These days, people not only want but need to do more with less. CEOs and Product Managers want to stay competitive by releasing new features while keeping their resources lean. Is it even possible to reach these two goals without sacrificing product quality?
The answer is simple: test automation. Automated testing technology continues to advance year after year, and implementing the right test tool can boost the efficiency, effectiveness, accuracy, and coverage of your software testing. Test automation can free your QA team from tedious manual testing procedures to concentrate on other critical project areas.
That being said, all automated software testing tools are unique. Every testing tool should be evaluated thoroughly on its features and strengths before being selected, from versatility to OS compatibility. That’s because automation tool selection criteria are as crucial as implementing the tool into your testing process. However, creating selection criteria for automated testing tool systems can be challenging if your team isn't familiar with these testing tools.
So, what kind of test automation tool is right for your team? Before you create your automation testing tools list, let’s first explore the role of test automation tools in QA and considerations worth evaluating during the test tool selection process.
What Is Automation Testing?
Automation testing is the process of executing QA tests with the assistance of automated software testing tools. Automation testing is ideal for teams encountering repetitive tasks on a large scale, be it functional testing, integration testing, smoke testing, or unit testing.
Many QA teams find that automation adds value to QA testing because it can cover more ground during testing. With the right test tool selection, QA testers can focus on exploratory and regression testing and leave the complex, time-consuming test cases to automation testing.
The Role of Test Automation Tools
The role of test automation tools is to produce reliable, repeatable test results at any point during the development cycle. A successfully implemented test automation tool can validate your product quality whenever there’s a code deployment or an infrastructure change quickly and with minimal manual execution.
Before evaluating and selecting test automation tools, confirm that your QA team can benefit from automated software testing tools. That way, you know what selection criteria you'll need when creating an automation testing tools list. Here are some reasons why QA teams include test automation tools within their QA practices:
- Consistently many repetitive test cases with every development cycle
- Frequent regression testing iterations
- Always a need to simulate a large number of users within the product
- A large set of Build Verification Testing cases
- No feasibility in relying entirely on manual testing for critical functionality
Considerations When Selecting a Test Automation Tool
There’s no shortage of automated software testing tools on the market. Having too many options can also be challenging when making your test tool selection, especially when you don’t know which selection criteria of automated testing tool solutions is more impactful for your team’s needs.
The truth is you can’t begin evaluating and selecting test automation tools until you thoroughly know the testing support needs of your team. As you compile an automation testing tools list of requirements, we recommend that you consider these ten areas closely:
Choose a tool that supports the type of automated testing you need, including functional testing, unit testing, web automation, mobile automation, API automation, and load testing. Ensure the tool provides broad testing support, as your needs may change. Add-ons may be available to expand the versatility of a given tool, but these come at an additional cost.
Just because customers aren’t running your product on a Mac today doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future! Just as your QA team tests for OS compatibility—even if users tend to use a different operating system—your test automation tool should support various OS configurations in case consumer preferences ever change. OS compatibility for older versions helps guarantee reverse compatibility for your product.
Ease of Script Creation
Because ease of use is important, your tool should offer several ways to complete the same task. Scripting is the only option for creating an automated test; inexperienced team members can find the automated testing process difficult. The right tool allows all QA team members to run the tests quickly and efficiently, regardless of their automation expertise or technical skill.
Ease of Maintenance
The right tool simplifies maintenance by generating modular test cases. As a result, these can be easily amended and reused so that automated testing management is a breeze. The tool should also provide detailed failure logs to identify and fix script errors quickly. Easy maintenance moves you one step closer to sustainable, successful automation.
Microservices or API testing is essential to the Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline, likely the next large-scale evolution in applicability and versatility. Most of the products supporting client-server architecture include microservices for data communication, and most of the clients are becoming conscious about testing this communication architecture. This can be a good feature in a chosen automation tool.
In the last few years, low-code and no-code test automation has become popular in the testing industry. Such tools enable the less technical engineers to write automation test scripts without writing any code. Moreover, such tools speed up the automation process because writing or debugging code is unnecessary. Depending upon the technical capabilities of the QA team, one can consider such a tool that can ease and fasten the process of test script development.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Testing
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are hot technologies, and many automation tool vendors are adding these superpowers to their automation tools. It can be used for visual verification, codeless test automation, test data processing, performance monitoring, results analysis, Test Suite creation, etc. One can consider AI/ML support and these features while choosing a tool, although AI/ML-based tools can be more expensive than traditional tools.
A new flavor of DevOps is QA Operations. The QA Operations methodology is based on continuous integration, testing, and development. QAOps compatibility in an automation tool can catalyze an automated testing process and lead to quick and shorter testing cycles. So, to stay up with the pace of the production cycle, we should ensure that the tool we select should support QAOps.
Is the tool genuinely worth the cost? Consider the product price and the expenses that may pop up in the future, such as compatibility add-ons, upgrades, and support fees. The tool should do everything you need without being a slow drain on your testing budget.
It comes down to numbers to know if you made the right evaluation and selection of test automation tools. By measuring these top automation testing metrics after implementation, you can see if the test automation tool you chose works for or against you. If your testing metrics are still not producing effective, efficient results, it’s time to reassess your automated testing tools and test automation process.
Still, figuring out how to create an automation testing tools list? Partner with a QA services provider like QASource to keep your QA process on track. Our team of testing experts specializes in automation testing with years of experience in implementing test automation and performing automated test cases. Let our experts guide your team through creating selection criteria for automated testing tool solutions so that you can choose the right technology for your automation testing needs. Get in touch with a QASource expert today.
Looking for more help with selecting the right test automation tool? Be sure to grab our free, comprehensive whitepaper, “A Guide to Selecting the Best Test Automation Tool”. Click below for immediate access!