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Desktop Test Automation: How to Get Started

Although cloud ERP solutions are the talk of the town, many global organizations still rely on desktop applications to manage their critical business processes. However, to cater to ever-changing demands of end users, the IT teams are working hard to roll out new features and functionalities along with supporting new operating systems, browsers and devices. In order to keep pace with the development cycle, the demand for desktop test automation is not needless. In this blog, we’ll discuss what desktop test automation is, its importance, and what you should look for in an automation tool for desktop applications.

What is desktop test automation?

Desktop test automation is all about validating the functionality, security, usability, and stability of the apps using the test automation platform. Functional testing includes underlying code, GUI, and compatibility with the operating system, browsers, and devices. The idea of incorporating automation is that QA teams keep on executing continuous testing of desktop apps so that they don’t malfunction whenever there’s a change in the workflow, scale, or purpose of the operation.

How is desktop automation different from web automation?

Unlike web automation in which applications are accessed via a URL and can have unlimited hardware, browser, and device combinations, desktop applications run on a single computer/ workstation. They are based on the platform and operating system used to operate them. Thus, in order to test and monitor a desktop application, you need a specific environment.

Some common types desktop app testing techniques include:

  • Functionality testing
  • GUI feature testing
  • Load testing
  • Backend (database) testing
  • Memory leaks defect testing
  • Compatibility testing

How to Choose Automation Tools for Desktop Application?

With too many tools available in the market, it is a daunting task to find the rightful tool. Given below are certain parameters that you should consider while selecting the enterprise testing tool for desktop apps.

  • No code: Market is dominated by two different types of tools: coded/ script based and no code. Always opt for no code test automation platforms as it will ease some burden on business users. Any testing cycle is incomplete without the involvement of business users/ end users. Since they are non-technical folks, bringing in a code based platform will add additional complexity to testing. However, a no code testing platform with support for recorded or keyword-driven tests reduces complexity as it can be operated with minimum training with no programming knowledge whatsoever.
  • Keep maintenance to minimum: Regression testing is an essential part of a continuous delivery pipeline. However, it is hard to automate desktop applications due to dynamic elements as they make test scripts flaky, and hard-to-maintain. You need to look for a test automation platform that comes powered with market-leading object identification technology that makes test scripts usable to support regression testing.
  • Offers end-to-end coverage: Desktop applications involve multiple technologies including JAVA, .NET, Windows, Telerik, etc. Opt for a test automation platform that can test a wide array of desktop technologies. Select a test automation platform that can create and execute tests on any desktop platform and packaged application and also supports parallel testing.
  • Easy set up & configuration: Opt for a test automation platform that can be used from day one. When your QA team has to put minimum effort into configuration, they can focus more on more critical tasks like recording to create test cases, etc.