Automated Functional Testing: The Pros and Cons

Automated functional testing is a type of software testing that involves using tools to execute test cases automatically. This testing technique has become increasingly popular due to its many advantages. However, like any other testing method, it has its downsides. This article will explore the advantages and disadvantages of automated functional testing.

Advantages of Automated Functional Testing

Faster Testing

One of the significant advantages of automated functional testing is that it can be much faster than manual testing. This is because test cases can be executed automatically, and the results can be generated quickly. This is especially beneficial when testing large and complex systems, which can take considerable time and effort to test manually.

Improved Test Coverage

Automated functional testing allows for improved test coverage. It can help test all possible scenarios and paths, which can be challenging to achieve through manual testing. Automated tests can also be run repeatedly, detecting and fixing issues early.

Increased Efficiency and Accuracy

Automated functional testing can significantly increase testing efficiency and accuracy. Tests can be run 24/7, which can help identify bugs and issues quickly. This type of testing also reduces the risk of human error, which can be a significant issue in manual testing.


Automated functional testing can be cost-effective in the long run. Although it can be expensive to set up and maintain initially, it can save time and resources in the long run. Automated tests can be run repeatedly without additional cost and are easily integrated into the development process.

Disadvantages of Automated Functional Testing

Initial Investment

One of the significant disadvantages of automated functional testing is the initial investment required. Setting up a mechanical testing framework can be expensive, especially for small businesses. Additionally, maintaining and updating the framework can be costly.

Limited Context Awareness

Automated functional testing can be limited in its context awareness. In addition, automated tests can only test what they are programmed to try, and they may not be able to detect specific issues. This can lead to false positives and negatives, which can be time-consuming to debug.

Lack of Human Interaction

Automated functional testing lacks human interaction, which can sometimes be a disadvantage. However, humans can detect specific issues that automated tests may miss, such as visual defects or usability-related topics. Additionally, manual testing allows for exploratory testing, which can be valuable in identifying unexpected issues.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Automated functional testing requires maintenance and upkeep, which can be time-consuming and expensive. In addition, as software evolves, computerised tests must be updated and maintained to ensure they are still relevant and practical. This can significantly burden development teams, especially in complex systems.


Automated functional testing has many advantages, such as faster testing, improved test coverage, increased efficiency and accuracy, and cost-effectiveness. However, it also has disadvantages, including the initial investment required, limited context awareness, lack of human interaction, and maintenance and upkeep. Therefore, when deciding whether to use automated functional testing, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully and consider the specific needs and requirements of the project.