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How to Choose an Automation Tool

October 26, 2016
Automation Tool,Automation Tool selection, automation testing tools, automation testing, automation tools, testing tools,

It is often seen that people generally do not do enough analysis of the automation tool before doing automation. Generally, automation is based on tool and skill set available in the organization or advice of colleagues or supervisor, which sometimes lead to less automation coverage or creates a problem in running the script again and again.

As each tools has some advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the automating application on different environmental configuration. Therefore analysis before doing automation testing is a good approach for maximum productivity.

Selecting the wrong tools for automation will fully or partially not be able to fulfill the automation requirement. Besides that, if wrongly selected, tool’s licensing cost is a total waste if it is not open source and organization will need to again invest for procuring tool, leading to overhead cost to the organization. Switching to another automation tool may lead to total wastage of effort done for an earlier tool.

So, now it is clear that Analysis is very important for tool selection. The analysis is done on some criteria, based on which tool selection is finalized.

Most Important Criteria for Automation Tool Selection

Application under Test

The application under Test what we generally call AUT. AUT may be web based or windows based application or mobile application. It is important to check if the automation tool is able to capture the objects of the application under test and perform operations on them what is supposed to be done by the end user, in order to check their functionality.

Actions like clicking a link, entering data in the text box, clicking on a button, drag and drop action etc. are some of the actions that are run to check tool’s compatibility with the application under test. If it is windows based application, the tool should be able to recognize windows controls and perform an operation on them.

Ease Of Use

The automation tool is sometimes used by people who are less technical. These are generally business people who require running the automated test and seeing the result. So, it becomes quite important that tool is very simple to use and non-technical or less technical people can use it without much difficulty.

Also, it is quite important to think of the skill required to run the tool because sometimes automation framework development is required which generally requires programming skill to develop it.

Available Documentation

Each automation tool is released with documentation. So, it is quite important to check whether the tool is documented properly because there is a situation where we are stuck during automating the application under test and look into documentation to find out the solution.

Customer Support

In case it is automated commercial tool, we have to check the quality of support we are getting from tool help center, in the case of any automation issue.

License Cost

This is a very important factor, as the sometimes project has a limited budget for automation and organization opt to go for open source tools for automationSometimes a tool is recommended by the client, which makes it easier for the organization to bear license cost.

Understand the Process for deciding Right Automation Tool

  • Document the requirement clearly
  • Choose a list of tools that seems better suitable for application under test. It is advised not to select too many tools in the list.
  • Prepare score card against the tool for application under test. You can give some number to each tool based on the application requirement, which will help in preparing score card, which will help in selecting the tool or couple of tools.
  • Try out the selected tool. Trial versions of the tool are available, which can be tried out to automate the requirements.
  • Present the automation presentation to the team, which can provide the feedback which can be helpful in the case if a couple of automation tool are selected and presented.

From the above, we see that scorecard plays a very important role in the tool selection. So, we may look into some of the requirement against which rating number is given and the scorecard is prepared against all the selected tools.

  • As we discussed earlier, is to understand the compatibility with application under test whether object recognition, operation on object and object management is proper
  • For whom rating number can be given is Platform supported. As we know that it is quite important to have tool supporting that environment and application running on that platform.
  • Ease of using the tool. Several features like record and playback, working on different types of the framework, managing test suites or error recovery operation is checked and rating number is given.
  • Popularity, as people are already having much knowledge of the tool and gather information from friends and colleagues for this. Also, there are so many forums available on the web which helps in finding the resolution of the automation issue in less time. If it is not a very popular automation tool, one is required to depend on the documentation provided for the tool.
  • documentation, training, and resources. It is important to check the quality of documentation available or training available or whether the people in the organization are skilled or need training or need to have trained resources available.
  • Support, An open source automation tool does not provide support while commercial tools do. So, we have to look for the quality of support available by the tool support people.
  • License cost, As sometimes the project has a limited budget, so in that case, an organization generally does not opt for a commercial tool. Low budget commercial tools are also preferred in such scenarios.
  • System requirement for installing and running these automation tools.
  • Integration and compatibility with version control tool and test management process tool.
  • Reporting may be other requirement criteria for selecting automation tool because sometimes the client wants detailed reporting of automation result.
  • Other requirement criteria may be whether it supports another type of testing like load testing or API testing which may help in further doing other types of testing without further investment.

Based on above criteria you give rating number against each requirement for all the selected tools. All of the rating numbers are totaled. One important thing to note that rating number is given based on weightage each requirement is having.

For example, compatibility with Application Under test is one of the most important requirement criteria, so we will give maximum weightage to this requirement parameter and total weightage of all the requirement should be 100. Rating is given against this weightage and it should not exceed 10.

Total score of each tool is the multiplication of weightage and Rating number and based on this, the tool with the maximum number is selected. Let us understand this by an example. Suppose there are two requirement parameters on which tool selection for automation is to be decided and  Requirement parameter A has weightage 60 and requirement parameter B has weightage 40, which in total makes 100 and Tool A has weightage 8 for requirement Parameter A and has weightage 7 for requirement Parameter B.

So, total rating number for tool A will be 60×8+40×7 which is equal to 760. Now Tool B has a rating of 9 for requirement parameter A and 6 for requirement parameter B. So, the total score for tool B becomes 60×9+40×6 which is equal to 780. Thus we see that Tool B has a better score and can be selected for automation.

It is quite important to note that there may be other requirement parameters which can be considered for tool selection and can be included in the list like Script creation time, Browser Support, Device Support, Script execution time, Learning time etc. based on the organization’s requirement.


Thus, we see automation tool analysis is how much important for tool selection and how the process for tool selection helps in finding the best suitable tool for application under test.

About the author

Aarti Suresh author

Aarti has about 9 years experience in manual and automation testing. Although her primary work area is automation she also enjoys manual testing from time to time.

1 Comment


May 23, 2017 at 6:17 am

Alhrigt alright alright that’s exactly what I needed!

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