Using software testing tools can drastically simplify testing, increase the number of defects and ultimately achieve higher quality releases. In addition, this can lead to improvements in the reliability of the solutions provided, making them more productive and effective from the customer’s perspective. There is a wide variety of software testing tools that address many aspects of the testing process; they can be applied to different types of software, different programming languages and are suitable for different types of tests. The scope and quality of such tools vary widely and provide support to varying degrees.
Many of the tools are now available for free trial and download. You can choose to purchase a licensed version and upgrade to the full product quickly and easily if the evaluation of the tools works well. However, keep in mind that the value of test tools depends on the extent to which the tool can address and support the software testing process. In essence, the test tools must fit and improve the existing business processes. Certainly they should not impose a process change on the test team if change is unlikely to be accepted or implemented by the software testers.
Types of software test tools Software test tools can be categorized based on the test activity or process in which they are used, e.g. test scheduling, test execution, data comparison, defect recording, etc. Categorizing tools based on the process in which they are used leads to categories along the following lines:
· Source code (AdaTEST, AQtime, BoundsChecker, CMT ++, CodeCheck, CodeWizard, GlowCode, OSPC, Panorama, TBGEN)
· Functional (.TEST, AberroTest, Automate! Test Manager, CitraTest, Eggplant, GUITAR, QACenter, Silktest, TestComplete, WinRunner®)
· Performance (BugTimer, LoadRunner®, Monitor Master, SilkPerformer, TestLoad, WinFeedback, XtremeLoad)
· Java (Abbot, AgileTest, Agitator, Cactus, GJ-Coverage, JCover, JMeter, JUnit, Marathon, QEngine, TCAT / Java)
· Embedded software (Message Magic, Reactis Tester, TBrun, Tessy, TestQuest Pro, USBTester, VectorCAST)
· Database (AETG, Data Generator, Datatect, ER / Datagen, Jumpstart, SQL DB Validator, TestIt !, TurboData)
· Bug tracking tools (Bugzilla, DevTrack, Dragonfly, Footprints, Mantis, Perfect Tracker, QEngine, Squish, TrackStudio)
· Test management tools (ApTest Manager, QaTraq, comprehensive test plan, QADirector, SilkPlan Pro, TestLog)
Advantages of using software test tools The advantages of using such software test tools are great. Such tools can provide the following:
- they can drastically speed up the testing process. Imagine how long it can take to manually test a few hundred test cases. Automated software tools can run 100 or even 1000 times faster;
- they can increase test coverage by creating large data sets and combinations. This allows testers to reduce their reliance on developer support in developing test data.
- they can take away human factors such as carelessness or boredom. Think about the times that you ran a few hundred test cases and your attention decreased the more mistakes you made with your tests. A test tool will perform the same test and check the results perfectly every time it is run;
- they can support testing the code in a live environment. Test tools are often used to replace hardware or software on which you want to use your product. This application can then help respond to software issues that may be difficult to achieve in a controlled test environment.
What makes tools for testing software is so useful that their usability and features have improved tremendously in recent years. As these tools become easier to use, the ability to deploy these tools, even for very inexperienced testers, becomes more feasible. With the productivity gains achieved by using such tools, more members of your team will use these tools, the more improvements you will see as productivity increases.
In conclusion, we can say that improvements with software testing tools that use the latest software testing techniques will not only increase team motivation but also increase the quality of software products in a number of ways: 1) reduce and test the costs of software development; 2) reduce the time spent developing new software products; 3) improve software performance, conformance to specifications and interoperability with other software / hardware. In addition, the benefits of using software test tools within the test team lead to an increase in team motivation, an increase in test coverage and a decrease in test time.