Self-healing in Automation Testing

In UI web testing, the continuous addition of new page objects and modification of pre-existing identifiers has always been a challenge for any tester, regardless of their preferred testing method or level of experience.

  Self-healing is a solution provided by automated testing tools to tackle this specific problem. This capability offers a whole host of benefits for testers and their team; the biggest of which is the time and effort saved from manually ensuring all the functional tests run smoothly and avoiding interruption to all executions.

What is Self-healing Test:

Self-healing Definition

In a nutshell, Self-healing is automation for automation testing. Testing tools with self-healing, which is available in most tools, can detect changes in a software solution’s properties and automatically update with new attributes to make sure the designed test cases are functional. One of the most common challenges in web testing is dealing with changes in the application under test as the product takes on a different shape. Web UI testing is an integral part of any web application product. However, when the UI changes, test objects’ properties also change with it, causing the tests to fail later on.

Mechanism of Self-healing:

The automation framework built the self-healing capability as a “smart” feature that makes testing easier for teams. To avoid failed test cases, the test automation tool will apply the new object’s locators and ensure the entire script stays up-to-date with each change made to the product’s design.

Benefits of Self-healing Test:

Increase test success ratio

With self-healing, tests are less likely to fail as a result of faulty object detection by the object locator
Prevent object locator flakiness:

Flakiness in testing makes it hard for testers to identify whether or not their tests are stable. “NoSuchElementException” is one of the many errors that cause flakiness to the test design that testers cannot have much control over.

Save time and effort from maintaining test scripts :

Failed test results prevent testers from gaining valuable insights on their tests because the root causes may vary and do not reflect the real status and performance of the AUT.

Automation testing tools with self-healing feature: 

  • Katalon Studio:

Katalon Studio

Since the last release (Katalon version 7.6), Katalon Studio supports 4 selection methods for spying and recording Web UI tests. Spanning from XPath, Attributes, CSS, to Image, the user can prioritize the order of these selection methods for executions. As for the XPath method, you will need some extra settings to set up how Katalon will go through the remaining options when the test case fails.

  • TestComplete:

Test Complete

At the latest version 14.6, TestComplete released the Self-healing feature. In this release, they added AI-powered self-healing capabilities that will automatically identify unexpected errors due to dynamic properties. This prevents your test from failing and allows you to accept the fix after test execution. 

More about code-less test automation: Codeless Test Automation: The Ultimate Solution in 2020


As applications continuously evolve to serve the market, teams are faced with many challenges in Web UI testing when tackling this new demand, one of which being Object Locator Flakiness. Fortunately, this problem can be solved with test automation, and more specifically self-healing. With self-healing, testers and QA teams can increase test success ratio, minimize locator flakiness, and save valuable time that could be spent on other work. Try it yourself and feel the difference! 


Eliminate Object Locators Flakiness with Katalon: 

TestComplete Furthers UI Innovation and Automation   

The future of Automated Testing



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