In this article, we highlight the characteristics of a good software testing tool or the features that a good testing tool must and should have.
If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to read my last article, The Benefits of Software Testing Tools.
So, let’s get underway.
First of all any software testing tools should be easy to use. If a specific tool makes your life complex, then what is the point of using it? So obviously, it should be easy to use for most people.
Secondly, it should be compatible with multiple platforms and the technology that you are currently using. Your software testing tools should support all and most of the applications and platforms that you currently use regularly within your organisation for your project.
Just because customers aren’t running your product today, doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future. So these tools should support a variety of different operating system configurations, and should have operating system compatibility and platform compatibility.
A good tool should support the recording and subsequent playbacks of your test creation for your automation tests. Apart from that, a good testing tool should have a good debugging facility, and should provide detailed failure logs, so that any script error can be easily identified and fixed without lots of time.
The software testing tool should offer robust object identification objects, as well as image testing abilities and object identification. It should also support testing of a database and finally the most important thing the cost.
A tool should do everything you need it to do, without busting your bank. A good testing tool should always be worthy of your pick, so these are certain features that a good testing tool should always have.
Before you go ahead and select any software testing tool make sure all this features are checked. Now that you understand the features, the next question of this is how do you select a proper tool that suits your requirements?
There are many criteria to consider when choosing a software testing tool. Let’s consider some simple yet efficient approaches to selecting the right tool for your needs.
The first step is to understand your project requirements thoroughly. Next is to consider your existing tools which you’re using as benchmark, and then you evaluate the shortlisted tools based on certain key points. Finally you should use some sort of matrix, to filter out a proper tool among the shortlisted tools.
Let’s go through each step in depth. The first step is always to understand your project requirements thoroughly. Firstly, you need to clearly decide between manual or automated testing. While neither of these options are technically better or worse when compared to each other, the size, the budget and the time allowance of a project will certainly be the factors that affect which method will work best for you.
You should get a deep understanding of your project requirements, such as project type, if the project is based on web or desktop or mobile, scope of the project and existing team strength on languages.
Before you actually start the testing process, you should know what needs automation and what doesn’t.
Basically, the first step is you shouldn’t have a thorough knowledge of your project requirements. The next step is to consider your existing tools as benchmarks; you will never know if the tool is best or not unless you have something to compare it with.
So, consider the current tool or the one which you’re using right now as a benchmark, and evaluate and determine the best automation tool that’s suitable for your project. For example, let’s say selenium test automation tool is my current – I’ll consider it as a benchmark. The advantages and drawbacks of this tool or selenium framework need to be understood before you actually go ahead and take the next steps.
For example, selenium is a free open-source software testing tool which tests applications and websites. It provides record playback tool to produce and record playback test scripts as well, it also provides language support for lot of languages like C#, Ruby, PHP and Python but it lacks proper customer support services or documentation.
The chosen software test automation tool should be extendable enough to meet the increasing or decreasing demands later on, and for testers it should offer easy authoring of tests. By this, I mean a testing tool must let you create tests very quickly and efficiently. The tool should support integration with continuous integration tools, and offer proper logging of results.
Once you have a list of tools shortlisted, the next step is to leverage a matrix technique for analysis and choose the best tool among the shortlisted ones. For example, you create a matrix that lists the pros and cons of the various shortlisted tools, using parameters which are vital for the project.
In summary, properly understand the requirements of your testing project. Next, use a current tool as the benchmark to evaluate the rest of the tools. Compare all the tools that you have with your current tool. List out the pros and cons as well, create a matrix and find out the best one which is suitable for your software project.
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