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Last Updated Feb 07, 2022 — Jonny Steiner, Product Marketing Manager

These key factors will help you choose an automation tool

With another year of incredible growth on the horizon for the software industry, it can be difficult selecting the right test automation tool. Read on what's in store for software testing in 2022.

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The year 2022 looks to be another banner year of growth in the software industry. Considering that every company on the planet has developed, or is in the process of developing, some business supporting piece of software, this growth really does seem like it’ll continue.   

What also continues to be true is that as software development goes on, so goes software testing. Where a number of years ago the various types of software testing (regression, functional, unit, integration) were done manually, in 2022 the shift to automated testing is real–and it is spectacular.  

Automated testing is therefore becoming the best way to enhance test coverage while improving the all-around performance and efficiency of your web and mobile applications. That said, many enterprises still cannot decide if automated testing is right for them (it is). Once that is made clear to the stakeholders, the next decision an organization needs to make will be a difficult one. That would be deciding which automation tool to select.  

With so many automated and continuous testing tools on the market, ours included, it makes sense that not every tool will suit your testing project’s needs.  

So, let’s break it down and see what you can do to make the decision to select an automated testing tool less of a headache and more of an optimistic look to the future. With the right strategy in place, you will be able to select a tool that will identify and fix bugs earlier in the testing process, while releasing error free applications to market on time every time.    

Automated Testing is more than a concept 

A recent survey into the world of continuous testing said that on average less than 50% of software testing is currently automated. That means that there really are companies out there still trying to decide if they should go the automated testing route.  

We know that manual testing is not really dead, and likely won’t ever be, but even its most ardent supporters can see that taking the automation route is necessary.  

The most important factor in the testing and software world is that of quality and velocity. Your apps need to be delivered quickly and error free. That shows itself in the fact that many companies these days are releasing updates several times per month. That is what makes continuous automated testing a game-changer. It helps speed up test execution while increasing its effectiveness.  

Automated testing is the right choice for organizations that execute testing with many repeating actions. Regression testing is the first example that comes to mind. Additionally, if you have frequent code changes the cost in both human and time terms will escalate if you test manually.  

So, let’s discover how to select the right automated testing tool for you, your teams, and the org beyond. 

It is all in the approach: Identify all tools and project requirements 

Start at the top and make sure that you have a full understanding of the requirements in your automated testing. Simply put, you need to make sure that you know what type of application you are developing, and the scope of the project. 

You need to evaluate the people involved as well in that they will be the ones using the tool at the end of the day. Be sure that their skills will be up to strength before evaluating individual tools. This is becoming less of an issue as codeless testing platforms continue to improve but is still very relevant in the overall evaluation process. 

If you want to be able to get a positive ROI on your automated testing tools you must understand what tests need to be automated and what level of coverage you are trying to achieve.  

Just as important is making sure that you understand what requirements are needed from the tool you are going to purchase. Once identified these requirements must be reviewed by the teams that are going to use it and the management team that will be signing off on its purchase.  

What are the most important features you need? 

The list here can be nearly endless as there are many criteria that teams and management consider when deciding which test automation tool is right for them. Below is a partial list of items to consider to get you started.  

  • Developing and maintaining scripts: You want your teams to be able to develop and maintain test scripts, execute tests, debug and validate features simply as possible to make sure that your teams are using their time and resources most efficiently. Having the option to reuse scripts will also help save your teams a lot of time. Beyond that, making test execution possible for non-technical users is a great way to improve testing efficiency. This can be accomplished with a codeless platform. 

  • Supported languages: You want your continuous automated testing tool to be compatible with the coding language of choice for your developers. That way they can also contribute to the testing project.     

  • Supported apps: There are different types of applications that organizations develop. Web, mobile, and desktop apps are all very different but there are tools that give you the ability to execute automated testing on each of these. Having the ability to execute cross-browser testing as part of your project is also essential when selecting the right tool.  

  • Integrations: Another essential capability, being able to integrate with your CI/CD pipeline and any other external platforms will make test management and team collaboration much stronger and simpler to accomplish.  

  • Reporting: Being able to gain insights via intuitive reporting will not only help your development and testing teams but will also show the management team the effectiveness of your continuous automated testing projects.  

  • Support: This comes in several different ways. In terms of purchasing a tool you want to have support for all technical issues. You can see how supported you will be by looking at official documentation and knowledge base articles. It also helps when a given tool has a large active community of users as they can be accessed at any time to offer support.  

 

We have not discussed any specific tool to this point because not only is each organization different but not every tool has all the capabilities that have been mentioned above. Given how we understand the complexity of the process when evaluating and selecting tools like we have for continuous test automation I thought that now might be the right time to tell you that there is a tool that has all of the above and more. It is our own Digital.ai Continuous Testing tool, and it definitely bears taking a closer look as you navigate the challenging waters of selecting a test automation tool. 

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