Every software development team or company will come to the point where a test automation tool is needed to downsize the effort of regression testing. The test automation tool can help the tester and the whole team to concentrate on other important testing tasks that a tool can’t handle.
Selecting a tool sounds easy at the first look. Many people will pick the most used tool on the market or the one that supports the programming language of the product. Sure, these are two important factors when selecting a tool, but there is much more to consider when searching and selecting the tool.
Different Types of Test Automation Tools
But where to start? When deciding for a tool, it’s important to know the different types of test automation tools and how the tools are working on a high-level view. Basically, there are five different types of test automation tools on the market:
- Image recognition: Tools in this category are taking screenshots of the UI elements in the product. The screenshots will be added to the automation scripts. With the help of the screenshots the application under test will be automated and verified.
- Coordinate based recognition: With the help of x/y coordinates, tools in this category are interacting with the application under test to automate and verify the application.
- OCR/ text recognition: Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or text recognition tools are able to identify elements based on their given text. The tools use the visible texts to drive the automation and to verify the application.
- Native object recognition: Tools that use the native object recognition detect the control or UI elements on their given element tree. In most cases this tree is built by CSS, XPATH or XML to identify, automate and verify the elements.
- Capture & Replay: Tools in this category offer a convenient and easy way to record the automated scripts. Every interaction on the screen being it scrolling, tabbing/ clicking or typing will be recorded and translated into automation steps for the tools. The recorded scripts can be used to replay the activities and to verify the application under test.
Some of the available tools on the market support more than one recognition approach. Sometimes this might be useful to combine the approaches in the automation scripts to get more robust automation scripts.
If you want to, how to select the right test automation tool for your team, read my latest blog post at https://blog.testproject.io/2019/03/11/how-to-select-the-right-test-automation-tool/