What is Functional Automation Testing? Know its Importance

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What is Functional Automation Testing? Know its Importance

In today’s scenario, automated functional testing has gained a lot of importance in the software development arena. With businesses transforming with technologies faster than ever imagined, just getting an application to work is just 50% of the equation; working at a quality standard is the second half of importance. This is where the creeping in of the software testing life cycle stage comes in.

Understanding Functional Automation

Automated Functional Testing is a process of specialized software tools used in executing tests against other software in order to verify that the application under test meets the specified requirements in regard to its functionality. Unlike manual testing, where tests are executed manually by a quality assurance (QA) professional, automation testing involves writing scripts and using software to control the execution of tests, compare the actual outcomes with predicted outcomes, and report the results.

6 Types of Functional Testing

Basically, functional testing involves the actual testing of a software system with respect to its specified requirements for functionality; this constitutes a very essential part of the process of software testing. Therefore, six types of functional testing exist:

1. Unit Testing:

This is the deepest level of testing the functionalities of a program. It mainly involves testing the smallest testable parts of the application, normally individual functions or methods, to make sure that each of them is functioning correctly.

2. Integration Testing:

This is a test that looks at how different interfaced modules or elements of an application within a system, aiming to find defects at the interfaces and interaction points between integrated components.

3. System Testing:

This is a test carried out on the integrated whole system with the aim to verify the system’s capability of conforming to specified requirements. It should also check software applications for full functionality.

4. Sanity Testing:

A subset of regression testing, it means it is a quick, non-exhaustive run through the functionalities to make sure that major features work and no major bugs exist after making minor changes.

5. Smoke Testing:

Most of the time, smoke testing is the first set of test cases to run after receiving the new build. The basic application functionalities are checked if they work fine and if the build is stable enough for other further rounds of testing; it’s cursory and a very shallow level of testing.

6. Regression Testing:

Regression testing which is applied every time when a change or changes are brought within the application. It is meant to establish that no new code change shows any adverse effect on the pre-existing software functionalities.

Tools for Automated Functional Testing

All of these different categories of functional testing hold a different role in the software development lifecycle, all designed to make sure that each module of the application’s functionality is designed to standard and works harmoniously with each other. Automated functional testing in the industry is supported by several leaders specifically equipped with unique features and capabilities to help fulfil different testing requirements. Some of the popularly used tools in the industry are as follows:

Selenium – Open Source:

Written in support of many programming languages, Selenium is open-source software for web application testing. The testing tool supports all kinds of browsers and operating systems, with the capability of developing complex test scripts for multi-browser execution.


Provides a complete solution for testing web, desktop, and mobile applications. TestComplete is a tool whose core features include support for a wide range of scripting languages and powerful recording and playback that can be used by even entry-level testers.

QTP/UFT (Unified Functional Testing):

From Micro Focus, UFT is a commercial tool that comes with many types of applications. It is characterised by an enormous set of advanced features, very intuitive GUIs, recording and playback features, along with a large number of integrations with other testing tools.


An open-source mobile application testing tool that supports automation for native and hybrid mobile web applications running on both iOS and Android platforms with standard API interfaces. This enables scripting tests to run in a wide range of programming languages.


New in the modern web development framework domain, it proposes a new approach to application testing by running its tests right in the same run-loop with the application, thus giving live real-time feedback and making it super easy for debugging.

JUnit and TestNG:

Aside from the fact that JUnit (for Java) is a leading unit test framework, JUnit takes up quite a large space for its deployment with functional testing in the source code base. TestNG is more capable than JUnit; it also offers extra features and is hence more powerful and often an adopted choice. They both offer annotative features for categorizing the tests and for setup and tear-down methods.

Robot Framework:

A keyword-driven test automation framework developed either in Python or Java programming language for test-driven development (TDD) acceptance testing in web and mobile applications. Every kind of tool caters to the need and testing environment—be it web and mobile applications or desktop software. The choice of a tool is among such a great number of factors as, among others but not limited to: application under test, development environment, some specific requirements the testing process has to meet.

Why is Automated Functional Testing Important?

The significance lies in its efficiency and reliability. It enables repetitive but necessary tests to be performed automatically, saving time and reducing the chances of human error. Additionally, it supports testing a large number of test scenarios and complex functionalities which might be challenging and time-consuming to perform manually.

Key Components of automated functional testing

Automation Tools:

These are software that help automate the testing process. Popular tools include Selenium, QuickTest Professional (QTP), and TestComplete. Depending upon the type of requirement in the project, each tool is chosen based upon its unique feature.

Test Scripts:

These are the sets of instructions written by testers for the automation tool to follow. Writing effective test scripts is crucial for successful automation testing.

Benefits of Automated Functional Testing

  • Enhanced Accuracy: Automation reduces the risk of human errors, thus increasing the accuracy of test execution.
  • Efficiency Increased: The automated tests can be done automatically, mostly at some crazy hours not within the usual working hours. Reusability in Script: The concept of the reusability of test scripts means to say that the scripts written would be used for different versions of the applications, saving up much work and time.
  • Better Coverage: It allows the running of a massive number of tests, which improves the coverage of application features and functionalities.

Challenges in Implementing automated functional testing

  • Initial Setup Cost: Setting up an automation testing environment can be expensive due to the cost of tools and training.
  • Skill Requirements: Writing effective automation scripts requires a certain level of technical expertise.
  • Maintenance of Test Scripts: As applications evolve, test scripts need regular updates, which can be time-consuming.

In Depth About Automated Functional Testing in Agile Development

Automation testing in agile development plays an important role in continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) processes. It ensures that new features are tested thoroughly and quickly, facilitating frequent and reliable software releases.

Selecting the Right Automation Testing Tools

Selecting the right tool is crucial. To do the same one needs to consider different factors like language of the platform, compatibility of the tool with other software, ease of use and community support.

Best Practices in Automated Functional Testing

  • Develop Comprehensive Test Cases: Ensure that test cases cover all aspects of the application’s functionality.
  • Ensure Extensive Test Coverage: Strive for maximum test coverage to enhance the application’s reliability.
  • Maintain Test Scripts Regularly: Update test scripts to align with changes in the application.

Also read more about web application testing

FAQs About automated functional testing

  1. What is automated functional testing?

automated functional testing is a process in software testing where automated tools are used to test the software’s functionality. It primarily focuses on verifying if the software operates as expected. This process is about writing test scripts for automating in the Software Under Test that is addressed to a user’s comprehension working in the application, which checks many things at once: User interfaces, databases, security, APIs, client/server applications, and running functionality of the software. For functional testing, the aim here is the compliance of the software with acting as required in very different conditions.

  1. How Does automated functional testing Differ From Manual Testing?

It significantly differs from manual testing in several aspects:

  • Increased Speed and Efficiency: Tests done automatically are far quicker speedwise than what can be achieved manually during a test process. After putting the test scripts in place, they can be executed a number of times quite quickly; this is very noticeable in the case of regression testing.
  • Consistency and Accuracy: All the outcomes with automated testing are more consistent with high accuracy, since no human errors are even probable as a result of essentially the same test conditions being duplicated identically time after time. Scalability: Automated tests are general and can be scaled with ease to cover testing within complex situations and voluminous datasets—something which, if handled manually, will be impractical to do.
  • Cost-Effectiveness Over Time: While the initial setup cost for automated testing is higher due to the need for tools and scripting, in the long run, it tends to be more cost-effective due to reduced testing times and the reusability of test scripts.
  1. What Are the Main Benefits of automated functional testing?

The main benefits of includes:

Improved accuracy: Automation of testing certainly improves accuracy since tests are executed identically every time without skipping any of the steps. Human intervention is more likely to lead to errors. It is an irony to what the automation does: since it greatly minimizes the time requirements for one testing cycle—opposite of manual testing, which is generally time-consuming—it means feedback gets to the development team way earlier.

This is high because automated testing allows running of thousands of complex test cases each test cycle automatically, a thing that will make the high coverage that is not possible with manual testing.

Enables reusability across software versions, not only for some savings in time and resources but also for better scalability down the line.

Improved time management for the QA engineer: the practice will guide the QA engineers on how to spend less time on regular shifts of duties and give them time to proceed on involved test scenarios and high-value work.

  1. What Are the Challenges Associated With automated functional testing?

Despite its benefits, it poses several challenges:

  • High Initial Investment: The automated testing environment needs some heavy bucks for automation tools, their training, and scripting.
  • Skill Requirement: Automation of work through the script requires technical skill to make sure the programming and testing framework work effectively.
  • Maintenance: Test scripts need to be regularly maintained and updated to adapt to changes in the software.
  • Tool Selection: The tool selection is in a way quite hard to decide from the right set of tools that fit the software’s technology stack and the needs to be covered.
  1. How is automated functional testing Evolving?

It is evolving with advancements in technology:

Integration with AI and ML: Truly intelligent, automated testing in a company comes due to integration with artificial intelligence and machine learning. They are proactive in such a way in predicting the possible defects and at the same time help further optimize the number of test cases. Intelligently, this is an important insight into the test result.

Continuous Testing in DevOps: With emerging advancements in the development of CI/CD pipeline infrastructure, a completely new field of possibility for automation in testing is opened up within DevOps, accommodating the continuous delivery of change in an agile manner.

Cloud-based Testing: Cloud platforms are the primary technological trend which is now being used quite progressively toward automation testing, with such features appearing worthwhile for delivering scaling, flexible availability of different services in terms of demand. A “shift-left” trend has seen the testing effort move earlier in the development cycle with increasing automation—an important part of Agile methodologies.

Future Trends in automated functional testing

In the coming days, when AI and machine learning become more mature and developed, one can expect huge impacts on automated functional testing. Simply, AI or Machine Learning technologies are breaking through intelligent and adaptive strategies for testing, thus further strengthening the actual practice and use of automation.

Conclusion It is an active ingredient in modern software development evolution. It ensures the speed and quality of development, maintaining full guarantee in technology-driven functionality of developed applications in today’s world. Again, since the technologies are emerging in a fast manner these days, strategies and tools to meet challenges of automated functional testing become an indispensable area to keep in touch with quality in the business of software assurance.

Testscenario focuses on functional testing that assures the application matches the required quality and, preferably, exceeds the level of user satisfaction. We offer the perfect solutions in software testing. The point is to be at a position where differences or issues within the application are resolved, and all the features work as required by the behaviour. From the vision, it is clear that Testscenario purports to offer far better user experience, with the primary focus on functional testing, better product reliability, and help give its customers a competitive advantage in the industry. Lets get connected today

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