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The Best QA Automation Tools For Software Testing In 2021

Tools For Automated Testing That'll Save You Hours of Work

This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best QA automation tools for quality assurance testing.

QA automation testing is just what it sounds like…quality assurance for apps and software through mobile testing and web testing, but automated. QA automation tools can take over repetitive tasks in order to free up your team’s time to do more complex or more creative problem-solving.

Make no mistake, there is no way to achieve 100% automated testing (we wish!) but automation tools can help take the mundane stuff off your plate during day-to-day operations.

In this post, I’ve selected a handful of QA tools that specialize in automation. I’ll explain what test automation can do for you and how it can help your efforts with quality assurance for software development. I’ll share with you a few of the best automation testing tools on the market and what they do.

The Best QA Automation Tools List

Here’s a shortlist of the best test automation tools:

  1. Sahi Pro
  2. Testim
  3. LambdaTest
  4. Appsurify
  5. Mabl
  6. TestProject
  7. QA Wolf
  8. Watir
  9. AppliTools
  10. Katalon Studio

Find in-depth summaries of each tool below.

Comparison Criteria

What am I looking for when I select a QA test tool for review? Here’s my evaluation criteria:

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
  2. Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Is there good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? What level of programming skills does the software require?
  3. Features & Functionality: 
    • Documentation: Every QA tool should have a clean, robust documentation process with easily searchable and exportable test results.
    • Script languages: Does the software work with a variety of popular scripting languages? Or, does it specialize in one script language and go above and beyond in that focus? 
    • Version control: Can testing be done on different files at the same time? Is there a way to show the data history and revert local changes if needed?
    • Test Commands: Does the software support a large number of test commands? Can test commands be easily added or changed as needed?
    • Test Scenarios: Does the software support a variety of test scenarios, including performance testing?
  4. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools or plugins? Any pre-built integrations? Does it integrate with any bug tracking tools, such as JIRA? Does it support various operating systems and browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and others?
  5. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?

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Overviews Of The Best QA Automation Testing Tools

Here’s a brief description of each of the testing automation tools that are featured on the top list.

1. Sahi Pro — Best for automatic reporting and bug logging

Screenshot of Sahi Pro QA Automation Tools
Test creation and maintenance for BAs and QAs.

Sahi Pro is an automation tool for all technologies: cross browser web apps, desktop applications, Java applets, web services, and mobile applications. Identify elements, perform mouse and keyboard actions, and work from databases and files.

Sahi Pro is relatively affordable compared to other paid options on this list. Their transparent pricing and generous free trial offering scored them well in the Value for Cost section of the evaluation criteria. 

The look and feel of the software’s UX is clunky and a bit outdated. Even from the included screenshot provided here, you can see that certain elements are a bit of an eyesore. 

Sahi Pro starts at $695/year and has a free 30-day trial and a free demo.

2. Testim – best for automated testing with artificial intelligence

Screenshot of Testim QA Automation Tools
Record or code beta stable end-to-end tests that fit your workflow.

Testim empowers users to author stable customized tests—either codeless or coded, use artificial intelligence to make tests resilient, run parallel tests across browser types on their test cloud, and create and publish informative bug reports. 

Testim caters to both beginner and advanced users, allowing even non-technical team members to create code-free tests. Excellent customer service further enhances the Usability score per our evaluation criteria above. 

The major con is that image verification (pixel level validation) is not a local feature, meaning you have to employ a 3rd party solution in order to gain access to this function. 

Testim starts at $450/month and has a freemium version with 1000 runs per month.

3. LambdaTest – A cloud Selenium Grid of 2000+ real browsers for desktop & mobile. Offers an intuitive interface and RESTful API for extracting Selenium test reports.

Screenshot of Lambda Test QA Automation Tools

LambdaTest takes away all the pain points of managing and maintaining an in-house Selenium infrastructure with an online Selenium Grid which is always ready to fire up your test scripts. Their Selenium Grid is equipped with the latest & legacy browsers & OS, so you don’t waste your time in keeping track of what’s new.

As we talked earlier, Selenium reporting features are not as impressive. However, LambdaTest takes care of that. It offers detailed automation test logs to help you quickly debug your Selenium scripts. These logs include exception logs, command logs, network logs, raw Selenium logs and metadata. You also get a video recording of your entire script execution, along with command by command screenshots. You can also extract Selenium reports using their RESTful Selenium API.

4. Appsurify – best for reducing automation test completion times

Screenshot of Appsurify QA Automation Tools
Appsurify provides a RiskMap for testing projects, as well as bug tracking and test prioritization capabilities.

Appsurify allows QA engineers and developers to test more frequently, find defects earlier, and speed up cycle times. 

Appsurify TestBrain is a plug and play machine learning testing tool that saves over 90% in automation test completion times, returns test results to developers immediately after each commit, and quarantines unstable or flaky tests so teams can release faster without sacrificing quality. 

The tool has the ability to plug into existing testing environments, whether in the Cloud or On-Premise, meaning it can be up and running in 15 minutes. 

Appsurify TestBrain is designed to alleviate the pains commonly associated with testing and shipping quality code, such as delayed test results, missed defects, flaky failures, delayed releases, and developer rework. 

The technology Appsurify leverages may take a few days to learn before providing results, because it must first analyze test failures and the history of commits. 

Appsurify has a free trial for 60 days. Pricing is based on a monthly subscription offered upon request.

Pros: 

  • Shortens test execution time
  • Prevents flaky tests from breaking the build
  • Works with your existing test practices

Cons:

  • Requires time to learn from historical data
  • Requires existing test practices to be in place

5. Mabl – best for integrating testing with existing workflows

Screenshot of mabl QA Automation Tools
Users can create, set up, and execute tests within mabl Trainer.

Named a Strong Performer in the Q2 2020 Forrester Wave™ for Continuous Functional Test Automation Suites, mabl is an intelligent test automation tool built for fast-paced delivery cycles. mabl integrates automated end-to-end testing into the entire development lifecycle.

mabl allows teams to standardize on a cloud-native testing platform, and every team member can contribute to automated test creation and quality. The tool also allows teams to integrate testing into existing workflows with issue tracking, CI/CD, communication tools, and more.

The mabl Trainer was built to enable anyone to create tests based on key user flows in the application. As tests execute, mabl collects comprehensive diagnostic data and generates AI-driven insights increasing confidence in deployment and enabling swift test failure analysis. And as your application evolves, AI-powered auto-healing means your tests learn and evolve with it.

Tool costs vary depending on functionality and test runs needed. They also offer a free trial.

6. TestProject – best for E2E web & mobile test automation

Run end-to-end automated tests on your website or mobile application.

TestProject is a free test automation platform for web, Android, iOS, and API testing, trusted by over 100,000 users in the testing community. TestProject makes the entire end-to-end testing process easier for both testers and developers by eliminating maintenance and setup hassles, wrapping Selenium and Appium, taking care of all the drivers and servers, and more. Other features included AI self-healing technology, Adaptive Wait, and a built-in Automation Assistant.

TestProject includes an AI-powered codeless test recorder and an open source SDK compatible with native Selenium APIs (supporting Java, Python, C# and JavaScript). Users can create, store, execute, debug and deploy tests anywhere, both on the Hybrid Cloud or locally for offline executions. 

The tool also includes a useful add-ons library (shared and developed by the testing community), out-of-the-box test reports & dashboards, and seamless integrations into your CI/CD pipelines (e.g. Jenkins, TeamCity, CircleCI, Git, Sauce Labs, etc.).

TestProject is free for all features and capabilities.

Pros: 

  • No complex set up or framework maintenance
  • No coding skills required to get started
  • 100% built on Selenium APIs and compatible with existing code

Cons:

  • Can run one test at a time, and parallel testing requires use of Docker Agents
  • Team collaboration features limited when working offline

7. QA Wolf – Best for fast test creation and ease-of-use

Screenshot of QA Wolf QA Automation Tools
QA Wolf allows all users to create tests, including non-technical users.

QA Wolf is a QA automation tool that is ideal for teams of all skill levels, from non-technical members to senior developers. The tool is easy to use and prioritizes team collaboration to facilitate test creation.

The tool has an intuitive UI and accurate code generation engine. QA Wolf enables non-technical members of your team to create tests quickly and reliably. It’s also worth noting that auto-generated code is fully editable Javascript. If there’s a complex test path that requires troubleshooting, your developer can step in and write custom code to fix it.

QA Wolf is fully hosted, which enables team collaboration. Team members can join a single company dashboard and access each other’s tests, share direct links, or create tests together. The tool also provides video logs of test failures so understanding problems is easy.

QA Wolf’s integrations are also noteworthy. For test creation, the tool integrates with Netlify and Vercel. For test alerts & notifications, it integrates with email and Slack.

QA Wolf starts at $40/month and has a freemium version with 100 runs per month.

Pros: 

  • Fully hosted and requires no downloads or installation
  • Runs tests in 100% parallel for fast results
  • 100% open-source with an active community

Cons:

  • Currently only supports Chrome, Chromium, Firefox, and Webkit 
  • Integration with Vercel/Netlify could be easier

8. Watir – best for easily maintaining test cases

Screenshot of Watir QA Automation Tools
Run test scenarios for web application testing against an embedded browser on a real device.

Watir stands for “Web Application Testing in Ruby” and is a testing framework that is constantly updating features and functions; some of the most recent additions include extensive scrolling functionality, new element methods, and an Element Location overhaul. 

Watir is great for its ease of maintaining test cases and providing a robust API. This scored it well in Features & Functions as well as Integrations in the evaluation criteria section. 

The major con for this tool is that it doesn’t have as large of a community around it as, say, Selenium, which works similarly. Thus, finding an expert in Watir or help in community forums is more difficult. 

Watir offers pricing upon request and has a free demo.

9. AppliTools – best for test scenarios involving visual testing

Screenshot of AppliTools QA Automation Tools
Dozens of SDKs targeting all major programming languages, such as JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and PHP, and test frameworks.

AppliTools is designed to automatically run functional and visual tests at scale across every app, browser, OS, and screen size. Users can capture visual differences via full-page screenshots, compare visual differences across every platform, and run functional and visual tests.

For a testing tool, AppliTools has a clean and aesthetically pleasing user interface. Boxes and panels keep projects and tests looking highly organized, scoring them well in the UX segment of the above evaluation criteria. 

Applitools was built to visually test pages, resulting in false positives due to the fact that it is testing at the page-level in a componentized app. A con is that some time may be required to sift through these results.

AppliTools offers pricing upon request and has a free version for 1 user.

10. Katalon Studio –  best for cross-platform testing

Screenshot of Katalon Studio QA Automation Tools
Empower your test case and simplify your automation process with Katalon Studio.

Named a 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice, Katalon Studio is a complete test automation solution for web automation, mobile, API, and desktop app testing. Katalon Studio revolutionizes the use of open-source frameworks by eliminating the technical complexities, allowing testers to set up, create, run, report, and manage automated tests effectively.

The tool provides both codeless test creation for novices as well as endless script extension and customization for experts. Users can easily generate and execute tests on different OSs (Mac OS, Windows, and Linux), most common browsers, and devices. 

Katalon Studio offers a host of integrations for multiple purposes: SDLC and CI/CD management, team collaboration, and many more. It also supports Cucumber, a BDD focused software that allows for test scenarios to be written in plain language. Katalon is also expanding their partnerships — to provide a comprehensive testing experience to its users.

Katalon Studio lost a few points in its user guide and tutorials. Although there is resourceful documentation, it is not well-organized. Users can leverage the community and forum activity to seek help relating to the software. 

Katalon Studio starts at $759 for an enterprise license and offers a free version for individual testers.

Other QA Tester Tools Options

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for a handy QA testing tool, check these out. 

  1. TestingWhiz – best for codeless automation testing
  2. Selenium – best for web-based applications
  3. Appium — An open-source test automation framework for use with native, hybrid, and mobile web apps.
  4. Parasoft — Automated software testing with integrating static and runtime analysis; unit, functional, and API testing; and service virtualization.
  5. Microsoft Visual Studio Test Professional — Coordinate all test management activities including test planning, authoring, execution, and tracking from a central location.
  6. Micro Focus Silk Test — For regression, cross-platform, and localization testing of all mobile application types, including mobile web, mobile native, and hybrid applications.
  7. Postman — Automate many types of tests including unit tests, functional tests, integration tests, end-to-end tests, regression tests, and mock tests.
  8. Ranorex — Build data-driven tests by adding links to data tables, spreadsheets, or databases and point-and-click to add parameters or conditions to test cases.
  9. Smartbear TestComplete — An automated UI testing tool with a hybrid object and visual recognition engine to test every desktop, web, and mobile application.
  10. Tricentis Tosca — A continuous testing platform, accelerates testing with a script-less, no-code approach for end-to-end test automation.
  11. Accential Test — A complete feature set, covering the entire testing cycle: manage test plans, automated tests, manual tests, test data, test executions, results, and reporting.
  12. TestCraft — Codeless test automation with Selenium-based CI/CD integrations for synthetic monitoring and AI for smooth change adaption. 
  13. Appvance IQ — Offers 3rd-generation code-free cross-browser data-driven testing, self-healing tests, functional, performance, and app-pen, UX, and API testing.
  14. Perfecto — A cloud-based continuous testing platform with smart self-healing abilities and thousands of real devices and browsers to test.
  15. Percy — An all-in-one visual review platform with visual testing for officially-supported SDKs in an intersection of design, development, and deployment. 
  16. WonderProxy — Flexible tools designed to test currencies, payment and shipping, languages, targeted content, promotions, and advertising.
  17. Telerik Studio – best for custom testing frameworks
  18. Unified Functional Testing (UFT One) – best for end-to-end testing

Automation Tool FAQ

Have some questions about QA automation? Browse through this section first.

What Is QA Automation?

Quality assurance (QA) is often done manually; however, there is software designed to take the load off of human participants and reduce manual testing. QA automation is done through software designed to explore, test, and report on its subject. Test automation will often apply artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to better service tasks for test optimization, intelligent test generation, execution, and reporting.

What Are The Benefits Of Automated Testing?

Automated testing can help speed up the process of delivering quality software faster, known as “Quality at Speed” (QaS) or sometimes “Quality at Scale“. Automated testing is an important component of DevOps toolchains and agile methodologies, which helps deliver on QaS. Mobile automation testing tools can:

  • increase feedback speeds
  • accelerate results
  • lower business expenses (hourly wages)
  • increase test efficiency and scope
  • detect defects earlier on in the development process
  • generate more thorough test results

Automated testing is also often an important part of software development that uses a continuous integration methodology.

What Are Your Top QA Automation Tools?

Have you tried out any of the automation testing tools listed above? Do you have any software you would add to the automation testing tools list? Share your ideas with a comment below.

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