Automated software testing is becoming more and more important for many software projects in order to automatically verify key functionality, test for regressions and help teams run a large number of tests in a short period of time. Many teams (especially larger projects) still require a significant amount of manual functional testing in addition to automated testing, either because of the lack of sufficient resources or skills to automate all tests.
There are various tools that help software teams build and execute automated tests. Many teams are actively using unit tests as part of their development efforts to verify critical parts of their projects such as libraries, models and methods. Historically, testing user interfaces of desktop-based applications via automated tests have been more challenging, and currently available tools for this are usually commercial and quite expensive.
With the growing number of web-based applications this is changing, however, as verifying and testing web-based interfaces is easier and there are various tools that help with this, including free open source projects. Please see below for a list of popular and useful tools, projects, books and resources to get started with automated software testing.
Automatically testing your web application is a good way to ensure that new versions of your application don’t introduce bugs and regressions. Automation of your web application testing also allows your development team to make changes and refactor code with more confident, as they can quickly verify the functionality of the application after every change.
However, actually building automated tests for web applications can be challenging because the user interface of your application might change regularly, because of incompatibilities between browsers and because you usually need to support various server or client platforms. The following tools make it easier to build and execute automated tests for your web application.
Selenium is a popular automated web testing tool and helps you automate web browsers across different platforms. Selenium has the support of some of the largest browser vendors who have taken steps to make Selenium a native part of their browser.
Watir is a set of Ruby libraries for automating web browsers and allows you to write tests that are easy to read and maintain. Watir drives browsers the same way people do (it clicks links, fills in forms, presses buttons etc.) and also checks results such as whether expected text appears on the page.
Ranorex allows you to automate your web application testing (among other things) and both record user interactions and play them back to execute your tests. Ranorex is one of the more popular commercial tools to build and run automated web and GUI tests.
SoapUI is a cross-platform functional testing tool. It has been specifically designed to help automatically test APIs such as SOAP and REST interfaces to ensure the interoperability of different applications.
Sahi is a tool for automation of web application testing. Sahi is available as a free open source edition as well as a commercial Pro edition.
Tellurium is a web automation tool that allows you to design and write your automated tests using plain English without any scripting or programming experience.