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 also 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 in order to concentrate on other critical areas of the project.
That being said, no two automated software testing tools are alike. From versatility to OS compatibility, the features and strengths of each testing tool must be evaluated thoroughly before selected. That’s because the evaluation and selection of test automation tools is as crucial as the implementation of the tool into your testing process. But if your team isn’t familiar with these testing tools, it can be a challenge to create selection criteria of automated testing tool systems.
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 as well as 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 for 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 the testing process. 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 you begin the evaluation and selection of 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 of the reasons why QA teams include test automation tools within their QA practices:
- There are consistently many repetitive test cases with every development cycle
- There are frequent regression testing iterations
- There is always a need to simulate a large number of users within the product
- There is a large set of Build Verification Testing cases
- There is 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 a challenge when trying to make 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 the evaluation and selection of 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 six areas closely:
Choose a tool that supports the type of automated testing you need, including functional testing, unit testing and load testing. Ensure that the tool provides broad testing support, as your needs may change in the future. Add-ons may be available to expand the versatility of a given tool, but these come at an additional cost.
Ideally, a tool supports all or most of the applications and platforms used in your organization. Many tools may only handle .NET or Java applications, so make sure as you research your options that your test automation tool is compatible with all necessary platforms. Anticipate possible platform changes within your company in the future, such as using different compilers to build your products.
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 a variety of different OS configurations in case consumer preferences ever change. OS compatibility for older versions helps guarantee reverse compatibility for your product.
Because ease of use is important, your tool should offer several different ways to complete the same task. If 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 so any script error can be easily identified and fixed. Easy maintenance moves you one step closer to sustainable, successful automation.
Is the tool truly worth the cost? Consider the product price as well as the costs that may pop up in the future, such as compatibility add-ons, upgrades and support fees. The tool should do everything you need it to do 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 is working for you or against you. If your testing metrics are still not producing effective, efficient results, then it’s time to reassess your automated testing tools and test automation process.
Still unsure on 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 specialize in automation testing with years of experience in implementing test automation and performing automated test cases. Let our experts guide your team through the process of creating selection criteria of automated testing tool solutions so that you 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!