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A Comparison of Automated Testing Tools

A defining factor for successfully applying test automation in software projects is choosing and using the right set of test automation tools. This is a daunting task, especially for those new to software test automation because there are so many tools in the market to choose from, each having different strengths and weaknesses. There is no tool that can fit all automated testing needs which makes finding the right tool difficult. Learn how to  identify the right automation tool for your project with this qualitative comparison of Katalon Studio to other popular automated testing toolsets in the market.

OVERVIEW OF TOOLS

Katalon Studio is an automated testing platform that offers a comprehensive set of features to implement full automated testing solutions for mobile and Web applications. Built on top of the open-source Selenium and Appium frameworks, Katalon Studio allows teams to get started with test automation quickly by reducing the effort and expertise required for learning and integrating these frameworks for automated testing needs.

Selenium is the most popular automation framework that consists of many tools and plugins for Web application testing. Selenium is known for its powerful capability to support performance testing of Web applications. Selenium is the most popular choice in the open-source test automation space, partly due to its large and active development and user community.

HP Unified Functional Testing (UFT), formerly QuickTest Professional (QTP), is probably the most popular commercial tool for functional test automation. HP UFT offers a comprehensive set of features that can cover most functional automated testing needs on the desktop, mobile and Web platforms.

TestComplete is also a commercial integrated platform for desktop, mobile and Web application testing. Like UFT, TestComplete offers a number of key test automation features such as keyword-driven and data-driven testing, cross-browser testing, API testing and CI integrations. This tool supports a number of languages including JavaScript, Python, VBScript, JScript, DelphiScript, C++Script, and C#Script for writing test scripts.

COMPARISON OF TOOLS

The table below provides a comparison of the tools based on the key features of software automation.  

Features Katalon Studio Selenium UFT (QTP) TestComplete
Test development platform Cross-platform Cross-platform Windows Windows
Application under test Web and mobile apps Web apps Windows desktop, Web, mobile apps Windows desktop, Web, mobile apps
Scripting languages Java/Groovy Java, C#, Perl, Python, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP VBScript JavaScript, Python, VBScript, JScript, Delphi, C++ and C#
Programming skills Not required. Recommended for advanced test scripts Advanced skills needed to integrate various tools Not required. Recommended for advanced test scripts Not required. Recommended for advanced test scripts
Learning curves Medium High Medium Medium
Ease of installation and use Easy to setup and run Require installing and integrating various tools Easy to setup and run Easy to setup and run
Script creation time Quick Slow Quick Quick
Object storage and maintenance Built-in object repository, XPath, object re-identification XPath, UI Maps Built-in object repository, smart object detection and correction Built-in object repository, detecting common objects
Image-based testing Built-in support Require installing additional libraries Built-in support, image-based object recognition Built-in support
Continuous integrations Popular CI tools (e.g. Jenkins, Teamcity) Various CI tools (e.g. Jenkins, Cruise Control) Various CI tools (e.g. Jenkins, HP Quality Center) Various CI tools (e.g. Jenkins, HP Quality Center)
Product support Ticketing support, community Open source community Dedicated staff, community Dedicated staff, community
License type Freeware Open source (Apache 2.0) Proprietary Proprietary
Cost Free Free License and maintenance fees License and maintenance fees

Strengths and weaknesses

Below is a summary of key strengths and limitations of the tools, based on the comparison above.

Tools Strengths Limitations
Katalon Studio
  • No licensing and maintenance fees required.
  • Integrating necessary frameworks and features for quick test cases creation and execution.
  • Built on top of the Selenium framework but eliminating the need for advanced programming skills required for Selenium.
  • Emerging solution with a small community.
  • Feature set is still evolving.
  • Lack of choices for scripting languages: only Java/Groovy is supported.
Selenium
  • Open source, no licensing and maintenance fees.
  • Large and active development and user community to keep pace with software technologies.
  • Open for integration with other tools and frameworks to enhance its capability
  • Testing teams need to have good programming skills and experience to setup and integrate Selenium with other tools and frameworks.
  • New teams need to invest time upfront for setup and integration.
  • Slow support from the community.
UFT
  • Mature, comprehensive automated testing features integrated into a single system.
  • Dedicated user support plus an established large user community.
  • Requiring only basic programming skills to get started with test creation and execution.
  • Costly solution: license and maintenance fees are considerably high.
  • Possible high costs for upgrades and additional modules.
  • Supporting only VBScript.
TestComplete
  • Mature, comprehensive automated testing features integrated into a single system.
  • Many scripting languages to choose from.
  • Only basic programming skills needed.
  • Like UFT, considerable licensing and maintenance fees needed for TestComplete.
  • Additional fees for extra modules and add-ons.

There is no one-size-fits-all tool for automated testing. It is highly recommended that testers evaluate various tools in order to select what would best meet their automated testing needs. Programming languages and technologies used to develop software continue to evolve, as do the automated testing tools, making cost a significant factor in tool selection. Commercial vendors often charge for tool upgrades, which can be substantial if your software uses emerging and frequently changing technologies. Open source and non-commercial tools, on the other hand, do not incur additional charges but require effort and expertise for integrating new upgrades. It is difficult to find the support and expertise needed for integrating various tools and frameworks into open-source solutions. Emerging tools that integrate with open-source frameworks, like Katalon, offer a viable alternative to both commercial and open-source automated testing solutions.

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