Saturday, 11 January 2014

Build or Buy a Software Testing Tool?

 Build or Buy a Software Testing Tool? 

Each enterprise can avail several advantages by automating its software testing efforts. As a more efficient and effective alternative to manual testing, test automation requires pre-scripted tests to be executed by software tools.

These tools are further enable QA engineers to run several tests repeatedly and frequently to improve quality, while saving both time and cost. An organization also has option to choose from a wide variety of open source and test automation tools.

At the same time, an enterprise can also consider building customized software testing tools according to its specific needs. Therefore, it becomes essential to evaluate the pros and cons of buying or building a software testing tools to take the decision that will increase efficiency, productivity and ROI.

Comparing Option to Build or Buy a Software Testing Tool

1. Complex Nature of the Application: The decision to buy or build test automation tools must be taken by keeping in mind the complex nature of the application. If the application has complex features, deals with large volumes of technical data, or uses a frequently changing UI, it cannot be evaluated effectively by the commercial tools. Most of the commercial products do not offer any off-the-shelf solution to submit and process a large amount of variable data. So an organization has to build customized tools to process the data effectively while evaluating the software application.

2. Agile Development Approach: An increasing number of enterprises are adopting Agile development to deliver high quality software within a very short span of time. But the Agile methods emphasize on changing the UI at rapid and frequent intervals. So the software testing applications must be customized to write and executed a large number of automated tests. Also, the automated test scripts need to run at a time to deliver accurate test data. In such scenarios, an organization can avail additional advantages by building the software testing tools.

3. Open Source Software Testing Tools: An enterprise can further consider using the open source software testing tools to avail a number of benefits. Along with being cost-efficient, the open source toolsets are also effective in reducing dependencies on specific toolsets or products, while promoting faster time-to-market. The QA engineers can further avail the assistance of the large open source community to customize the tool without any hassle. Regardless of your decision, you must consider using open source tools to get higher ROI.

4. Cost of Development: The budget of an organization will also affect its decision to buy or build a software testing tool. An enterprise has to deploy a team of developers to build a customized tool according to its specific needs. Similar to normal software development project, the testing tools development will also require planning, time, resources and funds. On the other hand, the commercial software testing tools can be procured without any hassle. As an enterprise has option to choose from a wide variety of testing tools, it can further evaluate the pros and cons of each commercial product according to its specific needs.

5. Option to Outsource QA Efforts: As an alternative to building or buying a software testing tool, an organization can consider outsourcing its software QA efforts. Along with bringing the QA cost down, the outsourcing will further enable the enterprise to hire experienced offshore QA engineers along with availing the advantages of customized test automation tools. Once the test strategy, test plan, and test cases to be automated are finalized, an organization can consider outsourcing the project to save time, money and efforts. At the same time, the QA service provider will ensure that the best tools are used to deliver the most effective test results.

While building or buying a software testing tool, you must decide the test cases that need to be automated. As the look and feel of an application cannot be evaluated accurately by the tools, interface testing must not be automated fully. So the test strategy must seamlessly integrate both manual and automated testing to achieve the predefined goals. You can hire folks from professional automation testing companies who have proven expertise of handling automation testing projects as well to help you execute the test strategy perfectly.

Author: Ken Miller
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