The very best software testing tools (2020 updated)

Yulong Wu

Yulong Wu, Last updated on February 17, 2020

A buggy product can be much worse than no product at all. As a developer, not only do you have to build what your target users want, but also you must ensure the product is bug free as much as possible. In the current world, digitization is speeding at an unprecedented pace, reducing time to market.  Product life cycle became crucial for survival, making automatic testing tools keys to success. Developers must keep an eye on the current technology. In this article we will list some of the very best automated testing tools out there.

Cypress.io

End-to-end test aims to simulate the real user experience of an application flowing from start to end to identify dependencies and maintain data integrity. It is crucial to find out any interruption in the whole user experience before users do. Automating that process is also the key to quickly respond to changing business needs.

Cypress is the all in one automation framework to help boost the end-to-end testing experience. No servers, drivers or any dependencies installation required, one installation gets cypress running. Simple API build bundled with popular tools and libraries such as Mocha, Chat, Chai-jQuery, Sinon.JS and so on. Run speed of cypress is comparable to browser render speed, making real time testing possible. There are many more features such as test run snapshots, automatic waiting, real time reloads that are very useful to end-to-end testing. 

Katalon Studio

Developed by Katalon LLC, Katalon Studio is a free automation software testing tool that is built on top of two famous open-source automation testing frameworks/engines Selenium and Appium. Katalon studio has a specialized IDE interface that helps testers who are having trouble using Selenium and Appium that require testers to have more in-dept programming knowledge. Katalon studio is a versatile automatic testing solution that covers a wide range of application testing ranging from API, Web, mobile to desktop applications with many features that help testers overcome the common challenges. Features including:

  • XPath, Built in object repository.
  • Duel-editor Interface support.
  • Actions Recording, test cases and test script creation.
  • Extended testing capability through plugin on Katalon Store.
  • Executing test and generating result reports.
  • Built in Image-based testing support.
  • Execution workflow customization.
  • Integration with many other tools (ie. Jenkins, TeamCity) throughout SDLC.

Katalon studio is also supported across multiple operating systems, such as Windows, MacOS as well as iOS and Android Apps. Other tools like JIRA, qTest, Kobiton, Git, Slack and more can be integrated with Katalon studio as well.

LambdaTest

Claiming to be the fastest-growing cross browser testing cloud, LambdaTest enables testers to automate across 2000+ browsers on the LambdaTest Platform, to make sure and refine the top user experience of their websites. Live interactive cross browser testing of websites and web apps on both the latest mobile and desktop browsers can be performed using LambdaTest. Multi browser testing on browsers in various browser versions or different OS environments are also readily available for comprehensive tests. Full screenshots and responsiveness reports will be generated automatically as well.

Moreover, LambdaTest makes the bug logging experience for developers a walk in the park by automatically creating an issue report whenever developer spots one. All you need to do is to mark the issue with your GitHub account when testing on the LambdaTest platform, select repository and label, then comment on it. A new issue will be generated automatically inside your GitHub account. Besides GitHub, LambdaTest also integrates with other project management tools such as JIRA, Slack, Asana, Trello and so on.

Selenium WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver is a well-known test automation framework for testing web applications across multiple system environments (Windows, Mac, Linux). It has become the de facto standard for automating web browsers. With the support of its test domain-specific language (Selenese), testers will be able to write tests in a handful of popular programming languages such as Ruby, C#, Python, PHP, Java, Scala, Perl, Groovy. For testers who have more solid skills and more experience in programming, Selenium can offer more flexibility than any other test automation tools and frameworks.

In order to take advantage of what Selenium offers, strong programming skills of testers and a considerable amount of time to build up automation frameworks are hard requirements of using Selenium, making Selenium less of a choice to many. Integrated tools like Katalon Studio are here to lower the threshold for less technical testers. Selenium IDE, developed by Selenium and later revamped with the help of the Selenium community to be more user friendly, is becoming more and more popular since 2018.  

Squash.io 

Squash is a cutting-edge replacement for traditional development, staging, and QA servers, and a very handy tool for your user acceptance testing (UAT) process. It behaves like a development environment on steroids, giving you the power to experiment with changes with zero DevOps time.

With Squash, you have unique virtual machines for each branch of code in your repository, each with its own unique URL. This allows teams to quickly preview a fully working version of their application with the changes made in the branch.

The service also helps to reduce server costs and bugs, since the environments are fully automated and isolated. Deployments are active only when you need them, with automatic shutdown policies to save you money and eliminate server waste. You can scale the number of deployments up and down automatically, as best fits your business. Squash also comes with very handy features such as the ability to upload data to share across deployments through an assets storage, SSH/Shell access by default and an optional persistent storage to keep your data intact between runs.

Appium 

Appium is an open source test automation framework for mostly mobile applications. Appium supports mobile, native and hybrid applications, which are, respectively, those accessed using a mobile browser (Safari on iOS and Chrome or other built in ‘Browser’ applications on Android), those written using the iOS, Android, or Windows SDKs and those mobile applications that are written with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Appium has the following goals:

  • Testers should be able to test their application without having to modify it in any way. Appium developers achieve this goal by using vendor provided automation frameworks.
  • Multiple language and framework access. Appium developers achieve this goal by combining vendor-provided frameworks in one API and having clients written in every popular programming language.
  • APIs automation in a mobile framework shouldn’t reinvent the wheel. Appium developer extends the WebDriver web automation protocol to mobile automation with extra API methods, since WebDriver has become a household name for automating web browsers and is a W3C Working Draft.

Sauce Labs

Sauce Labs is a cloud-based web and mobile application automated testing platform that allows testers to run tests on more than 700 different browser platform, operating system and device combinations. Sauce Labs uses Selenium, Appium and JavaScript testing framework to generate comprehensive test infrastructure for both manual and automated testing of desktop and mobile applications.

Feature highlights:

  • Most up-to-date browser/OS combinations, real device support and mobile emulators and simulators.
  • Always-on infrastructure makes sure multiple pull request without queuing or bottlenecks as well as quick feedback.
  • Sauce Headless, Videos for debugging. Screenshots and log files. Comprehensive analytics and live testing environments.
  • Single-VMs.
  • Accelerated test cycles.

Apache JMeter

Apache JMeter is a fully Java built application designed to load measure performance and functional behavior. This tool was originally designed to focus on Web application testing but has features expanded to other test functions.

Apache JMeter provides many out of box features including:

  • The ability to load and test performance of numerous different applications, server and protocol types such as Web, SOAP, Message-oriented middleware, Shell scripts, Java objects, FTP, TCP, Mail protocols and database.
  • Test IDE for Test Plan recording, on either browsers or native applications, building and debugging.
  • Headless mode (Command-line mode).
  • Full multi threading framework: sampling using different functions in separate thread groups simultaneously.

 Cucumber

Cucumber is a cloud based agile automated acceptance testing tool that emphasizes BDD (Behavior Driven Development), which is an Agile software development process that facilitates collaboration among developers and non-technical participants in a software development project. Integrated with CI/CD pipeline, BDD framework enables Cucumber to real-time collaboration and discussion between all project stakeholders as well as reflects the most updated project status through living documentation.

Although Cucumber is originally written with Ruby, Cucumber offers cross platform support that allows cucumber to work with JavaScript, Java, Ruby, .NET and other platforms. Automation with Selenium, direct function calls and API calls is made possible in the same process with Cucumber.

There are currently two versions of Cucumber available, the open source version (Cucumber Open) and the pro version (CucumberStudio and Cucumber for Jira).

Eggplant

Eggplant is an AI enabled automation tool that is primarily for application and GUI testing. Eggplant aims to help achieve DevOps at Scale by enabling automation to the entire test process and linking Development team and operation team together to feed more information into the tests for more realistic, end user friendly results. Eggplant, with an end user centric approach, strives to provide companies with the ability to find out what end users want with AI³ (Artificial Intelligence, Automation Intelligence, Augmented Intelligence) in order for better test execution and coverage, ultimately greater productivity.

Eggplant works across multiple operating systems as well, such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris and many more.

SoapUI

SoapUI is a headless API automated testing tool that supports REST and SOAP services. SoupUI provides comprehensive API tests with features including API functional, performance testing, API Mocking and Virts and API security testing. There are two versions available: open-source and professional. Professional version allows more advanced, better performance API tests and dynamic API snapshots, Easy drag and drop, point and click controls in generating tests, Data from files and database provided for a powerful data-driven testing, Asynchronous testing, and simple process of reusing scripts.

Testim.io

Testim.io is another AI enabled automated testing tool that uses machine learning to improve efficiency of authoring, execution and automated test cases management. Testim.io feature highlights:

  • Corded or codeless accessed with high levels of customization.
  • Implementation of artificial intelligence (smart locators) to make tests resilient and reduce flaky tests.
  • Cross browser parallel test can be run on Testim.io test cloud or any Selenium-compatible test cloud
  • Simplified point and click bug reporting interface for anyone from QA to support.

To help testers better fit testing practices, Testim integrates many other tools such as Jenkins, Github, CircleCI, JIRA, Slack, TeamCity, SauceLabs and others.

Cross Browser Testing

With the ability to retrieve instant results from testing your websites across a handful of browsers, Cross Browser Testing is an efficient cloud-based automated testing solution for websites and applications. Testers are able to run live or manual testing over 2050+ browser and mobile devices using Cross Browser Testing.

Running Selenium or Appium is made even easier in the cloud with either a headless browser testing or easily trigger test via their REST API. Testers with less programming knowledge are also able to use Record & Replay feature to record a live test and run, in parallel, that recorded test. Visual testing, screenshot testing and regression tests are also available with sets of features dedicated to both developers and QA engineers.

Ranorex

Ranorex is a very sophisticated automation solution that has been around for many years. Proficiency  in desktop, web and mobile application testing has made Ranorex an all-in-one test automation solution for different types of automation needs.

Ranorex highlights several features:

  • Reliable object identification with Ranorex Spy, automatically handles all kinds of objects, even the dynamic UI elements.
  • Simple access to test automation project creation without coding.
  • Test automation without proprietary scripting language.
  • Test code reuse.
  • Record and playback.

Ranorex is also flexible to different team sizes, skills and testing approaches by offering capture and replay function to easily build reliable automated cases without having to code. Experience testers can take advantage of Ranorex Studio’s full automation IDE to quickly automate tests in C# or VB.NET.

TestComplete

TestComplete is a functional testing platform for desktop, mobile and web applications. Similar to Ranorex, TestComplete offers reliable object recognition using artificial intelligence that helps you capture even the dynamic UI elements. TestCompete also provides Record and replay capability to let testers create complex and scalable automated UI tests easily and quickly. With TestComplete, testers get to create functional GUI tests without a script or with script in one of the seven languages including VBScript, JavaScript, and Python.

Version 14.2 of TestComplete introduced native integration with Jenkins to help accelerate the CI/CD pipeline, web testing component support.

IBM Rational Functioning Tester

The IBM Rational Functional Tester (RFT) was designed to test applications developed using a spectrum of languages and technologies, including Web, .Net, Java, Visual Basic, Siebel, SAP, PowerBuilder, Adobe Flex, and others. The RFT also uses data to test for function and regress. 

One of the program’s features, ‘storyboard testing,’ is a visual aid meant to edit tests in natural language. It also takes application screenshots. The ScriptAssure feature creates test scripts for testers that are resilient to change in the user interface of the AUT. One of the benefits of using an IBM tool is that it can be integrated with other applications from IBM, including the Rational Team Concert and Rational Quality Manager. 

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