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Quality Engineering, Planning & Strategy
The 10 Best Quality Engineering Software Tools: A Complete Guide

Software quality is a vitally important consideration for anyone in the business of developing apps, regardless of whether they’re geared towards consumers or businesses. 

In the US alone, the cost of poor software quality in 2020 was approximately $2.08 trillion, according to The Cost of Poor Software Quality In the US: A 2020 Report, published by Synopsys, in collaboration with the Consortium for Information & Software Quality (CISQ).

User expectations are higher than ever before, and this means that the more competitive your niche is, the more important it is that your software delivers on its promises. This is why it’s crucial to stay abreast of evolving quality methodologies such as quality engineering and make sure you’re using the best available tools for the job.

In this post, I’ll cover what quality engineering is, the difference between quality engineering (QE) and quality assurance (QA), and explore 10 top tools for quality engineering. 

For each tool, I’ll provide an overview, describe its use case, and provide pricing and free trial information. I’ll also break down some of the main types of quality engineering tools and provide some examples in each category.

What Is Quality Engineering (QE)? 

Quality engineering is a relatively new approach to promoting quality in software development in general and product development in particular. 

With the high cost of low-quality software, many companies are starting to take a more proactive and preventative approach to quality management throughout the entire development process (from idea to launch and beyond) rather than trying to fix bad quality software after it’s been shipped.

This more holistic approach aims to be more resource-efficient, saving software developers’ time and money while ideally resulting in shorter deployment cycles.

Quality engineering includes analyzing and evaluating the processes involved in the development of software in order to continuously improve quality and efficiency, and reduce waste. This commitment to quality extends beyond the product’s launch, feeding insights gained throughout the entire product development lifecycle into updates and future products. 

For more detailed information about quality engineering, read our blog, What Is Quality Engineering? 

What’s the Difference Between QA and QE?

The main difference between quality assurance and quality engineering is that QA takes a corrective approach to quality control, whereas QE takes a preventative approach by applying rigorous quality checks throughout each phase of the software development lifecycle.

The problem with the traditional quality assurance model is that finding and addressing quality issues after the fact is inefficient. This is because it often requires that aspects of the product be redone, leading to delayed launches and higher costs (and, frequently, hasty fixes that don’t always address the quality issues).

For a more detailed analysis of the difference between quality engineering and quality assurance, read our blog on the topic: Quality Engineering Vs. Quality Assurance: Everything You Need To Know.

The Best Quality Engineering Tools Shortlist

The focus on prevention over patches has given rise to an abundance of tools that facilitate quality engineering, ranging from collaboration and productivity tools to DevOps solutions, testing software, analytics tools, security solutions, and many more.

Here’s a shortlist of the best software to help with your quality engineering process:

  1. QA Wolf

    Best for outsourcing quality engineering, test creation, and issue reports

  2. LucidChart

    Best for collaborative system planning and analysis

  3. Tricentis Tosca

    Best continuous testing automation platform for enterprise

  4. BugBug

    Best low-code solution for startups & SMBs

  5. Sympli

    Best tool for collaboration between designers and developers

  6. Perforce Suite

    Best software quality assurance suite for devops

  7. CucumberStudio

    Best collaboration tool for behavior-driven development

  8. LinearB

    Best software quality engineering tool for managing team health

  9. SeaLights

    Best enterprise quality governance and software risk scoring

  10. Appsurify TestBrain

    Best risk-based testing solution

Overviews Of The 10 Best Quality Engineering Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the quality control tools to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the interface.  

1

QA Wolf

Best for outsourcing quality engineering, test creation, and issue reports

QA Wolf is an end-to-end testing automation solution that comes with an expert team of QA engineers to write, run, and repeat all your critical tests. It’s as much of a ‘tool’ as it is a service, taking the burden of in-house QA work off your shoulders. They are currently used by companies like Gumroad, MainStreet, Mailchimp, Replay, and Padlet. 

QA Wolf does bug testing by having their team run tests, investigate failures, and then write up a bug/issue report with repro steps, a video recording, logs, and any other data you need. You can log into the platform to view progress at any time or wait for a scheduled review session. 

Key features include end-to-end test coverage, a comprehensive test plan strategy, failure triaging and test maintenance, high-quality bug reports, fast parallel test run infrastructure, and an easy-to-use app for real-time status updates.

QA Wolf integrates with tools like Stripe, Salesforce, email providers, Auth0, SMS, Github, and even more options through their flexible API.

QA Wolf has a freemium version with 100 runs per month. Paid plans cost from $40/month.

Freemium version (100 runs/month)

$40/month

2

LucidChart

Best for collaborative system planning and analysis

LucidChart is a drag-and-drop intelligent diagramming tool that helps product development teams collaboratively visualize complex ideas like systems and processes and solve problems in context using inline feedback.

LucidChart helps to get everyone on the same page from the start of the project, reducing the pressure on QA teams by improving communication and alignment throughout the SDLC.

LucidChart pricing starts from $7.95/month for individuals and $6.67 per user per month for teams (minimum 3 users). LucidChart also offers a free trial.

Free Trial

$7.95/month for individuals and $6.67/user/month for teams (minimum 3 users)

3

Tricentis Tosca

Best continuous testing automation platform for enterprise

Tricentis’s Continuous Testing Platform supports the entire testing lifecycle across enterprise and custom applications. Tricentis uses AI-driven data analytics to power faster, smarter testing and its platform is fully automated and codeless, making it easy and quick to set up and run automated tests, whether you’re a developer or a business leader.

The Tosca automated testing module separates the automation model from the underlying application. This means that changes to the application’s source code don’t impact the test automation. This helps to accelerate software testing by removing bottlenecks.

Tricentis pricing information is unavailable. Free trials are available for the qTest and NeoLoad modules.

Free Trial

Starts at $29.00/month

4

BugBug

Best low-code solution for startups & SMBs

BugBug is a quality engineering solution that is designed to be easy to figure out without any preexisting programming knowledge. This QE platform is used by companies like Brand24, Sellizer, Holiday Park & Resort, questpass, and Innential.

BugBug bills themselves as ‘for startups’ and their generous freemium plan indeed makes them an appropriate low-cost option for small teams. They also have a scalable subscription model with custom enterprise pricing for larger companies. 

Key features include the ability to create tests right within your browser without any coding; running tests either in your web browser or the cloud; the option to fix tests without re-recording; scheduling daily automated tests; and integration with your CI/CD pipelines.

BugBug integrates with GitHub, Jenkins, Travis CI, GitLab, BitBucket, and hundreds of more options using Zapier (paid plan may be required). 

BugBug is free to use with a maximum of 7 days of test history and some feature limitations. Paid plans start at $49/month billed annually. 

14 day free trail

from $49/month

5

Sympli

Best tool for collaboration between designers and developers

Sympli is full-featured version control and handoff tool that makes it easier for designers, product managers, and engineers to collaborate, creating better alignment between the user interface design and the back-end functionality, right from the start.

With Sympli, stakeholders can give inline feedback on shared projects regardless of whether the designs were created in Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD, or Photoshop. Sympli also integrates with Jira and Slack, streamlining developer handoffs and workflows.

Sympli’s pricing starts at $22.5 per month, which includes 5 “seats” or users. Sympli also offers a free trial.

Free Trial

$22.5/month

6

Perforce Suite

Best software quality assurance suite for devops

Perforce’s suite of software development tools for enterprise teams includes a variety of solutions for planning, developing, and creating; testing and validating; and operating, managing, and scaling software.

Perforce has a range of DevOps solutions that address quality, compliance, security, speed, and collaboration throughout the entire product lifecycle from ideation to launch. This makes it an excellent choice for enterprise quality engineering.

Each Perforce tool has its own pricing model, available on request. A free trial is available.

7

CucumberStudio

Best collaboration tool for behavior-driven development

CucumberStudio helps teams to arrive at a clear shared understanding of precisely what the product should do and co-design effective acceptance tests. CucumberStudio also allows teams to accelerate test cycles through test automation.

Thanks to its seamless Git integration, CucumberStudio serves as a single source of truth by automatically ensuring documentation is up to date, accessible, and easy to understand even for non-technical members of cross-functional teams.

CucumberStudio pricing starts from ~$33.65/per user per month (€29/u/m). CucumberStudio offers a 14-day free trial and a free open source version, CucumberOpen, is also available.

14 Days Free Trial

$33.65/per user per month (€29/u/m)

8

LinearB

Best software quality engineering tool for managing team health

LinearB is a project board specifically designed for dev leads, providing detailed project updates in a single screen. This helps dev leads to track project progress, identify risks such as bottlenecks and high-risk code, and offer assistance where it’s needed most.

LinearB uses team-based metrics (not individual metrics) to help dev leads track quality and efficiency trends and distribute work evenly to prevent team overload or burnout.

LinearB pricing starts from $15 per dev per month and they offer a “free forever” trial for up to 8 devs (with 45 days of data retention).

“free forever” trial for up to 8 devs (with 45 days of data retention).

$15/dev/month

9

SeaLights

Best enterprise quality governance and software risk scoring

SeaLights is an enterprise software risk scoring tool that enables software development teams to implement quality governance at scale.

SeaLights automatically identifies, analyzes, and flags software quality risks in real-time throughout the SDLC, empowering software teams to deliver quality at speed.

SeaLights pricing information is currently unavailable.

10

Appsurify TestBrain

Best risk-based testing solution

TestBrain is a software automation testing tool that uses machine learning to make automated and manual QA faster. It is Appsurify’s risk-based testing solution for preventative quality engineering.

TestBrain returns automation test results back on a per commit basis. It catches and corrects bugs 10x earlier by automatically selecting and executing which tests to run in the CI/CD on a per commit basis.

TestBrain plugs into existing QA practices and automatically selects and executes just the tests associated with changes on a per developer level. Rather than running 100% of tests, TestBrain runs a configurable subset of prioritized tests so QA teams don’t waste time running tests that are certain to pass. You can now test more frequently in the day, bring lengthy tests (UI, E2E, Integration, etc.) into the daily build, and provide real-time feedback to development before mistakes are shipped.

TestBrain integrates with Repositories, CI/CD Pipelines, Test Frameworks, and Cloud Testing platforms.

TestBrain costs from $29/user/month and offers a free trial.

Free Trial

$29/user/month

10 Best Quality Engineering Software Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
QA Wolf

Best for outsourcing quality engineering, test creation, and issue reports

Freemium version (100 runs/month)

$40/month Check out QA Wolf
2
LucidChart

Best for collaborative system planning and analysis

Free Trial

$7.95/month for individuals and $6.67/user/month for teams (minimum 3 users) Check out LucidChart
3
Tricentis Tosca

Best continuous testing automation platform for enterprise

Free Trial

Starts at $29.00/month Check out Tricentis Tosca
4
BugBug

Best low-code solution for startups & SMBs

14 day free trail

from $49/month Check out BugBug
5
Sympli

Best tool for collaboration between designers and developers

Free Trial

$22.5/month Check out Sympli
6
Perforce Suite

Best software quality assurance suite for devops

Free Trial

Check out Perforce Suite
7
CucumberStudio

Best collaboration tool for behavior-driven development

14 Days Free Trial

$33.65/per user per month (€29/u/m) Check out CucumberStudio
8
LinearB

Best software quality engineering tool for managing team health

“free forever” trial for up to 8 devs (with 45 days of data retention).

$15/dev/month Check out LinearB
9
SeaLights

Best enterprise quality governance and software risk scoring

Not available

Check out SeaLights
10
Appsurify TestBrain

Best risk-based testing solution

Free Trial

$29/user/month Visit Website

Need expert help selecting the right Testing Software?

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Types of Quality Engineering Tools

Let’s take a look at some of the different types categories of QE tools and how each of them addresses the needs of your product and team. I’ve linked out to further reading material where applicable. 

DevOps

DevOps tools seek to remove siloes in product development, encouraging collaboration between teams across the application lifecycle. This cross-functional collaboration is crucial to quality engineering methodologies as improved communication leads to better alignment and fewer errors and do-overs.  

Examples:

Testing

Testing tools enable quality engineering by allowing stakeholders to design and deploy tests throughout the application lifecycle, accelerating development while promoting quality. Tools such as testing automation and continuous testing tools flag risks early so that fixes can be deployed well in advance of the product going live.

Examples:

Analysis & Analytics

Analytics tools facilitate quality engineering by collecting and analyzing data to identify patterns and track metrics such as performance and efficiency. When paired with AI and machine learning, data analytics tools can have powerful capabilities for flagging risks and flaws as well as making predictive suggestions or even automatically implementing solutions.

Examples:

Infrastructure

Managed infrastructure services are increasingly popular as they help to ensure that applications have sufficient back-end capabilities to perform, sync, and scale as required, with minimal latency and downtime––and minimal maintenance required.

Examples:

Related Read: LEADERSHIP IN TEST: A GUIDE TO INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENVIRONMENTS

Development

Development tools range from project and ticket management tools like Jira to code repository management tools, design, and modeling tools, code compilers, code editors, to testing and analysis tools––essentially anything that helps developers to design, build, test, and deploy quality software. 

Examples:

Collaboration & Productivity 

Collaboration and productivity tools power quality engineering by facilitating effective project management, scheduling, work division, and communication. This helps to ensure that projects run on schedule and on-spec and give project managers greater visibility into team health as well as risks that may impact timelines.  

Examples:

  • Note Taking/Collaboration
  • Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)
  • Agile Management
  • Instant Messaging/Meetings/Collaboration
  • Mind Mapping Tools

Security

Security tools or DevSecOps tools enable teams to embed security compliance protocols and vulnerability management throughout the software development lifecycle. Automation plays an important role in enforcing security standards and testing for and detecting vulnerabilities. 

Examples:

  • Penetration Testing Tools
  • Application Security Testing

Related Read: 6 MAIN PENETRATION TESTING TYPES TO UNCOVER VULNERABILITIES

Cloud-Based Services

Cloud-based services such as APIs make it easier (and faster) to roll out high-quality features or deploy tests without having to build everything from scratch. Whether it’s outsourcing your helpdesk or integrating a plug-and-play chat feature into your app, there are thousands of SaaS products available that can significantly improve your application quality and user experience without adding to your team’s workload.

Examples:

  • Cloud Testing Service
  • Help desk/service management

Utility

Utility software encompasses a wide range of tools designed to help analyze, configure, optimize or maintain computers to ensure optimal operation. Utility tools like remote desktop clients help to test how your software performs on different devices and operating systems and can be invaluable in troubleshooting and addressing mismatches between software requirements and system capabilities.

Examples:

  • Remote Desktop Client
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP)
  • Terminal Emulator

What do you think of these quality engineering tools? 

Have you tried out these tools? Did they work for you? Do you have a useful tool that we missed? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

If you found this guide useful, consider subscribing to The QA Lead newsletter for the latest insights from top thinkers in the quality software niche.

If learning from an internationally renowned, award-winning software engineering consultant, author, and coach is your thing, here’s an article you should definitely check out: LEADERSHIP IN TEST: MANAGING PERFORMANCE TESTING.

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By Mieke van der Merwe

Mieke is a freelance writer hailing from Cape Town, South Africa. She specializes in writing about trends, technology, and human behavior.

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