How to Select a Test Automation Tool

Timothy Joseph
Timothy Joseph | November 18, 2020

How to Select a Test Automation Tool

Expectations from your development cycle never slow down. Your team must deliver deployments faster and produce stronger product quality in order to remain competitive in the market and maintain relevance with consumers. But how can your team succeed when your resources are consistently constrained?

The good news is that your QA team can do more with less. When your team invests in software testing automation tools, you can expect to boost effectiveness, efficiency and test coverage within your testing process.

There’s a lot to consider before choosing the best test automation software for your team. For example, what is automation testing? When does your team need test automation? And what considerations are most important when choosing a test automation tool?

Let’s explore everything you need to know on how to select a test automation tool so that your development cycle can receive the most benefits from automated testing.

What is Test Automation?

Test automation is the process of performing QA testing through the assistance of automated software testing tools. Automated testing is ideal for carrying out test cases that focus on repetitive large scale tasks, from unit testing and smoke testing to functional testing and integration testing.

Test automation adds value to your testing because it is designed to cover more ground during the testing process. Software test automation tools concentrate on testing the complex, time-consuming test cases so that QA testers can prioritize their time on exploratory and regression testing.

When Does a Team Need Test Automation?

The choice to include automated software tools in your testing should be in the best interest of your QA team. You can evaluate the essentialness of software automation tools once you have a solid understanding of your testing processes over a span of several development cycles. That way, you know how much of an impact automated testing tools can have on your testing procedures.

With this in mind, ask yourself:

  • Do we have many repetitive test cases?
  • Are there frequent regression testing iterations?
  • Is there a need to simulate a large number of users within the application?
  • Does your team have a large set of Build Verification Testing (BVT) cases?
  • Can your team no longer rely entirely on manual testing for critical functionality?

If you answered “yes” to most (or all) of the above, then your team can benefit from automated software testing tools.

Considerations When Choosing a Test Automation Tool

By choosing the right software test automation tools, your team can create a successful test automation checklist that enhances the accuracy and productivity of your testing cycle. But what makes automated software testing tools, open source or commercial, the best test automation software for your team?

In short, the right tool should support your needs throughout the testing process. Consider adding these requirements to your shortlist when reviewing your options for automated software quality tools.

  • Platform Compatibility

    Several automated testing tools only support one type of application, such as .NET or Java applications. Choose a software automation tool that supports most or all of the applications and platforms within your company. That way, your software test automation tools can always support your application needs in the future.

  • OS Compatibility

    Chances are, your QA engineers perform testing across a variety of operating systems. That’s why it’s important that your automated software testing tools can support all OS versions, especially tools that allow for reverse compatibility. Just because your application doesn’t run on a certain OS today doesn’t mean that the operating system won’t be supported for your consumers tomorrow.

  • Scriptability

    When considering automation testing tools make sure to review the supported scripting languages of each tool. Scripting allows QA engineers the flexibility for simplified testing to further streamline the automated testing process.

  • Reporting Capabilities

    The best test automation software accurately reports test results by delivering a comprehensive report. Consider test automation tools that provide a detailed report featuring a results log of all test actions, breaks down data through graphical reporting and reviews informative alerts including warnings and errors.

  • Technical Support

    From tool implementation to test execution, issues can happen along the way. Your software automation tools should offer quality technical support and customer service to help your team when you need it most. Review how quickly their support teams answer queries as well as communication channels for contacting technical support.

Open Source vs Commercial Tools

As you review your options across automated software quality tools, you’ll notice some of your options are open source and some are commercial. Understanding the main differences between automated software testing tools open source vs commercial can simplify the tool selection process, especially when these key factors are on your short list.

  • Price: Open source testing tools are free of charge, while commercial testing tools are sold as a service to businesses.
  • Code Access: With open source testing tools, the source code is openly published for use and/or modification from its original design. With commercial testing tools, the source code is not available to the public and is modified by the provider.
  • Product Features: Open source tools often showcase fewer features than those tools commercially produced. Some commercial testing tools offer all features, while others offer tiered rates based on features accessed.
  • Customer service: Open source tools generally do not offer technical support, but assistance can be received through online community environments, such as forums and how-to videos. Commercial testing tools offer technical support as part of their service.

What’s Next?

Once you select the best software test automation tools, you can then start implementing test automation successfully within your development cycle. First, determine which test cases need test automation for maximum ROI. Next, establish which testing tool is most effective for each automated test case. Then, create automated test cases to be executed during your development cycle as well as internal guidelines that support your automated testing practices.

Still not sure how to select a test automation tool? Keep your QA process on track by partnering with a QA services provider like QASource. Our team of testing experts offer extensive knowledge on automation testing with years of experience implementing and executing test automation best practices. Let our experts help your team choose the right test automation tool for your development cycle. Get in touch with a QASource expert today.


This publication is for informational purposes only, and nothing contained in it should be considered legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out of this information and encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.