically important to automate. From our own experience, we can provide examples:
- Selenium – regression, functionality, modules, system.
- Postman – API.
- TestCafe – UI.
- JMeter – load, stability, performance.
- Cypress – End to End.
- TestComplete – cross-platform, web.
These positions may change depending on the scope of work and QA experts’ preferences. Therefore, the provided list is not definitive and may change as needed.Sergey AlmyashevCOO, ZappleTech Inc.
Setting Up the Testing Environment and Synchronization with CI/CD Tools
Regardless of who provides web services automation testing, it is essential to synchronize their work with the rest of the departments, such as through Jenkins or GitLab. It is also necessary to establish continuous communication between teams and monitor the processes. This applies not only to outsourced subcontractors but also to in-house executives.
Advantages and Disadvantages of In-House QA
This hiring model has strengths and weaknesses that directly affect the quality of your project’s testing. Therefore, let’s take a closer look at them.
The strengths of in-house experts include:
- Team loyalty.
- Understanding the project’s specifics.
- Full control over processes.
Let’s delve into what each point means in practical terms.
In-house experts are familiar with the industry, the company’s activities, its values, projects, and the audience. Therefore, they focus on the critical needs of the digital product.
Interest in Results
The success of the project determines the experts’ salaries, their job security, and their career growth potential. As a result, in-house experts are the most loyal and responsible QA project performers.
With favorable conditions for specialists, the likelihood of them leaving the company during the project’s work is minimal. This ensures the development will be completed on time and the product’s quality will be high.
This hiring model has only two disadvantages: financial issues and expertise. In-house teams can be a budget burden for SMBs or startups. Additionally, industry expertise partly compensates for the lack of knowledge in other segments.
When specialists work exclusively in one field for years, they develop their skills only within that area. They will need some time to adapt to new types of projects.
Hiring in-house experts involves additional costs for equipment, training, office space rental, logistics, and more. In financial terms, it is disadvantageous for companies with a limited budget.
In contrast, outsourcing is a more flexible and cost-effective model.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourced Web Services Automation Testing
Working with external experts is financially and practically attractive. It allows you to execute multiple projects without burdening the company with excessive costs. However, this model has its drawbacks, which we will discuss further.
The financial aspect is predominant in the outsourcing model. Nevertheless, there are additional benefits for the company, such as rapidly expanding teams or selecting highly specialized experts to work on any project.
Flexible Cost of Services
Outsourcing offers several pricing models to choose from, with the most common being “Time and Materials.” This means you only pay for the work done without additional costs for maintaining an in-house team.
Access to Various Talents
You can hire experts with the specific profiles necessary for the quality execution of a particular project. They possess knowledge of the required tools, industry expertise, and specific needs.
You can increase or decrease the number of engaged professionals at any time, depending on the project’s current needs. The service provider handles integration and adaptation.
Outsourcing is not a panacea in the broadest sense of the word. Like other models, it also has a range of disadvantages that can negatively impact your product’s quality. However, these issues can be relatively easily mitigated with proper management.
Challenges in Organization
Remote work inherently presents challenges in establishing seamless processes. It is relatively challenging to control a subcontractor’s activities and synchronize them with the operations of other departments.
Sensitive information, such as corporate, payment, or customer data, can be stolen or intercepted by malicious actors. This potentially leads to reputation and financial losses, as well as a decrease in customers’ trust.
These disadvantages can be effectively mitigated, making outsourcing an almost ideal model for web services automation testing.
Reasons Why Outsourcing Is More Beneficial Than In-House QA
There are countless arguments for and against outsourcing, but in practice, this cooperation model is the most common in the IT market. According to Statista analysts’ forecasts, the total revenue of IT outsourcing can reach $777.7 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 11.07%. This indicates a high demand for this model of services.
And not without reason, as outsourcing offers several significant advantages.
Broad Industry Coverage
More or less serious providers offer expert services for all relevant industries, project types, and scales. For example, at ZappleTech, you can hire test automation engineers of any specialization.
To expand your team in the outsourcing model, you only need to contact the provider’s manager and specify the number of professionals and profiles required for your project. Recruitment will occur within a few days from the application submission.
No Additional Costs
The subcontractor’s team meets its equipment, office space, and technology needs independently. As a client, you only pay for the services provided, the time spent by experts, and partially reimburse the experts’ salaries to the companies.
However, these advantages are possible under one key condition – choosing an experienced and responsible provider of web services automation testing.
Criteria for Choosing a Contractor
Follow the advice of ZappleTech experts to find and hire an expert service provider.
We understand the criteria for selecting providers better than anyone else because we also provide web test automation services.
Your contractor must understand your industry segment, project type, and nuances. Only in this way can they immediately focus on the needs of your target audience and conduct testing concerning typical use cases of your digital product.
Knowledge of Technologies and Tools
It’s also important for the provider to use a wide range of tools for test automation, covering the maximum potential project requirements. As of 2023 and beyond, such solutions should also include AI components.
Feedback from Previous Clients
Last but not least is the satisfaction of previous clients with the services. You can check this indicator either directly on the provider’s website (in the portfolio) or on external resources like Clutch, Techreviewer, and DesignRush.
Don’t forget about the legal nuances of cooperation. It’s essential to ensure maximum transparency in the provision of services and minimize potential risks from both sides.
Conclusion of Cooperation Contracts
The first and foremost step is defining the framework of work, the scope of services provided by the contractors, the number of dedicated QA team members, the timeframe for involving experts in the project, preliminary estimates, and more.
Conclude a nondisclosure agreement before the start of cooperation to prevent potential leaks of sensitive information, disclosure of confidential data, and the associated risks to reputation and finances.
Determination of Responsibility and Project Goals
Each party must be responsible for complying with its part of the contract and should logically share responsibility for the project’s risks and issues. This is part of the risk management program, which enables a timely and efficient response to all unforeseen circumstances.
There can be quite a few of those, especially if you’re working on a large-scale project involving a significant number of contractors.
Potential Issues in Web Services Automation Testing and Solutions
When you hire QA engineers, you need to be prepared that the project may not go as planned. Bugs might be missed or not delegated to developers properly. This is a routine part of testing, and you need to approach it adequately and anticipate potential challenges in advance.
This problem primarily concerns management. Simply coordinate work between departments promptly and involve project managers, business analysts, team leads, and stakeholders in planning. This way, you’ll be well-informed about the product’s current state and develop a confident development and testing strategy.
Implement version control, weekly reporting, and other popular quality control methodologies within the Agile or DevOps frameworks. This way, you can more effectively evaluate the impact of discovered bugs on the product’s state, react quickly to challenges, and resolve them without allowing bugs to move uncontrollably between iterations.
This challenge directly relates to coordinating actions between development and QA teams. Establish continuous communication channels, integrate CI/CD tools, and introduce ongoing flow reporting for all project issues (with priority indexing).
Cost of Web Services Automation Testing
You will only be able to obtain an approximate preliminary estimate after a comprehensive consultation with the contractor. This is because a large number of individual factors determine the cost. If you need to at least roughly calculate the price of services, reach out to the company’s manager.
Outsourcing web services automation testing is almost an ideal way to get quality assistance from experts and complete your project on time. All you need to do to start cooperation is to choose a responsible service provider, make an agreement, and provide them with a work plan.
When you work with ZappleTech professionals, you’ll get automated product testing at all stages of development, as well as comprehensive assistance and support for all QA-related matters and their derivatives. Don’t hesitate – get in touch with a ZappleTech manager and set your project in motion!