10 Best Software Testing Tools (2021)
Dec 31, 2020
End-to-end test automation tools are vital for the quality assurance teams in ensuring software ships faster and with little to no bugs in production. In modern web application development, what are the best software testing tools a team can use? After being apart of various development teams ourselves- we’ve picked the brains of our own internal team to compile a list of the best software testing tools! Here are some of the best tools your QA team should be using…
10 Best Software Testing Tools
Although a shameless plug, we can assert that Autify is one of the best test automation tools on the market. Why? First, it uses artificial intelligence to learn about UI changes when testing. This means you can run a test and instead of failing and stopping for investigation- the test can continue to run and our software will alert the tester of the changes. The results will show a side-by-side comparison screenshot. This saves an enormous amount of time. Instead of focusing on adjusting test scripts in code- a tester simply uses their mouse and keyboard, record their test interactions, then run the test automation engine for future tests. And if adjustments are needed, they can simply edit the step (or record from that step) rather than re-recording the entire test or writing any code.
An influential test automation expert and practitioner, Angie Jones, wrote extensively about features past record-and-playback tools lacked. That was then, and now, we have tools such as Autify which solves all of the important issues she pointed out. This means the barrier for usage is lowered. Anyone on the QA team can create automated tests.
Second, since Autify is easy to use and does not require coding skills, this means test automation can be the responsibility of non-engineering testers. Thus freeing up skilled engineers to work on developing software- rather than testing it. This is similar to having a Ferrari and using it for grocery errands. Now it’s freed from that task and focused on hugging winding roads at high speeds.
Third, maintenance of test scripts is handled by Autify’s artificial intelligence engine. So no more writing code to maintain scripts. Let the computers do the heavy lifting behind the scenes. This drastically reduces man-hours and rising costs generated in the quality assurance department. It’s one of the best testing tools your team can benefit from.
Autify Key Features:
- Autify is a no code testing platform, so no coding required. Use a GUI to record test scenarios then play them back.
- Test scripts are maintained by AI.
- Artificial intelligence “learns” of user interface changes, adapt to changes, and alert tester of changes.
- It’s cross-browser compatible including mobile devices.
- Integrates with Slack, Jenkins, TestRail, and more.
Playwright is gaining traction for cross-browser test automation. Playwright uses Node.js to automate Chromium (for Google Chrome and the new Microsoft Edge), Firefox, and WebKit (for Apple Safari) with a single API. It’s open-source software and similar to Puppeteer, which is also a headless browser automation tool. Puppeteer only supports Chromium-based browsers, whereas, Playwright supports Firefox and Safari.
Mircosoft recently announced Playwright as an alternative to Puppeteer. This did come with a bit of controversy as the makers of this ware are the same team that built Puppeteer at Google. However, the Redmond native’s goal was to be vendor-agnostic as to which platform it can work on.
Why are tools like Playwright important? When E2E testing, it is important to use a headless browser to control the flow of the test. What are headless browsers? A headless browser is a web browser without a graphical user interface. Headless browsers provide automated control of a web page in an environment similar to popular web browsers, but they are executed via a command-line interface. This means you can launch a headless browser in any device type, navigate to various pages, input data, login protected areas, click links, take screenshots, and more all from command line code.
Playwright Key Features:
- Scenarios that span multiple pages, domains, and iframes.
- Auto-wait for elements to be ready before executing actions (like click, fill, etc.)
- Intercept network activity for stubbing and mocking network requests.
- Emulate mobile devices, geolocation, and permissions.
- Support for web components via shadow-piercing selectors.
- Native input events for mouse and keyboard.
- Upload and download files.
TestRail is a test case management tool for quality assurance and development teams. It’s web-based and allows teams to manage, track, and organize their testing efforts. It offers real-time analytics, helpful insights, to-do lists, email notifications, and more. Teams can manage manual test cases as well as automated cases from one convenient interface using Autify’s integration.
TestRail Key Features:
- Centralized test management to collaborate with stakeholders. Easily execute tests and track results.
- Get reports, metrics, and real-time insights.
- Works with Agile and waterfall methodologies.
- Integrate with other tools such as bug trackers and automated testing platforms (here’s a guide.)
CodeceptJS is an open-source end-to-end testing framework. It works with other frontend frameworks such as React, Vue, and AngularJS. It is a Behavior Driven Development (BDD) methodology, meaning it breaks down the communication barriers between business and technical teams.
CodeceptJS Key Features:
- Interactive debugging allows you to control tests as they run (see above.)
- Write test cases from the user interface without leaving the web browser.
- Easily write tests from a user’s perspective.
- Run your tests via Playwright, WebDriver, Puppeteer, TestCafe, Protractor, or Appium. The code is the same.
Karate is a BDD-like tool that combines API test-automation, mocks, performance-testing, and even UI automation into a single, unified framework. If you are familiar with Cucumber, with Karate you don’t need to write extra “glue” code or Java “step definitions.” It’s language-neutral and easy for even non-programmers to learn.
Karate Key Features:
- Java knowledge is not required and even non-programmers can write tests.
- Scripts are in plain text, no compilation necessary, or even IDE.
- Supports Cucumber/Gherkin languages.
- Doesn’t require Java helper code- meaning a drastic reduction in line of code.
RobotFramework is an open-source automation framework. This testing tool can be used for test automation and robotic process automation (RPA). Test cases are executed from the command line. Reporting is in HTML or XML formats.
RobotFramework Key Features:
- Utilizes a keyword-driven testing approach.
- Can be extended natively using Python or Java.
- Features detailed logs- HTML or XML reporting.
- Modular architecture.
7. Azure DevOps
Azure DevOps is a suite of cloud-based testing tools for DevOps teams. These tools can work for any language and target any platform. It allows for project planning with Agile tools, manage test plans from the web, merge code using Git, and deploy code in a cross-platform CI/CD system. The suite consists of:
- Azure Pipelines - is a cloud-based service to automatically build and test your code project and make it available to other users. It works with just about any language or project type. Azure Pipelines combines continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) to constantly and consistently test and build your code and ship it to any target.
- Azure Boards - is similar to Trello. In which you can assign, manage, and track your team’s project tasks using interactive “boards.”
- Azure Artifacts - is a package management solution designed to allow you to create and share Maven, npm, and NuGet packages both publicly and privately.
- Azure Repos - is your own private cloud for Git repositories, pull requests, and code search.
- Azure Test Plans - a suite of manual and exploratory testing tools (more on this below.)
8. Azure Test Plan
Azure Test Plan is an exploratory testing tool. Slightly similar to TestRail, it is a browser-based test management solution. It allows for planned manual testing, user acceptance testing, exploratory testing, and gathering feedback from stakeholders.
Azure Test Plan Key Features
- Improve your code quality using planned and exploratory testing services for your apps.
- Capture rich scenario data as you execute tests to make discovered defects actionable.
- Test your application by executing tests across desktop or web apps.
- Take advantage of end-to-end traceability and quality for your stories and features.
Postman is a collaboration platform for API testing. It allows you to test your own RESTful APIs or third-party resources without a ton of code.
Postman Key Features
- Send requests and view responses.
- Automate API testing into your CI/CD pipeline.
- Built APIs faster with mock servers.
Insomnia is a collaborative API design tool for designing, testing, and deploy APIs. The suite consists of Insomnia Designer and Insomnia Core. The former is a collaborative API design editor and the latter allows for exploring REST and GraphQL APIs.
Insomnia Key Features
- Send requests and view responses.
- Design OpenAPI specs in one collaborative API design editor.
- Organize your API workspace.
- Test APIs.
We hope we enlightened you on some of the best software testing tools our QA team uses, and hopefully, yours will too. Our list includes software for test automation, cross-browser testing, test case management, e2e frameworks, BDD tools, exploratory testing, and API testing tools.
We would love to know your experience with any of these tools listed above. Tag us on Reddit or Twitter to chat with us!