Software Development

The Best Free Automation Tools for Software Testing

There are free automation tools for functional and performance testing automation of desktop and web applications. In this tutorial, we will see the software testing automation tools for application functionality testing and load testing.


1. Overview

Typically the free software testing automation framework is chosen based on the factors such as multi-language support, multi-browser support, parallel execution, mobile app automation support, matured community and customer support.

2. The Best Free Automation Tools for Software Testing

2.1 Desktop Testing Automation Tools

2.2.1 Winium

Free Automation Tools - Winium

Winium.Desktop is used for windows applications test automation. It is based on Selenium Remote WebDriver. Winium is developed using WinForms and WPF platforms. Developers can design and write tests using different languages such as Java, Objective-C, JavaScript with Node.js, PHP, Python, Ruby, C#, Clojure, and Perl using Selenium WebDriver API and libraries specific to the language.

2.2.2 Jubula

Free Automation Tools - Jubula

Jubula is a java based open source tool used for java application testing automation. It has features to have an automated test suite and maintain them for the long term. Jubula can be used by test designers who want to write automated tests from the user perspective.

2.2.3 AirTest

Free Automation Tools - Airtest

AirTest automation tool is used for test automation of games. It was developed by NetEase and Google. On gitHub, it has 2651 stars. It has features for app installation, simulated input, assertion, and other related to test creation. AirTest identifies UI elements using image recognition technology.
Airtest is used for games deployed on large farms. Failure points can be identified by using HTL reports and screen recordings. It has an IDE which is used to create and execute the test cases. The IDE supports the automation workflow which is create, run, and report.

2.2.4 Appium

Free Automation Tools - Appium

Appium test automation framework has support for cross-platform. This framework allows the developers to design and write tests for applications on multiple platforms. Appium is based in Node.js and used for windows desktop application. It has beta support for test automation of Mac OS desktop applications. Appium is based on the tenets which are related to recompiling the app for automation and locking to a specific language or framework.

2.2 Web Testing Automation Tools

Web testing automation tools are built using multiple languages and provide support for different language to develop tests. Developers and Testers develop automated tests. Testers design scenarios and developers code the tests. The automation tools can be based on multiple approaches like data driven or keyword driven.

2.2.1 Selenium

Free Automation Tools - Selenium

Selenium is a popular test automation tool for web applications. This framework has support for writing the tests in Java, Groovy, Python, C#, PHP, Ruby and Perl. Selenium has support for browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, IE and Headless browsers. To use this test automation framework, developers who have advanced programming skills are needed.

2.2.2 Katalon Studio

Free Automation Tools - Katalon Studio
Katalon Studio

Katalon Studio has features related to test automation of API/Web services, and Web applications. This studio has support for both SOAP and RESTful API. Cucumber is used to design test scenarios in natural languages. The test automation can be augmented with other capabilities such as in depth views, reporting and analytics.

2.2.3 Serenity

Free Automation Tools - Serenity

Serenity opensource framework is used to develop automated web test cases. It is used to design and develop tests which are maintained for long term. Serenity has features related to reporting, test coverage and project progress.

2.2.4 Sahi

Free Automation Tools - Sahi

Sahi opensource test automation tool is used for testing web applications. It is a Java and Javascript based framework. Sahi has great features related to multiple browser testing, support for javascript frameworks such as ExtJS, ZK, Dojo, and YUI, recording and playback.

2.2.5 Gauge

Free Automation Tools - Gauge

Gauge is an open source test automation framework used for testing web applications. This framework was built by Thoughtworks and it supports cross-platform. Gauge can be used to develop tests in multiple languages such as Ruby, Java, C#, Python, Javascript and Golang. Developer can design and develop test cases using Gauge. Gauge has Java plugins and plugins in other languages. You can extend the plugin by using Gauge Plugin API.

2.2.6 Citrus

Free Automation Tools - Citrus

Citrus opensource test automation tool supports web application testing and testing with other messaging protocols. You can use Citrus for REST, JMS and SOAP messaging protocols. Citrus can be integrated with Selenium. It supports testing the messaging protocols such as REST, SOAP and JMS.

Citrus will identify whether the program is appropriately dispatching communications and whether the results are as expected. It can also be integrated with Selenium if another front-end functionality testing has to be automated. Thus, this is a specific tool that is designed to automate and repeat tests that will validate exchanged messages.

2.3 Performance Automation Testing Tools

2.3.1 Apache JMeter

Free Automation Tools - Apache JMeter
Apache JMeter

Apache JMeter performance testing automation tool is used for testing applications which are static and dynamic. It is used to design and develop performance load tests for applications deployed on a server or a distributed network of servers. It has features related to Test plan recording, reporting and parallel sampling of programs executed by multiple thread groups.

2.3.2 Gatling

Free Automation Tools - Gatling

Gatling is a test automation framework for load and performance testing. You can design and develop tests for long term and maintain them. Gatling is protocol agnostic. Gatling is architected using asynchronous architectural pattern. It can be used for simulating more than 1000 concurrent virtual users.

2.3.3 Locust

Free Automation Tools - Locust

Locust load testing tool is used for distributed and user load testing. You can use Locust for load-testing the web sites. Locust can be used for simulating virtual concurrent users and identifying the maximum number of concurrent users a system can handle. It can be used to identify the issues in the code related to scalability and performance.
Locust’s architecture is event-based, and it uses gevent to support light-weight process. You can design and develop test cases in PythonLocust to support distributed server load testing.

2.3.4 Tsung

Free Automation Tools - Tsung

Tsung load testing tool is a opensource framework used for loadtesting distributed applications. It provides support for messaging server testing based on protocols such as WebDAV, SOAP, PostgreSQL, MySQL, LDAP, MQTT, and Jabber/XMPP .

2.3.5 Siege

Siege opensource framework is used for load testing web applications. It is used for benchmarking applications for performance and scalability. Siege has support for messaging protocols such as REST, HTTPS and FTP protocols. It is used for simulating concurrent virtual users accessing the web application. Siege had support initially for GNU/Linux and later was supported for AIX, BSD, HP-UX and Solaris.

2.3.6 HttpPerf

Httperf load testing framework is an opensource tool for load testing the web based applications. The reports are generated related to web server performance and http payload.

2.3.7 Taurus

Free Automation Tools - Taurus

Taurus is an opensource load test automation framework. It is developed over JMeter and other tools such as Grinder, Gatling and Selenium. Taurus has features to design and develop test cases for load testing. It has DSL based test scripting framework to design test scenarios. Taurus has support for maintaining test scripts and DSL driven tests. It has features such as real time reporting, exporting test results into multiple fomats and integration with BlazeMeter.

2.3.8 Goad

Free Automation Tools - Goad

Goad load testing tool is used for load testing distributed applications. It is based on AWS Lambda. GOAD provides support for handling web loads from different AWS Geographic regions. It is used for simulating 10000 concurrent requests.

2.3.9 Apache Bench

Free Automation Tools - Apache Bench
Apache Bench

Apache Bench is an open source load testing tool used for benchmarking the applications for load and scalability. It provides the reports for apache server performance. Apache Bench has support for concurrent virtual users simulation.

3. Summary

There is a surge in the usage of test automation tools in software engineering across the IT industry in the world. These tools are used for testing automation of functional testing and load testing of desktop and web applications. Large size projects need test automation as the regression tests need to be run for validating the builds and releases.

“Shift Left” approach is taken for testing in two to three weeks sprints in agile iterations. The shift left in a typical agile iteration is related to the early focus on testing. This initiative develops the rigor in the process for testing automation and accountability for testing. The test designers focus on creating test automation frameworks for functional and performance testing.

For desktop test automation, Winium is the popular tool for windows applications testing automation and Appium is for MacOS application testing automation. Selenium is the most popular tool for web application test automation. Katalon Studio is useful for novice programmers and testers. Apache JMeter is the best performance load testing tool.

Bhagvan Kommadi

Bhagvan Kommadi is the Founder of Architect Corner & has around 19 years experience in the industry, ranging from large scale enterprise development to helping incubate software product start-ups. He has done Masters in Industrial Systems Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology (1997) and Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (1993). He is member of IFX forum,Oracle JCP and participant in Java Community Process. He founded Quantica Computacao, the first quantum computing startup in India. Markets and Markets have positioned Quantica Computacao in ‘Emerging Companies’ section of Quantum Computing quadrants. Bhagvan has engineered and developed simulators and tools in the area of quantum technology using IBM Q, Microsoft Q# and Google QScript.
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4 years ago

Good compilation of tools, thank you. I wonder if any of those can be recommended for report testing, eg. Tableau and Business Objects

Bhagvan Kommadi
4 years ago
Reply to  Carlos

are they deployed on the web server or the desktop ? based on the deployment, you can use the appropriate tool.

4 years ago

Testmate can be a good free option to automate Desktop applications. It is the fastest, easiest and supports object description with regular expressions and some other cool features.

4 years ago

Thanks for the compliation. I wonder which would be good to use with Tableau and Business Objects

4 years ago

You should put the reference source for your article, even the image source. Thanks

Bhagvan Kommadi
4 years ago
Reply to  Abhishek

i will add the references and image source….

4 years ago
Reply to  Abhishek

Why would he do that when it’s so much easier to just plagiarize and take credit for other people’s work in the name of brand building?

Given how prevalent this behavior has become I can only imagine there’s a school that teaches it.

Nico Zellner
4 years ago

Did you hear about sakuli?

It’s a combination of web and native Ui testing with the ability to send results and run-time to monitoring systems.

Brian Hastings
4 years ago

Great post! In fact, I hired an enterprise mobility management service recently and will share this knowledge with my team as well. Keep up the good work.

4 years ago

is there are any open source test automation tools for the AS400 application?

Bhagvan Komadi
Bhagvan Komadi
4 years ago
Reply to  FajarHendargo

you can use Sikuli/Python automation for AS 400 application

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