Top 3 Functional Testing Tools In 2022 | Why They Are The Best

Best Functional Testing Tools

Functional testing covers most of the important aspects as well as most of the important types of tests from the entire software testing process. On our blog page, we already have amazing articles on what functional testing is and how you can proceed with it. You can check out all those articles to get an in-depth understanding of those topics.

Now, as you already know, one of the most effective ways to cope with the surging demand for tech products is automating the software testing process that was mostly completed by manual efforts in the initial days and used to end up wasting a lot of time & resources along with getting results filled with human errors. Automating the tests does not only save a lot of time, money & effort, but it also allows you to achieve great overall efficiency and growth in your business.

Automating tests needs you to take a few things into consideration first and we are going to discuss those in the further sections of this article.

Challenges In Functional Testing

Functional tests consist of most of the important test types that are part of an entire software testing process. Hence, the challenges that you might encounter while manually performing functional tests are almost the same as those you may face while performing all other forms of software testing. Hence, let’s take a look at those challenges that make it a better choice to automate tests. They are also categorized into some important divisions for better analysis.

Business Challenges

  • Large projects have numerous tests that cost huge chunks of money for performing manually.
  • Complete dependence on manual efforts often leads businesses to launch products without executing sufficient regression tests, and that causes high risks of failure in those products’ features.
  • Without automation, frequent releases cause versioning issues that create inconvenience for large sets of users.

Technical Challenges

  • As in manual QA, creating new tests was so time-consuming that the testing works were mostly dependent on existing test data which was very inconsistent.
  • Before becoming harmful to the user base, the versioning issues were a crucial technical challenge.
  • The complex enterprise systems used to consist of multiple integrated technologies that were difficult to deal with in manual operations.
  • Cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility was a big challenge as any successful software must be compatible with all popular browsers (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.), all popular operating systems (e.g. Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.), and all forms of most used devices.
  • Varying levels of technical/coding skills often created inefficiencies among testing resources.

Criteria For Selecting An Efficient Automated Functional Testing Tool

You got to know about the challenges of not using automation in functional testing. Now, as you have to select a suitable automated functional testing tool, you must be aware of the following parameters for selecting the perfect one for you.

Supported Programming Language and Development Environment

The first step to automating tests is that the tests have to be written in a programming language. So, you must check what programming languages a tool supports before choosing it. A good way to start is looking for tools that support programming languages like Python, Ruby, etc. that are easy to learn or to choose a tool that supports the programming language that the application is written in.

The modern agile system needs to maintain a stable continuous integration and continuous delivery pipeline that leads the development team to correct bugs in the same language that the application is written in. That debugging should be done in a production environment when a commit fails. So, it will be much easier for the developers to do the debugging work using a test automation tool that can be used as a plug-in inside his/her integrated development environment. Otherwise, if the testing tool runs outside the IDE and uses a different programming language, it will be least likely that the developers will learn that programming language or use that tool.

Cross-platform Support and Allowance For Tagging

As we discussed in the challenges of not automating tests, the lack of cross-platform or cross-browser support leads to several issues and massive inefficiencies in the business. If the tool doesn’t support all platforms and levels like web, mobile web, Android, etc., the risks of running the app on the unsupported platforms would need to be covered through other measures which will significantly increase the overall cost. On the other hand, an efficient automated testing tool can create a “page object” expressed as functions. The automated checks call those functions and allow them to be re-run against different page objects.

Tagging means tracking the tests running in different browsers. It allows you to set instructions for running tests in specific browsers. Also, by tagging, you can categorize the tests as only front-end tests, only back-end tests, API tests, etc. So, using a tool that supports all popular platforms must also allow you to tag the tests for reducing the risks and speeding up the delivery process.

Effective Reporting Feature

Detecting the bugs and defects is not enough. They must be properly documented in reports to pave the way for the developers to make strategies for debugging and quality assurance. Hence, you must make sure to choose an automated functional testing tool that has efficient dashboards and useful features that provide different accommodations for different groups of professionals such as developers, managers, or even customers because you already know that for some important forms of functional tests, customers are the ones who use the app and provide their feedback.

Affordable Costs of Licensing and Support

You are looking for a tool that will be beneficial for your business and does not become a way to drain your money. Licensing is an important factor that can cost good amounts of money. Also, there are a few costs that may pop up in the future (e.g. support fees, compatibility add-ons, etc.). Hence, you must choose a tool that comes with affordable costs in all these aspects, and does not make you waste your money.

Supports CI & DevOps

To avoid automation delay, automation tools are run with the CI process, and that creates a new requirement for versioning the tests with the code. That means you should run the tool from the command line and it should produce outputs that the CI system can interpret. Hence, to provide such support for CI tools, the automated testing tool must be effectively compatible with other popular CI tools.

Must Fit Well With The Team

Different companies have different teams working on different aspects of automation testing. While selecting the test automation tool for your business, you must keep the work culture and working method of your teams in mind. For example, in many companies, the developers write the test automation scripts because they are most accustomed to the coding work and the QA teams focus on the other portions of the entire testing process. Hence, make sure to select a test automation tool that easily fits your team’s work culture.

The Capability of Detecting All Potential Bugs

The main goal of having an efficient automated functional testing tool or better to say, performing functional testing is detecting the bugs in the application’s codebase. So, while selecting the best-suited automated functional testing tool, you must brainstorm about the factors like what the potential bugs can be and where they can appear. Based on those factors, you can categorize the bugs like the ones in the database layer, some in the business logic, some in the GUI, etc. Such different types of bugs can be detected through different forms of functional tests such as unit tests, smoke tests, and so on. Hence, you must select your automated functional testing tool based on its capabilities to detect different types of bugs.

Best Automated Functional Testing Tools

Now, as you have gone through the ways to select the best-suited test automation tool for performing your functional tests, it’s time for you to know the most renowned and beneficial ones available out there. Let’s check them out below.

1. PreFlight

PreFlight is undoubtedly one of the simplest and most efficient automation testing tools available. This highly effective browser extension lets anyone from your team create, run, and manage complex tests with just a few clicks and drag & drop actions. That means anyone from any department like sales, marketing, finance, etc. can perform all complex testing works without having any coding knowledge. For a better idea about its features, you must go through them in depth below.

Advantages:

  • Being a low-code or mostly codeless test automation tool, it allows anyone to create, run, and manage tests regardless of his/her coding knowledge.
  • It has an amazing auto-recording and playback feature that records the tests and saves them automatically when you create them. So, you can repeat those tests and analyze the test results as many times as you want.
  • PreFlight uses a highly efficient context awareness method that is based on a number of advanced AI technologies. The use of such advanced context awareness makes it capable of understanding the objective behind the different components present in an app and adapting to new changes made to them.
  • It has awesome cross-browser and cross-platform support that enables you to use it on all the popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc., and on all popular operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android.
  • You can use it to check the responsiveness of your application on different devices with different screen sizes.
  • It allows you to randomize variables along with using your custom variables for your tests.
  • Though it can be used without a single line of coding, it also allows you to add your custom code for better results.
  • It provides you with remarkably affordable pricing according to your requirements for different forms of tests, the number of test runs, and other relevant aspects.
  • Using this tool enables you to easily integrate popular CI/CD tools like Jira, Jenkins, Slack, etc. for your ease of operation.

These are only a few key advantages of using PreFlight as your test automation tool. There are several amazing benefits of using this amazing tool, and you can know them in-depth from the article “10 Amazing Software Testing Benefits From PreFlight In 2022”.

2. TestComplete

TestComplete is an amazing GUI test automation tool developed by Smartbear. It is capable of effectively testing web, desktop, and mobile applications while openly integrating with the SDLC ecosystem. It offers so many amazing benefits that both technical and non-technical users can easily use it. The most useful advantages of this tool are mentioned below.

Advantages:

3. Selenium

Selenium is a popular open-source functional testing tool that has been serving numerous users for around two decades now. This Apache 2.0 license-supported tool is highly effective in web application testing in a number of programming languages.

It is mostly categorized into two parts i.e. Selenium IDE and Selenium WebDriver or Selenium RC. While Selenium IDE is commonly used to record and play tests, the Selenium WebDriver is considered an advanced form of Selenium RC and is widely used for functional test automation.

Advantages:

  • It is an open-source tool, so you can use all its features for free.
  • It allows you to use multiple popular programming languages such as Java, Python, C#, Ruby, Groovy, etc. for writing test scripts.
  • It can easily be deployed on various platforms such as Windows, Linux, and Mac.
  • It is being used by several organizations, so there is a chance to get active support while using it.

Though Selenium has a number of useful features, its steep learning curve makes it less preferred by organizations who have fewer resources to spend, and they prefer its best alternative PreFlight as their automated testing tool.

Conclusion

Functional testing includes a number of important test types that cover several important aspects of quality assurance. This article tells you about the challenges you may face by not automating your functional tests. You also got to know about the qualities of an efficient functional test automation tool and about three of the most popular ones.

Using a truly no-code functional test automation tool PreFlight can significantly improve your software testing experience. And, the best part is that you can get a glance at that magical testing experience for free.

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