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What Exactly is Scriptless Automation?

What exactly is scriptless automation and how does it improve mobile app testing? Read on to learn more about this modern software approach

In the fast-paced world of mobile app testing and automation, a revolutionary concept has been gaining prominence – scriptless automation. This newer approach represents a significant departure from traditional code-based methods. It aims to simplify the world of automation testing. But what exactly is scriptless automation, and how does it work? In this article, we will delve into the fundamentals of scriptless automation. We’ll shed light on its definition, its advantages, and how it is transforming the landscape of mobile app testing. Whether you’re a seasoned testing professional or new to the field, this exploration will demystify scriptless automation. It will also reveal its potential to streamline testing processes and boost efficiency in software development.  

Software Engineering and Abstraction 

To get started we need to briefly recap the history of abstraction in software engineering. Abstraction is generally defined as the process of removing or generalizing physical, spatial, or temporal details or attributes in the study of objects or systems to focus attention on details of greater importance. The earliest programming relied on binary code to perform all actions, followed later by more mature programming languages, then low-code visual editors with optional coding, and now finally today’s concept of scriptless programming. This highly modern approach removes access to the code entirely. It replaces it with intuitive visual editors that can be used by developers and non-developers alike. You may also hear this code-free concept referred to as no-code, codeless, drag-and-drop, WSYWIG and GUI editors.  

Just as today’s phone users don’t need access to the underlying code in their phones to use them effectively, scriptless options allow users with varying technical backgrounds to edit functions that were formerly controlled by code directly. In this case, the formerly manual process of coding mobile app tests can be converted into a simple, visual drag-and-drop editor.  

Benefits of Scriptless Automation in Mobile App Testing 

The benefits of embracing visual editors for mobile app testing are many. In terms of resource management, the intuitive and accessible nature of this option heavily reduces the traditionally long learning curve. Test cases can be created by clicking several buttons. QA teams no longer need to hire and onboard specialists who then create and maintain manually created code. Even users with non-technical backgrounds can get started in minutes. This benefits organizations by saving both time and expertise.  

Scriptless automation, naturally as a form of automation, is also highly scalable when compared to manual coding and testing. By choosing automation you have the ability to run tests at nearly any scale imaginable. Automation tools also generate reports in a fraction of the time that manual testing would have taken. In practice, organizations switching to this approach have reduced their overall app testing time from days to hours.  

These time and cost benefits are even more pronounced when pairing scriptless automation with cloud device labs. While simulators and emulators can be tempting in their initial ease, they often fail to catch real-world scenarios. For example, issues involving GPS and battery usage are extremely hard to get data on with virtual machines. Utilizing scriptless automation with services that test on an array of real devices saves both time and budget, furthering efficiency gains.  

Potential downsides of Scriptless Automation 

Because the code is not accessible to user creating test cases, reporting and debugging work very differently with scriptless automation options. This may create some initial pushback when transitioning. With this method, reports are offered in several formats including detailed graphs and playback videos. Thankfully with well-chosen scriptless automation tools, reporting options can be easily combined and streamlined. Ultimately this option has the potential to reduce friction between QA engineers, triage teams, and developers on whether a bug can be reproduced, where the logs are, and environment setup.  

In Summary 

When implemented seamlessly, scriptless automation offers enormous efficiency improvements over manual testing in terms of time, budget, and headcount. It is not only more productive and accurate, but also highly scalable.