Test Maintenance – Testing Health and Hygiene

Test Maintenance – Testing Health and Hygiene

Posted on - Dec 06, 2022 | 3 min read

Test Maintenance – Testing Health and Hygiene

Imagine you are a famous international athlete, participating in the world’s biggest sporting events. Obviously you’ve gone through years of rigorous training, consistent practice, arduous exercising, dietary and social regimen, etc., etc. Would you at any point in your training phase or as an established athlete, take a break from all or any of the foregoing hallmarks that go into the making of a great athlete? The answer is a definite no, unless of course you are willing to later put in double the time, effort, and money to get back into shape!

Something similar happens with mobile apps. Whether it is the development phase or whether the app has been around for a long time in the users’ hands, there is no room for you as a QA professional to let your guard down. One error and years of hard work can come to naught! This is the reason why Test Maintenance is of utmost importance. Just as dedicated sports buffs meticulously maintain their health and hygiene through rigorous regimen; so too mobile app testers need to meticulously maintain testing health and hygiene through Test Maintenance.

Introducing Test Maintenance – The Regimen for App Testing Health and Hygiene!

Test Maintenance is the practice of regularly fixing or updating tests, in order that they consistently remain up to date with changes in codes. Like the different parts of the athlete’s body, codes too are inter-dependent, and any code change can affect other codes or modules. Regularly updating of tests goes a long way in keeping the various modules and the app as a whole in excellent shape, just as an athlete’s regimen keeps him/her in good shape! Furthermore, since automation is now an integral part of the testing process, it is equally important to update the automation framework if there are any changes in the tools or third party libraries that are used.

Redundant and out-of-date tests and automation frameworks result in virtual garbage pile up, and as the saying goes “garbage in is garbage out!” This can be very hazardous to the app and hence Test Maintenance is an absolute must for maintaining your app testing health and hygiene.

Why is Test Maintenance Important in Mobile App Testing?

The Agile model which is now rampant in the software industry requires the project to be broken up into various phases, with developers and testers collaborating with each other at every stage. This helps reduce the timeframe of the software development life cycle (SDLC), and ensures faster releases, which also means that code changes take place at a faster frequency. With each code change, previously approved modules may get affected. Although new codes, modifications to existing ones, or improvement in app features are thoroughly tested on multiple fronts, yet because codes are interdependent, it is vital to ensure proper functionality of existing codes vis-à-vis the changed codes. Test Maintenance, ensures that all tests are updated with the latest code changes, and hence it gains utmost importance for avoiding wasted time, efforts, and future costs of rectifications. However, what is important is that testers are aware of the ramifications of each code change so that they are clear about what changes are to be made to the test cases.


Role of Test Maintenance in the SDLC

Test Maintenance is applicable to every kind of testing because, as mentioned earlier, codes are interdependent and hence every test case needs to be updated with the latest changes if relevant. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of areas where Test Maintenance is predominantly used in the SDLC.

Test Maintenance in Regression Testing

Regression Testing is an integral part of the SDLC, as the software is tested to ensure that new codes or modifications to the existing codes, do not adversely affect the existing approved functionalities. Regression tests that have to be run very frequently or those that are nerve-wracking to do manually are generally automated. The Regression Testing suites will therefore have enormous number of tests. If these tests are not maintained and updated when changes are made in any code, then the testing result is bound to be unreliable. Hence Test Maintenance should be given due weightage in Regression Testing.

Test Maintenance in a Continuous Testing Environment

Continuous Testing greatly reduces the SDLC timeframe as it promotes Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) of codes. New code modules get committed as they get generated and this is often automated to improve testing time and accuracy. Test Maintenance is of immense importance in this environment, to ensure that all tests are updated with the latest code changes so that problems can be swiftly detected and resolved. Failure to maintain tests can be disastrous for the CI/CD process, as it will result in glitches and escaped bugs and in turn increase rectification costs.

Test Maintenance Challenges

While Test Maintenance is vital for your app’s health and hygiene, time spent on this activity becomes difficult to justify, since it eats into test creation and execution time. One may therefore be tempted to ignore test maintenance, but this can be very detrimental to the testing process. It would be like an athlete saying: My exercise time is depriving me of time I spend practicing my sport, so I’ll cut off exercise time. But of course that’s just not done, and the athlete gives due importance to exercise too! Thus a proper balance is required between test creation/execution, and test maintenance, as both are important for the app’s long-term health.

Another challenge is the number of false positives that are generated, which delay the testing process and can result in high levels of frustration. (For more information, you may like to read our Whitepaper: Dealing with False Positives and False Negatives in Mobile App Testing.)

Yet another challenge is the differences in opinions on which maintenance actions should be tested. Furthermore while most tools generate files that can be shared with versioning systems, they don’t provide for collaboration, and this adds to Test Maintenance challenges.


Test Maintenance Strategy for Testing Health and Hygiene

Let’s now look at some pointers that can help achieve healthy, hygienic testing in the shortest possible time.

  • Plan Your Test Automation

At the initial stage itself, plan your test automation and design, to address areas of high frequency and frequent changes, and also those that are highly time consuming if done manually. Well planned and thoughtfully designed tests can greatly aid test maintenance.


  • Use Time Saving Enablers like Page Object Models

Screen elements are reusable and applicable to various tests. The same is the case with ‘methods’ that can be reused for various test classes. Page Object Models enable you to update the element locator or the method in one place, and automate the change for all other applicable cases. This greatly cuts down on test maintenance time.



  • Collaborate with Developers for Incorporating Element Locator IDs

Locator IDs help identify elements faster than methods like XPath, because the latter requires the system to go through the entire DOM tree to locate the element. Furthermore, with XPath tests fail if there’s any change in the DOM tree even if there is no change in the locator itself. Hence it is important to collaborate with developers for incorporating locator IDs instead of other options.


  • Avoid False Failures by Providing Appropriate Wait Time

False failures can arise due to insufficient wait time and this can unnecessarily burden your test maintenance. Hence ensure appropriate wait time to eliminate false errors that arise from time-out issues.


  • Make Use of Peer Code Reviews

Code review by peers adds confidence to test maintenance, as it brings in additional perspectives which help identify inconsistencies, and enable code improvements.


  • Ensure Your Time and Money Budgets Provide for Test Maintenance

Test Maintenance is an absolute necessity for efficient testing. Hence in the initial plan itself sufficient time and resources need to be allocated for Test Maintenance, especially if frequent code changes are expected.


In conclusion, Test Maintenance is vital for the testing health and hygiene of your app, but time available for test maintenance may often be compromised, which can be dangerous for the app’s long term health. Hence it is advisable to opt for a fully automated testing platform, where test maintenance itself is automated, thus helping testers to work smart rather than work hard. If you are looking for a good automated Mobile App Testing Platform which will give confidence to your App Testing and Test Maintenance processes, visit botmtesting.com.

Avail of the free trial and explore error-free mobile app testing with our in-built state-of-the-art app testing technologies that include audio interaction with Alexa; CICT using Jenkins; Death of Device Cloud option to enable users to use their own devices in BOTm’s environment; and Appium Converter feature which can convert Appium Script Logs into BOTm Script format. With BOTm you are assured of world class testing solutions to secure your mobile apps, with error-free testing across spectrum.