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Limitations of Automation Testing

So far we have seen what Automation can do to help us in reducing human effort, time, cost etc.  Here I will discuss few scenarios for which either Automation can’t be done or is not required.

There are certain tasks which can be performed only using Automation tools such as Load, Endurance, and Scalable Performance testing which simulates 100 of users. However let’s see few of the tasks that cannot be Automated:-

–       Image Re-Captcha


Image Re-Captcha cannot be automated due to security measures being implemented in the application. This is nothing but an image which has distorted letters printed on it which can be identified only with the naked eye.  The existing Automation tools can’t read those distorted letters. There are few OCR (Optical Character Recognition) softwares available in market but are not 100% effective. Automation scripts won’t do that for you.

–       Adhoc Testing


“Ad hoc testing is a commonly used term for software testing performed without planning and documentation”. This type of testing is performed to learn more about the product by doing random testing. The main task of Adhoc testing is to find important defects much quickly. Automation scripts won’t do that for you.

–       One time manual test


There are few test cases for which one time manual test effort is enough to say whether the result will pass or fail. For example: – Selecting a radio button, once it’s selected there is no way it can get un-selected unless page is refreshed. Such test cases have minimum risk of failure and that doesn’t justify automating.

–       Improper Framework may cause overhead


In case of improper framework, chance of creating duplicate scripts gets increased. If there is lack of structured approach for framework then it increases redundancy and decreases maintainability.

–       Unidentified element properties


Most of the Automation tools work on JavaScript enabled browsers to manipulate the UI of an application. So to work upon any element present in a webpage, our script needs to identify the element from the properties defined by developers. In case there are html tags created that doesn’t have unique properties to identify any specific element, automation scripts will fail to perform action on it.

Though there are ways to identify those elements as well  but these will require some coding or use of external libraries which again results cost and time overhead.


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Sohit Kanwar

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