7 steps to select Automated Software Testing Tools

Posted on Sep 21 2012 - 3:05am by Raj

Companies are moving to automated testing tools more often than ever to ensure that their applications work properly before deployment. It is more important now because many applications are written for the users on the web are used by thousands of people for many critical transactions. So failing the meet the quality in those applications means you are running your brand name as well as losing business. However, as per most of the quality managers, the test automation is a default task. As a matter of fact, many automation projects just fail with a huge loss of money and time.

Now to make it successful you need to choose the right test automation tool. In most of the cases, people even do not know what type of automated test tool they need. Another common confusion area is free vs paid version of the tool. As a matter of fact, choosing a wrong free tool will cost you more money in the future. Let us check in this article how we can choose a correct automated software testing tool by following a step by step approach.

1. Identify the types of testing that you are going to automate:
Functional Testing
Performance Testing

2. Define what test scenarios you are planning to automate and, which are not. List down all the components involved in those scenarios. You need to choose a tool which supports those components. In many cases, you need to buy extra plugins from the test automation vendors to automate that part of the application.

3. At the same time, identify the technologies and protocol that are used or planned to be used soon for your product, which are also subject to automated testing.

4. Make a list of requirements for automated testing tools assuming the above criteria.

5. Select tools based on the established list of requirements in the above steps. If some of them have restrictions on these requirements – just immediately check how critical, they are, and if very critical, then give up such tools.

6. Usability criteria:

* The automation tool’s scripting knowledge must be convenient for everybody. If a language is unfamiliar and difficult to understand, then it is better to stay away from that tool. A test automation language is considered good with syntax similar to the well-known programming languages such as such as VB, java, c #, etc. Then the chances are that more people in the project will be able to understand the code of your scripts.

* Support for the Data-Driven Testing is very desirable, I would say is required in the case of dealing with multiple data sets.

* The ability to execute scripts over the network computers

* the tool should have theĀ  ability to insert variables in the code and checks the script in realtime at the moment of writing

* Availability of technical support from the automation tool vendor

* A developed community on the tool is very important for free support

* the automation tool must be able to integrate with some test case management and defect management tool. It should have the facility to store and analyze the test results. So from the tool you should be able to run reports to check the result.

7. Price of the test automation tool:

* compare the price of multiple products. You may not need to go for the most costliest and popular project always to meet your automation requirements.
* Also compare the price of the related test and defect management tools which you need to integrate with you original test automation. All tools cannot integrate with each other.

There are many tools available in the market.

GUI Regression Testing tool: Mercury QTP, Winrunner, Compuware TestPartner, Rational Robot Test tools

For Unit Testing: nunit, junit, JWebUnit, development tools HtmlUnit: Visual StudioTest team, perl, ruby etc

Open Source Test Tools: Wink, rth, Fiddler, Selenium, Watir, TestCaseManager, SwexplorerAutomation, ieunit, web test, etc.

So in summary I believe that the types of tests that will be used, and restrictions on technology used in the project are the two key factors to select an automation tool. If any tool has been used in past in any of your projects, I would rather check that first and see if it meets my criteria of test automation.

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