Today, we have multiple tools at our disposal when it comes to web application testing. Sometimes, it can be challenging to make the right decision when it comes to choosing a web application testing tool that fits your specific needs. There are endless factors that come into play when inspecting, verifying, and assessing code as multiple factors come into play that depends on the type of platform being used (e.g. a server cluster or virtual cloud-based system), the programming language being employed as well as the purpose of the web application itself.
We consistently have different varieties and levels of tests that are performed to ensure compatibility, uniformity, and compliance. With this thought in mind, let’s review the types of testing we can perform on our web application:
- Functionality Testing: This is a test in which we examine the primary outcome of our web application. In this type of analysis, we do not specifically focus on how a task is processed. We are more focused on what the conclusion of the app test will be.
- Usability Testing: We use this type of test to check how useful and practical the interface of our app is to an actual user. Usability testing reduces the possibility of building a feature that will be useless, impractical, or pointless by end-users, thus saving time, money, and other resources that increases value.
- Interface testing: With this test, we are examining three layers of our web app. We are evaluating the backend of the application (a dedicated database server), a virtual server (VPS) delivery platform (or a cluster of web servers) as well as the frontend (UI or user interface) of the application itself. Testing the interface defines the interaction between the database server, a cloud dedicated web server, and the app itself and how well the server handles requests from the application.
- Database testing: This is a stress-based assessment of our database to indicate how well it will handle query execution. Based on the results, these tests provide us the ability to tweak our databases to improve the requests and thus avoid slow queries, which can bottleneck the speed of the application.
- Compatibility testing: This is one of the most critical evaluations we perform in web application testing. This type of analysis helps us to achieve standardization in how our web application is opening, presenting, and running across every modern browser. Additionally, we test to ensure that everything is working as expected, no matter which type of OS or device the end-user is employing.
- Performance testing: These tests ensure that our web application will be able to cope with high traffic load such as can be found on a server cluster. The main goal here is to find the limits of when and where the app will crash under load.
- Security testing: If you plan to use any sort of monetary transaction in an application, security testing is a must. Since we understand any app that will be storing sensitive information from the users, the objective here must be to ensure that we can deliver enterprise-level security while following industry-standard guidelines. We must address, in advance, any sort of attempted access that is not allowed intentionally and that any unauthorized or unapproved connections are blocked or terminated prior to the connection.
- Crowdsourced testing: This is the stage of testing where we give a web app to a broad cross-section of users who simply use the application within a defined framework and report back their findings to the developers. This information provides feedback on bugs, glitches, and other issues in our feature set noted by the end-users. This data is deemed essential to test functionality within all parts of the app to locate and resolve any problems or concerns.
In the following sections, we will outline the pros and cons of some of the most popular web application testing tools. The majority of today’s tests are very capable of performing automated testing as well as cross-browser evaluation. This means that no matter which one you choose to utilize, it will most likely be able to provide feedback on what is required for your needs. Let’s begin with the paid testing tools
Best Paid Web Application Testing Tools
Ranorex Studio/Ranorex Webtestit
Ranorex is an all in one testing solution used for the analysis of desktop, web-based, and mobile applications. It can evaluate just about any application while only using a single license. Ranorex possesses a robust modeler toolkit that can build a desktop, mobile, or web application, test it and then run it in any browser or related device. The Ranorex Studio software can only be run on Windows but can check desktop, web, and mobile apps. The Ranorex webtestit software can run on Linux, MacOS X, as well as Windows, but can only test web applications. Ranorex does require some coding experience and is primarily code-driven. The studio version does run a codeless automation version.
- robust, reliable and versatile all-around application testing software
- – easy to use
- – proactive and friendly support
- license is quite expensive
- Ranorex Studio only supports Windows OS
Katalon Studio 7
Katalon Studio 7 is considered by many to be one of the best codeless automation testing tools on the market. Katalon is somewhat new to the market, as it’s only been available since 2015. Katalon is capable of desktop/web/API/mobile application testing and runs on Windows, Linux, and MacOS X systems. Its primary scripting languages are Java and Groovy. Programming skills are not required, but Katalon is best used with advanced test scripts. Katalon is being used for automated tests by over 50.000 companies all over the world.
- easy to deploy
- – supports multiple plugins and integrations
- – has a free version of the software (although it’s missing some vital elements like an official support option)
- – Intuitive analytics dashboard and reports
- Lack of additional scripting languages
- – Since it has only been around for a few years, the support community is rather small
- – Performance issues (it may lag or freeze at times)
Official site with pricing plans: Katalon Software & Pricing
UFT stands for “Unified Functional Testing.” UFT is developed by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and is one of the main tools utilized for testing web applications. UFT currently only supports Windows OS, and primarily uses VBScript as its scripting language. One of the best things about UFT is it supports over 200 applications and environments, including SAP, Salesforce, and Citrix. If you integrate an ALM (application lifecycle management) into UFT, you can run it across multiple nodes from a single controller, thus enabling hundreds of tests to be executed simultaneously.
- UFT is easily combined with other continuous integration tools like ALM, Jenkins, TeamCity, etc.
- – Uses VB script, which is a straightforward programming language to use.
- – A Multi-User variable license helps to achieve concurrent usage testing
- – All automation frameworks like Keyword-driven, Data-driven, Modular and Hybrid approaches, are supported
- – 60 days free trial license
- cost is high for licensing and maintenance
- – a complicated installation which requires training to implement the tool
- – resource-intensive; consumes a lot of memory
Official site with pricing plans: UFT One
Best Free Web Application Testing Tools
Selenium is the most widely used open-source tool that automates web browser testing. It provides a single interface that lets you write test scripts in programming languages like Ruby, Java, NodeJS, PHP, Perl, Python, and C#, among others. Selenium is very popular because you can create test scripts that are scalable across a wide array of environments and platforms. Selenium has been in use since 2004 when it was developed and in many ways, the community has contributed greatly to its success. Another superior feature is the ability to add third-party drivers for specialized browsers like BlackBerry 10 and HtmlUnit in addition to the integration of development frameworks like PhantomJS, QT, and others.
- only free tool for testing web applications that can compete with paid software
- wide range of supported languages, platforms, and browsers
- the most widely used tool for testing
- has an enormous support community
- requires advanced skills to install and use
- Selenium does not automatically generate reports; you need integration via third-party vendors such as TestNG
Official Selenium site: SeleniumHQ Browser Automation
Watir stands for “Web Application Testing in Ruby.” Watir webdriver is an open-source tool for automating tests based on Selenium. To install and use Watir, you must have Ruby installed first as Watir uses Ruby as its main driver. Watir utilizes browsers in the same way that people do. It clicks, redirects, fills in forms, presses buttons using the OLE protocol. Watir does not have a community quite as large as Selenium, but it has been around since 2008, so it still has quite a lot of articles as well as solid documentation.
- multi-browser and OS support
- better API than Selenium
- you need to learn/know Ruby to use Watir effectively
- every browser requires a different library
Official Watir site: http://watir.com/
Capybara is a web-based automation testing framework, which uses a Ruby library like Watir. Capybara helps test web applications by simulating how a human being would interact with your app, which happens through an intuitive API. This API mimics the language an actual user would use. It also comes with built-in Selenium support. Capybara Is also very good at preventing errors due to its being asynchronistic, so there is no need to add in manual wait times for and asynchronous processes to complete.
- super useful synchronizing feature which does not requires the need to add manual wait for asynchronous processes to complete
- Built-in support for Selenium
- API that can simulate real human actions on a website
- high memory usage
- difficult to debug when tests produce errors
Official capybara site: http://teamcapybara.github.io/capybara/
When it comes to the best free and paid web application testing tools, each one has its own specific tasks it does well in comparison to the other testing tools. These tools can test web apps in various ways and even within virtual environments. So, whether you need to perform functionality, usability, interface, compatibility, performance, or security testing, one of the above have you covered no matter which browser or OS you plan to use.
Although Liquid Web provides no preference for any specific testing tool, many of our clients have expressed their recommendation of Selenium as being their first choice in testing tool options. Their reasoning? The initial opinion is that It is relatively easy to use, it has an excellent support community, and lastly because it is open-source and completely free to use.
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