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How To Choose A Test Automation Tool

This article is all about how to choose a test automation tool. This brief post will give the pointers that you should consider before making that investment on a testing tool. Test automation tools are an essential part of software testing. As such, choosing the platform can be overwhelming and difficult. This article provides a brief overview on the two main types of test automation: exploratory and scripted, along with a list of some popular test automation tools available for both types.

Factors to consider when choosing a test automation tool

1) Will it be a UI based vs. script based tool
Many people choose automation based on the type of interface. For example, if you are looking to test websites and applications, a UI-driven tool such as Selenium may be the right choice. On the other hand, if you want to concentrate more on your test case and scripts, a script-driven tool such as WinRunner or LoadRunner may be a better choice.

2) Will it be open source vs. commercial
Both kinds of tools have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, open-source tools such as Watir and OpenQA tend to be free but also do not always have the support and features to compete with commercial tools such as Cucumber, LoadRunner, and Selenium.

3) What is the cost of the tool
This is a major factor in choosing a test tool because you need to be able to afford it; however, we do not recommend choosing a tool based only on the price.

4) What are the features of the test automation tool
As with any tool, you need to have a good understanding of what it can do for you. The more features the tool supports, the more flexible it will be. However, even if there are many features, you still need to determine how important each feature is for your project.

5) Will there be a license to consider as well as the cost of the tool
In general, it is a good idea to evaluate the costs and licenses that are involved with each tool. The license may affect your ability to use the tool, but it also can affect how many features you can use within your test automation.

6) What companies are using the tool
One way to find out what tools are the most successful is to find out which companies are using them. For example, Selenium has been used by companies such as Google, Mozilla, Adobe, and Yahoo. For other tools, some of the largest users are HP, Microsoft, IBM, DELL EMC, CI&T and NTT Data.

7) What type of testing will it be for
When choosing a test automation tool, you need to know what you will be testing. For example, a tool such as Cucumber may be a good choice if you will be scripting tests rather than using a UI interface. Read more about different automation testing types here.

8) What type of language the tool supports
The more programming language the tool supports, the more flexible it will be. For example, Selenium supports many languages including C#/Java/Ruby/PHP/Perl/Python among others.

There are many considerations when choosing a test automation tool, but the most important thing to remember is to choose something you can use. You don’t want to invest in a tool only to find out that it does not work for you. However, if you do choose a tool and it is not working for you, then you will need to look into why it is not working and find ways to fix the problem.

Discussion (1)

tswiftma profile image

I prefer using a code based open source tool. For example WebdriverIO for UI automation or JMeter for performance testing. The advantage is that you can write your own custom test functions based on your needs and you don't have to depend on a commercial tool's API set. Also, if you need additional capabilities for your open source tool such as testing at scale you can subscribe to services such as BrowserStack.