How To Select Automated Testing Software
This article discusses a checklist that you should use as a reference when you are choosing an automated testing software for your test automation needs.
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The successful implementation of automation testing has a lot to do with the right software. In fact, that's what makes or breaks the testing process. One of the major dilemmas that most organizations face is choosing the right automated testing software. As per the World Quality Report conducted in 2014-2015, at least 54% of the IT leaders informed that their organizations lack suitable tools for automation while provisioning test environments to their teams.
Six years later, while a lot has advanced in the world of automation and technology, the dilemma remains—what features should an ideal automated testing software have? In this post, we'll discuss which features contribute to ensuring quality assurance and lead to a sustainable testing process.
Here's a checklist that'll help you choose the right automated testing software.
Is the automated testing software usable for you? If you ask us, the first thing we'd recommend checking in any software is its usability. While most tools are tester-friendly, you should consider how quickly the team can learn and get familiar with its environment. Plus, some tools require coding skills and if you’re going for those, check how comfortable your team is with those tools or if they can learn that specific skill-set.
For this, we'd recommend you to access the free trials some tools offer to check how user-friendly the tools are. If your team can pick and learn a tool without much hassle, you can add it as a brownie point.
Is scriptless for you? Ask yourself and your team an important question: should you go scriptless or not? You can make this decision based on your team's skill set and how you're planning the future of your project. If you're choosing a tool that requires programming skills, your resources may have to be equipped or learn those particular skills. While these tools are generally open-source and free, scriptless testing tools significantly cut down your testing efforts.
Most codeless testing tools come with features like record and playback, CI/CD integrations, AI and ML capabilities, visual test creation, analytics dashboards, and even a bug management system. While these elements can help increase test efficiency—by going scriptless, you can accelerate testing because your testers don't have to learn and upgrade their programming skills. Plus, you can maximize your ROI by using all the features that a scriptless testing tool offers.
Picture Credit: Zeuz.ai
Codeless testing tools like Testsigma and Sauce Labs are simple to learn, and testers can start using them from day one. Since these are codeless testing tools, testers don't have to learn different programming languages for writing or maintaining tests. For teams embracing agile and DevOps culture, scriptless testing software is worth counting as they help you scale. To understand more about codeless testing, check out their guide.
But at the end of the day, it depends on your product and project requirements; if you're not looking for scalability and have resources with solid programming skills—an automated testing software that requires programming can be a cost-effective solution for you.
Will the tool I use let me reuse already written test steps?: A solid testing software supports reusability in terms of code and testing efforts. To achieve test scalability, you should be able to reuse test scripts across various projects, especially if there's shared functionality.
For instance, if you're creating a test case from scratch, it's time-consuming but if you're able to insert shared or common functionalities wherever you can, the time taken to create test cases is shorter. Besides, you can introduce common steps or test scripts into test flows during any phase of the development.
Also, some automation testing tools are intelligent enough to suggest reusable steps; they also maintain and update test cases to reduce manual efforts and enhance test reusability.
Did you consider the costs involved from all angles? Cost is perhaps what inhibits businesses from adopting modern automation testing software. For instance, if you were to pick between an open-source tool versus a paid automation testing software—you're obviously paying more for a modern tool. But then, if you consider other factors like integrations, scalability, usability, ease of use, inclusion, etc., a paid automated testing software may give you a higher ROI.
Now that we've recommended a paid automation testing software, here are a few pointers that'll help you choose the right one:
- Figure out your requirement: Do you have the budget for setting up your infrastructure that includes devices, machines, storage space, accessories, and resources to manage them? If that seems like an expensive option, you can always pick a cloud-based automated testing software, so you don't have to spend a lot on the infrastructure.
Some cloud-based tools come with real devices on their cloud or let you connect with a device lab. With a cloud-based tool, you can scale up or down based on your project requirement and only pay for what you use. If this seems like a more beneficial option, go for it.
- The costs involved in its maintenance: If the tools require more staffing or hiring more testers, that tool can be costly. We'd recommend going for a tool where the tool provider handles its maintenance, management, and other aspects. So all you've got to do is sign up and use its services. Just like an old-school plug-in-and-play.
- Does it cost a lot to train your team to get accustomed to the software and its environment?
- Are you looking for a codeless testing tool? It’s best to understand what your team is comfortable with. While testing tools that require programming skills are mostly open-source and offer rich community support, a codeless testing tool is generally simple to learn and offers a high ROI as there is an increase in test efficiency. Besides, some modern codeless testing tools are powered by AI, which helps maintain your test cases.
- Are you able to cut down your testing hours and efforts with a particular automation tool? If yes, it contributes to cost efficiency.
- Does it offer 24x7 support or a rich community so you can seek help whenever you're stuck? Time is precious and translates to cost in this fast-paced, competition-driven market. So you have to ensure you are able to keep things up to speed from all angles. Having great support or a rich community ensures you are not stuck for long whenever you face a problem during test automation.
- Does the automated testing software support all integrations you need? An automation testing software that doesn't support integrations is as good as a movie without a storyline. Of course, the most basic integration that a tool should support is CI/CD. Apart from speed, tools like Bamboo, Jenkin, CircleCI, etc., can help you plan and prioritize your releases, and catch bugs faster. Besides, with a CI/CD pipeline, you can reduce backlogs and seek continuous feedback from both your users and the team.
Picture credit: Tech Ahead
Other integrations such as communication, test management tools, project templates, test-case libraries, object repositories would ensure you're performing end-to-end testing within the ecosystem of the software. In that case, you don't need any additional set-ups or configurations, and honestly, this saves a lot of time.
Also, another crucial integration is a bug management system. So go for a tool that offers a great bug management system to help you detect bugs and flakiness. It will also catch false negatives and report any bugs or error patterns by taking screenshots, video logs, etc., via communication platforms for teams to collaborate and fix them.
Does your tool help make your test maintenance more efficient? A good rule of thumb is to check out the efficiency of test maintenance. We'd recommend going for an AI-enabled tool that maintains your test cases. This helps in reducing both redundancies and flakiness.
In fact, in Testsigma, AI manages around 70% of test maintenance; and with Mabl, you can save 90% of your test maintenance time. The best way to go about it is to check out various tools. Perhaps you can automate a few test cases by accessing the free trials to understand a tool's ease of test maintenance.
Does your tool support team collaboration? With the pandemic, most of us have taken to remote working, and if the software doesn't support collaboration, it's of no significance. This means it should be cloud-based to ensure it's up and running 24*7, so your teams can access it from any geographical location. That said, the tool should also allow your teammates to review the tests or, for that matter, track the status of test cases; if they're being created or executed on time to make sure your project goals and deadlines are met.
Another aspect of collaboration that you should consider is most clients prefer reviewing a code or elements of an app before it goes into production. For that reason, it's best if the software offers your clients the flexibility to track and review the project on the go.
How well can you use the reports & analytics dashboard? If the software offers a dashboard to monitor team progress, track the performance of your test suites, etc., you should go for it. Especially if you can customize it according to your project requirement. One way to choose a great dashboard is to find out if the analytics tool offers actionable insights; it helps you optimize your project management and test cases. Besides, you can seek information on the progress and quality of your tests.
Is the tool platform-agnostic? If your app or site has to function across various platforms, for instance, iOS, web, and Android — you need to pick a tool that lets you automate all your test cases from the same platform. And, that's a wise thing to do because it's time-consuming and expensive to test for various platforms from different tools. Besides, you can reuse the shared code or test steps within the platform to reduce testing time.
Do you need a data-driven approach? If your project requires a data-driven approach, naturally, you should look for a tool that supports data-driven testing. With data-driven testing, you can achieve more test efficiency as you test your app or site with various permutations and combinations of data.
Picture credit: Quantum Computing
Since data-driven testing can be performed during any phase of the development, you can also reuse common test cases and scripts during multiple stages of development. Another benefit is that test data is stored as expected output and results which are compared after you perform tests. This also helps the team understand and maintain the distinction between the logic of test cases from the test data.
Does the automated testing software let you perform parallel test execution easily? Yet another time-saving feature — with parallel test execution, you can run your tests simultaneously on multiple environments. If you're choosing cloud-based software that supports parallel test execution, you can automate a couple of tests on a scalable cloud. Parallel test execution gives out faster results, which also means your feedback cycles get shorter.
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