In such a situation, software testing becomes critical and organizations are always looking to increase code coverage and speed up testing. This is where Test Automation comes into the equation. There are several Test Automation tools that are both open source and licensed. These tools have multiple functions and claim multiple benefits. Obviously choosing the right automation tool is critical as each has its own challenges such as implementation complexity, training need, usability aspects, overall productivity and timeline impact, cost effectiveness and so on. Here’s a list of factors that organizations need to consider before selecting the right test automation tools:
Identify the scope and conclude on technical feasibility
As a first step, it is important to identify the full scope requirements and different development technologies involved in the architecture of the application under test. Requirements must be clearly, accurately and thoroughly reviewed before the tool selection process comes into view. Once the requirements are well documented, the right tools should be shortlisted that best meet needs with less cost and implementation effort – but more about those issues later.
Building the business case
Organizations must first decide on their desired return on investment or perform a cost-benefit analysis before selecting the appropriate tool based on the scope of the project. If you want to know how to do that, this post from us can help! According to the results, if the outcome of the analysis is that the implementation of the tool will significantly improve the productivity of the test run or significantly reduce the test effort, then it should be pursued further. Some automation tools can help you create automated tests without coding – this affects the type and thus the cost of the resources to be deployed. The costs of developing tests by hiring specialists versus the costs of investing in the automation tool need to be compared and analyzed.
Open source versus licensed tools
There is little doubt that licensed tools have more built-in features, but they always come at a higher cost. For smaller and medium-sized projects, open source tools along with minimal customization can serve the purpose rather than investing in licensed tools. Some of the open source tools have limited functions, for example they can only run specific tests or have support for specific languages or operating systems, while some of the licensed tools have multiple functions and functionality. The pros and cons of choosing the right tool should be weighed. In the case of licensed tools, the supplier’s post-production or after-sales support must also be taken into account.
Proof of concept
Before finally drawing a conclusion, it can sometimes be advisable for organizations to do a small proof of concept project with the selected automation tool. Setting up the right success criteria is an important aspect of a proof of concept for objective decision making. Licensed tools often have trial versions that can be downloaded and used as proof of concept. Doing a proof of concept also gives an idea of whether test automation is indeed necessary or whether manual testing is sufficient. Based on the outcome of the proof of concept, organizations can fine-tune the automation tool that best suits their needs, which could yield test results in a specific format, easy to implement, better test coverage, etc. If the proof of concept is unsuccessful or not delivering the desired results, it can help to save time, effort and costs for the organization before the full-fledged project is executed.
Tools with improved functions
As mentioned earlier, it is a must to choose the automation tool that suits the organization or project requirements. However, many automation tools have additional nice features that can benefit the organization in the long run. It is good for a large organization that works on different projects to have the best automation software. Additional features such as cross-platform and multilingual support, support for mobile devices, the ability to connect to multiple test data sources, the ability to generate detailed reports, integration with automated build software and version management tools are some of the add-ons an organization needs to consider.
Selecting the right automation tool is no easy task and should be carefully considered. This is because a wrong choice or decision can have a serious impact on the project, the testing phase or the end goals of the company. What is your experience in choosing a test automation tool – what factors have you considered?