Top 5 tools for AI-based test automation
Automation Best practices Agile
8 mins read
December 30, 2022

Top 5 tools for AI-based test automation

AI-powered test automation tools are the market niche to follow. They take test automation to the next level but also help you save time in areas beyond regular automated QA. Let’s look at the exciting and variable landscape of the best AI-powered solutions.

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Tania Zhydkova

aqua ALM

aqua ALM is the latest established solution to join the ranks of AI tools for testing. The test management solution that evolved into a full-scale ALM was launched in 2013, while the AI functionality entered beta at the end of 2022. aqua is supported by the German andagon group, which has been doing IT consulting for over 20 years.

The key AI functionality here is generating entire test cases from requirements. aqua uses a large-scale natural language processing algorithm (fine-tuned by QA specialists) to turn plain text into a test. The functionality is not limited to English or German, which is great for multilingual teams and/or companies that attract external talent. About 40% of the AI-generated test cases do not need any human tweaks before they can be added to the test suite.

There is some less groundbreaking functionality that will still save you a lot of time. QA specialists can create test steps themselves but make the AI fill out the test case description. The opposite is also possible: enter test case description and get AI-generated test steps. These options require a bit more upfront effort but fewer finishing touches.

aqua’s is expanding beyond test generation. The extra functionality includes AI prioritisation of tests from your test suite and automated removal of duplicate test cases. These features will be useful even if you don’t quite trust artificial intelligence to make tests for you. 

As for non-AI functionality, aqua is one of the highest agile test management tools in the market. It has a rating of over 4.5 on G2 and Capterra. The software boasts the Made in Germany badge and is used by German government agencies and Google among other clients. It has a dozen native integrations and can send/receive data from any other third-party tool via REST API. 

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Perfecto Scriptless

Perfectlo Scriptless

Perfecto Scriptless is one of the most prominent AI tools for test automation purposes. It is specifically designed to enhance automated quality assurance of web and mobile applications. The solution was launched as TestCraft by an independent company before Perfecto started a partnership and eventually purchased the tool in late 2018.

Perfecto Scriptless is as close as we get to an open source automation tool for testing AI systems. While this is a commercial solution that does not disclose source code, Perfecto Scriptless is enhancing Selenium test automation — and Selenium is open-source. This is a really inspiring point in a new market like AI test automation, since potential migration to a more advanced tool will be smooth.

The key selling point of Perfecto Scriptless is the low barrier of entry. Boasting the no-code approach, this is designed to be one of the simplest tools used for implementing AI in automation testing. It is made to be even easier than regular test automation with Selenium. 

Other than testing, Perfecto Scriptless advertises AI-powered reporting and third-party-friendly continuous integration pipeline. The solution can work with Jenkins, TeamCIty, Jira, and GitLab among others.

The community sentiment is hard to measure, because most reviews of Perfecto Scriptless date back to 2018. Back then, users praised the core functionality but had complaints about buggy navigation that would require reopening the tool from time to time. This is something to look out for during the free trial period.

Testim

Testim

Testim is another example of test automation-focused AI tools. It was propelled by Microsoft’s accelerator programme in 2016, and then acquired by the test automation powerhouse Tricentis in February 2022. To this day, Microsoft remains the biggest client on the Testim portfolio.

The feature suite of Testim has many similarities to Perfecto Scriptless. They both advertise self-healing tests, good visibility for quick troubleshooting, and the room to increase the scope. Testim’s approach, however, is more about aiding experienced engineers in writing automated tests rather than creating them without any code. The key areas are UI, API, and functional testing.

Testim has over 15 integrations with issue tracking solutions as well as continuous integration software. Just like Perfecto Scriptless, it is powered by Selenium and thus won’t lock you into a painful choice of sticking with Testim or starting from scratch. 

Just like aqua, Testim is hovering around the 4.5 score on review websites. Customers are happy with the AI functionality, but there are multiple reports of a non-intuitive user interface and limited mobile testing. Luckily, there is a free trial option to see if the UI will be a deal breaker for you.

ACCELQ

ACCELQ

ACCELQ is a no-code test automation platform that was launched in 2014. It is used by Intel, Pfizer, and United Airlines among others. 

What differentiates ACCELQ from other automation-focused AI solutions is the wide scope. The company provides dedicated solutions for web, mobile, and API testing. They also boast of offering these three options alongside a space for manual QA, but aqua’s test management software natively unites manual and automated testing as well. Most other AI-powered solutions that don’t have issue management themselves will integrate with third-party solutions for that, too.

The solution has a serviceable range of integrations with open-source automation frameworks and continuous integration solutions. The no-code component creates tests that cover all prominent frameworks, including React and AngularJS.

ACCELQ is punching above a review score of 4.5 as well. There are some minor performance complaints, a couple of reports on lacking documentation, and a note about high upfront investment. The customers are happy about the wide scope of the solution, and that’s the key advantage that the company advertises.

Applitools

Applitools

Applitools is an AI-powered test automation platform that specialises in UI testing. Launched in 2015, it features Microsoft, Bank of America, and adidas on the portfolio. 

The key selling point of Applitools is its range of visualised testing solutions. It includes a cross-browser (and cross-device) grid for testing web applications as well as a mobile grid to test native mobile applications. Here, artificial intelligence compares snapshots of app screens to quickly spot changes that are likely erroneous. Auto-compliance with visual accessibility requirements is a nice touch as well. 

Applitools supports all major development frameworks, synergises with continuous integration software, and sends status updates to corporate messengers. It also integrates with issue tracking solutions and even competitor solutions, including Testim. 

Reviews-wise, Applitools is scoring just below the 4.5 mark. The two major concerns raised by users are a huge time investment to weed out false positives and slow execution. One user notes that it takes 100 seconds for a simple test because of everything happening in the background. Just like with non-AI test automation, you can brute force unoptimised execution to make it faster — but at an almost proportionally higher cost. 

Final thoughts

AI test automation is on the rise, and there are tools to cover all sorts of needs. All AI tools for testing on the list have generally positive reviews, and the industry will likely only get better as licensing AI algorithms to build solutions becomes even more popular. 

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FAQ
Can we use AI in automation testing?

Yes, artificial intelligence can be used to help you create tests for automated QA and even maintain them. 

Which AI-based tool is mostly used for automation testing?

There is no clear market leader, and most tools have one or two niches that they specialise in. Applitools, aqua ALM, and Testim are just some solutions to try yourself. 

What is AI-based test automation?

AI-based test automation introduces fruits of the machine learning labour to speed up and enhance automated QA. Some solutions go further than that and use AI to boost manual testing as well.

How to implement AI in test automation?

The most straightforward way is to adopt an AI-powered test automation solution. You can import existing automated tests and let AI work its magic to make them better and/or more efficient. Most solutions work with Selenium, so the transition will be very smooth if you have been using it as well.

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