What Are The Top 5 Test Automation Tools?

Top 5 Test Automation Tools

Speed, coverage, efficiency and better ROI make automation testing the most critical CI/CD enabler. Manual workload reduction and freeing up QA resources result in utilization of workforce for other innovative tasks like exploratory testing. But this automated path to continuous delivery depends on choosing the right tools for its implementation. 

The criticality of this selection is such that a wrong choice can result in a complete loss of money, time and resources. But when the correct choice is made, automation testing facilitates intelligent automation along with providing smart analytics which enables an organization to address any other testing challenge that may arise.

Today there are a plethora of automation tools that makes it even more important to make a careful choice from. To make the selection easier, a curated list of the top 5 test automation tools is given below. This list includes:

1. Selenium

This open-source tool while automating web browsers also provides a single interface for testing scripts in different programming languages. This makes Selenium the ideal tool for automation testing. Selenium testing is today considered to be an integral part of CI/CD. It helps bridge the gap between a “successful build” and a “quality build”. For a “build” or software development to traverse the distance between success and quality, it has to pass through a series of QA tests run by relevant engineers.

Selenium helps by automating frequent and iterative functional, compatibility and performance testing for the same. This facilitates instantaneous feedback resulting in faster debugging by developers. The software is thus ready to be shipped in record time leaving developers with more time to code business logic further for newer versions and updates. 

Selenium and modern web development complement each other because:

  • It is possible to automate repeated testing of the smaller components that make up a large code-base,
  • It is crucial for CI/CD and agile development,
  • Resources involved in manual testing can be freed up,
  • Of its reliability and ability to catch bugs which manual testing is unable to detect,
  • It provides extensive test coverage,
  • It is precise and is also equipped with the feature of customized error reporting,
  • It is reusable which means that end to end test scripts can be refactored and reused every time there is the deployment of a new feature,
  • It is scalable which enables the user to develop an extensive collection of replicable test cases over time.

The popularity of Selenium is also because of its flexibility which enables QA engineers to maximize the coverage and accuracy of the automated tests conducted, refactor old versions for newer ones and maintain the test infrastructure.

2. Apache JMeter

This is an open-source, pure Java application which was originally designed to test Web Applications. Today it has expanded to include other test functions like load-test functional behaviour and also measure application performance. It is generally used by developers to test both the static and the dynamic resources associated with a developed application. These include such resources as queries, logs, scripts, servers and files. Thus the strength of the developed software can be tested under different load types.

Apache JMeter has an interface which is simple, fast and GUI design-based. This helps the automation testing tool to streamline interface capabilities through multi-threading. The extensibility of this tool enables it to support a variety of plug-ins and third-party apps. Thus Apache JMeter can be said to be a complete tool which makes testing easier across different browsers, platforms and servers. 

There are many advantages associated with using Apache JMeter as an automation testing tool like:

  • Open-source License: It is free, and thus developers can use its source code for development.

  • Friendly GUI: Extremely easy to install and use. User familiarity takes place quickly.

  • Independent of the platform: Being based on Java makes it compatible with multiple platforms.

  • Multi-threading framework: Concurrent and simultaneous testing of different functions is facilitated by separate thread groups.

  • Test results can be visualized: Display of test results can take place in different formats like charts, tree, table, logs etc.

  • Highly extensible: Developers can write their tests. Extension of testing is also possible because of visualization plug-in support.

  • Multiple testing strategies: Multiple strategies for testing like Load testing, functional testing and distributed testing can be done using this app.

  • Simulation: When testing web apps, this automation testing tool can simulate many different users with concurrent threads, thereby creating a heavy load for performance testing.

  • Multi-protocol support: This tool can be used to evaluate web app testing and performance of database servers since it supports all available basic protocols like HTTP, LDAP, SOAP, JDBC, JMS, and FTP etc.

  • Record and playback: This feature enables users to record their browser activity and enable web app simulation of the same.
  • Script test: It can also be integrated with other automatic testing tools to enable script testing.


Also Read: Top 7 Software Testing Trends


3. QTP

Developed by HP or Hewlett Packard, the QTP or Quick Test Professional helps to seamlessly conduct automated functional testing after a script has been developed. This tool uses VBScript or Visual Basic Scripting to automate applications and does not need any monitoring. This tool is apt for functional as well as regression testing and works by comparing the actual result with the one that is expected with the execution summary reporting the results.

QTP is quite a popular tool for automation testing because:

  • VBScript is used to develop the automated tests, thus making it easy for the coder to utilize QTP,
  • QTP is easy to use and navigate. Result validation and generation of reports can also be done in a relatively easy manner.
  • To enable ease of scheduling and monitoring, QTP can integrate readily with the Test Management Tool.
  • It is also versatile and can hence be used even for mobile app testing.
  • Technical issues, if any, are immediately addressed by HP and its forums.
  • Works only in Windows operating system and has a relatively lesser scripting time.

Enables developers to test all the three layers that are associated with a program’s association, namely the interface, the service and database layers, from the same console.

4. Appium

This mobile application testing tool is freely distributed, has a UI testing framework and is open source. Thus it automates testing for:

  • All native mobile apps written in iOS, Windows SDKs and Android,
  • Hybrid mobile apps with a web view native wrapper and,
  • Mobile web apps that are accessed using phone browsers like Chrome, Safari, etc., and also for all in-built android native browser apps.

Appium also supports automation testing on physical devices as well as simulators, emulators or both. Appium offers cross-platform app-testing. Thus using a single API, it is possible to test both iOS and Android-based test scripts. It is a fact that its framework can translate all Selenium Webdriver commands into UIAutomator or UIAutomation commands based on the device requirement. This makes this automation testing tool independent of the Mobile OS. Appium is also known to support languages with Selenium client libraries. Thus it can be used with several programming languages like Java, Python, Ruby, PHP, Objective-C, C# etc.

Mobile app testing has undergone a revolution with the introduction of Appium. It has become much more efficient because of the flexibility and scalability offered by Appium. It also allows the user to interact automatically with the app by leveraging on the behaviour of those components that are available in the apps user interface. 

Appium can also be reused so that tests can be re-written and run against the apps at different sessions. It is very similar to the Selenium automation testing tool.

The reasons for the popularity of this automation testing tool can be summarized as follows:

  • Being a server, it can run in the background and can also be synchronized with the TestNG framework for testing to increase the scope of operations,
  • It can analyze test results better and thus help to improve debugging based on the detailed information log and reports that it produces.
  • With the help of the test code, the user can gain absolute control over its databases and backend APIs. This makes it easier to report errors originating from backend APIs.
  • It facilitates monitoring of the tests in real-life, thereby making for a robust execution.
  • Scalability is ensured by allowing parallel execution of Android or iOS-based test automation scripts. This also helps to speed up the testing process.
  • The same app that the users will access in future can be tested using Appium.


Also Read: Top Five Tips To Effective Test Automation


5. Loadrunner

This software testing tool, currently owned by HP, is used for app testing, measuring the behavior and performance of the system under duress. It thus can simulate the concurrent app software use of thousands of users, record the performance of the apps key components and minutely analyze the same later on.

Key components of Loadrunner include:

  • Load generator which follows scripts to generate stress load against an app,
  • Virtual User Generator which is used both for the generation of and edition of scripts,
  • Controller which, as the name suggests, controls and launches the Load generator and also sequences the instances of the same like specifying the script to be used, the duration for which it needs to run etc. Real-time monitoring is enabled during this time, and the display status is also activated,
  • Agent process is used to manage the connection between instances of Load Generator and Controller and
  • Analysis which works to assemble logs from different Load generators and also helps to format reports so that it becomes possible to monitor data and visualize run-result data.

This automation testing tool can be either used individually or by groups of people. It uses ANSI C to program its client emulation scripts. However, Loadrunner can run .Net and Java programs also. Other benefits of Loadrunner include:

  • Since it uses native monitors, there is no need to install the same on the testing server,
  • Offers excellent support for most protocols and co-relation is much easier,
  • One-click recording enables the generation of a quality GUI script,
  • It comes with an exhaustive tutorial and is backed by HP advantage and support.

All automation tools have their advantages and disadvantages. More often than not, it has been seen that two automation testing tools are used in conjunction so that they complement each other. In this way, they can cater to all the needs of the developers for the automated testing of new apps. 

About the Author

QA InfoTech

QA InfoTech

Established in 2003, with less than five testing experts, QA InfoTech has grown leaps and bounds with three QA Centers of Excellence globally; two of which are located in the hub of IT activity in India, Noida, and the other, our affiliate QA InfoTech Inc Michigan USA. In 2010 and 2011, QA InfoTech has been ranked in the top 100 places to work for in India.

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