12 Best Software Testing Tools in 2021
There are several goals and objectives for automation. One of the most important ones is to reduce human effort. Software testing is a difficult process, especially in contemporary times, where quality is above all. That’s why we have automated software testing tools.
Unlike functional testing, however, non-functional testing is usually performed manually. Hence, manual software testing tools are used too. There are several types of testing, such as:
- Browser testing
- Desktop testing
- Mobile testing
- Regression testing
- Web services and API testing
- Web testing
Best Software Testing Tools
Learning software testing requires understanding an array of testing types and related tools. To make it easier for you, here are 12 of the essential software testing tools that anyone interested in software testing must know about.
- 2004 (as an internal tool for ThoughtWorks)
- 2007-8 (as WebDriver)
- 2009 (as Selenium 2.0)
- Jason Huggins (Selenium RC)
- Philippe Hanrigou (SeleniumGrid)
- Simon Stewart (WebDriver)
Supported Platform(s): Cross-platform
Perhaps the most popular automation testing tool for running functional tests on web apps is Selenium. Anyone who has even a little experience with software testing might have come across Selenium, or at least, must have heard about it.
The cross-platform testing framework is preferred by software testing teams and individuals for automating web app testing. Selenium facilitates writing down test scripts in a range of programming languages, including C#, Groovy, Java, and Python.
Selenium serves as the foundation for other popular software testing tools, like Katalon Studio and Watir. Many browser vendors provide native support for Selenium-based testing. You can do testing even without learning a programming language, ever! This is made possible using a playback tool.
- Cross-browser support.
- Free and open-source.
- Giant, mushrooming community.
- High level of integration and reusability.
- Highly portable.
- Low hardware dependency as compared to other vendor-focused automation testing tools.
- Parallel test execution via Selenium Grid.
2. Micro Focus Unified Functional Testing
- 2001 (as QTP)
- 2006 (as HP QTP)
- 2012 (as UFT)
Developer: Micro Focus
Supported Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
Previously known as QuickTest Professional or QTP, Micro Focus UFT is a testing automation framework for performing functional and regression testing on software applications. It is one of the most popular automation testing tools for enterprises.
Micro Focus Unified Functional Testing lets developers test the trio layers of a program’s operations - the database, interface, and service layers - from a unified console. UFT leverages the VBScript scripting language for:
- Specifying test processes and
- Manipulating controls and objects for a software application.
Although primarily intended for the Microsoft Windows platform, Micro Focus UFT can be used for .NET, Delphi, Java, and web platforms using add-ins. The testing tool is available in single-seat and concurrent licenses.
- Automated documentation.
- Data-driven testing.
- Error handling available.
- Expert View for displaying and allowing editing the source code of a test script.
- Many IDE-like features, such as breakpoints.
- Smart object recognition.
- Supports integration with Mercury Business Process Testing and Mercury Quality Center.
3. Katalon Studio
- January 2015 (as an internal tool)
- September 2016
Developer: Katalon LLC
Supported Platform(s): Mobile, web
Katalon Studio is a free-to-use automation testing tool built over two of the most popular automation testing frameworks, namely Appium and Selenium. It features a dedicated interface for API, mobile, and web-based testing.
Interestingly, Katalon Studio was chosen as the Gartner Peer Insights Customer’s Choice for Software Test Automation twice in 2020 and 2021. Support for writing test scripts in Java and Groovy languages is available in Katalon Studio.
Customizable execution workflow allows Katalon Studio to deal with different types of testing requirements conveniently. The automation testing tool also provides support for XPath and object re-indentation.
- Comprehensive testing and reporting with Katalium, Katalon Recorder, and Katalon TestOps.
- Dual, interchangeable testing interface.
- Follows the Page Object Model pattern.
- Image-based testing functionality available.
- Inbuilt object repository.
- Support for CI tools, such as Docker, Jenkins, and Jira.
Developer: Ranorex GmBH
Supported Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Server, Mobile, Web
Ranorex was developed with the primary objective of easing collaboration among testers and developers. It has been supporting testers and enterprises for over a decade now. The GUI test automation tool supports testing on Windows-based desktop, mobile, and web platforms.
Automation engineers and testers can develop automated test modules with standard programming languages, like C# and VB.NET, using Ranorex. Over the years, Ranorex has succeeded in finding global clients in, for example, Adidas, Canon, IBM, Lufthansa, and Siemens.
Ranorex Studio is available in a range of licenses. Like Studio license, Runtime license, Premium Bundle, Enterprise Bundle, et cetera.
- Easy-to-maintain repository.
- End-to-end testing of mobile and web-based apps.
- GUI object identification. Filters GUI elements with the RanoreXPath technology.
- Modular automation scripts.
- Parallel test execution available.
- Ranorex Recorder allows object-based record and replay.
- Robust reporting capabilities, including detailed error logs and pie charts.
5. Sahi Pro
Developer: Narayan Raman (original)
Tyto Software Pvt. Ltd.
Supported Platform(s): Desktop, web, mobile
Sahi Pro is a business-driven test automation (BDTA) framework written in Java and JS. The testing automation tool facilitates multi-browser testing and allows automation engineers and testers to do more while coding less.
All tests conducted using Sahi Pro are stable and support automatic waits to negate timing issues. The testing tool allows running thousands of test scripts in parallel on a single machine or distributed across a cluster. Sahi Pro can work even for apps with dynamic IDs.
Before making a purchase, users can get the Sahi Pro Starter, a 180-day free, limited version of Sahi Pro. The testing automation application features a built-in Excel framework that makes collaboration and monitoring easier.
- Browser testing record and playback.
- Detailed error reporting.
- Ideal for projects based on the agile methodology.
- Provides support for a range of web application development tools, including Dojo Toolkit, ExtJS, and YUI Library.
- Single automation tool for testing a range of technologies, including cross-browser apps, desktop apps, Java applets, Webservices, etc.
- Supports CI technologies, such as Bamboo and Jenkins.
6. Telerik Test Studio
Supported Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mobile, Web
Test Studio is an automation testing tool for Windows, mobile, and web platforms. It is primarily meant for performing functional testing on desktop apps, websites, webapps, and mobile apps.
Telerik Test Studio assists in rapidly creating automated tests and then integrates the same seamlessly to Agile-based CI/CD pipelines. The automation testing tool provides out-of-the-box support for bug tracking and version control systems.
Enterprises looking to create custom solutions can leverage the powerful Test Studio API. Moreover, integrating the test automation tool with existing systems is a piece of cake. Telerik Test Studio also provides support for conducting other tests, like load and performance.
- Cross-browser support.
- Manual testing available.
- Provides integration support with bug tracking tools.
- Single-click bug reports to Jira and MS TFS.
Developer: SmartBear Software
Supported Platform(s): Android, GNOME Web, iOS, Microsoft Windows
TestComplete features 3 modules for targeting various platforms, namely Desktop, Mobile, and Web. Besides functional testing, TestComplete also allows backend testing, - such as database testing - GUI testing, regression testing, and unit testing.
Modifying existing recorded tests for meeting new requirements and covering more use cases is also available with TestComplete. The testing software also allows distributed testing by running many automated tests across many workstations or VMs.
- Automatically takes screenshots during test recording and playback.
- Based on the COM interface, an open API.
- Data-driven testing available.
- Inbuilt keyword-driven test editor.
- Superior extensibility using plugins.
- Test record and playback.
Developer: Cygnet Infotech
Supported Platform(s): Microsoft Windows (XP or above)
Another top testing automation tool is TestingWhiz from Cygnet Infotech. Compared to other popular testing frameworks like Selenium, TestComplete, and UFT, TestingWhiz is the new kid around the block.
TestingWhiz focuses on the implementation, training, and maintenance of test automation frameworks. The paid testing tool is available in 3 licenses:
- Short-term project
A free trial of TestingWhiz is available to let automation engineers and testers try the same before making a purchase. The Enterprise edition of TestingWhiz offers a comprehensive range of testing, including API testing, cross-browser testing, database testing, and mobile app testing.
TestingWhiz offers out-of-the-box integration support for a range of technologies, including VCS and test management tools. Users can perform testing without writing complex code, schedule test executions, and generate as well as share detailed test reports.
- Browser extension testing.
- Centralized object repository.
- Distributed, data- and keyword-driven testing.
- Integration support for:
- Bug tracking tools, such as FogBugz, Jira, and Mantis.
- Object eye internal recorder.
- Testing management tools, such as HP Quality Center, TestRail, and Zephyr.
- Version control systems, like GitHub.
Developer: Testpad Limited
Supported Platform(s): Web. mobile
Testpad leverages checklist-inspired test plans that can be readily applied to varying testing styles, everything from exploratory testing to traditional test case management. It is a simplistic manual testing tool that prioritizes pragmatism over everything else.
Unlike other testing tools, Testpad features a Guest testers functionality. It allows users to invite people to perform some predefined testing without even setting up an account first. Testpad is simple-to-use, not only for testers but also for non-testers.
While testing, ideas may spring up for some new tests. Testpad is developed with this in mind as it allows adding novel tests during the testing process.
- Drag-and-drop support for organizing test plans.
- Easy to learn and start.
- Focuses on the Agile approach of software development.
- Responsive, JS-powered user interface.
- Supports manual testing.
- Keyboard-driven interface.
10. Tricentis Tosca Testsuite
Since: June 2006
Supported Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, mobile, web
Tosca Testsuite leverages MBTA (Model-based Test Automation) for rapidly creating resilient, easy-to-maintain, end-to-end tests. The automation testing tool features risk-based testing to make testing faster for an application with an increasing codebase and shortening release times.
With the model-based approach, enterprises can easily shift from UI testing to API testing using the Tosca Testsuite. The end-to-end testing automation tool features Tricentis TDM (Test Data Management), which decreases the time required for creating test data.
Users can develop virtual services from API test modules using the Tricentis OSV (Orchestrated Service Virtualization). Doing so, amazingly, does not require in-depth coding or technical knowledge.
- Automatic creation and provision of on-demand synthetic or masked production data.
- Distributed execution.
- Eliminates data integrity issues at the source.
- Offers support for over 160 technologies.
- Powerful test record and playback using ARA (Automation Recording Assistant).
- Risk coverage.
- Support for cloud-based collaboration.
Bonus Software Testing Tools
- 2001 (as cliec)
- 2003 (as WTR)
Supported Platform(s): Cross-platform
Unlike other testing tools on this list, Watir is a set of open-source libraries written in Ruby for automating web browsers. Watir is, in actuality, a contraction for Web application testing in ruby and is pronounced as water.
Available under the MIT license, Watir is a software testing framework for web apps. It comprises of many sub-projects, most notable among which are:
- Watir-web driver
Interestingly, Watir is powered by Selenium. The Watir-web driver, which provides cross-browser support, is a derivative of Selenium 2.0. It supports several business-driven development tools and technologies, including Cucumber, Ruby on Rails, and RSpec.
- Automatic element generation.
- Easy-to-read and easy-to-maintain test scripts.
- Free and open-source.
- Great, expanding community support.
- Supports testing a web app based on any language.
- Uses the dynamic, general-purpose programming language Ruby.
Developer: Xpand IT
Supported Platform(s): Web
Branded as the “cutting edge test management for Jira,” Xray is an extensible test management platform focusing on the Agile methodology. Building a CI/CD pipeline is made easier with the REST API and out-of-the-box integration support for Bamboo and Jenkins.
Xray helps enterprises to enhance the quality of their software product(s) through comprehensive and effective testing. The software testing tool lets users easily trace defects, executions, requirements, and tests.
The entire testing life cycle i.e., from test planning to test reporting, is supported by Xray. With full support for BDD framework, writing tests is much simpler.
- Advanced test folder structure.
- Easy integration with testing automation frameworks, such as Cucumber and Selenium.
- Inbuilt reporting available in multiple formats, including docx and pdf with Xporter.
- Integrates directly with JIRA.
- Native support for Cucumber.
- Support for manual testing.
There is no underabundance of software testing tools. As there are so many different parameters for software testing, so are the available options.
You can decide whether to choose a single, unified platform for testing or juggle many different testing tools based on your testing requirements. What software testing tools do you prefer? Let us know via comments.
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