Key test automation innovations to streamline software development

Automation of the testing efforts for any software program can help save a lot of time and effort and deliver a better user experience with fewer errors showing up in production. Testing teams prepare automated test cases once and then run the same test any number of times, thus reducing their manual testing efforts. With the ever-growing demand for automation, there is always a need for new automated testing tools to support an ever-quickening development lifecycle. Here is a compilation of automated testing tools that you can use to quicken your CI/CD pipelines.

Appium: Cross-platform mobile app testing tool

Appium is an open-source test automation tool. This cross-platform tool can be used for running scripts and testing native, hybrid, and mobile web and desktop applications. Basically, it is an HTTP server that runs in the background. Appium was developed in 2011 under the name iOSAuto, and it quickly gained traction in the mobile application industry with its extensive automation/testing features. In October 2016, Appium joined the JS Foundation and graduated in August 2017. Appium claims over 35 percent market share in Android applications and over 40 percent share in iOS applications by Bitbar, Testbytes, and Intuz, which indicates its popularity among users.

Appium supports a variety of platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows. The tool offers scalability and flexibility, making this mobile app testing tool a lot more efficient. With Appium, the same testing code can be used across multiple platforms, saving lots of time and effort. Appium enables users to write the test script in several programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python, and C#. Moreover, Appium allows users to leverage the available webdriver client for firing the tests.

Appium allows users to interact with their applications automatically by leveraging the behavior of the various components such as buttons and text labels available in the application’s user interface. It provides a detailed reporting structure, use of the standard automation APIs on all the platforms, mobile app testing by either using emulators or simulators or real devices, and full control of the back-end APIs and databases using the test code. In addition, several advanced scenarios like real-life monitoring of the tests and parallel execution of test automation scripts on different iOS or Android platforms using UIAutomation, UIAutomator, or Xcode9 make Appium one of the top mobile app testing tools.

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Notable companies in the space

Several web and mobile testing platforms allow developers to test their applications on virtual and real-world devices before release. The list of such companies includes Sauce Labs, BrowserStack, Cypress, Jenkins, and Selenium. These companies enable users to run tests in the cloud on different browser platforms, operating systems, and emulator/simulator combinations. Their platforms provide a comprehensive test infrastructure for automated and manual testing of desktop and mobile applications using unit testing frameworks such as Selenium, Appium, and JavaScript.

Sauce Labs

Sauce Labs provides a cloud-hosted, automated testing platform for web and mobile applications. The company helps developers keep their software bug-free. As a fully integrated testing service, it offers a larger number of browsers and devices to test applications on. The platform services are more likely to be used by medium to large-sized enterprises due to their higher cost and a greater number of features smaller companies or individual creators may not fully utilize.

Sauce Labs offers many tools for machines and browsers because of its more comprehensive use of VM testing. Its variety of add-on packages and built-in analytics capabilities than its competitors makes it one of the popular choices in the testing space. Sauce Labs offers custom enterprise pricing categories which include pricing variables based on whether users need real devices, virtual machines, or a number of testing minutes.

BrowserStack

BrowserStack, the cloud, web, and mobile testing platform, offers real-world machine testing via web connection without the need for virtual machines. BrowserStack can support enterprise-scale businesses but may appeal more to smaller creators/companies due to its lower cost. BrowserStack offers a greater number of integrations than some of its competitors. Its attraction point is its efficient price and the lowest pricing tiers, giving its users unlimited testing minutes with no overage charges. BrowserStack offers a number of packages that vary in price depending on the individuals’ testing needs.

Innovations by the leading cloud vendors

There is a huge shift toward the trend of hosting development & production software on the rented framework provided by renowned cloud vendors such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

In addition, prices for global tests are comparatively higher, and you can’t always create a group of physical servers for the necessary test environment. The web studios or developers may suffer many problems in the process of establishing the process of developing and testing the functional part of the product. These could be a lack of budget, minimum budget, the low threshold of flexibility, etc. Under such circumstances, the innovative solutions provided by these renowned cloud vendors could be really helpful in automating application testing at an economical rate.

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Amazon Web Services

AWS offers a wide range of automated testing tools for cloud-native applications and supports several third-party providers and do-it-yourself QA tools.

Automated testing tools

AWS users can automate safety assessments with Amazon Inspector. This automatic protection assessment provider allows them to test the network accessibility of Amazon EC2 instances and the security state of the applications running on the instances.

It offers computerized security checks in conjunction with hints on the way to reduce vulnerabilities. AWS Config managed rules can help users to automate configuration testing. For high-level security automation, developers can automate code testing by linking CodePipline with CodeBuild and the Git-based source code repository CodeCommit.

Support for third-party tools

AWS also offers more than 100 distinct third-party QA tools on its AWS Marketplace for QA testing. This includes TestLink, StormRunner Load, AppLoader, SAINT, and many more applications for performance and penetration testing. In addition, some independent, third-party testing providers such as Ravello Systems, LoadStorm, Neustar, and SOSTA also offer testing as a service on AWS cloud resources. These QA tools are generally available with pay-as-you-go models that are charged on the basis of the number of hours, network bandwidth, or other measures but having no need for setup cost or software licensing.

AWS CodeDeploy

AWS CodeDeploy is a fully managed service that automates code deployments to any instance, including Amazon EC2 instances and instances running on-premises. AWS CodeDeploy helps users release new features, avoiding downtime at a stage of deployment, and it also handles the complexity of updating the applications. Users may use AWS CodeDeploy to automate deployments, removing the need for error-prone guide operations.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft offers two different streams for quickening the testing of applications on its Azure platform. Azure Pipelines can help developers automate their entire CI-CD development cycles, while for manual testing, it offers Azure Testing Plans.

Azure Pipelines allows users to build and test their code projects and then share them with others. Automated testing of the projects is carried out as a part of the continuous integration (CI), ensuring quality at the early stages of the project development. It supports builds on Windows, Linux, or Mac machines and provides integration with Azure Deployments and GitHub. It allows users to work on any language and platform, such as Python, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, C#, C++, and Go. Azure Pipelines can help users deploy code to multiple targets, such as on-premises and cloud platforms, virtual machines, or containers.

Besides, Microsoft also provides Azure Test Plans or the Test hub for streamlining the manual testing process in the Azure DevOps server. It provides a rich test management solution needed for the entire testing lifecycle. This includes test planning, authoring, execution, and tracking.

Test automation tools will enhance productivity

Choosing the right tool for your organization also requires you to assess all your requirements and then leverage the above list for knowing about the current trends and available options for automated tools. Selecting the right test automation tools will help you enhance productivity and streamline the entire software development lifecycle.

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