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Test automation is the use of software to control the execution of tests, the comparison of actual outcomes to predicted outcomes, the setting up of test preconditions, and other test control and test reporting functions. Under the right circumstances, it can allow for faster testing with fewer people.

From Wikipedia:

Test automation is the use of software to control the execution of tests, the comparison of actual outcomes to predicted outcomes, the setting up of test preconditions, and other test control and test reporting functions. Commonly, test automation involves automating a manual process already in place that uses a formalized testing process.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_automation

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