With so many different QA automation tools available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want to validate the functionality, performance, and reliability of your software but need to figure out which tool is best. I've got you! In this post I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using dozens of different QA automation software with various teams and projects, with my picks of the best QA automation tools.
What Are QA Automation Tools?
QA automation tools are software applications used in the software development process to automatically execute tests on the software being developed. These tools run predefined test cases without manual intervention, checking the software for errors, performance issues, and other defects. They are integral in ensuring that the software meets its design and functionality requirements.
The benefits and uses of QA automation tools include increased efficiency and accuracy in the software testing process. They enable comprehensive testing that is often time-consuming or impractical to perform manually. By detecting issues early in the development cycle, these tools help in reducing the overall cost and time spent on software development. They are crucial in maintaining consistent quality and reliability in complex software projects.
BugHerd is a tool designed for visual bug tracking and website feedback collection. It provides a platform for users to collect, manage, and act upon feedback from a single location.
What sets this software apart is its visual feedback system, including video feedback features. These tools allow users to pinpoint and discuss issues directly on the webpage and pin feedback to website elements. Combined with real-time commenting, these features make it easier for users to pinpoint and address issues and track bugs visually.
The software also includes features such as point-and-click visual feedback capabilities, easy installation through a browser extension, screen recording and screenshot annotations, technical information such as OS, version control-sync, and a task board for managing and actioning feedback. It also offers unlimited guests and projects and allows for public feedback.
BugHerd's integrations include Integromat, Slack, Trello, Jira, Asana, GitHub, Basecamp, FullStory, Harvest, and WordPress.
Plans start from $39 per month, and a 14-day free trial is available.
BugBug is different because it allows you to test faster and at a lower cost. It is suitable for startups that don’t want to be slowed down by complexity. It’s easy to learn and offers all the essential features for the entire end-to-end testing workflow.
The tool is user-friendly and simple. The interface is clean and intuitive, and test editing is done by “recording” with a Chrome extension. No additional configuration, no terminal commands or dependencies are required. You can set up automated cloud monitoring with just a click, without a dedicated engineer (unlike Cypress, where you need to adapt infrastructure and integrate with other services).
BugBug is optimized exclusively for web application testing, so it runs faster than other cross-platform solutions. BugBug creators developed a new high-performance way of executing tests in Chrome. They’ve included various tricks to make tests easier to maintain out of the box (e.g., automatic scroll to element, waiting conditions, and sharable components). The tool uses a Chrome extension to record and playback tests and simulate real human mouse clicks and keyboard typing. All web technologies are supported.
BugBug is free forever if you don’t use cloud features. You can run an unlimited number of tests in your own browser. Only schedule monitoring and CI/CD integration require a subscription, which starts at $99/month.
LambdaTest is a cloud-based platform that provides automated and manual testing tools for web applications. It enables testing across various browsers, devices, and operating systems to ensure compatibility and performance.
LambdaTest provides a cloud-based platform that supports various automation tools. It enables users to run tests across over 3000 different desktop and mobile environments, ensuring comprehensive browser and app compatibility testing. LambdaTest also facilitates faster test execution, which accelerates feedback to developers, reduces delivery times, and lowers associated costs.
LambdaTest specifically offers live interactive cross-browser testing, which allows users to interactively test and debug their websites and web apps in real-time across a variety of browser and OS combinations. It provides access to a live browser environment where users can manually test functionalities, layouts, and more. LambdaTest also provides visual regression testing and smart TV testing.
LambdaTest integrates with Selenium Testing, Cypress Testing, Playwright Testing, Puppeteer Testing, Appium Testing, Espresso Testing, XCIUTest Testing, Shopify, Zalenium, and Microsoft Teams.
Pricing for LambdaTest starts at $15/month and includes a free trial.
Avo Assure is a no-code test automation solution for end-to-end test automation. Avo Assure is heterogeneous and enables you to test on multiple platforms including web, mobile, desktop, ERP applications, and mainframes.
Avo Assure comes with a keyword library of over 1500 keywords for building test cases. Its features also include smart scheduling, reporting, and accessibility testing.
Avo Assure integrates with various CI/CD and SDLC tools like Selenium, Jira, Microfocus – QC/ALM, Atlassian Bamboo, Sauce Labs, TFS, Amazon Mobile farm, and Q-test.
Avo Assure offers custom pricing details upon request. Avo Assure also comes with a 14-day free trial.
testRigor is a complete end-to-end testing system that solves all of the main issues of test automation. First of all, it’s no-code, meaning no programming skills are required – which empowers manual QA to own the test automation process. The side benefit is that since tests are written in plain English – they’re easy to understand for anyone on the team.
Next, testRigor is utilizing the power of its AI engine – making any tests extremely stable, with test maintenance typically taking close to no time. This allows for a smooth CI/CD integration with virtually any provider. Other integrations include Jira, TestRail, AppliTools, PagerDuty, etc.
testRigor supports testing for web, mobile web, native and hybrid mobile apps, and APIs. It also supports SMS, calls, and email testing. Tests are truly end-to-end, with both cross-browser and cross-platform capabilities.
testRigor is cloud-based and offers highly customizable plans starting from $300/month. There is a free open source tier, and all tiers have an unlimited number of users and an unlimited number of tests per test suite.
For companies with native mobile apps, Mobot uses mechanical robots to automate mobile app tests that were previously impossible, eliminating error-prone, tedious manual testing and ensuring higher quality, bug-free app releases.
Mobot uses real, mechanical robots to automate physical testing, a proprietary 4th test driver technology, on over 200 mobile devices. (Check out their homepage to see their testing robot in action.)
Supervised by humans, the robots automate business-critical test scenarios, capture results, and integrate into your release process. Their robots test like a human. They tap. They swipe. They toggle between two phones, between apps, and third-party devices.
All Mobot customers are assigned a Customer Success Manager who verifies robot test results. You get the best of both worlds: efficiency and speed of automation, with the judgment and verification of manual testing.
Mobot costs from $1,500/month/action (tap, swipe, click, etc.) and offers a 30-day free trial.
Watir is an open-source web application testing tool written in Ruby. It can perform the same browser interactions as your website visitors, including clicking links, downloading files, and completing forms. Because Watir is based on Ruby, the software is lightweight and easy to use. QAs can write tests that are simple to read and maintain. Users also have the flexibility to test any web application regardless of its programming language. Watir supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Microsoft Edge and enables QAs to perform cross-browser automation testing. Watir is free to download.
Sahi Pro is an enterprise web application test automation tool that simplifies testing for QA engineers and business analysts. The platform offers a variety of testing features to reduce time-to-market, including easy test creation and detailed error reporting for managers, testers, and developers.Sahi Pro’s automatic logging and reporting features provide users with comprehensive details about each test script execution. Users can view concise summaries and graphs or the exact line of script failure in code. Sahi Pro also enables users to create automation suites for test scripts. QAs can automatically add tags, dependencies, and data to any script. With Sahi Pro’s Playback Wizard, testers can execute scripts from the UI or command line.Sahi Pro is compatible with any browser and works on Windows desktop, mobile, and SAP applications.Pricing starts at $695/user/year.
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 is free for up to 1000 runs/month. Higher-level plans offer customized pricing upon request.
QA Wolf is a QA automation service that is best for SaaS tools that want an in-house experience while keeping the work external and delivering improved results.
The team at QA Wolf supports you in developing a test plan, writing and maintaining tests, investigating failures, and reporting bugs. Once they are done, the code is yours. Since this code is built using the Playwright framework, it means it's platform and vendor agnostic.
In a nutshell, QA Wolf is a bunch of awesome engineers that will help you build end-to-end tests that take you to 80% coverage in less than 4 months, help you track failures and write bug reports with all the info you need, and be your 'in-house team' for a fraction of the price.
Custom pricing is available after you demo your tool to them.
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.
- Sahi Pro — Best for automatic reporting and bug logging
- Watir - Best for easily maintaining test cases
- TestingWhiz — Best for codeless automation testing.
- Selenium — Best for web-based applications.
- Appium — Best for use with native, hybrid, and mobile web apps.
- Parasoft — Best for integrating static and runtime analysis.
- Microsoft Visual Studio Test Professional — Best all-in-one test management activities.
- Micro Focus Silk Test — Best for regression, cross-platform, and localization testing for mobile.
- Postman — Best to automate many types of tests including unit tests, functional tests, and integration tests.
- Ranorex — Build data-driven tests via data tables, spreadsheets, or databases.
- Smartbear TestComplete — Best hybrid object and visual recognition engine.
- Tricentis Tosca — Best script-less, no-code approach for end-to-end test automation.
- Accential Test — Best for complex test lifecycle management.
- TestCraft — Best codeless test automation with Selenium-based CI/CD integrations.
- Appvance IQ — Best 3rd-generation code-free cross-browser data-driven testing, self-healing tests.
- Perfecto — Best cloud-based continuous testing platform with smart self-healing abilities.
- Percy — Best visual review platform with testing for officially-supported SDKs.
- WonderProxy — Best for testing currencies, payment and shipping, and languages.
- Telerik Studio - Best for custom testing frameworks.
- Unified Functional Testing (UFT One) - Best testing with cross-departmental communication tools.
Why QA Automation Tools are Essential
In today's fast-paced software development landscape, Quality Assurance (QA) is no longer a luxury—it's a necessity. As software becomes increasingly complex, the scope for errors expands, making manual testing methods both time-consuming and prone to human error. This is where QA automation tools come into play, offering a range of benefits that are crucial for any development team aiming for excellence.
- Identifying and Preventing Bugs: Automated tests can execute hundreds of scenarios in less time than manual tests, enabling early bug identification. This efficiency reduces post-launch risks and safeguards brand reputation.
- Enhancing User Experience: Automated tools simulate diverse user behaviors, offering insights for user-centric improvements. This leads to a more intuitive user experience.
- Optimizing Performance: Automated testing identifies performance bottlenecks efficiently, ensuring your software can handle peak loads and thereby enhancing overall performance.
- Maintaining Software Security: Automated security tests run regularly, identifying vulnerabilities and ensuring robust security protocols.
- Cost and Time Efficiency: Automated tests offer long-term cost and time efficiencies. According to a study by Scalac, automated tests for just four modules saved 35% of the time compared to manual tests, translating to a time yield of 14:14 minutes. The study also found that the cost of building an automation architecture was $2,700, while performing the same set of manual tests 337 times would cost $2,100. The automation architecture, once created, is reusable, offering a higher ROI in the long run.
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Key considerations for choosing a QA Automation Tool
Are you curious how I chose the best QA automation tools on this list? Below I'll explain.
My process began by gathering a long list of the most popular QA automation tools on the market based on positive user rankings. I explored each software vendor’s website in fine detail to ensure their solution covered all the basic features that a QA team would need to execute automations.
Next, using the selection criteria below, I made my final selections. I used these criteria as a framework, and was able to compare each QA automation tool to see how it stacked up to the rest of the tools, and then finalize the shortlist you see here.
Assessing your teams needs
What am I looking for when I select a QA test tool for review? Here’s my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
Actionable advice for QA automation tool selection based on roles:
For QA Testers:
- Tool Selection: Choose a tool that supports the programming languages and frameworks your team is using. This ensures seamless integration and minimizes learning curves.
- Test Script Reusability: Opt for tools that allow you to reuse test scripts across different projects or platforms. This will save time and effort in the long run.
- Continuous Learning: Stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in QA automation. Online courses and webinars can be valuable resources.
For Software Developers:
- Unit Testing: Make unit testing a part of your development process. Many QA automation tools offer this feature, helping you catch issues early.
- Code Reviews: Regularly review automated test scripts along with application code to ensure they meet quality standards.
- Collaborate: Work closely with QA teams to understand what can be automated and what needs manual attention. This ensures a balanced testing strategy.
For User Experience Designers:
- User Flows: Use QA automation tools (including email testing tools) to test different user flows and scenarios. This will help you identify areas for UX improvement.
- Performance Metrics: Pay attention to performance metrics generated during automated testing. Slow load times can significantly impact user experience.
For Technology Team Leaders/Managers:
- Resource Allocation: Assess the skill set of your team and allocate resources for both manual and automated testing based on project requirements.
- Training: Invest in training programs to upskill your team in automation tools and best practices.
- KPIs: Set key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of your QA automation strategy over time.
- Budgeting: Consider the long-term ROI of QA automation tools when budgeting. The initial investment may be high, but the cost savings over time can be significant.
- Vendor Evaluation: When selecting a QA automation tool, consider not just the features but also the vendor's reputation, customer support, and community ecosystem.
- Strategic Alignment: Ensure that the QA automation strategy aligns with the broader business goals and objectives
Can QA automation tools be customized to suit specific industry requirements?
This question probes the adaptability of QA automation tools for different industries. For example, a healthcare application might require compliance with HIPAA regulations, and the QA tool should be customizable to test for such specific compliance requirements.
Customization can also extend to reporting features, allowing you to generate industry-specific reports that can be valuable during audits.
How do QA automation tools support parallel test execution?
Parallel test execution is essential for quick testing cycles. For instance, a QA automation tool could run tests on different browser and OS combinations simultaneously, reducing the time needed to get comprehensive test coverage. This feature is particularly useful in Agile environments, where rapid iterations are common, and quick feedback is essential.
What are some common challenges teams face when transitioning from manual to automated testing?
Transitioning to automated testing can be complex. For example, a team used to manual testing might face challenges in skill gaps, requiring training in scripting languages commonly used in automation, such as Python or Java.
Additionally, there could be resistance within the team to adopt new methods, requiring a cultural shift towards embracing automation. Read more on how to move from manual testing to test automation.
What are the hardware requirements for running advanced QA automation tools?
Understanding hardware requirements is crucial for effective tool operation. For example, some advanced QA tools might require a dedicated server with high RAM and CPU capabilities to run complex test scenarios without lag or crashes.
Overlooking hardware requirements could lead to performance bottlenecks, affecting the efficiency of your testing process.
What factors should be considered when evaluating the long-term ROI benefits of QA automation tools?
Long-term ROI evaluation involves various factors. For example, consider not just the initial setup cost but also the time saved in test execution over several months, which can be translated into cost savings.
It’s also essential to factor in the costs of training your team and any potential increases in software quality and customer satisfaction.
How do the best automation testing tools integrate with continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines?
Integration with CI/CD is often crucial for DevOps practices. For example, a QA automation tool could be configured to automatically trigger a set of tests whenever new code is pushed to a repository, ensuring that any issues are caught early in the development cycle. This seamless integration can significantly speed up the release process, enabling more frequent and reliable deployments.
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
While manual testing is often still necessary for a variety of reasons, automated testing is an important part of software development that uses a continuous integration methodology.
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