Written by Madhurima Rakshit
ServiceNow Senior Engineer at Royal Cyber
ServiceNow Automated Test Framework (ATF) is an out-of-the-box application that organizations use to automate tests for verifying applications, customizations, or configurations. ATF offers functional testing wherein the test manager can create records, set field values, and check the field value results. If the test fails, ATF indicates that the result doesn’t meet the expectations and shares the details of the issues with the team to understand the underlying problem.
Why Organizations Use ATF to Test Instances?
ServiceNow ATF replaces manual testing with automated testing and reduces the upgrade and development time. Compared to other testing frameworks, ATF:
Enables organizations to reuse same tests even if you upgrade or modify an instance
Ensures that the tests are performed in the same manner every time
Guarantees a stable and quality product
Creates custom test steps to expand test coverage
Doesn’t depend on the user interface changes
Ensures that the upgrade is faster, and features and enhancements are available swiftly to users
Reduces upgrade and development time by replacing manual testing with automated testing
Keeps test instances clean by rolling back test data and changes made after each test run
Enables non-technical test designers to create automation test scripts with absolute ease using the drag and drop functionality
Gives freedom to either use quick start test—a ServiceNow provided test—that can be modified to meet business needs or create test templates with a predefined list of steps
ATF tests confirm that the instance works as designed even after the upgrade, modification, or internal development releases. Using Automated Test Framework, organizations can either run test suites on-demand or schedule it for off-hours. The entire test suite can run in minutes and give results. The organization can analyze these results to determine if any remediation is needed. The same set of tests can be done after release or upgrade if the test cases are in sync with configurations and customizations. Organizations can use this test to examine the changes made in the instance. ATF tests are not done to examine the base ServiceNow functionality.
1. Functional Testing: ATF is used for testing the business logic. It tests specific business processes in your ServiceNow instance. For example, ServiceNow ATF helps organizations build tests for areas where you can create a change request. It pushes the suite of tests through the process lifecycle to ensure that it works in the right manner.
It is recommended that the organization must not use ATF tests or any other functional testing tools in the production instances.
2. Browser Compatibility Testing: ATF helps target multiple browsers and operating systems. Once the ATF test is ready, you can examine and ensure that all the environments support the functionality.
ATF tests don’t check every single UI component of the ServiceNow instance. For example, if you add a new icon in your program, there is no need to carry out the ATF test for it.
3. Regression Testing: Organizations can build comprehensive test plans to ensure that the processes work in the same manner all the time. The organizations can conduct the same set of tests before and after significant changes to decide a baseline. It allows routine instance checks whenever necessary.
ATF testing is not recommended for unit testing. For instance, when a feature changes, don’t carry out ATF tests because changes happen frequently. It is recommended that tests be conducted when several features are added, and the instance is stable.
Organizations can use the six-step process defined below to ensure that the ServiceNow instance runs smoothly.
1. Identify critical functionality per process/application: First, focus on all the functionalities in your ServiceNow instance and determine their risk exposure. The highly critical ones should be identified and tested first. Maintain all the details of the validation and compare them against the previous results.
2. Build tests to validate the critical functionalities: Once the features are frozen and the instance is stable, create test cases. If the organization decides to develop new functionalities, it is recommended that the ATF tests should undergo changes and further development.
3. Create a suite by packaging tests: Build test suites by combining various ATF tests and run them together. Organizations can either use an existing test suite or build a new one based on the requirement. The test manager can arrange the tests in one suite or in different test suites based on the business need. It is essential to carefully plan and place tests in test suites to ensure testing optimization.
4. Run or schedule test execution: Organizations can either schedule tests or run them on-demand. ATF tests can either run on the client or server. Tests performed on client UI are executed by the test runner and one that runs on the server is executed against the instance.
5. Monitor and fix issues: It is essential to review the test results at the test suite, test, and test step level once they are available. ServiceNow platform provides runtime screenshots to monitor and debug issues.
6. Evaluate and update ATF tests: Suppose the organization makes changes such as field customization in the ServiceNow instance. In that case, it is recommended that the organization should evaluate and update the ATF tests to reflect changes.
ATF application has been built for automated testing in a ServiceNow instance. The ServiceNow platform has positioned itself to take advantage of this application to accelerate digital transformation and create and execute reusable automated tests with ease.
With everything pre-configured in ServiceNow ATF, pressing the ‘Run’ button is all that is needed to replace the manual testing processes and reduce risks during releases or upgrades. Despite taking a lot of time to set-up, ATF simplifies the implementation process, reduces risks, and saves time and money. This application saves man-hours, enabling testing team to focus on strategic functions, innovations, and implementations. With minimal customizations, ATF provides up to 70% of the test cases coverage.
At Royal Cyber, we use the best practices and approaches to leverage Automated Test Framework for clients and help them attain a high return on investment. To explore new features and improve the quality of management in your business, add ATF to your process and reach out to us for any help in implementation.
Very well presented and the points outlined helped me to recap my knowledge on ATF.