14 Tips to Choose the Right Open Source Test Automation Tool

14 Tips to Choose Right Open-Source Automation Testing Tool

Tools tools tools if you are confused, suffering from the problem of many, if you are someone not able to find an ideal automation testing tool, then you are at the right place. 

Here in this article, we have given a complete process and framework for choosing the right open-source automation tool, so read this article and then jot down the go-to tools for you.

I hope after this article; you will know how to choose the right open-source test automation tool; I will meet you at the conclusion.

Why Is It Essential To Pick The Right Open Source Test Automation Tool?

Testing is one of the essential parts of any software development cycle, and if not done correctly and errors are left in the software, it can impact the business of the software.

End-to-End Testing on real iOS, Android Devices & Browsers

Today people are very picky if the software does not function smoothly on their mobile, if the software is not well optimized, or even if the website is not well optimized, people just uninstall that software. 

Even people’s attention span has gone down, so websites and software should work smoothly and fast to attract more audiences. 

If the teams choose the wrong software for testing, things can go wrong. So one needs to check a few things before selecting the testing software. Then, we will give you 14 tips that will help you choose the right open-source test automation tool.

With these 14 tips, you will get a framework about what you need to see to choose the best open source automation testing tool according to your need and not the one loaded best by the industry. 

Testing software selection should be subjective and so let’s see the 14 tips for choosing the right open-source test automation tool.

Key Considerations When Choosing Any Open-Source Tool

#01 Security

Several high-profile data breaches and cybersecurity incidents have occurred recently due to the use of vulnerable open-source components. For example, Equifax missed the Apache Struts vulnerability, resulting in the leaked sensitive data of over 140 million U.S. citizens twice.

When evaluating an open-source tool, it is critical to prioritize its security, focusing on detecting/identifying any open vulnerabilities. 

For example, the databases of NVD (National Vulnerability Database) contain a ton of already known vulnerabilities. However, vulnerability scanning tools may uncover unknown vulnerabilities. 

However, the presence of an open vulnerability does not provide you with enough information to decide whether or not to use a particular tool.

Compared to others, open-source tools and technologies are always more vulnerable to high threats and exploitation. As a result, it is prudent to remain vigilant in identifying unusual behavior and rely on tools with a well-supported team to fix vulnerable patches as soon as they are revealed. 

#02 License Type

It is preferable to use open-source tools, but not every open-source automation tool has all of the features that you may require. Even if you choose proprietary licensed tools, you must determine how much maintenance is required.

Not all open-source tools are available under the same freely modifiable license, but there are several different types of open-source licenses. 

For example, the specific license under which your potential tool falls should be a key consideration when deciding whether or not to use that tool. 

As the name implies, Permissive licenses provide the most flexibility regarding what you can do with the code. Permissive code can be reused, modified, and redistributed as part of a proprietary application.

On the other hand, copyleft open source licenses impose stricter restrictions on how the code can be redistributed. 

With copyleft licenses, you can check the entire application’s source code, regardless of how many lines of code are in your codebase. 

Incorporating just one copyleft component or tool into the software stack for organizations looking to release proprietary software means that everyone can see your code, so licenses must be carefully considered. 

If you do not follow the terms of open source licenses, you will face legal consequences, which can be severe.

Types Of License:

(1) Node-Locked User License

The Node-locked User license allows you to use the test automation tool on a single physical computer in your organization’s network. For example, on the licensed computer, you can only run one instance of the tool at a time. This license is typically associated with the hostname of the machine.

(2) Run Time Permit

The two types mentioned above of licenses are typically purchased to “develop” the scripts. As a result, these are “development” licenses. For example, to run the scripts on multiple machines, you must have the “execution” or “Runtime” license for each one.

(3) Open Source License

It is up to your company to decide whether to use a commercial tool at a cost or an open-source tool.

Commercial tools are expensive but provide excellent support. They are simple, with plenty of training materials. Open source tools are free but challenging to learn. 

You can find solutions by visiting forums. Open source solutions are typically tailored to specific requirements.

(4) Concurrent Floating User License

A floating user license can be shared by multiple machines but can only be used by one at a time. It is not tied to any machine name or anything; instead, it uses a license manager (installed on a server) to manage the same license across multiple machines.

With the Node-Locked license, you cannot install the tool on one machine, uninstall it, and then reinstall it on another machine. However, you are permitted to do so with a Floating user license.

Since there are all these licenses, one must clear all doubts regarding the license before choosing the tool.

#03 Support 

The answers to these questions should indicate your confidence level in using an open-source project and getting answers to problems.

When using a project whose code is not updated and maintained, you encounter unsolvable problems. For example, suppose you decide to include it in your application stack. 

What if a future vulnerability is discovered and the project is no longer active? Because there will be no one to patch this vulnerability, any components that rely on the vulnerable tool will be vulnerable.

Two significant roles are critical in support of open-source platforms. One is based on individual interests, with people willing to offer their skill set to improve the tool’s efficiency. 

In contrast, the others, known as dedicated contributors, offer their services for free and market their expertise indirectly by offering paid long-term support to help beginners implement open-source tools and technologies more effectively.

The test management tool vendor’s support team should be dedicated to assisting their customers in any way possible. 

Many test management tools are more concerned with creating eye-catching websites and advertisements to attract more customers. However, they must provide the best help desk support for ongoing and repeat business.

To assist their customers, the best test management tool should include features such as live chat, phone calls, FAQs and online user guides, product documentation information, knowledge base, raising help desk tickets, etc.

Many test management tools also offer live video conferences with tool experts to help customers with their questions. 

For example, if a live conference is not possible, demos or recorded videos related to the test management tool should be kept on-site and accessible at all times. 

If the tool supports API or custom integration, a demo script and detailed documentation must be provided for developers.

Though not all of the above support channels are available for all tools, you should choose a tool that offers your “preferred” support channel.

#04 Policy

Always keep an eye on any open-source tools and technologies’ policy factors. For example, it is critical to improving tool usage and related technologies to understand the scalability while coding, designing, etc., seeking the opinion on the direct dependency roles of open source tools.

One of the most effective ways to standardize the use of open-source tools across development environments and ensure that the use of vulnerable tools and components is severely limited is to implement an organization-wide open source policy.

When developing an open-source policy, identify the most critical stakeholders — these are the people whose jobs are directly impacted by an open-source policy, such as developers, software engineers, and CIOs. The input of such individuals will be a valuable starting point for implementing an effective policy.

A policy of this type would include:

  • Rules and guidelines for the types of open source projects that can be used.
  • Integrating them properly into the codebase.
  • Properly scan such tools for vulnerabilities before using them.

#06 External Integration

Automated test case execution can relieve test engineers of a significant amount of work. It would help if you chose a test management tool that integrates easily with automation tools. Look for the ability to manage test scripts and schedule and launch tests locally and remotely. 

It is also desirable to be able to save automation test results in the test management tool. However, continuous integration must be supported by your testing tool. The main advantage of using a test management tool with CI is that tests are automatically launched. 

The launch can be triggered by anything, such as a developer’s source code commit, a test case with underlying test automation, or a scheduled task for a specific time. The time, detail, direction, and granularity of continuous integration vary.

Integration of a bug tracking tool simplifies the testing process for any QA team. A standard testing tool that integrates seamlessly with SDLC apps or other bug tracking tools like JIRA, Bugzilla, and Mantis increases the tool’s value. 

Users should be able to link bugs, test cases, and run instances for centralized management of your software testing process. It should also allow the entire project team to concurrently work on a single issue.

Integration with your support desk system is a critical feature that any testing tool should provide. For example, a support desk software, also known as a ticket system, allows users to get an immediate solution to their problems. In addition, it provides customers with an overview of all open and closed issues.

#07 Ease Of Documentation

One of the most important factors to consider when selecting an open-source testing tool is documentation. When documentation becomes an afterthought, users are left in the dark and unable to achieve their objectives.

The adoption of an open-source tool is significantly increased by high-quality documentation. Most open-source projects begin with a small group of developers. 

However, developers prefer to write code rather than documentation. Furthermore, creating and maintaining good documentation takes time for a small team of contributors.

While community activity and level of support are good indicators of an open-source tool’s stability and usability, good documentation is also essential. Even if a project is rarely updated, it is likely to be high-quality if the documentation is clear.

Furthermore, clear and comprehensive documentation can help clarify any specific issues you may encounter when viewing unfamiliar source code.

The open-source tool’s documentation should be simple to understand and easily accessible. 

Contributions from the community, both freebase users and committed users help maintain the platform’s stability and accurately reflect recent document changes. 

Good documentation is essential. As even if a project is rarely updated, it is likely to be high-quality if the documentation is clear.

Furthermore, clear and comprehensive documentation can help clarify any specific issues you may encounter when viewing unfamiliar source code.

So, choose a very active tool for updating their documentation regularly.

#08 End-User Profile

Check the list of end-users implementing the open-source tool you want to use. For example, suppose renowned company names are on the list. 

In that case, the list can directly reveal the tool’s potential and technical capability, and you can proceed with a positive sign with the least tension about security and endurance.

#09 Community

An active open-source community is one in which both contributors and end-users play a crucial role in actively sharing to improve forums, blogs, and messaging applications. In addition, they can share their experiences with the software and the issues that arise. 

Look for a community where your questions are answered quickly and with a high priority and where security patches are applied promptly.

Community activity and level of support are good indicators of an open-source tool’s stability and usability.

#10 Ease Of Adoption

The skills required to use the tool and the learning curve can be used to determine the ease of adoption. It’s a plus if there are readily available resources on the internet to learn how to use the tool. 

Also, support should be good, and it’s a plus if there’s an active community that can provide a rough idea of the tool’s complexities. 

We’ve noticed that the installation process for some tools and frameworks is lengthy, but the team should be able to use the tool efficiently, given their skill set and experience.

#11 Ease Of Scripting

The majority of automation testing tools offer scripting flexibility. For example, it enables testing teams to write test scripts in the languages of their choice. 

A good test automation tool improves test component reusability and provides script flexibility that can be reused across projects. 

For example, scripting time with object identification, script execution speed, and support for CI/CD tools like Jenkins are typical factors considered before selecting a tool.

#12 Test Analytics

Analytical reports are the foundation of test automation because they provide insight into the process’s success. For example, automation tools must provide customizable dashboards to view various types of reports shared across various teams.

Real-time reporting, traceability, and sharing ensure feature validation and comprehensive test coverage. 

Quality metrics like injection rate, defect density, and test execution status help you maintain quality throughout the continuous testing process. A good automation tool makes it simple to analyze results to identify bugs and patterns and perform root cause analysis.

#13 Calculate Cost

Make a spending plan for your test automation project. Consider the size of your team, how much you’ll spend on salaries and for how long, how much you’ll spend on tools and infrastructure, and how much you’ll spend on project maintenance.

Then, decide whether you want to pay for a test automation framework or use free, open-source tools that are well-supported by the community. Each option has advantages and disadvantages:

While open-source tools are free to use, they rely on community support and maintenance. These tools are constantly evolving, and you have the opportunity to help improve them over time. However, open-source tools become obsolete without ongoing community support.

Commercial tools: have a lot of features right out of the box, but they can be expensive. Community support is less readily accessible, and tutorials and training may be included at a cost.

#14 Application Platform

The tools you use are heavily influenced by the platform you use to automate. For example, when automating mobile applications, a different set of tools, such as Appium, TestComplete, Espresso, XCUITest, and Robotium, can be used than when automating UI tests on desktop browsers. There are also tools for automating APIs, databases, mobile, and web applications.

After you’ve determined the scope and size of your project, determine the various categories and levels of test automation required and the application platform. Use this to help you compile a list of tools and frameworks.

Make a list of features and automation requirements

Make a list of the features that the tools and framework must support.

Note down what are the features you want and why you need that feature, for example, using the scenario provided:

  • Cross-Browser Testing: all browsers are supported.
  • Mobile automation is possible on both iOS and Android devices: native applications for Android and iOS.
  • Support for tabs and iframes: iframes appear on each page, and links open in new tabs.
  • API Automation: collects data using APIs.
  • Data-driven Testing: collects and stores large amounts of data, with each popular app’s interface differing slightly.
  • Database automation gathers and stores large amounts of information.
  • When creating bugs, Visual Regression Testing uses different colors and text prompts.
  • Unit testing for features: creates bugs in popular apps and is compensated for them.

Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing An Open-Source Automation Testing Tool

#01 Does It Do What You Want?

Testers are frequently victims of the FOMO effect, choosing a tool simply because it is popular and everyone else uses it. Choose an automation tool that meets your testing needs and project requirements. Be specific about the issues you want to solve with test automation.

#02 Is The Software Suitable For Its Role?

Remember that each tool is unique; consider what you want it to accomplish, who will use it, their skills, and how much the tool and project maintenance will cost. Most importantly, conduct a Proof of Concept to ensure that the tool is long-term and meets the edge and critical cases you require.

#03 Is The Software Actively Used, Developed, And Supported?

For anything to work well, you need a great community; we are humans, and what we learn and solve our problems if the community is vital. 

So always check whether a community is vital. Also, testing software often gives significant commitments, but backend updates and development are not active, resulting in outdated testing practices and hampering software quality according to industry standards. 

Finally, and most important support, you should check if the customer service is active or whether your complaint gets solved quickly as it’s essential for fast deployment of software or updates.

#04 Does The Software Have A Future?

See the other testing software and compare the features, community, and backend support, and you will know if the software has a promising future or not; if the software is not going according to industry standards, then you should not consider that software as a future might not be significant.

Some Good Examples of Open Source Automation Testing Tools

Some good open-source testing software are Katalon Studio, QA Wolf, Selenium, Appium, Robotium, Cucumber, TestGrid, etc.

There are tons of open source automation testing software but not all provide the best value for the cost they charge for their premium packs.

Here TestGrid comes to the rescue.TestGrid provides you with the best value-for-money package. With TestGrid, you get :

  • AI power test automation
  • Top-notch community 
  • Full backend support
  • Active updates
  • No/low code automation 
  • In detailed report
  • Robotic Test automation
  • Enhance security with SAST reports
  • Cloud infrastructure enhances scalability and reduces testing time.

So you get tons of features and if you do not want to waste your time researching the best automation testing software and want to start working on the real thing, then try TestGrid first.

Read more: List of Best Open-Source Security Testing Tools

Conclusion

When going open source, selecting the right tool is critical; otherwise, you may face costly barriers in the future. 

For example, before choosing an open-source test automation tool, consider the factors discussed in this article. Then, examine whether the tool’s capabilities and offerings meet your testing requirements and will help you succeed with automation.

Remember that there is no such thing as a good or bad tool. It all depends on your needs and the nature of the product.

Understand your product first, and then use the guidelines in this tutorial to find the appropriate tool that meets your needs.

The proper automation tool selection is critical to successful automation.

TestGrid always thinks from the user’s angle, so we have designed our tool accordingly, and our developers continuously work on how they can optimize the tool to provide the best value for money for our users. 

So if you have not found the ideal tool, you must give TestGrid a shot; you never know, your search might end with TestGrid. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What Is An Open-Source Tool?

A. Open-source software is freely available software without the need for a commercial license. Many different types of open-source tools enable developers and others to perform specific tasks in programming, technology maintenance, and other types of technology tasks.

Q2. What Tools Are Needed In Open Source Programming?

A. Tools like Ruby on Rails, Apache Cordova, Eclipse IDE, Git, etc., are used for open-source programming.

Q3. What Are The Best Open-Source Tools For Searching Source Code?

A. Sourcegraph, here you will find all the open-source available on the internet.

Q4. Why Should I Choose An Open-Source Solution?

A. One should choose an open-source solution as it provides:

  • Community Support
  • Customisability
  • More freedom
  • More flexibility
  • Interoperability
  • Low cost

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