Software testing tools greatly speed up the testing process. Automated software testing simulates time-consuming tasks, compares those tasks to expectations, and reports results. Bug tracking software allows teams to log the status of issues, search and find them, and track updates and merges.
Evaluating software testing tools against your organization's needs can be very difficult. On a tight budget, teams may consider open-source options, which are likely web-based and require installation, support, and regular upgrades. Some open-source software testing tools offer commercial support and may require less training time, but are usually more expensive.
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Most software testing tools do not help fix problems. In reality, the tool poses another problem. Choose a test tool to solve your specific problem. Don't pick a tool and then see how it fits on your team.
Some software testing tools reside on devices that employees use to test applications. Some are available to customers, such as crash reports. For desktop apps, this means your IT department must install the client software and grant users permission to perform the installation. In most cases, the user downloads an installation file that can be done by himself. Commercial software usually requires a license key and a credit card.
Consider who will be using trial software, where and how they will be installed, and ensure your tool selection fits your user base. Some automation tools are designed for programmers and built into the IDE. However, if you're a tester-turned-Automator, the IDE can be confusing. This is a problem if your testers do not have the required admin rights. If the software you are testing is web-based, you may need a testing tool that works over the Internet.
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When evaluating software testing tools, check whether they fit your current app and test how new processes work. At the same time, design tests are performed not only on platforms that are currently supported but also on platforms that the team and product development groups plan to support in the next year or two.
When evaluating testing tools, consider the platforms and tools already in use to increase the likelihood of smoother integration, easier adoption, and better test results.
Additionally, different teams often rely on different version control systems. Maintaining code and automation across version control systems can lead to problems. Some test tools are built directly into the IDE and offer plugins to extend their functionality. Test management applications can be integrated with bug tracking and code coverage tools. Research and understand the capabilities of all tools before incorporating them into your platform.
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Some software testing tools have their own language and syntax. Most recording and playback tools require some training. If programmers can use tools in their native or preferred language (Ruby, Python, .NET, and Java are common tools), no training is required.
On the other hand, testers and analysts who do not know the language can use the tool. Unique language requirements for using tools can limit their ability to integrate with other tools. Out-of-the-box, well-known languages allow scripts to be exported to other tools.
When you identify the problem you're trying to solve, you've identified some tools that can help you reach that goal. Open-source software testing tools, unlike proprietary tools, often require no upfront cost, but may not meet your organization's needs.
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Be sure to answer three main questions.
How effectively can your team use open-source software testing tools?
Are open-source tools right for you?
How is your team supported and trained?
Open-source application testing tools perform very well on the platforms and technologies for which they are designed. However, if you change the underlying database, operating system, or programming language, the time you spend on the tools can eat up the budget you saved by open-sourcing in the first place. Some organizations require more customization than open-source projects can provide. You often have to install, patch, and maintain these open-source tools yourself.
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