Software Testing Tools: The Ultimate Guide

Published October 28, 2022, updated November 21, 2022
by Jeffery Thompson
18 min read
Software Testing and QA
Software Testing Tools: The Ultimate Guide

Software testing tools are integral in the software development life cycle (SDLC). It is not only quality assurance (QA) teams and testers who are using these tools. Software developers, project managers, and even end-users can also use them.

This guide will tell you everything there is to know about software testing tools.

What Is Software Testing?

What Is Software Testing?

You can define software testing as the process of detecting errors in a software product. But, of course, it is more than just finding errors in a software program. 

It is also about ensuring that the software meets user expectations. That means checking whether actual outcomes are consistent with what users expect. This is possible through the use of a software testing tool.

In the SDLC, software testing precedes the deployment of the product. As a complete SDLC stage, it is made up of many separate activities. They include:

  • Examination
  • Observation
  • Analysis
  • Evaluation of various aspects of the software product

What Are Software Testing Tools?

What Are Software Testing Tools?

Software testing tools are exactly what they sound like. They are tools you use when testing any software program. 

Today, there are so many software testing tools available in the market. They range from paid tools to those that are open-source.

Of course, you can’t just pick any software testing tool at random. You have to know if the tool will fit your project requirements.

There you have it. You now know the answer to the question: What are software testing tools?  Now, let’s discuss the advantages of using these tools.

Benefits of Software Testing Tools

Benefits of Software Testing Tools

Using test tools in software testing comes with many benefits. These benefits not only help testers and QA teams. They can also make the jobs of software developers easier.

Improved Software Product Quality

Yes, the testing process exists to help teams build better software products. But testing tools in software testing take it a step further. They can make tests more accurate. On top of that, they provide a mechanism for collecting feedback early. The earlier you give feedback to developers, the better the product will be.

Higher Customer Satisfaction

If you deliver a software product that works, you meet users’ expectations. Not only that, you answer their needs. You bring about higher customer satisfaction. With higher customer satisfaction comes customer loyalty. You can make that possible with the help of software testing tools.

Cost Savings

It is no secret that bugs and defects cost money. They are especially damaging financially when discovered after launch. If you’re building a software product, you’d always want to fix bugs as early as possible. That’s why investing in software testing tools is always a good move. Using them will prevent bug-related costs in the future.

Heightened Security

Protecting your software product from cyber threats is as vital as ever. Hackers are always looking for cracks in your code. The good news is that software testing tools can help. They can detect flaws in your software product. They serve as an extra layer of defense to ward off cybercriminals.

Increased Compatibility

You can’t deny that users have different preferences. They may have a favorite brand for a mobile device. They may prefer using a specific browser. Likewise, they may choose a specific operating system over another. Thus, you have to ensure that your software product is compatible with those. You can leverage software testing tools to prevent compatibility issues.

Again, software testing tools can prove useful. But we also need to know which ones to use.

Types of Software Testing Tools

Types of Software Testing Tools

Tools in software testing can vary depending on their purpose. They may range from test automation tools to API testing tools. They may also come in commercial or open-source versions.

We’ll try to give a simple explanation for each type, listed in alphabetical order below.

API Testing Tools

You use API testing tools to verify APIs. In other words, you check the API’s functionality, security, and reliability.

Automated Software Testing Tools

These are software programs that let you define testing tasks. Once programmed, they can perform the testing for you. They make the testing process faster and more reliable. There’s no human intervention, so they can be more accurate too. Selenium is a concrete example of an automated software testing tool.

Bug Tracking Tools

It’s vital to track every bug you detect. You don’t want to keep seeing the same bug later and then have a hard time remembering how to fix it. This is where bug-tracking tools play a role. They even allow end-users to report defects and issues within the program’s interface.

Cross-Browser Testing Tools

We talked about compatibility earlier. And it bears repeating in this section. The aim always is to build a program that can work on different platforms. The more cross-platform compatible it is, the better the user experience it delivers. A cross-browser testing tool can help you ensure this.

Functional Testing Tools

You use functional testing tools to check if the software functions as expected. It lets you verify if all requirements are met. A classic example of this tool is Unified Functional Testing (UFT).

GUI Testing Tools

You use graphical user interface (GUI) testing tools when you want to test the software’s GUI. Why is it crucial to test the UI? For one, it checks if your application delivers a memorable user experience.

Integration Testing Tools

A software product can consist of different modules. So you’ll need to test how well those separate parts interact with each other. Thankfully, there are tools of software testing built specifically for this purpose. And they’re called integration testing tools.

Mobile Testing Tools

These are indispensable tools when you’re planning to launch a mobile app. If you have the budget, you can opt for licensed mobile testing tools. But don’t worry if you have a limited budget. There are open-source options available.

Performance Testing Tools

Performance testing tools are also called load testing tools. Their purpose is to test the program’s loading, performance, and stability. There are times when more than one user will access your software product. Thus, check if your program can accommodate multiple users.

Security Testing Tools

Cyber threats are always present today. All the more reason to make sure your software product is well-protected. This is where a security testing tool comes in. It helps you shield your code and data from hackers and cyber attacks.

Test Management Tools

If you want to track every test that’s taking place, use test management tools. But, these tools are not just tracking tools. You can also use them to plan testing procedures and analyze data. For good measure, they also allow you to manage test environments and test cases.

Unit Testing Tools

Unit testing tools are the opposite of integration testing tools. For the former, you use them for testing units of code or individual modules. Many consider these tools the most basic when it comes to software testing.

List of Popular Software Testing Tools
Popular Software Testing Tools

Before we made this list of testing software tools, we talked to testers and QA teams first. We hope their input can help you decide better when choosing tools for software testing. So here’s our list, in alphabetical order.

Appium

Uses: Mobile testing and automated testing

Availability: Open-source

You can use Appium for testing mobile apps on various platforms. We’re talking about Mac, Windows, and Linux, of course. Yes, it comes with built-in frameworks and test automation tools. But it is easy to learn and set up. It’s also handy when testing native, hybrid, or web apps.

Browsershots

Uses: Cross-browser testing 

Availability: Open-source

Browsershots grabs screenshots of your website on different web browsers. Across more than 200 browsers, to be precise. It can run on Android, iOS, and Windows. It’s useful when you want to detect HTML and CSS errors quickly.

Browser Stack

Uses: Cross-browser testing

Availability: Paid but with a free trial available 

Browser Stack can test over 2,000 web browsers and real devices. Another great thing about this tool is how easy it is to use. You don’t need any elaborate test setup. You don’t even need to do a lot of maintenance. It works out of the box just like it promises.

Calabash

Uses: Mobile testing and user acceptance testing

Availability: Open-source

If you have no coding skills, you can still perform mobile testing by using Calabash. It’s a framework that works on both Android and iOS. You can use it to test hybrid and native mobile apps. Did we mention that it’s open-source?

JMeter

Uses: Load testing, manual testing, and functional testing

Availability: Open-source

Are you looking for a cost-effective solution for load testing? Apache’s JMeter is your answer. It runs on Java and it’s ideal for testing web apps and websites. It’s not just a manual testing tool. You can also use it for automated and functional testing.

Kobiton

Uses: Mobile testing and automation testing

Availability: Free version available 

Kobiton offers a full range of mobile app testing features. Users can build apps, test, and launch them using this test automation tool. It works well with websites and IoT apps too. It can even access real devices via a public or private cloud.

LambdaTest

Uses: Cross-browser testing

Availability: Free version available 

LambdaTest is a familiar name in cross-browser testing for websites and web apps. And there’s a good reason for that. It is capable of testing across 3,000-plus web browsers. It is scalable and safe. And via its cloud-based grid, it is reliable as well.

LoadComplete

Uses: Load testing

Availability: Free version available 

Do you want a simple solution to load testing? Try LoadComplete. It lets you test web apps by simulating load times. It does this by using virtual end-users. It’s a nifty way to perform load testing. A cost-effective one too, if we may add.

LoadNinja

Uses: Load testing

Availability: Paid but with a free trial available 

Generate scriptless tests. Simulate client interactions. Debug in real-time. You can do all that with LoadNinja. Its UI is easy to learn. It also offers instant playback. And it uses real web browsers. Does that even matter? Yes, it does, if you want reliable test result data.

PractiTest (Test Management Tool)

Uses: Automation testing and test management 

Availability: Open-source

PractiTest is all about productivity and visibility. You can access reports while also viewing raw data straight from its dashboard. This test automation tool also holds a unique distinction. It’s the only SOC2 Type 2 and ISO 27001-compliant open-source test management tool in the world. No wonder it’s considered a rising star in testing today. Not bad for a brand that only started in 2008.

Robotium

Uses: Automated testing and functional testing

Availability: Open-source

Testers use Robotium for Android user interface testing. It comes with support for hybrid and native mobile apps. It’s a versatile test automation tool too. You can use it for automated testing, as well as functional testing. You can even leverage it for user acceptance tests.

Selenium

Uses: Automated software testing and creating test scripts 

Availability: Open-source

Selenium remains one of the best software testing tools you can use. It is ideal for automating tests for web apps across various browsers. This allows you to deploy new releases faster. All thanks to the tool’s quick web app tests.

Telerik Test Studio

Uses: Automated software testing 

Availability: Telerik Test Studio comes with a free trial

Are you looking for an easy-to-use automation testing tool for web and desktop apps? Telerik Test Studio should be right up your alley. It can do functional and performance testing. For good measure, Telerik Test Studio can also handle load tests and mobile tests.

Test Collab

Uses: Test management

Availability: Free version available 

Test Collab‘s features are quite generous. It has time trackers, reports, and trend analysis. It’s also good for test planning and requirements management. You can also integrate it with bug trackers and automated testing tools.

TestComplete

Uses: Automated software testing 

Availability: Paid but with a free trial available 

You can use TestComplete to set up simplified tests for all kinds of apps. And when we say all kinds, we mean mobile, web, and desktop apps. The tool is cross-platform compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows operating systems. It’s a legit and versatile test automation tool.

Testdroid

Uses: Mobile testing

Availability: Free version available 

Testdroid is a  mobile testing tool that leverages the cloud. It’s ideal for testing mobile games, especially those that run on Android or iOS. It offers real device access to hundreds of smartphones and tablets. It’s low-cost (free) and very fast (using the cloud).

Testim

Uses: Automation testing

Availability: Free version available

Testim leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to do automated tests. This tool might be best for testing custom web apps. Agile teams can use it to manage and scale projects. Another cool feature of Testim is the ability to share annotations of screenshots. This is possible via the bug tracker.

TestRail

Uses: Automation testing, test management

Availability: Paid but with a free trial available

TestRail lets testers capture details of test cases through screenshots. It comes with a dashboard where you can track tests. You can also make reports and analyze data after tests. You can customize it if you like. Or you can also integrate it with your existing testing tools.

Unified Functional Testing (UFT)

Uses: Automation testing, functional and regression testing 

Availability: Paid but with a free trial available 

UFT tool used to be called Quick Test Professional (QTP). Unified Functional Testing may need no introduction. It’s widely viewed as one of the best software testing tools today. You can use UFT to automate user actions on web apps. It also pulls double duty as a regression testing tool. UFT is perfect for beginner testers because it is easy to learn. 

Visual Studio Test Professional

Uses: Automated testing

Availability: Free version available 

As far as testing tool kits go, Visual Studio Test Professional can test everything. You can use it to test software for various platforms. It can handle mobile, tablet, or desktop. Plus, you get to have access to other tools from Microsoft. Indeed, it is a handy testing tool kit.

WebLOAD

Uses: Load testing and performance tests

Availability: Free version available 

WebLOAD is an all-around load-testing tool. But it can also do performance testing and stress testing. It’s ideal for complex test scenarios. It can integrate with Selenium and Jenkins too. To top it all, it comes with a free version. You can’t go wrong with a loading tester like this one.

Xray

Uses: Automation testing and test management

Availability: Paid but with a free trial available

Jira made Xray, and thus, it can integrate with Jira. It can uphold manual and mechanized tests. Users can perform test arranging, test execution, and test reveals. One of its perks is that it covers the entire software testing life cycle. It also lets you sort tests by folder.

Zephyr Scale

Uses: Test management 

Availability: Paid but with a free trial available 

When it comes to tools used in software testing, Zephyr Scale is one of the most adaptable. Many consider it ideal for tests that need lots of customization. Apart from being versatile, it’s also easy to audit and trace. And like Xray, it lives inside Jira, deserving bonus points for accessibility.

Factors To Consider When Selecting a Software Testing Tool

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Software Testing Tool

Test tool selection in software testing is easy when you have the right information. Test planning can also help you decide which tools to use. But of course, there are some factors you need to consider in your testing strategy.

Costs of Licensing, if Any

Some tools used for software testing are only available with a license fee. This is often true of automation testing tools, as well as mobile testing tools. Of course, you can always go for open-source tools. But know that free versions come with security vulnerabilities at times. If you can afford it, go for licensed tools. If not, choose open-source but be extra careful when using them.

Training Costs

Check first with your team if they are familiar with the testing tool you’re planning to pick. The ideal scenario is you choose one that is easy to learn. But if you have to pick an option that requires training, prepare for the costs ahead.

Hardware and Software Requirements

You can avoid a lot of hassle early if you check the hardware and software requirements. Talk to your IT guys and developers. Find out if the testing tool you’re getting can work with your systems. If not, make a decision. Upgrade your systems, or choose another testing tool.

Ease of Use

One crucial factor to consider is the usability of the software testing tool you pick. What makes a tool usable for testing? There are many indicators, of course. But chief among them is the ease of test creation. A good testing tool should let testers create test scripts easily.

Platform Compatibility

Get more mileage with a software testing tool that’s compatible with various platforms. Why does this matter? For one, you will be able to test across a multitude of mobile devices. Another benefit is you can check if your product works in other systems.

Maintenance and Support

Remember that just like any tool, testing tools also need maintenance. Thus, you will need to upgrade or customize them over time. Check with your vendor and inquire about the level of support they can provide. If your testing tool is old, you should know in advance if it’s going to get updated still.

Customer Support

In case of unexpected issues, calling customer service support could come handy. Commercial testing tool brands tend to offer this kind of support. But do note that this is not always the case with open-source brands. So you may need to do some research.

Do you want to know more about software testing? Contact the BIT Studios team today.  We can answer your questions about software testing processes and QA testing tools. Everything you need to know, we can give you answers.

Software Testing Tools FAQs

Software Testing Tools FAQs

Should I Do Software Testing on My Own?

Yes, you can do software testing on your own. If you’re a software developer, and an experienced one at that, you can probably manage. But the best practice is to have a tester do it for you. Testers dedicate themselves to performing the test properly. Whereas developers may be focusing more on code work instead of detecting bugs.

How Much Does Software Testing Services Cost?

Software testing costs usually hit around 15% to 25% of the total project cost. We should also note that some companies may factor in testing when planning their budget. Setting aside 20% to 25% of the projected IT costs may be realistic. If you want to use a per-tester approach, then know that testers average $25 to $35 per hour.

Why Should I Choose BIT Studios for Software Testing?

You should definitely choose BIT Studios software testing as we have so many accomplishments in this field.

First of all, we walk the talk when it comes to software testing. We have experience in manual testing, test automation, and test planning. Second, we have the personnel to conduct proper testing. Our team fields qualified QA specialists and software testing engineers. Lastly, we have the track record to back it all up. If you want to know more about our past software testing projects, get in touch with us today!

What is a QA testing tool?

A QA testing tool is a software or application that can be used by the quality assurance team to test the software products. These tools can automate some or all of the testing process making it faster and easier to identify the bugs and make it easier to detect and fix them

What are manual and automated testing?

Manual and automated software testing tools are the 2 types of tools used by software testers. Manual testing tools are used by testers to execute test cases manually, while automated testing tools are used to automate the execution process and test cases.

Jeff eats and breathes technology. His undying passion for software development inspired him to establish BIT Studios, a reputable custom software development company that caters to SMEs and Fortune 5...
Originally published October 28, 2022, updated November 21, 2022

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