Automation Test Life Cycle (ATLC)

Following steps are followed in an Automation Process
→ Test Tool Selection
→ Define scope of automation
→ Planning, Design and development
→ Test Execution
→ Maintenance
Test tool selection
Test Tool selection largely depends on the technology the Application Under Test is built on. For instance QTP does not support Informatica. So QTP cannot be used for testing Informatica applications. It’s a good idea to conduct Proof of Concept of Tool on AUT.
Define the scope of Automation
Scope of automation is the area of your Application Under Test which will be automated. Following points help determine scope:
1. Feature that are important for the business
2. Scenarios which have large amount of data
3. Common functionalities across applications
4. Technical feasibility
5. Extent to which business components are reused
6. Complexity of test cases
7. Ability to use the same test cases for cross browser testing
Planning, Design and Development
During this phase you create Automation strategy & plan, which contains following details-
Automation tools selected
Framework design and its features
In-Scope and Out-of-scope items of automation
Automation test bed preparation
Schedule and Timeline of scripting and execution
Deliverables of automation testing
Test Execution
Automation Scripts are executed during this phase. The scripts need input test data before there are set to run. Once executed they provide detailed test reports.
Execution can be performed using the automation tool directly or through the Test Management tool which will invoke the automation tool.
Example: Quality center is the Test Management tool which in turn it will invoke QTP for execution of automation scripts. Scripts can be executed in a single machine or a group of machines. The execution can be done during night , to save time.
Maintenance
As new functionalities are added to the System Under Test with successive cycles, Automation Scripts need to be added, reviewed and maintained for each release cycle.Maintenance becomes necessary to improve effectiveness of Automation Scripts.

Source: http://selenium-makeiteasy.blogspot.com