Automated vs Functional Software Testing

Vishal Shah
Published 08/30/2023
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automated versus functional testingAutomated testing and functional testing are both essential aspects while performing software testing. Each of these testing techniques has specific benefits and scenarios.

Combining both of them can enhance the quality and efficiency of testing and can reduce testing costs. In this article, we will discuss both testing techniques in detail, their uses, weaknesses, and strengths. There are many differences between them, which can help you to compare and understand them quickly.

Your software development partner will provide you with software testing and development services, as testing is a part of SDLC itself.

Let’s dive in, and understand more!

Automated Testing

An Automated testing approach is used to perform a qualitative analysis of the system. In this process, a software system is validated whether it fulfills the needs or not by using different automated tools.

In this approach, a script is made to check the app developed by the team of developers. Various environments are used, and the functions of the app are verified.

For performing automated testing, software testers use numerous software testing tools to check the productivity and performance of any specific project. By using automated testing, manual testing efforts have been reduced a lot.

There was a time when the testing process only revolved around manual testing processes. Manual testing takes too much time; in the end, it is not assured that the product is as accurate as tested by automated tools.

In modern times, automated testing has acquired the testing process, and any app or software doesn’t get the required approval without passing through the automated testing process.

Pros and Cons of Automated Testing

Advantages of Automated Testing

  • You get detailed reporting- automated testing provides a report-generation process. All tools have built-in features of report generation. Once the whole testing process is completed, the tool will generate a detailed report.
  • Quick bug detection- In this process, bug detection is quicker than manual testing.
  • It offers simple testing- Using automated testing, much manual effort is not required. So, testers do not have to run behind each process while implementing automated testing.
  • Lesser Manual efforts- With automated testing, one runs on the scripts, and there’s no need to use manual testing combinations. Hence, this automated process reduces human intervention.
  • Saves cost and time- As we know, the whole testing process requires minimal time, while using automated testing saves both cost and time.

Disadvantages of Automated Testing

  • High investment required initially- One of the major cons of automated testing is the high investment is required initially. It takes significant time to implement this method.
  • Complexity- Automated tests take longer time to develop than developing manual tests. It can be more challenging to implement automated testing in the development workflow.
  • Can’t be used with GUI elements like sound files, graphics, etc. while implementing automated testing, you have to keep in mind that it is not suitable for testing sound files or graphics. This is because automated tests use textual descriptions to check the output.

Functional Testing

The functional testing approach is a testing type that verifies if each function of the app runs as per the requirements. This testing type involves only black-box testing and isn’t concerned with the app’s source code. Each function in the system is tested by using a different set of inputs and checking whether the output matches the expected consequences.

There’s also a situation- Automated Functional Testing is a process that uses particular code to execute test cases automatically. There are different tools to perform automated functional testing that make the testing process easier.

Now, let’s discuss the pros and cons of functional testing.

Pros and Cons of Functional Testing

Advantages of Functional Testing

  • It improves the software quality- Functional testing assists you in ensuring that the software works as intended and fulfills the functional requirements as mentioned in the project documentation. It improves software quality and helps you prevent issues like errors, crashes, and vulnerabilities.
  • It reduces business risks- With the use of functional testing, one can avoid the risk of software failures and make a significant impact on the business by addressing and identifying defects early while the development process is in progress. It helps to mitigate risks.
  • It improves customer satisfaction- When software testing is done using functional testing, it likely meets the expectations of the customer. This leads to more customer satisfaction and better business outputs.

Disadvantages of Functional Testing

  • Very limited testing scopes- Functional testing focuses on monitoring software based on functional requirements. It means that it might not find issues of performance, scalability, etc.
  • Functional testing is time-consuming- this process consumes more time, especially while working with complex software apps. It might increase the project development timeline and cost.
  • It needs detailed documentation- detailed and well-structured project documentation is needed to perform functional testing properly. It is time-consuming to maintain and create and also requires more resources.

Let’s compare Automated vs. Functional testing to know which will be more useful for your project advancements.

Automated vs. Functional Testing- Primary comparison factors

Now, they have understood the importance, definition, and everything regarding functional testing and automated testing. Here’s the whole comparison table for understanding the differentiating factors:

Processing Time

While using functional time, the process is unnecessary and takes more time. In contrast, the processing time is faster while using automated testing.

Reliability Time

Continuous product delivery is possible while using the continuous delivery pipeline. Whereas, automated testing is reliable as tools and scripts perform test cases.


Functional testing is comparatively less cost-effective when used for high-volume regression. Automated testing is more cost-effective for the same quality of work.


Functional testing is needed for both functional testing tools as well as human resources. In comparison, investment is used for automation tools and automation engineers.

Automated vs Functional Testing- Final Verdict

From the day when software development began till today, testing the software is essential to ensure that it works as per the requirements. Picking the right strategy is necessary for a successful testing process. Both automation and functional testing have pros and cons; picking one of them needs understanding of your project’s testing requirements.

In the above article, you will see highlighted definitions of automated and functional testing, along with their advantages and risks.

We have also included primary comparison factors of Automated vs Functional testing in this article. We hope that this information will help you pick the most suitable testing approach for your project testing.

Stay tuned with us for such informative posts. Happy reading!


Disclaimer: The author is completely responsible for the content of this article. The opinions expressed are their own and do not represent IEEE’s position nor that of the Computer Society nor its Leadership.