Software Testing Tools

Successful implementation of automated testing depends on selecting the right software testing tool. There are many commercial and open-source tools available in the market. So, selecting an automated testing tool becomes tricky. This article highlights the 10 major features that software testing tools should have. Companies looking to buy one of these tools must be aware of the core features to enjoy long-term success.

1. Test Maintenance

Test maintenance is a tedious and time-consuming task for the testing teams. Test scripts need to be updated when there is a change in the existing functionality. The automated testing tool should dynamically update the test scripts using AI/ML to cope with the UI changes. A good software testing tool should support test script writing using more than one locator to identify the element. In case a particular locator is missing, the automated testing tool can find an alternate element locator.  Really intelligent tools, like Functionize, go even further, using a huge range of data points to select the right element.  Intelligent element selection like this reduces the test scripts maintenance effort and results in more stable tests.

2. Easy Test Creation

A good testing tool should be easy enough for any team member to use and write the automated tests. But, on the other hand, it should be advanced enough to cover the complex application interfaces quickly to support the shift-left testing principle in Agile. In addition, writing tests in plain English should be supported. The tool task should be able to convert the plain language to test scripts using any natural language processing methods. Finally, the automated testing tool should give the ability to write any E2E test, which includes extracting data from Email or SMS, accessing the database, checking APIs, and verifying information from various files, etc.

3. Dynamic Waits

Asynchronous JavaScript (AJAX) allows web pages to retrieve small amounts of data from the server without refreshing the entire page. Retrieval of this data from the server takes time. Test scripts have to wait till the display of required content. This conditional wait allows the test scripts to be more robust and flexible. The use of conditional waits improves the automated testing execution time while also preventing flaky tests. The testing tool should provide a way to handle AJAX calls present on the page and handle elements displayed using conditional waits. The automated testing tool should allow script authors to insert items like conditional waits with different options by taking care of complete implementation logic behind the scene. 

4. Parallel Execution of Tests

An automated testing tool should allow the parallel execution of tests in a secure cloud. All functional UI tests should run in parallel to save the execution time and thus shorten test cycles. The testing environment should scale on the demand of the number of tests and be capable of providing the relevant browsers and device support for tests execution.

5. Assertions, and Control Structures

A test script is incomplete if no assertion is present. Therefore, the automated testing tool should make the process of adding assertions more straightforward for its authors since it’s the most vital part of the test script. In addition, it should support various control structures to control the flow of scripts. Writing complex test scripts requires various loops, and the tool offering low code/codeless test scripts must support this feature.

6. Detail Reporting and Easy Debugging

Test reporting is an essential element of automated testing as it plays a vital role in the well-designed automated testing process. The success of a good software testing tool and its survival also depends on how effectively the reporting mechanism is implemented. It’s not practical for testers to debug the failed tests locally to find the root cause. An automatically generated report with brief details about execution steps, screenshots, and even a video of the recording would be beneficial for the testers investigating the root cause. The testing tool should also allow you to interact with the tests when it runs live on the VM using breakpoints in Live Debug mode as a part of easy debugging.

7. Integration with Existing Tools 

The automated testing solution should integrate with the company’s existing tools and technology. The automated test results should be trackable from the central dashboard to any test management tool like TestRail / X-ray. Support for other tools like JIRA, Slack, GitHub, and GitLab can also help to ensure seamless integration of the new testing tool with your existing tools setup.

8. CI/CD Integration Support

Automated testing is an essential step in continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD). Therefore, CI/CD integration of the automated test scripts through tools like Jenkins, Bamboo, Travis CI, Circle CI, AWS Code Pipelines should be integrated inside the automated testing tool. This integration will automatically execute the tests and provide the results to the testing teams.

9. Supported OS & Browser Platforms

The automated testing tool should provide support for cross-browser testing and native app testing. It should also be capable of running the software across different OS like Windows, Linux, and macOS. This is vital in a world where people expect to get the same experience regardless of what device platform/browser they use to access a site or application.

10. Simple Setup and Easy Configuration Steps

Setting up the automated testing tool should be easy for teams with simple configuration steps. The team should not think about the setting up of test infrastructure. Instead, the automated testing tool should take care of all steps from test script design to test execution. Of course, the tool should offer cloud-based testing so that the test team can run as many tests as needed across all major browsers and devices at scale.

Wrapping Up

Assessing a tool for automated testing can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. However, the above-stated main features can lead you in the right direction for your project. Every organization has a different project and team needs, and one should decide the right testing tool by keeping in mind the above-stated main features.

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