Test Suite Tutorial: Comprehensive Guide With Best Practices

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  • Test Suite Tutorial: Comprehensive Guide With Best Practices


One of the standard terms we use quite frequently in software application development is - "Test suite." It lets you categorize tons of test cases in a way that meets your test planning or analysis needs. For example, you can have a Test suite for any of the software applications' core features or an individual Test suite for a specific type of testing like Smoke Test suites, Security Test suites, and so on.

The Test suite is a container encompassing a collection of test cases to perform test execution and report its status. A test suite in the context of unit testing can be a class, module, or another piece of code created to form a collection of unit tests.

Intrigued to know more about Test suites? This tutorial on Test suites will cover all the aspects of Test suites and the best practices that should be incorporated to make one!

What is a Test suite?

A Test suite, also known as a validation suite, is a collection of several test cases to test the functionality of software applications or their specific feature or functionality.

In other words, the Test suite acts as a container for test cases. It has detailed information and objectives for each test case and details about the system configuration required for testing. A Test suite has different stages for specifying the current status of the test execution process, like Active, In-progress, and Completed.

The following test cases can be included in a Test suite for product purchase:

  • Test Case 1: Login.
  • Test Case 2: Adding Products.
  • Test Case 3: Checkout.
  • Test Case 4: Logout.

There might be some instances when Test suites are used to collect relevant test cases. Depending on the system, there may be a Test suite for all of the system's functionality or a smoke Test suite that includes smoke tests. Additionally, it may consist of all tests and indicate if a test should be used as a smoke test or for a particular functionality.

As shown in the image below, a test plan is segregated into Test suites, which may be further segmented based on the number of test cases.

Test suites

What are the types of Test suite?

Test suites are often divided into two categories with unique functions. These also discuss the use of Test suites in the software testing life cycle.

The following are the types of Test suites:

  • Abstract Test suite: This type of Test suite is a component of model-based testing, and it comprises a group of abstract test cases drawn from a high-level model of the system under test. The software team cannot use these directly since they are always at a high level and do not provide specific information about the software application and test environment.
  • Executable Test suite: The second kind of Test suite, which is developed from abstract test cases, is an executable Test suite. It offers the basic, low-level details needed to run a Test suite application. This kind of Test suite operates at a granular level and effectively interacts with the application under test.

What types of tests are useful for a Test suite?

The primary aim of a Test suite is to identify the gaps in a test so that one test case must successfully be completed before you start the next test case.

If one test case fails during the sequential mode, you can stop the test case execution of the entire suite. If the expected result of one test case in a Test suite relies on the results of other test cases, stopping the test execution might be helpful.

Therefore, it is essential to look at what tests are useful for a Test suite.

  • Build verification tests: A set of test cases that carry out a basic validation of the majority of the software application's functional areas. The tests are run after each application is built and before the build is made publicly available.
  • Regression tests: A set of test cases used to perform regression testing of application functional areas.
  • Smoke tests: A group of test cases that ensure the basic functionality of a software application. Smoke tests are the initial level of testing that is carried out after changes have been made to the system under test.
  • Functional tests: A group of test cases that verifies the particular functionality of a software application. It checks the functionality of different aspects of each specific application’s feature.
  • End-to-end integration tests: It ensures that integration points between products are exercised and validated across software application boundaries.

Characteristics of a Test suite

Test suites provide several benefits for the testing team and the organization. Some of its essential characteristics are listed below to understand it better:

  • Test suites are developed after a test plan.
  • There are several tests and test cases included in a Test suite.
  • It explains the aims and objectives of the test cases.
  • Test parameters like application, environment, version, and others are incorporated in a Test suite.
  • Test suites can be created based on the test cycle and scope.
  • It includes several kinds of testing, including functional testing and non-functional testing.
  • A Test suite offers a way to test and evaluate the applications quickly.
  • It may be used with many automation testing tools, including JUnit and Selenium.

A Test suite template

Test suites play a crucial role in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Therefore software testers must use a standardized template to create Test suites and specify the various aspects covered.

These templates can be predefined or developed by the team in accordance with the project requirements. Below is an example of the Test suite template.

  • Summary: It includes a detailed summary of the Test suite. To make the Test suite even more comprehensive, it can contain different categories of Test suites.
  • Design: The design section provides information on the test suite's design and several recommendations to improve the test coverage.
  • Formal review: After the Test suite summary and design have been specified, the team conducts a formal review that helps businesses bring their operations into compliance with industry norms and rules.
  • Precondition and postcondition: These specify and validate the conditions that must be met before and after the Test suite is run.
  • Expected results: The team outlines the success criteria for a Test suite. To further test the effectiveness of a Test suite, these expected results are compared with the actual result.
  • Risk analysis: The team identifies all the possible risk failures of the Test suite that might affect the testing process and prevent the team from achieving the expected results.
  • Test cases: This template section consists of test cases and their respective test environments. The team will run these test cases to verify different aspects of the application under test.
  • Document and reports: This section contains reports and documents that are related to Test suites, such as screenshots, reports, execution records, and other relevant information.

What makes a good Test suite?

A good Test suite doesn't take long to execute. It ensures your software application works as intended. If a Test suite encounters a bug, it will automatically return feedback to help you identify the bug's source and help you fix it.

Following are the characteristics of a good Test suite:

  • Fast: If a Test suite includes an extensive collection of integration tests and a few unit tests, it can take much longer to execute it, whereas a fast Test suite will give feedback more quickly and make your development process even more efficient.
  • Complete: If your Test suite covers 100% of your codebase, it will identify any errors arising from tweaks to your code application. Therefore a complete Test suite gives you confidence that your software applications are working fine as intended.
    However, in some cases, this can conflict with creating a fast Test suite. As you discover testing further, you will learn about techniques that can help you optimize your Test suite for completeness and speed.
  • Reliable: A reliable Test suite provides consistent feedback, irrespective of changes that can occur outside the test scope, whereas an unreliable Test suite can have tests that fail intermittently, with no valuable feedback about changes you’ve done to your application.
  • Isolated: An isolated Test suite runs test cases without hampering other tests in the suite. However, you may require cleaning up existing test data after running a test case in your suite
  • Maintainable: A maintainable Test suite that is organized is easy to manipulate. You easily add, change, or remove test cases. To maintain your Test suite, you can follow best coding practices and develop a uniform process that suits you and your team.
  • Expressive: If your Test suites are easy-to-read, they can be good for documentation. Always write test scripts that are descriptive of the features you are testing. Also, try to create a Test suite that is descriptive and understandable for a developer to read..

Differences: Test plan, Test scenario, Test case, and Test suite

Software testers often get confused with the terms like Test suite, test cases, test scenario, etc. In this section of the Test suite tutorial, we will look at the differences between test plan, Test suite, test case, and test scenario.

Test planTest scenarioTest caseTest suite
Defines the scope, aim, and strategy of testing.It is the functionality of any software application’s features that may be tested.A test case is a significant document that contains necessary testing-related details.Test cases make up a Test suite created after the test plan.
It has three types: master test plan, type-specific, and level-specific.It is carried out from the end user's perspective.It has two types: formal test cases and informal test cases.It has two types: abstract and executable Test suites.
It is created from a use case document, a product description, or a software requirement. specifications (SRS).They are developed from the use cases and ensure exhaustive test coverage.These are created using the Software Requirement Specification and generated based on the test scenarios (SRS).The team can benefit from separate Test suites, which make testing simple and flexible.
It adheres to a standard template that provides information about the testing process.It outlines the different operations performed by the team on the software application.It specifies a set of requirements that help verify if the software application complies with the specified functionality.It specifies the purpose and objectives of test cases created to test the software application.

How to organize Test cases in a Test suite?

Test suites help organize test cases into groups and structure them logically. Each Test suite includes a collection of test cases that are either directly related to it or are grouped under several sub-suites.

It is more flexible to build the required structure as a Tree is flexible since there are no restrictions on the number of layers that may be constructed.

To structure and arrange the test case into logical components, the user can consider the Test suite as an application module, component, or feature set. Test suite makes it easier to find a specific set of test cases.

QA teams can easily plan their testing by developing a Test suite for different testing purposes, such as regression or smoke test cases

In addition, you can either add or remove test cases from a Test suite.

Why does using the right Test suite matter?

Software development needs a balance between speed and quality. The leverage point of software applications varies depending on the type of software applications. The two types of software applications nowadays are web and enterprise applications. Therefore, you select the right Test suite to make your testing more effective

The following points explain why the right Test suite matters to your business.

  • Testing web and enterprise software applications: Web services are typically dynamic, with scope and requirements constantly changing. Depending on the production metrics and customer feedback, many features are added and removed.
    Web architecture should be flexible, and end-to-end testing can be used to achieve maximum flexibility. End-to-end testing can be reliable and consistent only if it is focused on the unchanging elements of the module rather than referencing the Document Object Model (DOM) elements.
    Generally, waterfall models are used in enterprise and desktop software environments, where larger scopes of development, fewer frequent changes, and more stable and reliable architectures are preferred.
    A large upfront design can be effective if the requirements are clear. For example, in the case of a considerable redesign with no new features. Enterprise software developers, especially Java developers, typically prefer Unit tests.
  • The benefit of fast tests: The performance of an application can have a direct impact on developer productivity. This is why performance is essential in testing. Having a short feedback loop is super important and makes your life easier. It enables you to test quickly and adjust while the costs are low.
  • The advantage of broad tests: Broad tests like end-to-end tests is helpful as they give confidence in your test code. Confidence in testing means that the results are very similar to what will happen in the actual user scenario once the software application is built.

Best practices to make a good Test suite.

In this Test suite tutorial, below are the best practices to make a good Test suite.

  • Picking the correct programming language and frameworks: Software application is created using a variety of programming languages, each of which has advantages and disadvantages.
    The developers' experience should be considered when selecting a programming language to create an automated Test suite. For instance, Python is the language of choice for developers.
    Depending on the fact that your team likes to use Python, you may also need to learn Python for this. Selecting a language that the development team is comfortable with will give you access to tutors right away who can assist you with some complex application problems.
    Select a language for your test framework that corresponds to the languages used for the software application of your organization.
    Although you may not feel personally as comfortable, you may benefit from your coworkers' programming knowledge and experience. When selecting a programming language, keep in mind the operations your Test suite must do, and the documentation and support offered.
  • Necessary skills: You should start creating your Test suite as soon as you have enough knowledge of programming languages and tools to choose one that best suits your requirements
  • Developer tools: They are still important when creating and playing with code. The following questions can be asked when using developer tools
  • Scalability: The Test suite should be designed with scalability in mind. You could be unfamiliar with concepts like page objects, regular expressions, and DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) coding techniques. But knowing them is beneficial, especially when creating an automated Test suite.

Once you have incorporated all the best practices and created your Test suites, you should perform automated browser testing across real browsers, devices, and operating systems. Since device fragmentation is a challenge for every developer and tester, you must ensure the software applications are working correctly across every latest and legacy test configuration.

Continuous quality testing platforms like LambdaTest enable you to instantly perform manual and automated testing of your web and mobile applications across 3000+ real browsers, devices, and operating systems combinations. Whether you are stuck with sluggish test execution or struggling with in-house test infrastructure, the LambdaTest cloud testing platform has got you covered.

You can also subscribe to the LambdaTest YouTube Channel and stay updated with the latest tutorials around Selenium automation testing, Cypress testing, CI/CD, and more.

Here is a quick rundown of the features offered by the LambdaTest platform.

How should I maintain my Automated Test suite?

There are several ways to maintain Test suites. You may want to automate your Test suites to make testing easier. However, just because you've automated your Test suites doesn't mean that testing will be simpler. In fact, it can make maintaining your Test suite hard.

Follow these guidelines for easier maintenance of your automated Test suites.

  • Make a Test suite plan: Without a proper strategy, automated testing raises the likelihood that it will be unproductive. The definition of a test automation strategy is a crucial component of any test plan. Explain how you want to maintain your test assets in your strategy to the development team. It is indeed possible that most of the development team is unaware of your plans for maintaining your tests.
    Additionally, it is a good idea to convey to the rest of the development team that this maintenance can be a significant portion of the development effort.
  • Keep your Test suites clean: As with the application being tested, your test assets will evolve. Therefore, the application requirements will also vary according to the system's requirements. Keeping your Test suites up-to-date is also vital, requiring checking test materials regularly. Each time a new software application update is released, validity checks should be performed as soon as possible.
    Maintaining the relevance of your Test suites is necessary. Assume that some tests in your Test suites will become invalid due to software changes. Get rid of these test assets when they have been identified. This will significantly reduce your load. Several automated testing tools simplify this task, including methods for packaging outdated or invalid tests .
  • Handle your test assets like other software applications: Software applications require maintenance. This also holds for the Test suite software. Whether recorded or coded, test cases and the test scripts that go with them should be kept up to date. The assets in your automated Test suites also need various types of maintenance, such as corrective, preventive, or adaptive, just as the software does.
    Identify your test plans for corrective maintenance (such as fixing syntax problems in your scripts), preventive maintenance (such as writing generic test scripts wherever feasible), and adaptive maintenance as you update your Test suites. This may be included in your test plan.
  • Centralized your test assets: Locate your test assets in a repository that the development team can access to make it easier to maintain your automated Test suites. You can use different test management tools to organize your test assets (test cases, test scripts, and Test suites) in a single repository.
  • Improve testability with collaboration: To improve the testability of your Test suites, you can use them to communicate test decisions to the developers. For continuous perfective maintenance of your Test suites, handle them like assets that belong to the development team rather than just the testing team.

Let’s sum it up!

This brings us to the end of this Test suite tutorial.

Test suites are simply collections of test cases. Organizing your test cases into suites makes it easier to test efficiently and effectively. Creating well-structured Test suites is crucial to run successful test cases. It also ensures more excellent test coverage and gives a clear plan for QA teams to follow.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Test suite in agile?

The Test suite is a container that includes a set of tests that testers can use to execute and report the status of tests. The status can be active, in progress, or completed. You can add test cases to multiple Test suites.

What is Test suite and test plan?

Test suites consist of several test cases, while a test plan is a document describing the scope, approach, assets, and schedule of test activities for a system under test.