Types of Automation Testing Tools

Instructor: Lyna Griffin

Lyna has tutored undergraduate Information Management Systems and Database Development. She has a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters degree in Information Technology.

In this lesson, we will examine what automation testing is and the tools that are employed for carrying out such tests. We will examine why automation testing is necessary and the key characteristics of the different tool types.

What Is Automated Testing?

You are the founder of Finetinx Company Ltd. A company named Boomboom Technologies Inc. calls and makes a pre-order of one million pieces of your newly released high-tech earphones. Your production team can meet the deadline. Your reputation is on the line! You have to ensure each of these one million pairs of headphones function perfectly and are without any flaws. The four members of staff who normally do the manual testing of products are no match for the one million pairs of headphones that are about to come through the production line. You need a special machine that can automatically test the headphones before they are packaged. You need to implement an automation testing tool!

Automation testing tools can be mechanical devices or pieces of software created by developers to ensure that a piece of equipment or software functions properly. We will limit our study to software automation testing tools. Automation testing, therefore, is the process of taking a piece of software, end to end, through a series of real-life simulation tests to ensure quality and proper functionality.

Why Automated Testing?

These tests simulate actions and activities that the software would be subjected to if it were operating in a real-life environment.

This testing ensures that:

  • The software runs smoothly at the capacity for which it was designed
  • Future issues, errors or hitches the software may experience in a live environment are eliminated
  • The required end-to-end flow of the software is achieved
  • The efficiency of testing is improved

We can see that testing is a very critical part of software development.

Types Of Automation Testing Tools

There are different types of software today running on different operating systems, different platforms, different browsers and different devices. As such, automated tools are categorized according to their scope of functionality. When we think of our television remote control devices, some have functional capabilities that are brand-specific while others have universal functionality. This means some TV remote control devices only work with a particular brand (brand-specific) while others have been designed to work on numerous TV brands (universal). Automated tools are categorized as follows:

Automation Tools: Support for Various Applications and Platforms

A lot of software applications are platform-specific. For example, many applications are developed in Java or .NET platforms only. Therefore, there are platform-specific automation tools that are only compatible with applications developed in the Java or .NET platforms. There are other automation tools, on the other hand, which are developed to be compatible with multiple applications or platforms.

Automation Tools: Support for Various Operating Systems

Operating systems are the foundation or canvas on which all applications are built. Different applications run on different operating systems. Today, however, globalization has forced most software developers to be flexible and create applications or versions of applications that can run on multiple operating systems. Some automation tools are, therefore, designed to be operating system-specific or have cross platform capabilities. The tools must support different operating system version upgrades. This is because in reality users of software always use varying operating system versions and automation tools have to be armed accordingly.

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