Automated Testing tools for QA Engineers

Automation Testing or Test Automation is a process of performing test cases by repeating pre-defined actions using special tools, scripts, and software.

Once the test suite is automated, no human intervention is required so this way the number of test cases to be run manually is reduced but even in this case manual testing is not eliminated altogether.

Automation Testing Approaches(frameworks)

Before presenting the list of the most popular and used Automation Testing Tools let’s find out the main types of frameworks in Automation Testing.

Data-Driven Automation Framework

A data-driven framework separates the test data from the script. Testers can store data externally so by setting up a data-driven test framework tester will have an opportunity to store and enter the input/ output parameters to test scripts from an external data source.

Keyword Driven Automation Framework

With the keyword-driven framework, each function of the application under test is laid out in a table with a series of instructions in successive order for each test that needs to be run. Having a similar style to the data-driven framework in a keyword-driven framework as well the test data and script logic are separated. With this approach, keywords are also collected in an external data table, making them independent from the automated testing tool being used to execute the tests.

Modular Automation Framework

While working with modular framework testers will have to divide the application to be tested into separate units, functions, or sections, each of which will be tested individually. After breaking down the application into separate modules, a test script is created for each part and then combined to build larger tests in a hierarchical style. A key strategy in using the modular framework is building an abstraction layer so that any changes made in individual sections won’t influence the overarching module.

Library Architecture Testing Framework

The library architecture framework for automated testing is based on the modular framework but has some additional advantages to mention. Instead of separating the application under test into the multiple scripts that need to be run, similar tasks within the scripts are identified and later combined by function.

Linear Automation Framework

With a linear test automation framework there is no necessity to write code to create functions as the steps are written in sequential order. Here the tester set each step down such as navigation, user input, or checkpoints, and then plays the script back automatically to conduct the test.

Hybrid Automation Framework

As the name suggests, a hybrid framework is a combination of any of the previously mentioned frameworks set up to use the benefits of some and reduce the weaknesses of others. As more teams move to an agile methodology, setting up a flexible framework for automated testing is important.

Automated Testing Tools/Frameworks

Selenium WebDriver — According to the “Test Automation Landscape in 2020 Report” 54% of the responders mentioned Selenium as their main automation testing tool. Selenium is one of the leading open-source automation regression testing tools for browser-based website automation. But, Selenium is not a standalone-testing tool. It’s an API that enables us to programmatically write tests using most programming languages to interact with a browser the way a real user would.

Selenium offers flexibility to developers and testers who have experience and skills in programming and scripting but to use Selenium effectively, users have to possess advanced programming skills and need to spend much time building automation frameworks and libraries. This is the main weakness of Selenium, which is addressed to other tools built for codeless automation testing tools such as Katalon Studio.

Cypress being an extremely developer-centric test automation framework focuses on making test-driven development (TDD) a reality for developers. One of its design principles was to be able to package and regroup everything together to make the entire end-to-end testing experience pleasant and simple. This approach delivers more consistent results since it can easily understand everything happening inside and outside the browser. It also gives native access to every object without requiring to deal with object serialization or wireless protocols.

Webdriver IO is an open-source test automation framework based in JavaScript and is built over nodeJs. WebdriverIO has many advantages like its extendability, compatibility, multiple features available, and effortless installation. This is considered a Next-generation test automation framework that supports both desktop and mobile apps. It supports BDD and TDD test framework.

Appium is an open-source automation testing tool for mobile, web, and hybrid applications on iOS/ Android mobile and Windows desktop platforms. Appium supports multiple programming languages provides cross-platform (both Android and iOS) testing on real devices.

Being one of the leading test automation tools Appium attempts to be an industry standard for mobile testing, much as Selenium WebDriver is a standard for browser-based automation.

Robot is a generic open-source automation framework. It can be used for test automation as well as for robotic process automation (RPA).

Robot Framework is used in the software development of many industry-leading companies. Robot Framework is open and extensible and can be integrated with any other tool to create robust and flexible automation solutions. Being an open-source automation tool Robot Framework is free to use without any license. Robot Framework has an easy syntax, using comprehensible keywords for testers. Robot Framework is an operating system and application-independent. The framework is implemented in Python but also runs on Jython (JVM) and IronPython (.NET).

Golem is a complete automation testing tool and framework at the same time used for end-to-end testing. It creates powerful, strong, and stable test suites, yet, it is easy to pick up and learn even without a lot of programming knowledge. Having a complete GUI module (a web application) to write and execute tests, a reporting engine and a web reports module, and an interactive console Golem can use the Page Object pattern, write tests with multi data sets (data-driven), run tests in parallel (remotely as well) and test APIs.

Cucumber is an open-source Behavior Driven Development (BDD) automated testing tool. Cucumber allows us to interpret application behavior in plain meaningful English text using a simple grammar defined by a language called Gherkin. Cucumber is written in Ruby, but it can be used to “test” code written not only in Ruby but also written in other programming languages. The focus of cucumber is the end-user experience.

Katalon Studio Katalon Studio is a powerful and comprehensive automation solution for API (both Soap and RESTful), Web, mobile, and desktop application testing. It also has a rich feature set for these types of testing and supports various platforms such as Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Testers who find difficulties in integrating and deploying different frameworks and libraries to use Selenium and Appium, as well as those who are already familiar with these engines can choose Katalon Studio as an ideal option that provides a uniquely integrated environment.

Groovy is the main scripting language used by Katalon and supports the external Java library. So it allows us to reuse Selenium scripts written in Java and use them directly in the tool. It integrates easily with Continuous Integration systems like Jenkins, Bamboo, and TeamCity.

TestComplete — is a GUI test automation tool for Web, mobile, and desktop application testing. Testers can use JavaScript, VBScript, Python, or C++Script to write test scripts.TestComplete has an object recognition engine that can accurately detect dynamic user interface elements. This tool is especially used in applications that have dynamic and frequently changing user interfaces. As a product of SmartBear, TestComplete can be easily integrated with other “SmartBear” products. It also integrates tightly with the tools such as CI/CD, test management, issue tracking, and version control, giving users a complete testing lifecycle.

Ranorex Studio is an all-in-one functional test automation tool both for iOS and Android that provides a comprehensive and professional set of features for Web, mobile, desktop, and API testing. Leveraging its experience in desktop-based test automation, Ranorex has advanced functionalities for UI element identification, editing, and management. Ranorex makes automation testing easy for testers with its friendly and simple GUI, record/playback, and script generation.

Test Project is the world’s first free cloud-based, community-powered end-to-end test automation platform that allows users to easily test Web, Android, and iOS applications on all operating systems.

All the automation tools mentioned above are the most used and common ones in this industry.
But note that with time there are always new QA tendencies and trends raised that we need to follow and observe to stay a flexible and highly demanded QA engineers.

As we can see there is a huge selection of automation testing tools and finding the right testing tool from all the available ones is not easy, so we need to have basic knowledge of each automation testing tool to understand which one could be the ideal option for us depending on specifications of our software and unique needs of our team.

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