Here is a comprehensive guide detailing the seven considerations you need to know when choosing a functional QA test management tool or any other similar tool.
Google, “how do I pick the right test tool,” and you’ll come across different results, from the best of types to open source, depending on the prevailing assumptions and trends. One result may assume test tooling features as documentation and examples worth implementing while another may feature a viable condition where testers must execute a GUI-based software without the need for programming. A third may also assume that automated testing processes are a code.
As director for testing and quality for Liquidity Services, Mr. Connor Roberts mentioned that just because a new manager claims to have used a tool at his former company, businesses can sometimes swap or introduce testing tools to ensure budget efficiency. But here is the problem with that case. The team or proponents should first confirm if the tool provides solutions to prevailing testing problems and not rely on one’s reputation or experience.
Do note that criteria, where tool selection is anchored, is often less than optimal. So which are the better options? Check out these seven considerations to select the functional testing tool that addresses real problems.
1. Defect Categories
Where do the showstopper bugs appear, and what are the common types of these? These questions are not that hard to address, and most testing proponents can arrive at the answers in an hour or two. That type of research might locate most of the bugs in the graphical user interface (GUI), the database layer, and the business logic.
If the GUI hosts the more essential bugs, then software automation of the business logic won’t see the greater value-added. That’s why it’s not a good place to start.
The questions can also be the last, although it comes as the first. Proponents can then return to this question after choosing a tool. Before asking if a tool can yield realistic results regarding the kinds of defects in the system, assess the latest defects found both in production and in the test. If the tool does not yet generate accurate results, consider restarting the tool selection process.
2. Team Fit
“Who will take charge in the monitoring,” is typically the next question to ask. Ideally, the tool should be a package or a code library if testers or programmers implement the automation. If the tool has a playback front end or record, it’s best to let a group of nontechnical testers handle it.
Before creating codes, some tools first record actions that lead to creating a visual front end. This front end allows programmers to identify and picture the code behind the visualization once they drop in.
One major problem here is that the staff assigned to learn the software must have the time to do it, not just willing or able to do it. Do note that assigning proponents to learn a new tool can further slow the software’s delivery because it takes a lot of time.
The front end automation will also slow down more if the regression-test process entails daily or weekly operation. This issue will lead to a buildup of responsibilities until some break-even point. There is then the need to clear the old backlog where the tool is no longer slowing the proponents even after the break-even point.
These objections might not apply if the business plans to hire new personnel to implement the test tool work or if the project is new. So it’s crucial to conduct an assessment of who will do the testing process, what it will disrupt, how the tool will be integrated to the team, and whether the assigned personnel have the time and capacity to do the work efficiently and effectively.
3. Development Environment & Programming Language
There are two mechanisms involved if the tool comes with a programming language. These are: writing in the same language as the production programmers and using a powerful high-level language that personnel can easily understand.
If the test runs during the continuous integration and is written in the same manner as the production code, it may still be possible to get the programmers to address the bug when they fail to commit. The tool can also minimize the amount of switching the programmers have to do by running as a plug-in within the developer’s integrated development environment (IDE).
If the tool uses a different programming language and when it runs outside of the IDE, there’s a low chance that the programmers will do the work to support or learn the tool once it starts reporting gaps and failed results.
4. Setup and Test-data Management Process
Let’s say you bought a popular QA test management tool that comes with special features like a 30-day trial. The company then offers three shared test-user accounts and different test environments that are not easy to delete once created. The orders will continue to show on the main screen of “today’s orders,” although you canceled them. But the new orders will not pop on the initial view once the system creates ten orders.
The smoke-testing process can run only three times daily once it sets three orders.
Now let’s say you’ve made significant strides before the trial expired and spent thousands for the tool and associated courses. But then you could not create new accounts or clear out the data from the command line since the administration screens drove them.
When that happens, you need tools that can clear orders, create accounts, and associated export orders called “known as good test data” and accounts and re-import them. Doing that ensures that the proponents always go for an ideal kick-off, speeding up the entire process, including manual operations.
According to a commit or brand, the demand to generate test servers on demand is another important point for improvement. Teams should create this demand even if they’re gearing for a CI that aims to operate as part of the CI.
5. CI and Version Control
Many testing teams decide to put the tool to run via the CI process to prevent delaying the automation process. That is when the CI system creates an actual server if needed, and a client after checking out the code, running the unit tests, and performing a build. These processes often involve the integration of software on a mobile device. With the functional tool, the CI system then starts an end-to-end test.
A new requirement emerges once the tests run under CI. The testing teams then need to create a new branch of the tests when new branches occur due to the initial process. With multiple definitions of a successful operation, the various CI pipelines can then operate simultaneously.
The tool then needs to produce results that the CI system can interpret once it starts running from the command line. As much as possible, it should also let the capture of an output and convert it into a readable result for the CI. Thankfully, there are CI systems that show results to stakeholders via beautiful pie charts and dashboards. However, the data needs to get into the CY system, away from the tool, before it can be used.
A test tool is a bad investment if it cannot produce a meaningful output which testing teams can use. An ideal tool should also come with charts and dashboards that understandably show accurate results. Of course, that is except if the proponents plan to direct the results into another platform that yields more precise reports.
Another powerful feature of a good test management tool is its ability to track test runs overtime. This holds especially true since there are various kinds of results that stakeholders at different levels care for. For example, mid-level managers take serious attention to the flow of the process, while technical personnel may focus on the details assessing the flaws of a given test. Since they are at a high level, executives or directors might not bother about trends or the pass/fail rates.
7. Supported tagging and platforms
It’s a given that in some cases, a test tool cannot operate on all the levels and platforms the team supports, including API, Android native, unit, IOS native, and mobile web. When that happens, the proponents then have to address that risk in another way which lends for higher and more intensive support.
Among the similar use cases of most of the platforms are: checkout, show product page, login, tag, search, and many others. Using the standard features as functions, proponents can create a “page object” for end-to-end tools. Proponents can reuse a path-to-purchase check since the page objects are created at runtime on every device. However, note that some features only exist on the full-sized web version of an item, meaning, they don’t overlap.
One way of tracking which tests operate in corresponding search engines is tagging. It makes it possible to instruct the tool to run only back-end tests, only front-end tests, only profile tests, or tests that hit a particular API, and so on.