Why is test automation important?
Test automation solves one of the biggest problems QA and Dev teams face today: the need to release quality software quickly. This is a far cry from what happened during the days when manual testing was prevalent. Software releases were slow, and many projects were affected by bugs and defects.
With the requirement of less human intervention, test automation is more reliable and faster during repetitive testing of software applications. Also, it allows running on multiple hardware, software, and configuration. This comes with the added advantage of better ROI in time, cost, and effort.
To better understand the many benefits of test automation, check out this article: How to Start Automation Testing from Scratch?
Get the right automation tool, not the best one on the market.
Selecting the right tool for a project is complicated. You should note that the best tool in the market is not always the right tool for your project. There is no one-size-fits-all test automation solution. The key is to find the most suitable solution for your testing projects based on team size, project requirements, project budget, team expertise, and time constraints.
The success of your project testing relies on these factors. Choosing a tool that does not fit your project’s requirements or selecting a tool that no one is skilled to handle will lead to a waste of time, effort, and resources.
Types of automation tools
There are three types of automation testing, namely:
Open-source automation tools
Open-source tools are free platforms that allow the source code to be openly published for use and modified from its original design. These tools have fewer features than commercial tools. This is the most common choice for testers as it can be used for any phase of the testing process, including bug tracking, fixing, and test case management.
Commercial automation tools
Commercial tools are automated testing tools specifically designed for commercial purposes. They are distributed via subscription plans (monthly or annual). They are the solution for teams and companies that need them for their technical capabilities and advanced features.
A reliable commercial automation tool comes with full customer service that can help users understand how to use the software and troubleshoot issues promptly.
Custom automation tools
Custom tools are specially produced based on requirements such as customized environment/processes or proprietary hardware. A custom testing tool is developed when no open-source tool or commercial tool meets up to the company’s requirements.
To know about types of automation testing, check out this article: Types of Automation Testing: A guide for beginners.
How to select the right automation tools
There are three essential criteria for selecting an automation tool. These are:
1. Identify the project requirement
The end quality of your project determines your overall success. The first step to choosing an automation tool for your project is identifying the test requirements. Get to understand the depth and scope of the tests. The two fundamental points to consider at this stage are the type of application under test and the scope of the project (Will the projects are repeatedly tested? Will there be a need for a large-user simulation? etc.) Taking these considerations into account when choosing an automation tool will help you get you a better ROI.
2. The team’s expertise
Automation testing requires a certain amount of technical skill that not all testers may possess. Knowing your testers’ expertise or strength will help you know the kind of tool to go for.
What are your team’s testing strengths and weaknesses?
This question and similar ones will help you evaluate the team’s expertise. It is vital to get a tool that everyone in the team can use and work with.
For example, suppose a team is full of inexperienced testers. In that case, an open-source automation tool may not be the best option. Open-source automation tools are sometimes more complicated to use as they are usually backed by weak customer support, which will be needed when faced with complicated issues.
3. Evaluate tools and vendors
After going through the project requirements and accessing the team’s expertise, the next thing to do is look for the perfect tool that fits the above criteria. There are three short steps to do that:
- Analyze the tools (open-source and commercial) in the market based on the requirements
- Create a shortlist of the best ones
- Evaluate the quality of these tools by taking up their offer for a trial period, if applicable.
Click here to read further on how people choose the automation testing tool.
Top automation testing tools
Here are some of the top automation tools in the market:
Katalon Studio: This is a single, multipurpose tool that combines several rich features and supports almost every platform. It allows testing of API, Web, and mobile applications, also suitable for exploratory testing.
Selenium: This is an open-source tool that can be used across multiple OS (like Windows, Mac, and Linux). It also supports various browsers (Firefox, Chrome, and IE) and widely used for regression testing.
Appium: This is majorly used for testing mobile applications, native app testing as well as hybrid. It produces reliable test results and works well with environments that do not require any change to the original app.
UFT (Unique Functional Testing): This is a functional testing tool formerly known as QTP (Quick Test Professional). It identifies bugs in an app under test to deliver error-free software. It also works well across mobile, web, API, and enterprise applications.
Further reading: Codeless Test Automation: The Ultimate Solution in 2020
Many testers agree that one of the most challenging aspects of automation testing is choosing the right tool for a testing project. Understanding how to select the right automation tool will save your team’s time, effort, and resources in today’s agile development methodologies.