What to Look for in a Test Automation Platform

Jan 13, 2024 | Test Automation Insights

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With as many test automation platforms as there currently are on the market, it can be challenging to find the right option for your development team. This introductory guide explores the different types of test automation tools to look for, factors to consider, and features your platform might need the most.


Finding the Best Test Automation Tools by Type

Not all automation testing tools are created equal, and not all of them may be right for your team’s needs. These are some of the things you might need your automated testing tools to have, depending on the type of work your team does.

Open-Source Automation Testing Tools

Open-source code is one of the greatest sources of software vulnerabilities today. In turn, having tools that can detect potential issues with your code before you run it is essential for keeping your software secure and compliant with regulations.

Static code analysis tools are invaluable in this situation. For example, tools like Kiuwan allow your team to run static analysis tests and detect issues with differential reports, visual configuration models, and Jenkins analysis. Along with its integrations alongside other debugging tools, it can help developers reduce their technical debt and keep their software secure for users and stakeholders.

Web and Mobile App Testing

When you’re looking for a solution for test automation on a SaaS platform or other solutions, it’s essential to consider your test environments. Keep in mind the combinations of hardware, OS, and cross-browser testing capabilities you’ll need to account for during the process.

Even more, it’s important to make sure the debugging tool you choose supports both desktop and mobile application testing. It should also be relatively easy for your team members to adjust these automated tests to fit different projects.

GUI Testing

Regardless of whether you’re deploying your application to external clients, the broader public, or even other departments within your organization, GUI testing is essential for making sure your user interface works as intended. However, it’s also relatively easy to streamline with automation.

Robust automated GUI testing tools like Ranorex Studio allow your QA professionals to cover more user scenarios with low-maintenance tests. It also allows for easier UI object recognition than manual testing and improves the overall quality of your software for everyone who uses it.

Functional Testing

Your software is nothing without its most basic functionalities. However, functional testing can be unstable and time-consuming due to the range of challenges that come with different user interfaces.

Fortunately, as one of the most robust test automation platforms, Ranorex Studio and other large-scale platforms like it offer functional testing tools as part of their suite of features. These allow QA testers at any skill level to test the UI and other features of your application with ease, offering both point-and-click functional testing for beginners and full development environments for seasoned testers.

Black Box Testing

Black box testing is essential for helping developers understand and recognize potential usability and interface issues.

While these tests can be tedious to implement manually, some testing tools can automate the process. If your projects warrant black box testing as part of their QA and debugging measures, looking for a platform with those capabilities is ideal. Otherwise, you may have to include yet another separate tool in your testing stack—with a different way of behaving on its own, different training requirements, and other inconveniences.

Regression Testing

Regression tests are crucial for ensuring your product or patch works as intended and detecting potential defects that would keep it from working properly. However, they’re also typically good candidates for automation due to their relatively stable nature.

Automated testing tools like Ranorex Studio can make regression testing easier by taking the manual challenges out of the equation. In turn, the results include faster turnaround times for deployment, fewer defects, and less time and resources being spent fixing faulty code.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Software Test Automation Tools


Some automated testing platforms are meant for large organizations or particularly high-security work, while others are designed for small teams whose projects come with fewer sensitivity risks. This is just as true for software test automation tools as it is for any other type of software your team needs to do their jobs.

Certain features for different automated testing tools might not be justifiable with your budget. Therefore, it’s important to know how much your company or department is able and willing to spend before you start shopping for the right platform.

Learning Curve

The longer your team has to spend learning how to use your test automation platform, the longer you’ll have to wait for it to start paying for itself. The best software testing automation tools for your team will suit your team’s skills and experience.

While some debugging tools will be easy for your team to pick up if they already have basic knowledge of the types of tests they need to run, others may require more training. If the latter is true for your team, make sure to choose a platform that has the training resources they can use to get up to speed quickly.

Scope of Work

Some automated testing tools are designed to handle larger use cases than others. Likewise, some may also be more practical for the type of work your team does. Your testing tool should match all the types of testing your QA team does regularly or is trying to implement—otherwise, you’ll potentially end up investing in multiple tools and platforms, rather than keeping everything under one roof.

Stakeholder Buy-In

The team that will be using the test automation tool you choose should be on board with your decision to move to the tool, of course. However, you should also make sure leadership and management members who are indirectly involved with your team are aware of the benefits and features of the debugging tools you use—especially if they’re the ones who have to sign off on the investment.


Features of Test Automation Framework Tools to Look For

The specific features your team needs from an automated debugging and testing platform will vary depending on the type of work they do. However, these are some of the most important features you might need from the tool you use.

Platform Integration Capabilities

Your team likely works with multiple products in their daily development and testing work. Because of this, it pays to have an automation tool that works with the other products you use for building, testing, and releasing your products, from Microsoft Excel to JIRA.

Easy Trainability

Whether a tool is easy to use from day one or has a lot of intricacies that make it harder for the average user to handle, it should come with an appropriate level of training resources. Not every tool will require dozens of hours of training, but complex tools should be scaled accordingly—and your team should be able to comprehend them in turn.

This allows your programmers and testers to start using the automation tools as quickly as possible. Similarly, it also means you’ll start seeing ROI much sooner than if they had to figure out the platform on their own or with limited resources.

Reporting Tools

One of the most important features of software testing tools to look for is the ability to provide accurate, detailed reporting for tests your team is running. Even more, these tests should be easy to customize so you can fit the tests to each of your projects.

Robust automated testing tools like Ranorex also offer multiple ways to view the test results, so every stakeholder can view the details they need with ease.

Multi-Language Options

Suppose you’re trying to test a cross-platform extension that mostly relies on C++. Chances are, a debugger that can only detect issues with Python-based code won’t be helpful for your team whenever they need to run even the most basic functionality tests in the extension.

While this is just one specific example, the same thing goes for any other languages your team might use to develop features and patches for your software. The best software testing tool for your needs should cover every programming language your team uses in your products.

Ranorex Studio works with all standard programming languages, allowing developers and testers to create flexible scripts without the need for scripting languages.


Start a Free Trial of Ranorex Studio Today

Want to see how a test automation platform like Ranorex Studio can help your team produce even better products? Try Ranorex for yourself with our free trial today.

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