Test automation tools: why, where, how
Automation Best practices
7 mins read
July 10, 2023

Test automation tools: why, where, how

Test automation used to be a controversial topic: some engineers believed that they were not worth the effort. Indeed, automated software testing requires both developing specific tests and adjusting your routine to fit them. These days, running full manual is simply not sustainable in the long run. Let’s look at why and how you can make the transition.

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Denis Matusovskiy
Kate Hornysh

Why you need automated software testing

Here are the reasons why you should use test automation tools.

Efficiency

Imagine your testers spending one hour per week verifying if they can log into the software in different scenarios. Now, imagine if they can click just one button to cover all these angles.

Precision

Manual testing is by definition prone to the human factor. The same number of test steps can bring an incorrect outcome. A specific case can be successfully automated once (and maintained later).

Availability

Some scenarios may not be easy to test. Let’s say your app works on 16:9 tablets but most of them have 4:3 screens. No need to pass one tablet between everyone: just virtualise and automate the test case.

Optimisation

Freeing up testers from mundane tasks helps you get the most out of their time. The QA team will have more time to make better bug reports and do some exploratory testing to improve coverage.

How to make an automated software test

Let’s look at the basics of automating software testing.

Define scope

Select the tests that you would like to automate, e.g. solution-wide cases and repetitive cases. Looking at complex tests is great, too. You may automate them later, but you should know your needs now.

Pick the right tools

Explore the test automation market to pick tools covering your scope. Some are rather specialised, such as Selenium for web testing and Soap UI for web testing. Others can fit multiple needs, e.g. Ranorex.

Create automated tests

Here comes the fun part: your QA team gets to automate the tests that you picked. This part may involve some trial or error, including changes in scope and automation tools defined earlier.

Validate, use, maintain

Now that you have the newly automated tests, make sure that they work properly and return valid results. Once everything is green, enjoy the results but make sure that automated tests are up to date! 

For further selection criteria, please consult our testing strategy template. It is a practical manual on how to build your QA procedures with plenty of ideas that go beyond picking the right tool.

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testing strategy template

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Best automated testing tools

As we mentioned earlier, you would normally use different test tools for different types of automation. Below are some of our picks from best automation testing tools.

Selenium

Selenium in action

Selenium is the swiss army knife of QA automated testing tools. It primarily targets web solutions on desktop & mobile OS as well as browsers for them. Selenium is simple to learn due to supporting Python yet also provides room for advanced users.

SoapUI

SoapUI

SoapUI is the king of API software test automation tools. Just like Selenium, it is an open-source and free tool with active developer & community support. SoapUI can hook to your in-house software or test management tools thanks to REST support.

JMeter

JMeter

JMeter is designed for load testing, and it has quite some capabilities to automate it. JMeter too supports REST calls as well as third-party libraries to enhance your testing. Some make writing new scripts as simple as using a Chrome extension.

Jenkins

Jenkins pipeline example

Jenkins pipeline example

Jenkins is an automation server for continuous integration and delivery. This includes quality assurance: automated tests can be used as part of the delivery pipeline. Jenkins runs on Java, so you shouldn’t have much trouble setting it up.

UnixShell

UnixShell has many uses, but QA specialists have long adopted it for test automation. Using shell scripts cuts down on hours of manual labour, and they are very much transferable to and from other automated test software.

PowerShell

PowerShell is the Windows alternative to UnixShell among software test automation tools. They are similar in capabilities and how software testers go about them. PS also supports objective-oriented programming for simplified shell scripting.

Why choose aqua as your automation test management tool

AI testing

aqua is the cutting edge test management solution when it comes to AI. The functionality has been development before ChatGPT even became a thing. You can now quickly cover requirements in a few clicks and update existing tests.

Automated QA & Jira integrations

Full list of aqua integrations

Full list of aqua integrations

aqua has over 10 integrations with leading automated test software. It also comes with a Jira integration: you can either access individual items or fully sync aqua & Jira projects. No extra cost attached.

Cloud & On-Premise offerings

aqua’s deployment options

aqua’s deployment options

aqua offers both cloud and on-premise versions with virtually identical functionality. On-Premise is not an afterthought for us: we have plenty of clients in banking insurance, and government.

Reporting wizard & dashboards

aqua report example

aqua report example

aqua’s reporting wizard is quick to set up yet comes with quite some depth. You can even execute custom scripts inside the report. Dashboards help visualise progress and support KPI alerts for emergencies.

Traceability as a feature

Data records in test management tool aqua

aqua is fully compliant with traceability requirements, proven by our banking and government portfolio. This traceability, however, helps in any industry. You can see all changes to tests and revert if needed.

Robust foundation & infrastructure

aqua works fast and doesn’t slow down even if you have millions of test cases. We have such clients using both Cloud & On-Premise versions without hiccups. Test execution doesn’t throttle for them either.

Conclusion

Test automation tools cover a variety of different niches. They work best when synergised by a test management solution, such as aqua.

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FAQ
What is a QA automation tool?

QA automation tools are solutions that automate steps done as part of manual testing.

What is the future of automation testing?

The future of automation testing lies in autonomy and predictivity. Artificial intelligence tech is starting to make it into QA software (such as aqua) to go beyond replicating manual testing at scale. Identifying what needs to be tested and even making tests for that is the next step.

Which tool is used in automation testing?

A variety of specialised tools are used for testing different software. The list includes SoapUI, Ranorex, Selenium, JMeter, and more. 

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