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3 Tips for Picking the Right Test Automation Tool

· DevOps Zone

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For app developers across different industries, software testing and defect mitigation has often been seen as a chore. As agile operations become more important for businesses, quality assurance teams not only have to fix bugs, but they are expected to do so much faster than ever before. The only way to accomplish this is to have automation assets like test management tools that will keep track of software versions and ensure projects are progressing as expected. Today, we'll look more in depth at how to pick an automation tool that will be best suited for your specific scenario.

1) Detailed testing requirements

The first thing to look at is what exactly your testing needs are. Each project may be coded in a different programming language, for example. Software Testing Help noted that your testing tool should be able to support all objects and tools within the code, otherwise you may get stuck when evaluating various elements in the program. Your project environment and the technology you use are not likely to undergo significant changes, and they shouldn't have to make any adjustments for a testing tool.

Instead your automation tool should work for you and be adaptable to your conditions. If it cannot do this, it will likely cost more to maintain and not provide the expected value. For this reason, identifying your testing requirements and comparing them to the tools' capabilities will be essential to the success of integrating the automation asset.

"Requirement gathering is by far the most important step for selecting the right tool," Software Testing Help stated. "Make sure to categorize your requirements in must have, nice to have and not required feature categories. This will help you to evaluate the tool quickly."

2) Ease of use

Much like any other application, the usability of an automation tool will be critical to its success. The learning curve required could be a determinant factor, especially if developers and QA teams have employees with different skill levels. A white paper by Infosys also noted that access to vendor and professional community support could be a major asset when choosing an automation tool. If the tool is not working as expected, or an organization needs assistance for training, the availability of these resources will be a critical factor in the decision-making process.

Another important aspect of usability is the tool's ability to integrate with other systems. TechTarget contributor Karen Johnson noted that vendors willing to provide proof of concept could demonstrate how well their systems work with your current infrastructure. If you need to replace all of your programs to get the tool to work, it's not worth it. However, if it integrates seamlessly, it can add value to current systems while encouraging agile operations.

3) Ask questions

One thing that will be most beneficial in choosing the right automation tool is to question everything. If a vendor tells you that they are better than the competition, ask how their solutions compare. It could be important to verify what features and options they offer over similar tools from other vendors. A side-by-side evaluation will reveal which is truly going to be beneficial for your scenarios, and what will work best for your staff members.

Johnson also noted that organizations should ask for specifics about the tool, such as what version number is most current, whether any upgrades are coming soon and when is the most opportune time to buy. These questions will be critical because if a new version is set to come out, your business can then wait rather than buying two services within a short timeframe.

"I've had a few situations where the company I was working for was small and money was difficult to obtain, so I've had to really justify purchases," Johnson wrote. "I also feel it is my responsibility to make purchases work and not just justify the tool and then, a few months later, watch the tool fall into disuse - so I think carefully when buying."

Choosing the right automation tool can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be. Evaluating each option with a set of established criteria like ease of use and your testing requirements will put you on the right path for integrating a solution that will best meet your needs.

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Published at DZone with permission of Sanjay Zalavadia, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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