Automated Testing Tools

One of the most important steps in software development is the quality assurance process, which tests the software to ensure bug-free operation. Since the manual testing of software can be a time-consuming process, automated testing tools have been developed to speed the process.

Common Software Testing Tools

Some of the most commonly found automated tools for software testing include:

  • Debuggers
  • Instruction set simulators
  • Program animation
  • Benchmarks
  • Performance analysis

To conduct an automated software testing tools comparison, try out whichever tools are applicable to your development project. Each process will reveal different problems within a program; however, a developer must understand when to automate the testing process and which features require automation.

A performance analysis will show which aspects of a given program experience the most usage (and therefore require the most attention). Benchmark tests, on the other hand, optimize running times by testing and comparing the performance of software components. As the name implies, simulators and animators allow testers to run through code automatically and monitor performance.

Testing Processes

Black box, white box and gray box testing models are the most common processes. In a black box model, the tester does not know anything about the underlying code of the software and tests the product much the same way that a normal user would. During white box testing, the tester has full knowledge of the software code. This process is typically used on specific aspects of the program. Gray box testing uses a combination of these two methods; knowledge of the program is used to design the black box testing methods that more precisely test the software.

When using automated tools, software testing can be greatly expedited. A common tool employed in automation is the graphical user interface (GUI). This tool allows developers to create the kind of user input interactions the program is most likely to experience (such as keystrokes, mouse clicks and physical input from touch screens) to check the program's reaction. Another common automated method of software testing uses codes to input data and monitor the program's responses to insure proper code function.

Automation can save time by assigning repetitive and time-consuming tasks to computer programs, keeping the valuable time of a testing professional free for other projects. The process can still be expensive, though, so knowing what to automate (and when to automate it) is crucial. 

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