How to Tackle Open Source Test Automation

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Choosing the best tools (some of them are free) for Web-based and mobile test automation

If you are confused or overwhelmed by the growth and availability of new open source tools, you are certainly not alone. Even if you are already using test automation programs but have not yet considered open source options, you should.

In a time of continuous software development and testing, where a variety of organizations are employing some form of Agile methodology, the era of testing automation is quickly growing across the business spectrum. This rapidly repeated, ongoing process is known as Continuous Integration (CI) testing.

Continuous Integration testing is only possible with automation. Constant software iterations require reliable, flexible and time-saving automation test tools to avoid costly downtime and to maintain and grow revenues.

For example, industries that create and must test a new build every two hours are prime beneficiaries of next generation open source test tools. That includes categories such as eCommerce, financial services, insurance, manufacturing and many others.

The best of these open source automation tools deliver high reliability and repeatability, and play very well with other complementary test programs across all browsers.

Automating browser and mobile OS testing with the best frameworks and APIs need not be a highly complex task if you use a set of complementary, integrated open source tools available, based on your specific needs.

One powerful solution that is compatible with the most popular frameworks is Selenium, a suite of API tools that automates web browsers across many platforms. It is used for automating web applications for testing purposes, and automating web-based administration tasks.  And, it’s free.

Along with other open source tools, Selenium provides:

  • Options that deliver the best use of time, funding, resources and skill sets.
  • One tool that supports various development models like Agile, TDD and BDD and offers a significant advantage over other tools.
  • One of the first open source tools to offer versatile automation flexibility through its various products, including WebDriver, Grid, IDE and Remote Control.

Here are some reasons why a tool like Selenium makes sense for test automation applications in your organization.

  • It is compatible with many browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Safari, Internet Explorer and Opera. All major browser vendors such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, provide their own implementations.
  • It works with most versions of MS Widows still supported by Microsoft, as well as Apple iOS, Android and Linux.
  • It is often used for automating web applications for testing purposes, but it does not include a testing framework, though it is compatible with many on the market.
  • It supports many programming languages through libraries of Selenium drivers and is compatible with many favorite frameworks, including Nunit, Junit, TestNG, Webdriver JS, NightwatchJS, Behat + Mink, Robot Framework, Cucumber and Rspec, among others.

Here are some recommended frameworks and apps that integrate well with Selenium.

  • For configuring different aspects of test suites: The popular and flexible open source Robot Framework IDE (RIDE) is a generic test-automation framework originally produced in Google Code. A major advantage of the Robot-IDEis the support offered through its comprehensive documentation in configuring test suites.
  • For running automated acceptance tests: Cucumber is anopen source testing framework that runs automated acceptance tests written in behavior-driven development (BDD) style:  A primary benefit of Cucumber it that it allows tests to be written in plain and simple language using the BBD approach so that virtually anyone can comprehend the results.
  • For mobile app testing: Appium is an open source test automation framework for use with native, hybrid and mobile web apps.  It drives iOS, Android, and Windows apps using the WebDriver protocol. What it does best is that it automates any mobile app from any language and any test framework, while allowing complete access to back-end APIs and DBs from test code.

A final advantage of using these open source tools with Selenium is Continuous Integration, where individual software changes can be immediately tested and reported as they are added to the code base. These open source tools work together to provide rapid feedback to detect an error so it can be caught and repaired quickly.

Don’t let the plethora of open source test automation tools keep you from reducing test and licensing costs or increasing your testing throughput times to enhance your competitive advantage. If you would like help in figuring out the best tools and approaches for your test organization, contact us. Our open source experts are standing by to provide guidance and the path to a better ROI.

Microexcel helps customers reduce test cycle times and accelerate their time-to-market by leveraging our proven methodologies, automation best practices, tools and frameworks, metrics and measurements and procedures.

To learn more about Microexcel’s innovative testing automation solutions, and its proof of concept offerings, contact us at info@microexcel.com.

Learn more about the services and key features offered by Open Source Test Automation.

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