Automation testing is a software technique to compare the actual outcome of software with the expected outcome.
You may need to use test automation software to automate repetitive tasks and other testing tasks that are difficult to perform manually. You can do this by either writing automation test scripts or using an automation testing tool.
Test automation software has started to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to offer more advanced capabilities for optimization as well as intelligent test generation, execution, and reporting.
Here are some tools best poised to take advantage of these trends.
Selenium is the industry standard for test automation. It’s a free, open-source, automated testing framework used to validate web applications across different browsers and platforms.
Selenium is not just a single tool but a suite of software, each offering a different approach to align with the testing needs of an organization. It has three major components:
- WebDriver: Uses browser automation APIs to control the browser and run tests. This is as if a real user is operating the browser
- IDE (Integrated Development Environment): The tool you use to develop your Selenium test cases. It’s an easy-to-use Chrome and Firefox extension and is generally the most efficient way to develop test cases
- Grid: Allows you to run test cases in different machines across different platforms
To use Selenium effectively, users have to possess advanced programming skills and need to spend considerable time to build the automation frameworks and libraries necessary for automation.
Appium is free to use and open-source test automation framework that is mainly intended for mobile applications. The type of applications it serves include:
- Native apps: Written using the iOS, Android, or Windows SDKs
- Mobile web apps: Accessed using a mobile browser (Appium supports Safari on iOS and Chrome or other built-in browsers on Android)
- Hybrid apps: Which use a wrapper around a web view—a native control that enables interaction with web content
Appium was designed to meet mobile automation philosophies as outlined by the following tenets:
1. You Shouldn’t Have to Recompile Your App or Modify It in Any Way in Order to Automate It:
Appium achieves this by using vendor-provided automation frameworks under the hood, which include:
- iOS 9.3 and later: Apple’s XCUITest
- iOS 9.2 and earlier: Apple’s UIAutomation
- Android 4.3+: Google’s UiAutomator/UiAutomator2
- Windows: Microsoft’s WinAppDriver
2. You Shouldn’t Be Locked In to a Specific Language or Framework to Write and Run Your Tests:
Appium tackles this by wrapping the vendor-provided frameworks in the WebDriver API. It’s a client-server architecture and the client, written in any language, can be used to send the appropriate HTTP requests to the server.
3. A Mobile Automation Framework Shouldn’t Reinvent the Wheel When It Comes to Automation APIs:
Appium has not created a new automation standard for testing mobile applications. Instead, it extends the existing W3C WebDriver by adding extra API methods for mobile automation.
You can learn more about Appium’s core features and how to get started using its official documentation.
Katalon Studio is a powerful and comprehensive automation solution for testing API, web, mobile, and desktop applications. It also has a rich feature set for this testing and supports multiple platforms including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Katalon Studio offers a wide range of features:
- Smart Wait: Resolve problems with the wait feature in Selenium WebDriver
- Desktop testing: Supports testing desktop apps in Windows 10
- Test artifacts sharing: Share test cases, test objects, and keywords among team members
- Comprehensive data-driven testing: Custom data sources and enhanced capabilities to develop test cases with data-driven practices
- WebDriver Event Listener: Use this enhanced listener to handle events triggered by WebDriver
You can get a detailed understanding of all these features in Katalon Studio’s official documentation.
Katalon Studio offers a free edition and two paid editions, which you can select based on your project size and needs.
TestComplete is an automated testing environment for a wide range of application types and technologies, including (but not limited to) Windows, .NET, WPF, Visual C++, Visual Basic, Delphi, C++Builder, Java, and web applications and services.
TestComplete has four major components:
- TestComplete Platform: It powers TestCompleteDesktop, mobile automated testing tools, and web which will help you build solid automated tests across multiple devices, platforms, and environments smoothly and instantly
- TestCompleteDesktop Module: TestComplete Desktop, powered by TestComplete Platform, allows you to run unit testing languages such as TestNG, PyUnit, Ruby, PHPUnit, Junit, and NUnit
- TestCompleteWeb Module: The TestCompleteWeb Module helps you create functional tests for websites and automated Graphical User Interface (GUI), web apps, and mobile applications
- TestCompleteMobile Module: It allows you to create robust automated tests for web, native, web, or hybrid mobile Android applications
TestComplete comes with out-of-the-box integrations for CI/CD tools like Jenkins and Jira, popular open-source frameworks, and tools like Selenium and SoapUI.
It gives you the ability to run tests in parallel across 1500+ remote test environments, including browsers, operating systems, and devices.
TestComplete offers a 30-day free trial in addition to its paid plans.
LambdaTest enables you to perform end-to-end automation tests on a secure, reliable, and scalable Selenium infrastructure.
The key features of the LambdaTest include:
- Automated cross-browser testing with Selenium scripts on 2000+ browsers and operating systems environments
- Integration with various CI/CD tools like Circle CI, Jenkins, and Travis CI
- LambdaTest uses IP2Location to determine your geolocation, based on which you are routed to the nearest data center. This way you get the best possible performance every time
- Automated screenshot testing will help you capture up to 25 screenshots of different configurations of browsers and OS in a single session facilitated by instrumented UI test cases to help you realize how seamlessly your web app renders through different screen sizes using different browsers
LambdaTest offers a lifetime free plan with limited features. It also offers some paid plans for more enterprise-level testing features.
The choice of selecting the right tool not only depends on the size and nature of your project but also on the potential trends and improvements the tool has to offer.
Automation testing is a hot space and it’s evolving constantly and incorporating emerging trends like AI and machine learning. The increasing need for codeless testing will create more opportunities for existing tools and give rise to new players in the automation testing space.
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