Top 5 Automated Testing Tools You Must Know in 2020 (All Free)

The need to deliver high-quality software at faster speeds requires agencies to search for agile solutions. This approach is called “Quality at Speed.” It is successful when DevOps and continuous integration methodologies operate consistently with the required test automation work that happens before a product’s final release.

There is only one problem with that approach. The primary bottleneck in the Quality at Speed approach to software development is the slowness of testing.

Unless an agency or individual has access to excellent tools and persona, there is no way to deliver within the deadline expectations that the market sets today. Since the quality of the automated platform drives the number of deliverable benefits, the choice of a testing tool becomes a high priority.

Massive companies often spend millions of dollars on their automated testing needs because speed and quality are such essential needs.

If you don’t have access to those significant monetary resources, then these are the automated testing tools that you’ll want to know about in 2020. All of them are free to use at your discretion. And to be frank, they’re likely better than the paid tools that you can’t afford anyway. The list includes:

  1. Selenium WebDriver
  2. Appium
  3. TestProject.io
  4. Postman
  5. Cypress.io

List of the Best Free Automated Testing Tools

There will be challenges to meet in the upcoming years as more automation reaches the software development industry. Increases in machine learning and artificial intelligence applications are already starting that evolution.

The best free automated testing tools support services testing, offer analytics capabilities, offer excellent community support, and embrace the concepts of ML and AI.

1. Selenium WebDriver

Selenium is the gold standard for free automated tools when you have testing requirements. It allows for the user interface testing of web applications so that your results become more predictable.

There is a lot of extra flexibility with Selenium that you won’t receive with the other free automated testing tools in today’s market. You need to have some experience with scripting and programming to get the most out of this platform, but that skill allows you to use custom frameworks.

You can write test scripts in several popular languages. The list includes Ruby, Java, C#, Python, and JavaScript. Then there is the option to run on various system environments, such as Linux, Mac, or Windows.

Sample WebDriver with JavaScript code

There is even the option to test using different browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

Parallel test execution is possible with Selenium Grid, reducing the amount of time needed for test execution. With the help of cloud-based grids, you can test across hundreds of browsers simultaneously to get the results you require.

The automated test suites through Selenium are reusable. You can test them across multiple operating systems and browsers. Although it needs third-party frameworks to broaden the scope of your automated testing, this flexibility allows you to completely customize the entire experience.

You could integrate Junit and TestNG to generate reports or manage test cases. Tons of 3rd party software extends the capability of WebDriver to make it even more powerful. For example, you can have a service like Sauce Labs to run continuous testing in massive parallel. Tools such as Test Project allow for web and mobile automation with a single SDK based on WebDriver and Appium. It integrates with almost every management tool that you can find today.

This open-source automated testing option will help you to meet your speed requirements quickly while creating a high-quality result that could exceed your expectations. Constant updates come through the community so that upgrades are readily available to support your work.

2. Appium

Appium provides automated testing frameworks for native, hybrid, and mobile apps. It drives Windows, iOS, and Android apps through the WebDriver protocol that we just discussed above (see how powerful Selenium is). One of the best things about Appium is that it’s cross-platform. This implies that you can write one test that will run on both Android and iOS.

Here is some sample code on how you can quickly get started with Appium.

> brew install node      # get node.js
> npm install -g appium # get appium
> npm install wd # get appium client
> appium & # start appium
> node your-appium-test.js

Appium is not bounded to a specific framework or language either, which means writing and running your test cases is a straightforward process. You can choose from the most popular programming languages such as Java, C#, JavaScript, Ruby, and Python. This is obviously great as you don’t have to leave your favorite IDE to do cross-platform functional automation.

Appium Architecture Diagram

You’ll have no dependency on the operating system of the mobile device when using Appium. As long as you have some basic development and programming knowledge, then the learning curve for this tool will be straightforward. However, it’s important to remember that mobile automation, in general, is drastically harder than web automation. It simply hasn’t been around as long and platforms such as Android and iOS don’t always make it easy for a 3rd party tool to integrate into them.

Appium GUI

Appium drives GUI-related controls and widgets, allowing the same scripts to run on different software versions. As with most of the other free automated testing tools you’ll find available, this platform integrates well with continuous integration servers.

You can automate almost anything when you decide to start using Appium. Its technical capabilities are virtually omnipresent, even if there can be challenges at times. That’s why it is one of the best free automated testing tools to use in 2020 and beyond.

Appium doesn’t try to reinvent the automated testing process. It only wants to improve on the functions you need so that your work becomes more efficient.

3. TestProject

TestProject is useful for the creation of automated tests for mobile or web apps. This community-powered option enhances the use of open-source tools like Appium or Selenium WebDriver so that the entire process becomes simplified. You can use it with macOS, Linux, or Windows.

The initial setup is straightforward and clean. Once you install the agent, the cross-platform component will begin communicating with the cloud-testing repository for TestProject. It becomes responsible for your test execution.

The agent incorporates every driver and tool required to begin your automated testing on any device or browser. It is always up-to-date with the latest options, which means this platform supports your work behind the scenes daily even though it is free (Here’s a quick video tutorial about how to get started with TestProject).

TestProject has a dedicated community of developers that work to create and share new addons for the platform. These coded actions can be useful within any test, creating valuable features for your cases. It works to save time while enhancing results because of the efforts made by your fellow experts in this area.

Some TestProject add-on examples

You also have the option to create addons to share with other team members or platform users.

The collaborative testing repository is where you can make your work more efficient. TestProject allows you to invite clients or teammates to your account. Then you can create or manage project permissions across the entire agency or team with global scalability. That’s why it is so easy to share the information generated by this platform.

Then you can monitor and manage your execution processes across the entire team. A built-in scheduler makes it simple to execute local tests or on almost any remote site. You don’t need third-party tools to make this happen. TestProject works hard to eliminate the complexity out of virtually any situation.

Schedule your test execution

TestProject allows you to incorporate your continuous integration and deployment workflows to automate the final stages of your pipeline. This process will enable you to run automation either on-demand or on a recurring schedule. Furthermore, you can use their Swagger APIs to gather data and use it any way that’s relevant for your project.

TestProject allows you to write test cases by recording them. It uses an in-browser recorder so that its internal capabilities will enable you to quickly automate apps for iOS, Android, or the web.

If that wasn’t enough, this free automated testing tool provides a robust SDK for creating addons and tests using standard open-source libraries. This option uses the API commands from Selenium and Appium, which allows you to quickly develop new tests or port existing ones without much effort. Take a look at these sample tests.

A sample iOS test using TestProject
Sample Android test using TestProject SDK

The SDK offers C# or Java implementation. All you need to do to get started is to sign up for your free account on TestProject’s primary website.

4. Postman

Postman is a free automated testing tool that is perfect for API testing. You have the option to install the platform as a desktop application or a browser extension on Windows, Linux, or Mac. Any developer who works with APIs in the development or testing stages will want to take a look at this popular option because of what it brings to the table.

The feature set of Postman is comprehensive. It provides options that allow for debugging, testing, and documenting APIs. The platform also helps with the design elements of the project, and it can assist with its publication.

It provides a user interface that is simple and easy to use. Developers can use the platform for automated testing or exploratory options. You’ll appreciate that it accepts RAML API formats and Swagger so that you can get more done.

You can create collections of integration tests with this platform to ensure the API works as expected. Postman runs them in a specific order, with each test executed after the previous one finishes. An HTTP request and JavaScript assertions verify the integrity of the code, giving you the freedom to use the data received from these efforts in several ways.

The platform allows you to create loops that run repetitively on a test. You also have the option to create local variables. Then you can store information for running the free automated tests in different environments.

Postman also gives you the option to package and share respondents and requests with the rest of your team. The premium version of this platform provides more communication options than the free one, so smaller groups or individual testers tend to see the best results from this platform.

Even the free version can reduce your work plan by saving on common requests, which means the team needs to manage less issues and operational tasks.

It doesn’t provide any browser rendering, so anyone who needs to test, or mock front-end UIs, will need to look for a different free option. Postman will enable you to bypass the user interfaces so that testing of the backing service becomes possible.

As with most free automated testing tools, you have integration options with build systems to maximize your productivity. Postman works with Jenkins using the Newman command-line interface. You can execute commands within the build itself, with the job passing or failing based on the results you receive.

This platform encapsulates collections in an environment configuration and test file, providing options to export collections or use classic file-sharing activities.

Postman is as simple as typing in a URL address into a browser window. That makes it extremely useful when working to develop any web-based service. You can write a test without putting it in a collection, backing it up, or even saving it. You can also make JSON data more comfortable to read with these features.

5. Cypress

Cypress is an end-to-end testing framework based on JavaScript. It uses Mocha as its foundation, providing a feature-rich option that runs on or in your browser. This structure makes it a lot easier to complete your asynchronous testing requirements.

There is a BDD/TDD assertion library that you can pair with any JavaScript testing framework when using Cypress. Also, it will automatically wait for your DOM to load, allowing elements to become visible, so there is no need to define your implicit or explicit waits.

Most automated testing options operate by running outside of the browser, which forces them to execute remote network commands. This platform works in the same environment as your app.

Sample Cypress Run

Cypress is also smart enough to know that you’ll rerun your test file after saving it. That means it operates next to your browser the moment you execute the command to save, eliminating the need for a manual click.

You have the option with this free automated testing tool to debug your app directly from the Chrome DevTools. It provides straightforward errors if they are present with helpful suggestions that can lead you toward a solution.

This combination of factors gives you the ultimate control over your app and network traffic. You have native access to each host object, unlocking new methods of testing that have been challenging to use on free platforms in the past.

Which Free Automated Testing Tool Will You Choose?

The best free automated testing tools provide invaluable resources for your APIs, apps, and more. This list is far from exhaustive. The intention is to provide a representation of the best choices that are available for 2020 that offer the right balance of features and functionality.

When you begin the process of choosing an automated testing tool, the platform you select must meet your current and future needs. You should receive basic optimization, test case automation, and data generation features that can help you to begin developing a smarter solution.

Implementing tools like these will allow for earlier detection of software defects. That means an increase in the overall development speed becomes possible, and it will ensure correct functionality. It is always cheaper to fix a glitch in the earliest stages of a project.

Growth is coming. The need for speed is going to continue evolving as artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities increase. If you get started today with one of these top automated testing tools, then you’ll be one step closer to being able to address the exciting challenges that are waiting ahead.

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Nikolay Advolodkin

Nikolay Advolodkin is a self-driven SDET on a lifelong mission to create profound change in the IT world and ultimately leave a legacy for his loved ones