The struggle between hands-on and automation testing is very common in the modern world of software engineering. Yet, amidst this controversy, one truth stands unshaken: the indispensability of test automation. The need for “quality at speed,” which is currently taking hold in the software market, means the products must be “first-class” and delivered as quickly as possible.

Test automation is the disruptive power that helps QA teams race through accurate test cases in the fast-paced world where companies strive to release new products within the blink of an eye and do not want to compromise on quality. Automation becomes the sensible option in a situation where several regular checks are expected to be performed at short notice, which would cost companies much more time, resources, and money than manual testing.

Can this fine balancing be achieved? Yes, test automation is the answer. Choosing the right automation tool is a complex process. So let’s dive deeper into important considerations to choose the right test automation tool.

When is Test Automation Necessary?

Automation testing involves using specialized software tools to execute pre-scripted tests on software applications. Manual testing remains important in certain software projects. Therefore, in all cases, automation is not a must-have measure to expedite testing.

Auto testing is better suited for instances when:

  • You do recurrent regression testing.
  • You have multiple repetitive tests
  • This is insufficient for critical functionality.
  • You’re handling numerous BVT cases
  • The UI of AUT is comparatively resilient.
  • You must represent the behavior of multiple users accessing the application’s resources.

Automation testing success mainly derives from choosing the appropriate tool for different circumstances. It initially takes some effort and time; however, it is imperative for test automation efficiency within your team.

Types of Automation Testing Tools

All the test automation tools present can be divided into three main types as follows.

  • Open-source automation tools

Such tools are free platforms to obtain and utilize their source code. Here, users can either implement the code in its entirety or they could make changes and customize it according to the testing that they desire. The community built the device, and it does not cost a penny. Many automation testers who program choose open-source tools because they are free and allow advanced testing to be tailor-made.

  • Commercial automation tools

For commercial purposes, the manufacturers produce tools normally supplied through subscription plans. The users have to buy an authorization license to operate it. This kind of tool usually has more premium features and thorough customer service, which provides complete quality assurance for the companies or enterprises compared to open-source software.

  • Custom framework

There also exist niche projects that use a single open-source software or fixed commercial testing tool that does not comply with the needs. Such differences stem from their testing procedures and test conditioning. Teams have to develop specific software for such situations. A custom framework is quite complex compared to the two other solutions and should be implemented by expert technicians.

Key Considerations When Selecting a Test Automation Tool

Several factors determine the suitable software testing tool. The initial stage is unique for every testing phase and can completely change as the project progresses.

The framework is straightforward: in order to be able to monitor your progress along the way, you need to ensure that the objectives you set are specific and have clearly stipulated key results.

A good testing tool is critical, and you will need it to scale. It is also worth noting that testing different tools available may require time; however, testing tools are crucial in the testing stage and, ultimately, for the project’s success.

The key factors to consider during the selection process include the following:

Project Requirement

It is advisable to take note of the exact needs of your individual project before settling on a software test automation tool. It would be preferable to go for a device that suits your project requirements and tests rather than testing. Firstly, the project requirements and problems you want the testing tools to solve should be enlisted. You can ask these general questions to gain insights into the particular project’s needs:

The application’s language is worth noting as it becomes very important if you opt for a particular programming language for test automation. Understanding types of applications that require testing like working with desktop, mobile, API, or web apps. Examine if cross-device testing or cross-browser testing is required. This testing is required if you work on a mobile or web application. For web applications, make sure to write the supported browsers. Indicate the mobile operating system if it’s a mobile app and the desktop version.

When you determine these answers, use OKR management to enhance efficiency. Therefore, OKRs direct your team toward the most pressing tasks before expanding to any other possible places of improvement.

The top advantage that OKR presents is quality assurance at each stage of the testing process. Objective setting helps break down the projects into manageable chunks so that your team can collaborate effectively and achieve productive results.

Skills of Your Team or Learning Curve

There are two types of test automation tools available. Some require coding, while others are codeless.

As such, while choosing a software test automation tool, one should take into account your team’s skills and their level of experience. Your team already has some basic knowledge in this field, hence some tools could prove easy to learn, while others will require additional training or expertise.

However, if they are new to software testing, select a solution that includes comprehensive training materials and tutorials that aid them in catching up quickly.m

In addition, ensure that the selected tool will not call for any extra technical skills available in the team prior to selection.

Budget

It is critical to consider the budget as one of the factors for evaluating software solutions and selecting a testing automation tool is not an exception.

Therefore, depending on the size and complexity of your project, some options may fall outside the cost restrictions. Knowing what you are ready to pay before deciding on which one is suitable for you.

Before you set the budget in stone, consider the following aspects:

  • Time your team will spend learning the tool: Indirect saving is short learning, as it minimizes the time and resources invested in the tool.
  • Time spent on the automation: If the tool creates and maintains test cases, you will save time and money.
  • Cost of human resources the automation needs: This will help the company reduce costs, whereby the testing tool does not need an experienced human resource for automation.

Choose an option that will easily fit into your budget so as not to have extra expenditure later, which may negatively impact the testing process used during the development stages.

However, it is advantageous to search for tools that support various payment schemes. Others may provide discounts or free trials for their services so that they can get an insight into their requirements in order to decide whether they need other features you provide fully.

Besides, some instruments offer team subscriptions whereby testers from diverse teams or locations can access a single account cheaply. This is the key element you need to put on top if you have a big organization covering many areas of projects.

Simplicity in Maintenance and Test Case Generation

Generating test cases takes time. Thus, the selected software needs to have an easy approach that entails user-friendly interfaces or low code that makes script creation easier and faster. You will not waste many development hours on setup costs since it involves fewer upfront costs.

In addition, not all testing tools are capable of handling a variety of situations. To practically automate some test cases would be the best way to make sure that the tool you chose suits your needs.

Furthermore, after script creation, you need to carry out minimal maintenance in order to reduce the amount of manual effort that goes into it when you’re finished with testing.

In the event there are only little changes made in an application, some tools self-heal after test cases.

Search for options that give users an opportunity to tailor tests depending on their requirements. The script will be designed for each user by himself, and all of them can carry out automated tests.

When starting with test automation, use the OKR methodology and make sure that complete documentation is provided so that your team can come back when they encounter problems during the setup or maintenance. Consider aspects like a change monitoring system and a tool that notifies you automatically about any updates on all project activities. 

This cuts down on time taken in searching for elaborate directives and unfamiliar user interfaces and improves work flows and enables your team to work together better.

Reusability

Reusability is one key point to consider while deciding the optimal choice for your project. This enables your team to use scripts and tests developed in one environment in another without manual setup or configuration.

Data-Driven Testing Capabilities

Running many tests on a single data set with data-driven testing is possible for your test team. With less effort, they can verify that an application or system is accurate and dependable.

Therefore, it is important to know what OKRs are. Doing so will increase productivity while learning useful details on how the software is used for a better user experience.

In this case, scripts are prepared in a way that they run each test case with different sets of data. You will track your progress since you set your goals clearly and have measurable critical results in every testing step.

In this way, you have to be sure that your group does a comprehensive check using a number of data sets, and then one may add more data.

For instance, OKRs could increase test coverage by 20% or decrease time-to-market by 50%.

That is why you should set those objectives and key results for each iteration of testing in order to ensure that no stone is left unturned during the development process as all aspects are accounted for.

Reporting Mechanism

The software test automation process involves reporting. The completeness of a reporting mechanism indicates the quality and reliability of your application or system. This helps you in making changes so as to ensure all tests run successfully.

Look for reporting features such as:

  • Report for possible errors.
  • Provide screenshots for failed test cases or steps.
  • A complete listing of the unsuccessful test scenarios.
  • The duration it takes when executing test steps and reporting test cases
  • Video display for test execution
  • These reports should be very detailed and have a graphical representation of various scenarios for quick review. Your team will be able to spot such problems immediately and with ease.

You should also look at options such as ready-made report templates that can be quickly adapted to your own requirements. Meaningful insights from data generated during testing cycles can be generated by every team member without having to peruse through thousands of lines of text each time something new is verified.

Collaboration Support

Collaboration is very important in software test automation in today’s age of remote working. The selected tool should enable the cooperation of remote or departmental teams in order to guarantee the correctness of test cycles.

Consider using software with instant feedback and warnings once they have been changed. They make communication easier among various stakeholders while ensuring that all parties remain informed at all times about the progress of the project.

To enhance your testing experience, you can leverage the LambdaText cloud-based platform for automation testing. LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that lets you run manual and automated tests at scale with over 3000+ real devices, browsers, and OS combinations. This platform excels in simplicity with efficient test case generation, minimal maintenance, and robust reporting mechanisms, providing detailed insights and graphical representations. Additionally, it promotes reusability, supports data-driven testing, and facilitates seamless collaboration among remote and departmental teams, making it the ideal automation testing tool for comprehensive, efficient, and cost-effective software testing processes.

Conclusion

One way an effective and efficient project can be realized is by using automation for software testing. Therefore, it is prudent for you to select an appropriate instrument that matches your requirements.

Specifically, some tools, such as LambdaTest, fulfill a very defined project goal. The support provider assures the users of complete device compatibility by providing real devices and cross-browser testing. The friendly interface addresses teams possessing varying levels of automation acumen and facilitates the smooth transition to automated testing. In addition, LambdaTest is a cloud architect that comes with lower initial setup costs and keeps clients aware of project activity updates, hence convenient testing. Because the scripts and tests can be easily transferred from one environment to another, there is no wasted time or resources.

Apart from the special features to test, ensure that your support team will be available round the clock in case of any challenges. Finally, your testing mechanism should be able to improve the speed of your testing such that your team develops and produces a quality product at higher speeds.

In this regard, LambdaTest stands apart from the whole cooperation by offering teams from different cities or offices a great communication mechanism and quick feedback. Quality assurance as the project progresses is assured by LambdaTest’s reporting mechanism which gives information and images for quick review. But, not with LambdaTest, it is a package that not only includes a testing tool but also enhances productivity, and promotes ease of teamwork while offering an improved testing capacity compared to any other available tools. By choosing LambdaTest, your team can launch a high-quality product on schedule, meeting today’s standards for software.

By Grace