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Oswin Losper
Oswin Losper

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Selecting a automation tool

Today there are lots of different options to choose from, be it a laptop, phone or tablet. In the world we live in today, we have so many options that sometimes the choices we make are not necessarily the right ones but the popular ones. For automation tools it's no different.

Depending on what your needs are, your automation testing tool must be compatible with many different aspects of your team and company.

The best automation tool available on the market does not guarantee the best outcome for your team, it has to be the right one.
Importance of Test Automation

I'm seeing a lot of different opinions on whether automation testing is needed or whether manual testing is falling behind. Regardless of the opinions, I think the importance of automation testing is still sometimes overlooked because companies are not adopting proper procedures for it.

In the world we live in, the software market demands good quality applications at speed. With that being said the application must reach production in a shorter time, but the quality needs to be better. The growing demand has added to the growth of automation tools by allowing QA teams to execute faster and more accurate test cases.

Test types that require the same repetitive actions, like regression testing, need to be automated.

Regular changes in software will increase the cost in terms of time and manual testers to run these tests manually all the time. Therefore, automating tests is the smarter and more efficient choice.

Choose the right tool for you, not the best.

Regardless of the advantages test automation has, they don't work the same for all companies or projects. Choosing the wrong tool might be detrimental for you in regards to the time, effort and financial resources wasted.

Choosing the right tool takes time and effort at first, but it is a must for your team to automate tests efficiently in the long run. The success of automation testing lies in identifying the right tool for different needs and demands.

Types of Automation Testing Tools

Open-source automation tools

These tools are free platforms that allow users to access and use their source code. Users can opt to fully adopt the code or modify it to suit their testing needs. This type of tool is free of charge and developed by the community. Open-source tools are the top choice for many automation testers with a programming background due to its free access and the ability to customize advanced test cases.

Commercial automation tools

Commercial tools are produced to serve commercial purposes and usually distributed via subscription plans. Users must purchase a paid license to use the software. Compared with open source software, this kind of tool usually has more premium features and thorough customer service that completes the whole testing process for companies or enterprises.

Custom framework

There are specialised projects that a single open-source software or fixed commercial testing tool cannot fulfill the requirements. They are mainly due to differences in their testing processes and testing environments. In such cases, teams need to develop customized software on their own. The custom framework is much more complicated than the two other solutions and can be deployed by technical experts.

How to Select the Right Automation Tool for Your Project?

Get to know your needs.

Before you proceed with the selection process, consider whether test automation is the right direction for your team.

So when is Test Automation necessary?
  • When there are a lot of repetitive test cases to be done.
  • When there are frequent regression testing
  • When the team has to simulate a vast number of test cases in a quick time frame.
  • When the UI is stable

The criteria for Automation Testing Tool

Does your team possess the necessary skills to use the tool?

Automation testing is much more technical than manual testing. Many of the automation tools, especially the open-source types, does require some level of coding knowledge to write and execute test scripts.

What features to look for?

Requirements will vary from team to team, there are some key factors that you should always take into consideration when choosing a suitable automation tool.

  • Supported platforms
  • Applied application under tests
  • Development languages
  • CI/CD integration capabilities
  • Reporting functionality
How difficult is script maintenance and re-usability?

A significant factor that escalates the total cost for test automation is script maintenance. Pre-written scripts in automation testing are fragile by nature. The ideal automation tool should come with capabilities to reduce such effort. On the other hand, script re-usability saves you and the team a great deal of time for similar test cases as you can reuse test scripts.

How are the integration capabilities?

The selected automation tool must be able to integrate to CI/CD pipelines and external platforms to ensure the testing continuity.

Summary

The process of selecting an automation tool can be challenging but rewarding in the end. Once you get the right tool that fits your teams, you will be able to use test automation and get the best results with less resources needed. And Remember, Choose the right tool for you, not the best or popular one.

Discussion (1)

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Pritesh Usadadiya

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This article was curated as a part of #31st Issue of Software Testing Notes Newsletter.