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Top 5 Automation Testing Tools you must Know

Automation Testing is one of the common methods used by developers in their product testing today. There are several testing tools available to serve the market size, however, some have specific purposes. Although the success of any automation testing depends on several factors, selecting the best and right tool holds a strong point here. So, to get the right automation done effectively, you have to make use of the best tool for the particular work. 

In this article, we will give a complete breakdown of what automation testing is about and the various tools you can use. To get started, we’d begin by defining what software testing is. 

What is Software Testing?

Software testing is the process of checking software or application to see whether the final product aligns with the product requirements and is free of bugs or defects. It is an important process in the software development lifecycle as it confirms whether the developers have built products that meet the initial product requirements. It’s main goal is to find defects or gaps between the final product and the initial product requirements. 

 Finding defects earlier is critical as it helps to avoid sending bugs into production and having a bad customer experience. Also, when defects are discovered earlier, it stems from the defect at its budding stage, hence preventing further resultant problems or affecting other features of the product.

Different types of Software Testing

Based on the of tests done, software testing can be classified into three:

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  1. Functional Testing: This is a type of testing aimed at validating the functionality of the software based on its functional requirements. Examples of functional testing include: unit testing, smoke testing, user acceptance testing, integration testing, etc. 
  2. Non-functional testing: Non-functional testing is a type of testing that is focused on checking the non-functional aspect of the product. Aspects such as usability, reliability, performance, etc. Examples of nonfunctional testing include: performance testing, load testing, scalability testing etc. 
  3. Maintenance testing: This is a routine test that checks if an already deployed software still satisfies its deliverables and also checks that no functionality has failed during an upgrade.  

Based on the methodology for performance the test however, software testing can be classified into two:

  1. Manual Testing: This is a type of testing in which the testing physically verifies that there is no defect or bug in the software, by executing test cases one after the other. 
  2. Automation Testing: This type of testing involves the use of automation testing tools to automate the process of testing. Test cases can be run repeatedly without any physical input. 

Difference Between Manual and Automation Testing 

The major difference between manual testing is the mode of test execution. While software testers perform test cases manually in manual testing, the process is automatic in automation testing. 

Here are some other differences between manual testing and automation testing. 

Testing AspectManual TestingAutomation Testing
EfficiencyIt is time consuming and strenuousTest cases can be completed in a faster time. More efficient. 
Scope of test casesThe scope of test cases is limited. The tester may forget some use casesIt has a broader scope. Several test cases can be performed. 
Types of taskIt is used in purely manual tasksMany tasks can be automated. 

Types of Automation Testing

Many of the testing types explained above can be done with automation testing. Whether functional, non-functional or maintenance testing, many of the testing processes can be automated. Examples of automation testing include:

  • Unit testing: This involves testing a small chunk or function in a software. 
  • API testing: This is used to check that all API endpoints are working as should without any bugs. 
  • Integration testing: As the name suggests, integration testing ensures that all the small components in a software works together and without any compatibility issue when operating as a whole. 
  • Regression testing: This is used to ensure that after every upgrade, no software component has regressed to its previous state.  
  • Smoke testing: This is used to ascertain the stability of a build. In other words, it ensures that the build works fine and can be used for additional test cases. 
  • Performance testing: This is used to ensure that the test can withstand load without stress and is responsive even when stressed. 
  • UI testing: This is used to check that the user has a smooth user experience, the design is good and the element’s positions are as it should. 

List of Automation Testing Tools

There are different types of automation testing tools. In this article, we will discuss 5 important ones. 

  1. Selenium

It’s no news that Selenium makes a good automation testing tool. Produced in 2004, Selenium has continued serving several purposes in the industry. The use of this tool makes diversification of duties possible as it serves both programmer and QA engineers. Selenium Testing tool is suitable for use on several programming languages including Python, C#, Java, etc. selenium comes in a 4-compartment packaging containing the components. These are Selenium IDE, Selenium Grid, Selenium RC (Remote Control), and Selenium WebDriver. Just like other testing tools, Selenium is used on the completion of a website to ensure the proper functioning of the applications on several browsing systems. 

Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is the primary tool in the Selenium pack. Formally known as Selenium Recorder, this testing component is designed to allow the debugging editing and recording of functional testing. According to preference, the scripts can be manually edited after an automatic recording. This component uses a programming language (Selense) to quickly respond to commands and retrieve information from platforms. 

Selenium Grid allows users to conduct multiple tests simultaneously on several machines while the monitoring of the browsers is done centrally. This helps the users save the stress of monitoring the progress on each test and saves time too. 

Selenium Remote Control (RC) is a tool that makes the incorporation of a Selenium Testing tool possible in existing systems by writing tests using any of the supported programming languages. 

As a programmer or QA engineer, one of the factors to consider before choosing a testing tool is its market cap. This comes in handy when there is a problem you’d like to get solved by asking other users. For Selenium, this seems to be the biggest advantage as many programmers prefer to use this during automation testing. This way, you can never get stuck using Selenium especially as a beginner in this field. Likewise, another thing to put in mind about Selenium is the languages supported. Although there are several programming languages, Selenium has selections for certain platforms based on a specific language.

Key features. 

  • Supports multi-browser testing
  • Has a vibrant community
  • Free to use 
  • Supports multiple programming languages 
  • It is open source and lightweight. 


  • It can only be used to test web applications and not mobile applications. 
  • There is minimal support for image testing. 
  • Relatively more technical to set up the test environment
  • Selenium is not so accurate for dynamic content such as web pages with JavaScript.


Selenium is free.  

  1. Telerik Test Studio

Here is another top automation testing tool used majorly today. Telerik Test Studio is designed to serve a multipurpose task by being suitable for different testing such as functional testing, load testing, and regression testing. Telerik Test Studio also works well on different platforms making users have a wider choice of options to use during testing. The tool is scriptless, however, users can specify the requirements when needed. 

Similar to Selenium, Telerik Test Studio supports cross-checking on multiple browsing platforms. One of the major advantages of this automation testing tool is the use of an inbuilt playback and recorder which can be used severally during testing, helping programmers save enough time and hasten the testing process. 

A major con of this tool is the need to purchase a license after the 30-days free usage period. Likewise, there’s a need to develop an add-on for control during usage. Although the Telerik Test Studio tool has some downsides, it’s still one of the most wanted and used automation testing tools today.

Key Features

  • It supports multi-browser execution
  • Elements can be abstracted and reused. 
  • Supports a wide range of applications such as HTML, ASP.NET, Silverlight, Ajax, etc. 
  • It is a scriptless tool. 
  • It is easy to learn. 


  • You need to write code for customized reports. 
  • You cannot revert back your codes to steps. 
  • It is a standalone tool. You will require an additional licence to use the VS plugin. 
  • It does not support Android app testing. In desktop applications, only WPF is supported. 


It comes with a 30-day free trial, afterwards payment needs to be made. Telerik Test Studio cost $2,499 for perpetual license and the Test Studio Ultimate cost $3,499. 

  1. Selenide

Here’s another tool for automation testing, however, this is slightly different from others. Selenide is a tool that works with the Selenium Webdriver. This tool functions effectively as a tool for test writing like others too. The selenide tool works automatically and helps shut down and start the browser when it’s needed. It further monitors the browser to install updates when the time is due. 

Likewise, Selenide uses an explanatory API that makes the tests understandable and concise. You’d agree that long tests can be overwhelming and easy to develop faults. For other controls on the testing tool, Selenide is designed to ensure a smooth running of these as well.

When running Ajax applications as well, Selenide has an inbuilt waiting time that allows the full appearance of some features. These applications have features that take time to load and this may result in a huge setback for the programmer if the time waiting for the feature isn’t designed. The default waiting time for this testing tool is about 4 seconds. 

The failure of a testing process is one of the most dreaded things for programmers. This can be quite challenging as well, but with Selenide, it becomes easy. The tool takes an automatic screenshot of the process once it fails without any command. Also, Selenide has a smooth process of uploading and downloading files. 

All these and more are the advantages of Selenide. But, there are some downsides. The first con of this testing tool is the automatic procedure of all processes. The preference to twitch some certain commands such as timeout setting, etc is only allowed after a new Webdriver is inputted. 

Selenide makes use of two wait types – Implicit and Explicit. These are two almost incompatible waits and may result in some difficulties for some unfamiliar with the tool. 

Generally, Selenium Automation Testing Tool is a good one that serves specific purposes depending on the platform and task. 


  • It automatically screenshots test failures. 
  • Selenide is open-source
  • It’s API is concise and easy to understand. 
  • It automatically handles the browser’s lifecycle. 
  • It automatically handles almost all the issues with Ajax, waiting and timeouts.  


  • Selenide uses a lot of custom settings for you. You will need to declare a new WebDriver to overwrite those settings. 
  • It combines the timeout from implicit and explicit wait. 
  • It is a wrapper of Selenium. 


Selenide is free. 

  1. TestComplete

TestComplete is similar to the Telerik Test Studio tool as it is also designed to run scriptless. Rest completely is another testing tool that supports a wide range of programming languages like Selenium. Some of these languages are JavaScript, VBScript, Python, etc. TestComplete is often considered an alternative to Selenium most times because of several similarities. 

TestComplete uses a record and playback feature however, it even has more unique features that allows the input of check at different stages for proper monitoring. Testcomplete also checks for changing interfaces during testing which makes it suitable for projects designed with dynamic interfaces. Testcomplete supports both web, mobile, desktop, and API applications for use. 

One of the major cons of Testcomplete is its cost. The tool is often considered and classified in the expensive automation testing tool categories and this makes it less of a preference for many programmers and QA testers. 

Likewise, despite the input of checks at several stages for monitoring of results, the testing tool doesn’t produce a well-defined documentation coupled with little stability issues. 

For Testcomplete, one would consider this for a professional who has all it takes financially and skillfully to run tests on the tool. If not, several issues may be encountered on the way. 

Key Features

  • Used for building automated UI testing. 
  • It supports data driven testing
  • It generated automated test reporting
  • There is free training
  • It also suppose keyword driver testing


  • It does not support tests for CEF applications in remote environments. 
  • Its support is only for standard web controls alone. There is no support for third-part web control such as jQuery UI, DevExpress, etc.
  • Using OCR to read text in web objects is only supported in desktop applications. 


There is a 30-day free trial afterwards, it comes at a cost. TestComplete base cost 5,428 euros while the pro costs 8,424 euros. 

  1. Katalon Studio

Talks about an easy testing tool that most QA testers love, it is Katalon. This automated testing tool is designed with existing samples on test reports, objects, cases, suites, etc and this makes the testing process simple for the users. This testing tool makes use of keywords during the process. Asides from these specific inbuilt keywords, users can also input other keywords related to the project. Generally, the Katalon testing tool is suitable for a beginner who is trying to get familiar with automation testing. 

Unfortunately, there is low usage of this testing tool and this makes it difficult to interact with different users when a problem erupts. However, the system is quite easy to run and operate given the existing samples. 

Key features. 

  • It is easy to use. 
  • It is quick to set up and deploy applications. 
  • It is lightweight and fast. 
  • It supports cross-browser applications. 
  • It has flexible modes. 


  • It supports only Java and Groovy. 
  • It has no support for distributed testing
  • Desktop applications cannot be automated. 

Wrapping up

In this article, we have discussed what automation testing is about and the various automation testing tools. As mentioned earlier, several other factors add up to make successful testing done and these must be known as well. For example, knowing the project requirements is very important because different tools support different platforms. Since you have found the supported platforms in this article, you also have to consider the team to run the project and their programming knowledge. For a beginner team, selecting an advanced testing tool will be difficult to use and may slow down the process since errors are bound to happen. In most cases like these, it is better to select a scriptures tool that can carry out the task effectively as well. 

You also have seen the features, limitations and cost of the various automation testing tools. There would always be a tradeoff when making a pick. Going for a too expensive testing tool will be a detriment to the project working on a strict budget. Moreover, there are less expensive ones that deliver effectively too. 

In the end, these are some of the key considerations to be on the lookout for, when selecting the best automation testing tool for your team.

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