Software is developed to make lives easy. It does so by allowing individuals to execute time-consuming tasks within a reasonable timeframe. Today, there is a constant rise in the number of software users. This has become motivation for developers. Now, the goal is to build software programs that add value and outperforms the existing ones.
But, there are still a lot of released software programs that are filled with tons of bugs and errors. This leaves their users frustrated. That’s because they are difficult to navigate and the user experience is awful.
How can your software program guarantee a great user experience? It must go through thorough rounds of testing and revisions. One way to ensure that is by using testing tools to do proper software testing. Using testing tools is a better alternative to manual testing, which consumes a lot of time and money.
What Is Software Testing?
Software testing is the act of continually verifying and validating a software program until it is market-ready.
Adequate software testing will put you on the right track. It will also make your software fulfill the specific purpose it was made for. It will even allow you to detect errors in your software and fix them before releasing it to the general public.
What Are Software Testing Tools?
Software testing tools are programs used to test the functionality and effectiveness of software programs. With the help of software testing tools, developers can detect errors in their software before they launch it to the final users.
Types of Software Testing Tools
1. Functional Testing
This type of software testing involves testing individual components of a software program. This is to determine if they function well and correlate with the software’s requirements. Here, inputs and outputs are tested in the software. Their actual results are tested against the intended results.
Functional testing focuses on testing your softwareʼs APIs, User Interface, Database, and other features.
2. Unit Testing
Unit testing isolates the written codes in a software program. This is to see if they will produce an intended result. This type of testing focuses on the smallest part of a software called unit.
Unit testing is done by a Quality Assurance (QA) expert, software analyst or developers.
3. Usability Testing
Usability Testing, also known as User Experience (UX) Testing, is performed from the target user angle. It helps you to determine how user-friendly your software is. It also determines how valuable and fast your software was able to meet its user’s needs. This test also determines how easy it’s Graphic User Interface (GUI) is.
4. Regression Testing
Regression testing is done shortly after a modification has been made in your software program. The testing is done to confirm if any changes made didn’t affect the program negatively.
5. Performance Testing
Performance testing is done to determine the efficiency and speed of a software program.
6. Graphical User Interface (GUI) Testing
Graphical User Interface focuses on how users interact with the graphical elements in your software. These graphical elements include menu bars, dialog boxes, menus, icons, and toolbars.
It also examines how effective your software structure is and how easy it is for users to navigate it.
Categories Of Software Testing Tools
Software testing tools perform different functions. How can you understand the distinctive functions that software testing tools perform better? Take a look at the 2 main categories of software testing tools:
1. Automation Testing Tools
Automation testing tools are the most popular category of testing tools. They cut back the rigorous time and energy manual testing of software takes.
Automation testing tools do not conduct software testing without human intelligence. This implies that they rely on the interactions a human tester programs on it.
Automation testing tools can help developers make their software program user-friendly. This can be done by correcting the hitches uncovered during testing.
There are many categories of automation testing. The two main ones are record/playback and keyword-driven testing.
This category of automation involves recording a tester interacting with the software in scripts. These scripts will be programmed into the automation tool. They can later be played back as many times as possible.
Record/playback testing eliminates the need for a human tester to repeat the testing process over and over again.
This type of automation involves the use of keywords to execute specific functions in your software program. Here, names are given to a set of activities in a software program during test cases.
Automation tools allow you to perform a series of tests and better evaluation of your app. With Automation tools, you can detect errors that are not obvious to human testers.
2. Bug trackers
In the course of using automation tools, there will be instances of bugs. If you are developing a super-simple software program then there might not be a need for a bug tracker.
But, if you are developing a software program for a business, then you need a bug tracker to do proper bug reports. With bug tracker tools, you will be able to track the type of bugs detected. You’ll also be able to track the time it was detected, who fixed the bug and how it was fixed.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Testing Tools?
Faster Feedback and Results
One of the major benefits of using testing tools is that it helps you to get feedback quickly. There is prompt feedback. So, developers can make necessary modifications to get their desired results faster.
With testing tools, you can run as many tests as possible to get the result you and your team desire. This means it gets the job done with little manual effort.
It is cost-effective
The cost of developing and testing software is not cheap. But, the cost may be higher without the use of testing tools. Not using testing tools implies that you will need to hire human testers to test your software. Because software testing is a back and forth thing, you will need to pay your manual testers for each round of testing.
Using software testing tools will save you a great deal. This is because other rounds of software testing will be automated. That is after the first one that has been recorded.
The use of testing tools allows you to detect any glitch your developer may have excluded. Using test tools can also help you release flawless software to the marketplace.
It aids the development of more quality software
Testing tools help the development of effective and more functional software programs. The tool will pick out defects that may hinder a great user experience.
Testing tools will thoroughly scrutinize your software. They’ll also carry out several rounds of checks until it is fit to be released to the public.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Testing Tools
One major factor you should consider before choosing a testing tool is the categories of bugs that you are dealing with.
But, to detect the kind of bugs you are dealing with, you will need the help of a bug tracker. A bug tracker will analyze if the type of bugs you are dealing with is in the database, software’s functionality, or the graphical user interface (GUI).
Another important factor for consideration is how scalable a testing tool is. While a testing tool can have tons of tests. It should be able to scale by removing or adding to the previous tests it had before for effectiveness of the testing tools.
Platform and Operating System Compatibility
Before you choose a testing tool, ensure it supports the major platform and applications. This will allow you to work on any platform of your choice without having to buy an extra tool. It will also aid conveniency.
Consider using a tool that supports all operating system, especially the popular ones: Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. This will save you the cost and time of investing in a new tool.
Ease Of Use And Maintenance
How effective a testing tool will be can only be determined by the way it tests and accesses your software. Choose a testing tool that allows team members with basic experience easy access and use. That is, the tool should be built in a way that both developers and testers can make use of it.
A testing tool should be packed with features that will aid testing scripts better. These include IDES, extensions, plugins and other features. It should also allow for extensive use of GUI.
A user-friendly testing tool must have a dashboard where glitches are registered. This makes it easy for developers and testers to fix them. It should also allow developers to replicate previous test cases without hassle.
Robust reporting mechanisms
When considering a testing tool, you need to be sure that it has a reporting mechanism. This should log the results of previous test cases and the errors found in them. This will allow you or your team members to examine, analyze and reuse it at any time
Must Support Tagging
Your testing tool must be able to support tagging. Tagging in testing tools allows you to track what browser a test was run on. If your testing tool supports tagging, you can instruct it to run a test on all compatible browsers. This will save you the stress of having to run the same test on different browsers which in turn will save time.
Consider your budget before you choose a testing tool. Your budget will determine what kind of tools you have access to. It will also determine the type of features and functionalities you can expect. You can choose between open source testing tools or a licensed one. While most people will want to go for an open-source tool, it has its disadvantages, one of such is that it is not easy to use. This can limit the creativity and the productivity level of your team members.
To use an open-source testing tool, you need to first set it up. Setting it up will require you to buy a compatible driver. After this, you may need to hire an expert to install and configure it. You will also need to hire an expert to train your team members on how to effectively use the open-source tool. Due to these reasons, one may decide to opt for a licensed tool that is easy to use and set up.
Top 10 Testing Tools You Should Consider In 2019
Selenium is one of the most used and most popular open-source software testing tools. The tool allows you to test scripts written in Ruby, Groovy, PHP, Java, Perl, and Python.
Selenium is not a stand-alone testing tool. It contains four major components:
- Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
- Selenium Remote Control (RC)
- Selenium Grid
Each of these components is developed by a different developer. It caters to different software testing needs. Selenium is supported by the Apache 2.0 license and can be deployed on Windows, Linux and Mac OS.
Selenium allows you to integrate any third-party application of your choice. That can be for reporting or for building systems. You can integrate some popular third-party apps like SauceLabs, Extent, and others. It also supports testing and integration on all popular web browsers. This includes Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and others.
Selenium has a vast and active community that is packed with different resources on how to effectively use the testing tool.
2. Coded UI Test (CUIT)
CUIT is a licensed testing tool manufactured by Microsoft. It allows you to run an automated test on your software using its User Interface. With the tool, you can run a UI test on your web app or installed software. You can also use it to record and playback the tester interaction with the tool.
But, before you can use CUIT, you must have Visual Studio on your system. The tool is easy to install and use. One downside of CUIT is that it does not support all the popular types of browser. It supports programming languages like C# and Visual Basic .NET.
3. United Functional Testing (UFT)
Unified Functional Testing is formally known as Quick Test Professional (QTP). This is a functional and regression testing tool. The tool allows you to test errors on your software. You can do this by running reports for different users, browser and operating systems.
This will allow you to have a comprehensive report on how best to optimize your app for your final users. It will also save you the time and resources that manually testing your software will cost you.
UFT is a commercial testing tool packed with different features. This includes unlimited reusable feature, image-based object recognition, keyword-driven framework, and many others.
4. Sauce Labs
Sauce Labs is a well trusted and popularly used cloud automation testing tool. It allows you to test any type of application of your choice. This can be mobile, native or desktop application. It also supports over 500 platforms (OS/browser).
5. Rational Functional Tester
Rational Functional Tester allows you to perform different functions. With Rational Functional Tester, you can perform functional, regressing, and GUI testing. The tool supports platforms like Windows and Linux.
Rational Functional Tester has a 30-day free trial that allows you to use some features of the tool. To enjoy the full benefits of the tool, you will need to buy a tool alongside its license. RFT has a strong community known as IBM Developer Community. This community allows you to connect with other developers. Then, you can find development-related events around you.
6. Cross Browser Testing Tool
Cross Browser Testing tool, by Smart Bear, is designed to test your application against any bugs or errors. The tool supports up to +2050 browsers and mobile devices. This includes popular browsers like:
- Mozilla Firefox
- UC Browser
It also supports Internet Explorer mobile devices platforms like Windows, Android, and iOS. With Cross Browser, you can perform live, visual, and automated testing.
Test Complete also updates its UI objects automatically. This is done with the help of its Graphic User Interface (GUI).
TestingWhiz is a test automation tool. It allows you to test your software programs without using codes. The tool has Flexible Automation Scripting Tools (FAST). This allows you to write scripts effectively and faster. It also has tons of ready to use commands.
TestingWhiz supports testing on different browsers like Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and mobile browsers.
The tool is packed with features that allow you to do a robust report. You can also conduct smooth record/playback recordings and keyword-driven research.
Ranorex is a Commercial Graphic User Interface (GUI) automation testing tool. It was launched in 2007 by Ranorex GmbH. It can be used to test web, desktop, and mobile apps.
With Ranorex, you can test your software GUI from the user’s perspective to ensure that it is easy to use. You can use the tool to test software for several applications like web, desktop, and mobile. Also, it is easy to use and it’s code-free, like TestingWhiz.
Ranorex only supports a few programing languages, namely V. B NET and C#.
10. Micro Focus LeanFT