The top software testing tools you should be using
We all know that the days when all testing was done using a single spreadsheet are long gone. (If you are still using spreadsheets – make sure Excel is not holding back your testing). Technology keeps improving at exponential rates and as a result, more and more tools are currently being used every day by testers in their work. Here is our list of top testing tools you should consider to help manage your software QA .
Since testing tools is a wide realm of options we have divided into sections.
- Bug Tracking Tools
- Continuous Integration (CI/CD) tools
- Functional Automation Testing Tools
- Accessibility Testing
- Mobile Testing Tools
- Test Management Tools
Bug Tracking Tools
A bug tracking system or defect management system is a software application that keeps track of tasks, bugs and any other type of “tickets” in software development projects. It may be regarded as a type of issue tracking system.
When “shopping” for a bug tracker tool it is important to regards some crucial features:
- Bug definition fields – the bug tracker tool should have fields (or even the ability to create custom fields) that provide information about the bug: status, environment, module, version, priority, severity, screenshots etc.
- “Assign to” – So you can inform and see who has been assigned which issues to handle.
- Reporting and /or Dashboards containing graphs or charts that present a current snapshot of your bug coverage.
- Storage and retrieval – Beyond being able to view history and logs of bugs handled (or not), each bug should be assigned a unique ID, to enable search and retrieves for bug management purposes.
- Intuitive Worflow – This is important for any testing tool really because you want your team to quickly learn how to use it, and keep using it because they are pleased. Otherwise, you will just find yourself back here looking for a bug tracker again.
Here are some of our top choices for Bug Tracking Tools, That vary in cost and functionality, but all have great integrations with other testing tools, that can help you create a true QA management coverage solution.
Available both on cloud and server versions, this Atlassian product is thought by many as best in the breed. It allows users to Track anything – issues, bugs, user stories, tasks, deadlines, hours – to stay on top of every
team’s activity. Jira offers a wide range of integrations to help you with any need you might have. The company also has collaboration tools as well as a chat solution and dev tools. They offer a 7 days free trial.
Pricing starts at $10/month
Pivotal Tracker is a user-friendly, story-based agile project management tool that allows software development teams to work together and create solutions in real time. This product offers a 30 days free trial. Tracker is free for public projects, qualified nonprofits, and academic institutions.
Prices for commercial use range from $13-$250 for up to 50 collaborators and can be billed on a monthly/yearly basis.
This free product by Mozilla has been around for many years, making it a well-known option for many projects, it is a Defect Tracking System designed to help you manage software development. It is simple and limited, but it does the job it aims to do, allowing individual or groups of developers to keep track of outstanding bugs in their product effectively.
Redmine is an open source issue tracking system. Written using the Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database. Redmine users can manage different projects within the system.
MantisBT is a simple yet powerful open source bug tracking solution. It not only comes as a web application but also has its own mobile version. In addition, it can be hosted by using the MantisHub.
Continuous Integration (CI/CD) tools
Continuous integration, delivery, and development are the practices of merging all developers’ working copies with a shared mainline of their codebase several times a day. This ensures the stability of the code and helps the team to maintain a collaborative and working level product throughout the development process.
When looking for a CI testing tool you need a solution that will make your complicated testing simpler. But you will still need to ask yourself some questions in order to make an informed and individual decision.
- Open Source or Proprietary Software – While Open source can be cheaper and can by nature (with the help of developers) be exactly the solution you need, there are also tangible costs, including setup and maintenance by knowledgeable professionals to consider. Proprietary Software, on the other hand, often comes with built-in support and maintenance, which make the whole process more pleasant and reliable.
- Software-as-a-Service or Self-hosted – While this decision might not be up to you, and will be influenced by the nature of your organization and management, it is a criterion to be aware of. Self-hosted might give you more sense of control and security, but how easy will it be to maintain and update, (and how much will it cost?). with a Saas solution, you need not worry about such matters, however, you should know where your data will be stored, what kind of back they have for system fails. And in both cases (hosted or cloud) you should consider how easy or complicated migrating elsewhere might be.
- Integration with Existing Tools – This one should be a core consideration. Unless you are setting something up for the first time, you will want to be sure that the solution you choose integrates with any of your existing testing tools (other automation tools, test management tools , task management etc.). So ensure that your CI server integrates properly
- Product Features & Extensibility – how many features and functionalities do you really need at present, in the near future, and down the line, and how easily can you “upgrade” or “downgrade”. This can only be answered by you of course, but don’t forget to ask yourself “do I need this”?
While these are some of the main points to consider there are of course more to review such as Pricing, Learning curve, Training & Documentation. Below are some solutions we prefer using and recommend, some offer free trials, some are free, all are good choices.
Jenkins CI is an open-source continuous integration server. Originally derived from the Hudson CI project, built with Java, it provides over 1,000 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.
This Atlassian product is a continuous integration and delivery tool that
ties automated builds, tests, and releases together in a single workflow. It works great alongside JIRA and Stash providing a fully traceable deployment pipeline.
TeamCity from JetBrains is a powerful continuous integration framework that has a free version with 100 build configurations and 3 build agents available. The Enterprise version includes an unlimited number of users and configurations. The main benefits of using the solution are detailed reporting and comprehensive version control.
CircleCI is a cloud-based CI/CD system supporting GitHub and main programming languages. It provides a complete out of the box framework that needs minimal adjustments. A free plan is available.
Functional Automation Testing Tools
Functional test automation is the use of a software system in order to control the execution of tests and comparison of actual outcomes with desired outcomes. Test automation can automate some repetitive but necessary tasks in a formalized testing process already in place, or add additional testing that would be difficult to perform manually.
Some features to weigh in when comparing functional test automation tools:
- Test development platform
- Scripting languages
- Programming skills – some boast “no programming skills needed” others are very script based and require some or a lot of programming knowledge.
- Learning curves – how much effort, time and money will it take to get things “up and running”?
- Script creation time – Fast or slow?
- Object storage and maintenance
- Image-based testing
- Continuous integrations possibilities.
- Price and licensing
This free and open source set of tools allow users automating web applications for testing purposes. Web-based administration tasks can also be automated, thus allowing testers to be more efficient at their work.
This HP product, (originally designed by Mercury Interactive) and formerly known as QTP, helps testers automate tests in order to identify errors, defects, and gaps from desired results of the tested application. A 30 days free trial is available
This SmartBear product helps users create repeatable and accurate automated tests across multiple devices, platforms, and environments easily and quickly. A 30 days free trial is available. Pricing ranges from $599/year. Certification programs are also available.
This TestPlant product allows users to easily automate their testing, especially in the field of GUI testing. This solution offers advanced technology allowing the UI testing through advanced image search, image recognition, and text recognition. A free trial plan is available and pricing is provided per request.
This family of tools is mostly free, allowing users to test their site’s compliance with web accessibility rules such as Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and others. Web accessibility evaluation tools influence different audiences in your organization: designers, developers, non-technical content authors, quality assurance testers, and sometimes also end-users. And each organization, project, and team has differing needs for different features.
When evaluating an accessibility evaluation tool pay attention to the following and compare them to your requirements are ahead of time:
- Guideline compatibility – Different organizations and governments may require conformance with different accessibility standards, thus different tools support these standards.
- Languages support
- Type of tool – is it a plugin, can run as an add-on on your browser, or a designated online service.
- Supported formats – Most tools check the accessibility of HTML content. Some check other web technologies, such as CSS, SVG, and PDF.
- Reporting capabilities, scope, and format
This free tool checks single HTML pages for conformance with accessibility standards to ensure the content can be accessed by everyone.
This tool checks your website and provides a detailed information about your site errors, alerts, features, contrast errors and their exact location.
Mobile Testing Tools
As applications get complex, mobile application testing enables application makers to check for functionality, usability, consistency, and security. A huge number of mobile testing tools have been developed in recent years in order to keep up with rapid mobile development: more devices, platforms, and versions means more chances for things to go wrong if overlooked.
Here are some of the criteria to consider when trying to choose the best solution for your needs:
- Supported Platforms – understand how an application’s code base will perform across multiple operating systems and interfaces.
- Source Code Requirements and Build Security – make sure you can only share what you want with who you want.
- Result and Error Logging – You must be able to keep track of your efforts and changes.
- Continuous Testing – with rapid changes, it is critical to recognize how new code changes have impacted the existing system.
- Integration capabilities with 3rd party tools – Handling tracking and reporting with a Test management Issue management solution will have a great impact on the outcome of your app’s release
- Team Management capabilities – Keep track of your team’s work, successes and fails.
Appium is an open source mobile test automation framework which is one of the most popular mobile testing tools on the market. It is a cross-platform tool allowing users to write tests against multiple platforms while using the same REST API.
Ranorex is an easy-to-use automation testing tool with ability to record testing performed on mobile devices. The tool doesn’t require development skills in order to create, launch and record tests and see their results. The prices start at 690 EUR for runtime license and premium licenses are available at a higher price.
Calabash is an open source tool developed and maintained by Xamarin. It enables users to execute automated acceptance tests of mobile apps and supports the most popular programming languages.
Kobiton is a mobile device cloud platform that allows to write and execute manual and automated tests on real mobile devices. The testing activity is documented in automatically generated logs, hence users can capture all actions performed during the testing process. Free plan available and a paying one starts at $10 per 100 prepaid minutes.
Test Management Tools
Test management tools are used to store information on how testing is to be done, plan testing activities and report the status of quality assurance activities. These tools typically integrated with additional systems such as automation tools, CI platforms, and other systems in use by the team, in order to create a holistic view of the complete development process.
The main purpose of Test management tools is to improve productivity. and with a wide variety of options available, it is important to ask yourself these key questions and the level of importance they hold for your specific QA coverage challenge.
- The granularity of your test Information – How easy is it to find and manage all the testing data coming in from your teams’ work? What resolution of information does the tool provide? Is the traceability between requirements, issues, and tests? what additional information can each entity present?
- Customization – How much flexibility does the test management tool offer in terms of customization of fields , reports, graphs and so on. You want to be able to create a test management solution that fits your process and the information you want to keep track of.
- Release Management Tracking – The test management tool must provide a single view of requirements for all stakeholders. This includes being able to work with distributed teams. Collaboration guarantees that the right requirements are covered. This can be accomplished with External dashboards for example.
- Productivity Boosters – Check if the solution you are considering has the ability to perform some time-saving magic such as batch operations, test permutations , call to test, report bugs by email, customized dashboards, task management integrations etc.
- Integrations with 3rd party tools – It should be possible and easy to connect the test management tool you choose with other tools you might be using such as bug trackers, CI and Automation tool, team management solutions and create a streamlined workflow that is helpful and not disruptive.
- Hosted or Saas – Where is your information kept? how is it backed up and protected, and how is your software updated and maintained? There are advantages and disadvantages to both options with respect to these questions, and the decision based on these answers might not be just up to you.
- Pricing & License flexibility
- Support : Does the tool ditch you after you start paying, or do they keep on going helping you make the most of it along the way? Methodological support can be a big factor for tool satisfaction.
Below are some of our top choices for Test Management tools:
This SaaS product is unique for its data handling methodology. It integrates with all the leading bug tracking tools such as Jira, Bugzilla, Redmine, Pivotal Tracker, and Mantis as well as automation and CI tools such as Selenium, Jenkins, TeamCity, and Bamboo. 15 days free trial is available and pricing ranges from $15 to $45 per user/month.
This open source product allows simple test management that best fits small teams in small – growing companies.
Testuff is a test management platform available both as desktop and web-based clients. It supports integrations with different bug tracking tools, automation solutions and Twitter for team collaboration.
This HP product, (originally designed by Mercury Interactive) and formerly known as QС, helps testers to manage tests in order to identify errors, defects, and gaps from desired results of the tested application. A 30 days free trial is available.
Test Collab is a tool for test management with an ability to be integrated with bug tracking and automation platforms. It supports agile methodology and also offers requirements management and time tracking. A free trial is available and pricing starts at $25 per user/month.
Need some additional help evaluating which test management tool is the best fit for you? Use this dynamic features checklist to help you make a wise decision.