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The popularity of open-source test automation tools has definitely skyrocketed over the past couple of decades. One can say that it is primarily because of the competitive market we are in today that has made quality an undeniable part of a product’s success. But that doesn’t mean testing teams can take all the time they want or spend as much as they want. That is why we as a leading automation testing company are focused on delivering high-quality software at blazing speed with optimal costs. Our highly skilled testers employ all the best automation technologies in the market and are proficient when it comes to choosing the right tools for the right project.
So in this blog, we will be exploring the various advantages of using open-source test automation tools and how to choose the right one for your needs from the numerous available options. We even have a set of predefined recommendations that you might find useful.
Why is Open-Source the way to go?
Open-source tools are not mere freeware options that limit us from making the required changes we want to make it suit our needs. In addition to being free to use, their source code is available to all. They are primarily developed with the focus of solving a set of problems for the greater good of the community. Though it might require additional effort from us at the beginning in terms of making up for the functionalities and features that are not readily available, the ability to create the tool you want the way you want is truly exceptional. So it definitely shouldn’t be seen as a cheap alternative. To put it in simple terms, the open-source software is as effective as the teams using it.
Open-Source vs Commercial
|Support And Training
|Dependent On The Community
|Provided By The Vendor
|Both Outsiders And Insiders Are Responsible
|Sole Vendor Responsibility
Since you have to pay to use the commercial software, support and training will mostly be provided by the team itself. Though we will not be able to access its source code to make any changes, commercial tools are usually developed and updated in the long run by keeping the needs of the industry in mind. Few commercial solutions do also provide additional customizability options when the tool is purchased. But such options will be more expensive.
Despite the minor disadvantages, open-source is most often the right way to go. Here’s a consolidated list of all the advantages that open-source solutions have to offer.
Advantages of Using an Open-Source Software:
- 1. Since they are completely free to use and modify, testing teams can
- a. Ensure a better product value with the saved cost.
- b. Switch to a different option without having to worry about vendor lock-in.
- 2. As the code is readily available, we can create a tailor-made solution based on our specific needs.
- 3. We can integrate it with our existing software.
- 4. It can even address the future needs in a project that we wouldn’t have been aware of at the start of the project.
- 5. You need not be worried about the software configuration even if your team grows in the future.
- 6. An open-source community can include people from all over the globe which means a very diverse talent pool is contributing to make the software better and safer in comparison to commercial tools.
- 7. Teams can offer competitive prices to attract customers. Increasing the number of customers by offering affordable pricing and better security.
How to Choose the Right Open-source Test Automation Tool?
All the advantages that we mentioned do come with an asterisk (*) as not all the open-source test automation tools can deliver everything. So in order to reap all the possible benefits, you would have to review your options by looking for the very same capabilities. Let’s dive straight into it.
Automation Testing Requirements
Your testing requirements should be your first and foremost concern as many make a wrong call by choosing a tool based on its popularity. It might work well for others, but will it work well for you is the question. The best way to find out is by defining your expectations from the tool itself. By doing so you will be able to identify how much of the existing functionalities will be useful and how much modification work you will need to do. Each testing team faces unique obstacles. It’s best to pick the correct tools for your difficulties on a case-by-case basis. Here’s a list of a few preliminary requirements you should define.
- The type of application to be tested. (Mobile, Web, API, or Desktop)
- The platforms you need to test it on. (If mobile, Android, and iOS)
- The programming language used for writing the automation scripts.
The Learning Curve
Like we said at the beginning of this blog, testing teams can’t take forever to get things done. So you should be aware of the skillset of your teams and choose the tool that will ensure the least amount of time for your team to get started. Picking a great tool and waiting for your team to learn the tool will become an issue. So you could even focus on codeless solutions so that you wouldn’t have to worry about such concerns as anybody will be able to do it.
Ease of Test Case Maintenance
We have a dedicated R&D team that works with all the best and emerging tools in the market to see if they could help enhance our workflow. So we will have a clear idea of how easy it is to create and maintain the test cases. Likewise, you should also test the tool out before going full steam ahead. Also, look into the scope of reusability of the created test steps as it will come in handy in the long run.
Integration & Reporting Capabilities
The automation tool you are selecting is one part of an entire system. So the open-source test automation tool that you pick should integrate well with your other CI/CD tools. Likewise, reporting the bugs is also a crucial part of the process. So make sure the tool has features for taking screenshots of issues, recording the execution, the time taken for the test execution, and so on.
Not all open-source test automation tools will have an active community that is supporting the users. So you have to ensure that the support is there as you might get stranded in the middle of the project when encountering a problem that you are not sure of how to solve.
Our Open-source Test Automation Tools Recommendations
We are providing these recommendations on basis of our years of experience working with an array of open-source test automation tools in numerous automation testing projects. Though the choice of the open-source test automation tool will come down to your unique needs, these options will all be worthy contenders.
Web Automation – Selenium
- A widely used and trustable option that has been in the market for more than a decade.
- It is extremely safe.
- Selenium has a great community that provides strong assistance.
- It also has great support across numerous browsers, operating systems, languages, and frameworks.
- There are Open Source IDEs, Frameworks, and Reporting Utility options in the market that can be integrated with Selenium.
Mobile-App Automation – Appium
- Appium can be used to test the functionality of native, mobile web, and mobile hybrid apps.
- It works across both iOS and Android platforms.
- Will be effective in designing and executing unit tests as it uses a different scripting language than the app.
- Its record and playback feature comes in very handy.
- Appium supports real devices, emulators, and simulators.
Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) – Cucumber
- Cucumber has a Quick setup.
- It can test your web apps with acceptance tests.
- It can run the most typical samples for your app to carry out those tests.
- Even non-testers will be able to read and understand the test cases as it uses easy-to-understand and simple English.
- Cucumber makes it possible to reuse code in your tests.
- Being a widely used automated app testing product, it has a large community that provides great support.
- It is a cross-platform tool.
- Detailed reports can be generated.
- It integrates well with GIT and Jenkins.
API Testing – Postman
- Postman can be used to extract almost all modern web API data.
- You can write Boolean tests within the Postman interface.
- We can use all the web methods like GET, POST, DELETE, etc.
- We can also validate the response, response time, and error code.
Android applications – Robotium
- It supports Graybox UI testing, system testing, functional testing, and user acceptability testing for both native and hybrid Android apps.
- Timing and delays are done automatically.
- It automatically follows the current activity.
- Views are discovered automatically.
- There are no changes to the Android platform.
- Robotium enables fast test execution.
We can say without any doubt that open-source test automation tools have definitely revolutionized the way we test software. In fact, our founders foresaw such widespread adoption of open-source test automation tools when they found Codoid back in 2012. We have leveraged the potential of the open-source software to now become a leading QA company. But we have not used open-source test automation tools alone. We have used a combination of both to get the best results. So make sure to determine your testing requirements properly and then pick the right one for your needs by reviewing the above-mentioned capabilities. For more such informative content, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter.