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Best Automation Testing Tools

By Sakshi Pandey, Community Contributor -

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Manual testing gets more and more impractical as a software project’s scale and level of complexity increase. Instead of manual testing, which is time-consuming, expensive, and prone to human error, automation testing can significantly raise the level and quality of the program.

Automation testing at its most rudimentary form is the practice of writing computer programs that automatically execute test cases and generate test results with no human involvement.

Using automation frameworks like Selenium makes writing automation test scripts simple. These scripts can be executed on a wide range of devices, OS software, and browsers. Once prepared, automated tests can be executed repeatedly to evaluate the same application, reducing the need for additional repetitive manual work. This is why Regression testing is largely performed using test automation frameworks.

At the moment there are a wide variety of popular automation testing tools available to address the growing needs and demands present in the software testing industry. This guide provides a comprehensive list and method of evaluation for some of the most popular test automation tools available on the market right now.

How to Evaluate Test Automation Tools

Test Automation tools should be evaluated based on a few criteria. The first criteria would be whether or not the team has a sufficient budget to purchase and use licensed tools.  Based on the budget the team must decide where they can afford to allocate money in order to purchase licensed tools and where they should attempt to utilize open sourced tools. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that not all tests which can be automated should be automated. Complete automation for testing will not be possible, therefore it’s important to evaluate and identify areas of testing which would be made easier through the use of automation testing tools. 

Small test cases can be written for parts of the project which may benefit from automation testing, and then automation testing tools can be used to run these tests. Most automation testing tools offer free trial periods, therefore it would be prudent to prepare test cases and then use these trial periods to run tests and analyze their results. 

During analysis of the results, compare the various tools; if the test proves to be worthwhile to the software development process and the tool is efficient then it may be beneficial to consider using the automation tools going forward.

A Simple List to Evaluate a Test Automation Tool

  • Does the tool offer testing across real browsers, devices, and operating systems?
  • Is the tool the most effective tool for the test cases your team wants to use?
  • Is the tool within your current budget?
  • Does the tool integrate well or support the software already being used by your team?
  • Does the tool meet your other technical requirements such as support for the multiple programming languages used by your team and platform support?
  • Does the tool provide a robust reporting mechanism with platforms already utilized by your team such as Slack?
  • Does the tool provide CI/CD Integrations with CI/CD tools that your team may be using?
  • Does the tool have good technical support?

Best Automation Testing Tools

1. Percy

In situations where human judgment is necessary to assure functionality, manual testing can be very helpful. However, for the majority of test cases, automated testing is the more useful, effective, and efficient approach.

percy

Percy assists organizations with visual test automation. It takes screenshots, contrasts them with a baseline screenshot pixel by pixel, and flags the visual changes it identifies. Teams may confidently deploy code changes rapidly with each commit by using tools such as Percy to identify any potential visual defects.

Percy also has a trademark snapshot stabilization technology which automatically pauses any dynamic elements such as gifs to avoid flagging false positives. Percy offers significant assistance in performing extremely precise visual regression testing, even allowing connection with automation frameworks to construct more complicated test scenarios. 

Try Percy for Free

By integrating Percy into the CI/CD pipeline, automated visual testing can be carried out in addition to any functional tests already in place in order to precisely pinpoint any functional problems or visual regressions in the UI. Percy is compatible with various CI/CD platforms such as Jenkins, Travis CI, CircleCI, GitLab CI, and Semaphore.

Canva and Shopify are a few of the organizations that swear by Percy when it comes to automated visual testing.

Shopify Visual Automation Case Study

2. Selenium

Selenium

One of the best QA automation tools, Selenium is an open-source web automation tool that is highly popular at the moment. This tool can be used to write sophisticated automation scripts with the help of the robust Selenium WebDriver.

Selenium WebDriver allows the user to write automation test scripts and execute them on some of the most popular browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Safari. It additionally allows users to test on the most used operating systems: Windows, Mac, and Linux. Programming languages including Java, C#, Python, Ruby, PHP, Perl, and JavaScript can be used to develop Selenium test scripts. 

Selenium IDE, a browser extension for Selenium, offers playback and recording features. This can be highly beneficial for users who want to visualize test runs.

With Browserstack Automate’s Cloud Selenium Grid, the test engineer can scale as testing grows without having to worry about managing capacity, adding new devices, or maintaining versions. Parallel Testing with Selenium, aids the user in reducing test execution time.

3. Appium

appiumAn excellent illustration of an open-source mobile app automation testing tool is Appium. It serves as a communication platform between the user’s test script, the Appium Server, and the emulator or actual device the script is being run on. 

The goal of Appium is to provide a mobile app testing alternative to Selenium, the most popular automation framework for web application automation testing.

Appium is best utilized with the Appium Inspector which is a GUI tool used to identify selectors in mobile applications. Additionally Appium supports cloud based testing with platforms such as BrowserStack’s App Automate. 

Appium Inspector

With Appium, users may create test scripts that can be executed on widely used operating systems like Android, iOS, and Windows while still using the same API. Additionally, Appium supports testing across various real devices and emulators.

The automation framework also supports a wide range of computer languages, including Python, Ruby, C#, PHP, JavaScript, and Java. 

4. BrowserStack Automate 

browserstack

 

BrowserStack Automate is a very popular testing platform. Emulators and Simulators, although advertised to behave like real devices, don’t always react the same way as real devices do. That’s why it’s highly advised to run test scripts on real devices.

BrowserStack Automate can be used to execute automation test scripts across on real desktop, mobile, and tablet devices on BrowseStacks’ Real Device Cloud. This platform can also be used to perform both manual and automated cross browser testing for web applications across 3000+ browsers and real devices. 

BrowserStack Automate allows users to use a variety of automation frameworks and tools such as Cypress, Selenium, Puppeteer, Appium, and Playwright. Additionally it allows the users to use the programming language they are most comfortable with; offering many popular options such as Python, Java, and Javascript.

Real DevicesThe platform also offers parallel testing, allowing users to run tests in parallel to speed up test execution. Additionally, BrowserStack Automate can be integrated with popular CI/CD tools such as Jenkins, Bamboo, Azure pipelines, AWS pipelines, Travis CI, and many more.

Try BrowserStack Automate for Free

5. Kobiton

kobiton

Kobiton is a very well known mobile device testing platform. This platform is capable of scriptless test automation and also has a scriptless capture feature. Some of Kobiton’s standout benefits include automated crash detection and AI-assisted remediation. Additionally Kobiton scripts are executable on several devices.

Kobiton supports well-known frameworks for creating automated test scripts, including Appium and Selenium. Additionally, Kobiton can be incorporated into CI/CD workflows on several different CI/CD platforms.

6. Storybook

storybook

Storybook allows developers to automate test cases to detect visual regressions or accessibility issues for UI components. Storybook allows users to create a visual component library and then individually view and update specific components. This is highly beneficial since isolated visual tests can be performed for individual components. By automating visual testing components are protected against accidental alteration. 

The user can maximize the potential of Storybook by integrating with Percy. So how is visual testing automated with Storybook and Percy?

In a nutshell, each component variation is captured in an image snapshot. This acts as the “baseline” for the visual test. New snapshots are taken after every commit, and they are then compared pixel-by-pixel to the baselines. The user is notified if there are any changes in color, size or layout across the UI so that they can determine whether these changes are bugs or deliberate updates. 

If a change is deliberate, the baseline is updated using the snapshot. Future experiments will therefore be contrasted against the new baseline snapshot. It is tedious to run this command locally every time we make a change. Visual test runs are started by production teams when new code is submitted into their CI/CD pipeline.

7. Cucumber

cucumber

Software testers can write test scripts in plain English using the Behavior Driven Development (BDD) Testing Framework. BDD primarily concentrates on product behavior. One of the most well-liked open-source BDD testing frameworks available is called Cucumber

Cucumber framework is perfect for user acceptance testing because it enables test cases to be built using natural language structures that explain the expected behavior for a particular scenario. Cucumber is used to execute automated acceptance tests written in the “Gherkin” language which is highly readable and business compatible. Cucumber is generally integrated with frameworks such as Selenium and Appium and acts as a layer on top of the framework, defining a certain behavior to be followed.

To Summarize

In order to balance and complement manual testing, it is crucial to start automating testing procedures as soon as feasible. Without the use of automation, comprehensive testing becomes challenging, there is a surfeit of errors, and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with progressively shorter deadlines.

There are a variety of automation testing tools available on the market right now and it’s important to thoroughly evaluate and identify tools that are complementary to the needs and requirements of your project. The Checklist, Evaluation Techniques, and Test Automation Tools outlined in this guide can help Developer Teams to carry out this task more efficiently.

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Automation Frameworks Automation Testing

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