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What is the Finest Way to Choose a Test Automation Tool?

If you want to know what is the finest way to choose a test automation tool then keep reading this article.

It is no hidden fact that we live in a business-driven world where the prime focus of every organization across the length and breadth of the globe is customer satisfaction. Software developers strive hard to make sure that any product they develop works at its full pace and efficiency before it is handed over to the customer for their usage.

Every tool or software either small or big, contributes to the success of an organization thus they need to be tested thoroughly before bringing them into use. Although testing to detect defects or bugs is time-consuming; costly and a constant task that cannot be ignored if your digital product does not work properly; chances are no one will use it.

Sounds harsh? It is. However, we do have a solution to the woe called Test Automation Tool. With testing becoming critically important, test automation comes into the equation. Available as both open source as well as licensed; the test automation tool helps the programmer to make sure a digital product is bug-free and all ready for the user to explore.

However, to ripe such benefits, it is critical to choose the right automation tool as each one has its own challenges such as implementation complexity, training need, usability aspects, overall productivity and timeline impact, cost-effectiveness, and so on.

Why Selecting the Right Software Testing Tool is so Important

Test automation tools are grabbing the eyeballs of various enterprises for the right reasons. Such tools not only speed up project deliveries but also save resources and money spent on manual testing methods. The graph below shows how an automated tool doubled testing productivity and saved 50% of the test execution cost.


Moreover, there are tons of additional benefits so hard to ignore such as a testing tool that allows you to detect and find bugs while developing the software. The teams who have been into manual testing for years develop automated testing tools. Therefore, these tools are flexible to match future testing specifications.

When we talk about capabilities, automated testing tools can test web applications on the various browsers available in the market via browser testing automation and the most important benefit is the Return on Investment.

How to Choose a Test Automation Tool

Keeping the likes into consideration, choosing the precise test automation tool can give your digital product the necessary boost while keeping it away from bugs and so-called errors. Given below are questions you should consider asking when it comes to choosing the right test automation tool.

What are the Project Requirements?

A thorough analysis of the project requirements with the consulting team is really important before you decide to commit to a specific test automation tool. If a particular automation tool can help improve the quality of a project and increase the scope and depth of the tests; choosing the wrong tool can hinder the output while falling hard on your pocket. When I was working with paperdoers I analyzed all scenarios before choosing an automation tool.

In order to select the right tool, get a broad understanding of your project requirements such as project type (web/desktop/mobile), the scope of the project, and the existing team’s strength in code language before you start the process. There is no such tool that is good or bad but the ROI of any tool relies on the need, i.e. what exactly does one need to automate and what number of test cases need automation?

How many Operating Systems does the Tool Support?

It is no rocket science to understand that choosing an automated tool that supports as many operating systems will be beneficial for an organization. Your customer might not be running your application under Windows 7; however, that does not mean that they will not use it in the future.

If your application works under this operating system, your software-testing tool should be able to work under it as well. In other words, the more Windows versions the software-testing tool supports, the better it is.

A test tool that supports both old and new Windows operating systems – Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Embedded Standard 2009 and Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012, including both 32 and 64-bit versions – is what you should scout for.

We it be Able to Test Multi-Language Applications?

If you have customers across the length and breadth of the world and your organization is planning to develop localized versions of your applications, then you might feel the need to check whether the software-testing tool can work with localized applications and operating systems and whether it supports Unicode. If the tool does not support foreign languages; then, most likely, you will not be able to use it to test localized software.

Support for Mobile Devices

If you need to test mobile applications, check if the automated testing tool allows you to do so and if it supports the test operations you need. You may need to answer the following questions:

  • Can it simulate swipes and long touches?
  • Does it support gestures?
  • Can it access the sensor data of a device?
  • Does the tool require root permissions?
  • Can the tool work with unprepared applications?
  • Can it install applications on a device?
  • Does it support emulators?

Also, make sure to check if the tool can access an application’s internal objects and controls. If it can, you will be able to create more flexible and accurate tests.

Does the Tool Provide Automated Test Scripting Capabilities?

Many automated software-testing tools also provide scripting capabilities. Scripts are necessary when performing automated testing as they let the users design automated tests for specific application features; provide multiple automated testing actions and execute operations that cannot be performed with a standard automated testing tool.

It is essential to pay attention to the scripting language the automated tool uses if you prefer scripting for your automated testing. Using standard languages, such as VBScript or JScript rather than their dialects; will lessen the time needed to get familiar with a product.

To other significant features to look for when choosing a tool that uses scripting are the code editor and script debugger. Check whether the editor supports features that simplify and speed up script writing and if the tool’s script debugger includes the needed debugging functionalities; such as breakpoints, step-over, and step-into execution. Using all of these features, you can easily find and correct bugs.

Open-source Tool or Licensed Tool?

Of course, licensed tools have more inbuilt features, the only reason why they always come at a higher cost. Choosing whether to go for a licensed or open source tool depends on requirements. For smaller and mid-size projects, open source tools along with minimal customization can serve the purpose rather than investing in inexpensive licensed tools.

Often open source tools are limited to specific tests and have support for only specific languages or operating systems, unlike licensed ones that have multiple features and functionality. The pros and cons of choosing the right tool need to be weighed. In the case of licensed tools, postproduction or after-sales support from the vendor needs to take into consideration as well.

Support for Various Software Testing Types

When choosing an automated testing tool, check whether it supports the test types that you are going to run. Can it perform functional testing? Or can it run unit tests built into the tested application?

In addition, if your product is using both manual and automated methods; you may want to choose a tool that provides specific support for manual tests. Also, do not forget other important factors; such as data-driven testing support and the ability to use the tool for regression testing

Consider Pugh Matrix Technique For Analysis

My colleague recommended leveraging the Pugh Matrix technique to choose the best tool for mid-scale web desktop and mobile test automation and I am glad he did. The below Pugh matrix compares and demonstrates the pros and cons of various tools; such as Ranorex, Test Complete, Ghost Inspector, and Test Studio, keeping Selenium Web Driver as the benchmark.

Pugh Matrix

Compare with the existing one

Before committing to a test automation tool consider comparing the one you are contemplating using with the existing one (if you are using one). Learn the advantages and drawbacks of the two and then land up to the final decision.

You can use several different tools to test your application; as no tool is a good tool or a bad tool. It all depends on your requirements and the nature of the product. Correct automation tool plays a vital role in successful automation. Thus, define a clear goal for your automation and work towards it in a smart manner.

Author Bio

Saun is a team lead with 8+ years of experience in software development and testing. Currently, he is working with Top Assignment Experts. He’s an enthusiast, obsessive about computers.

About Yashwant Shakyawal

Yashwant Shakyawal is a creative, open-minded, and passionate digital marketing expert with expertise in brand marketing, content creation, SEO, and business management.

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