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 Top 10 Front-End Automation Testing Tools

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Top 10 Front End Automation Testing Tools
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Software testing can be performed manually or using automation tools. There are different types of software testing such as unit testing, integration testing, API testing, performance testing, etc. Each test type has its importance and they are carried out at different levels. 

Front end testing is performed to validate end-to-end user functionality. Front-end testing validates both the appearance and functionality. 

In the modern world, organizations are aiming for rapid development and swift delivery by adopting the agile and DevOps approach. 

Manual testing may be time-consuming and it will not fit well into the Agile framework. Front-end automation testing tools help in automating the repetitive manual test cases and in turn help to go early to the market.

What is front end automation?

Front end automation is the process of automating the checks performed to test the usability and functionality of the application Graphical User Interface (GUI). Checks may include the display of menu items, and buttons and validating the user journey throughout the applications.

What is a front end testing tool?

Front end automation testing tools are specialized tools for testing the front end of the applications automatically without any manual intervention. These tools help in performing the automated checks for visual appearance and application functionality. Furthermore, these tools can be integrated into the DevOps pipeline and automate the process of development and testing in a single pipeline which in turn helps to achieve the Continuous Deployment(CD).

How Important Are Front End Testing Tools?

Organizations are shifting towards modern software development methodologies such as Agile Development by incorporating DevOps for a faster delivery cycle. The development of the application is done on an iterative approach or sprint basis. Hence the testing needs to align with the modern development methodology. Without automation testing tools, the organization needs to spend a lot on human resources to complete the testing task within the tight delivery schedule. Front end automation tools accelerate the testing process by automating the repetitive test cases and those can be executed repeatedly whenever required. Hence, the Front end testing tools helps in business processes, delivery, and reducing the organization’s costs.

Best Automated Front End Testing Tools

Choosing the right automation testing tool is not an easy task. You might have to spend days to week, shortlist the best tools. We have curated the best front end automation testing tools to make your task easier. Below are the best automation tools (not sorted by ranking)

Testsigma

sample-test

Testsigma is one of the trending tools in the market. It is a low-code, no-code tool, doesn’t require you to code, and no prior coding experience is required. Testsigma can smartly convert your plain English language into automated test cases. It eliminates the major challenges such as infrastructure maintenance, browser support, and flaky tests, faced during test automation. It helps to automate web, mobile, and API tests under a single umbrella.

Features of Testsigma

  • Doesn’t require you to install any tools and no more complicated setup process
  • Reduce maintenance with an in-built AI feature
  • Stable and reliable test execution results
  • More debugging features with screenshots, videos, and logs
  • Integrate your tests with the CI/CD pipeline to achieve swift deployment
  • Access your tests from anywhere, anytime with a SaaS-based application
  • Sharable and customizable reports, target the intended audience intelligently

Cons of Testsigma

  • Testsigma open source version provides limited support
  • Testsigma doesn’t support white box testing
  • Dedicated technical support is available only in the commercial version
  • Community support is comparatively low



Cypress

Cypress
Cypress

Cypress is a modern front end automation testing tool, that aims to provide a developer-friendly experience. Cypress is available as an open-source version, however, Cypress dashboard is priced. Unlike Selenium, Cypress doesn’t have any middleware or browser-specific drivers. It directly interacts with a browser and provides smoother and speedier execution.

Features of Cypress

  • Requires minimal time to set up
  • Supports component testing, API testing, and End to End front end testing
  • It can natively access web applications hence it reduces the explicit waits
  • It supports Firefox, Chrome, and Chromium family browsers
  • Directly interacts in the browser hence execution is faster
  • Provides options to execute the tests using the Cypress UI and CLI
  • Easy to integrate with CI/CD pipeline
  • Debugging can be performed directly on the browser
  • The dashboard provides intelligent report insights

Cons of Cypress

  • It doesn’t support parallel execution
  • Only Javascript/Typescript is the supported programming language
  • No support for no-code automation
  • Doesn’t support multi-tab and multi-window
  • Difficult to work with iFrames
  • It has cross-origin domain restriction and needs to be handled explicitly
  • No in-built support for HTML reporters
  • It doesn’t support native mobile app testing

Selenium WebDriver

Selenium

Selenium is the most popular automation tool, it has existed for decades, and even today Selenium is a strong competitor for many modern automation tools. Selenium is an open-source front-end automation testing library. It supports Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Safari browsers on Windows, MacOS, and Linux platforms. Selenium eliminates the programming language barrier by supporting popular programming languages such as Python, Java, Javascript, C#, and Ruby.

Features of Selenium

  • Open source, no license fee, and no cost involved
  • Supports all major browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari
  • Easy to extend and customize
  • Supports all major operating systems
  • It supports parallel execution, thus helping in faster automation feedback
  • Selenium supports headless mode hence tests can be integrated with the CI/CD pipeline
  • It provides many programming language options
  • Large community support

Cons of Selenium

  • Selenium is not a ready automation framework, it provides libraries that support browser automation, hence you need to build an automation framework.
  • No in-built reporting
  • Need to integrate test runners like Junit or TestNG explicitly, No in-built test runners support
  • The debugging feature is limited
  • Requires technical expertise to set up and write the test scripts
  • It doesn’t support native mobile app testing

Playwright

Playwright

Playwright is an open-source test automation framework maintained by Microsoft. It is built with modern web application development in mind. Hence it supports many modern development frameworks such as ReactJS, Angular, etc. Unlike Selenium, it not only provides the libraries for automation but also provides a complete automation framework. That will simplify the automation framework setup process. The Playwright ships browsers, assertion libraries, reporters, everything in its package. Hence it is rapidly growing.

Features of Playwright

  • Easy to set up and install
  • Supports all major browsers Firefox, Chrome, Chromium, Edge, Safari(WebKit)
  • Supports multiple operating systems Windows, MacOS, Linux(Ubuntu)
  • Various programming language support C#, Java, Javascript, Python
  • Easy to automate edge case scenarios such as upload, download, etc.
  • Various debugging features screenshots, videos, trace viewers 
  • Low-code automation support via Playwright script generator
  • Highly customizable and extendable
  • In-built HTML reporters and many other types of reporters support
  • Integration support to popular CI/CD tools
  • Visual comparison testing support
  • It executes the tests faster compared to other automation tools

Cons of Playwright

  • The community is still growing hence limited community support
  • It doesn’t support all Linux versions. For example, RHEL is still not officially supported
  • It requires you to code, and the record and playback produce unstable tests
  • It doesn’t support native mobile app testing

 

Katalon Studio

katalon

Katalon Studio is front-end test automation tool. It is available in both free and commercial versions. It supports desktop, mobile, and web application automation. It comes with a rich and user-friendly interface.

Features of Katalon Studio

  • It requires minimum setup steps
  • It can test Mobile, Web, and Desktop applications
  • It can be used to automate both the front end and API tests
  • It supports visual comparison tests 
  • Katalon is available in both free and commercial versions
  • It has record and playback hence supports low code automation
  • Katalon tests can be integrated into CI/CD pipelines

Cons of Katalon 

  • Katalon’s free version has only basic features, to fulfill the organizational feature one needs to switch to the commercial version
  • License cost is heavy and it increases the cost to the company
  • It supports only Java and Groovy scripting languages
  • Users are often experiencing performance issues with the tool
  • Community support is limited

Rainforest QA

Rainforest QA

Rainforest QA is an end-to-end testing platform. It can be used to validate both functionality and visual appearance. It is a commercial tool by Rainforest QA, Inc. The Rainforest QA also supports testing services hence you can achieve the testing even if you don’t have a testing team.

Features of Rainforest QA

  • It doesn’t require any installation and setup as it is a SaaS-based tool
  • You can perform both functional and visual comparison testing
  • The AI-powered image processing helps in stable visual regression testing
  • It supports low-code and no-code testing
  • Doesn’t require you to set up and manage infrastructure

Cons of Rainforest QA

  • It is not a free tool, you need to pay for the license
  • Doesn’t support mobile testing
  • Doesn’t support script-based testing, only no-code testing is supported
  • Community support is comparatively low

Ranorex Studio

Ranorex Studio

The Ranorex studio is a proprietary front end test automation tool by Ranorex GmbH. It supports desktop, web, and mobile test automation. Unlike typical test automation tools, Ranorex supports test design in the tool. The test design feature helps to remove duplicate and unnecessary scenarios from the test suites.

Features of Ranorex

  • Ranorex requires fewer steps to install
  • It comes with a rich IDE and built-in debugger
  • Ranorex supports mobile, web, and desktop applications
  • It supports test design features which helps to eliminate wasteful variation and inject important variations of tests
  • As it is a commercial tool it provides dedicated technical support
  • Ranorex supports all major CI/CD tools integration
  • It can be used to generate low-code scripts using the record and playback
  • It supports parallel execution

Cons of Ranorex

  • It is not an open-source or free tool. Requires to pay for a license
  • The learning curve is high as one needs to learn the tool usage and automation commands
  • License cost is expensive
  • Not a SaaS product hence it requires execution infrastructure setup
  • Community support is comparatively low
  • User-faced slowness as it is a resource-heavy tool
  • The tool can be installed only on the Windows operating system

TestComplete

TestComplete

TestComplete is front front-end automation testing tool by SmartBear. TestComplete is available as a commercial tool. It provides a rich IDE which makes it easier to develop the test scripts. It supports record and playback. Test Complete recently released the automated visual testing feature which helps to validate the appearance of your web applications

Features of TestComplete

  • TestComplete is shipped as an installer package hence it requires minimal installation steps.
  • It supports Mobile, Desktop, and Web test automation
  • TestComplete can be integrated into Jenkins, Jira, Git, and many other tools
  • It comes with OCR and other text-based locators
  • The recording and playback can be used for script recording
  • It supports various programming languages JavaScript, Python, VBScript, Jscript, DelphiScript, C#, or C+

Cons of TestComplete

  • One needs to learn the TestComplete commands and libraries to write the script.
  • TestComplete Visual regression result is inconsistent
  • The record and playback feature is difficult for the user 
  • Setting up an environment for cross-browser testing is challenging
  • TestComplete can be installed only on Windows machine

Applitools

applitools

Applitool is next next-generation visual comparison testing tool. It has a powerful image comparison algorithm and is capable of producing stable results. It can help in easier test maintenance.

Features of Applitools

  • Powerful image comparison engine
  • It can be integrated into CI/CD pipelines
  • It supports cloud execution
  • It offers both free and commercial versions
  • Applitools can validate all the elements of UI text, images, menus, layouts, etc.

Cons of Applitools

  • Applitools is good for visual testing, but achieving functional testing is challenging
  • The free version offers only limited capabilities
  • Low-code recording and playback are inconsistent
  • Community support is limited

WebdriverIO

Webdriverio

WebdriverIO is a community-driven open-source front-end test automation tool. The WebdriverIO is built on top of Selenium and Appium. It eliminates the complex setup tasks in Selenium and bundles the ready-to-install features into shippable packages. WebdriverIO is known for high customizability and extensibility and it is purely community driven.

Features of WebdriverIO

  • Easy to setup
  • Detailed documentation
  • Supports all major operating systems
  • Supports all major browsers Chrome, Edge, Safari and Firefox
  • Plenty of reporters available 
  • A lot of third-party community plugins with zero-cost
  • Supports all major cloud-based testing platforms such as Browserstack and Saucelabs
  • It supports both mobile and web application testing
  • Large community support
  • Easy to integrate with CI/CD pipelines

Cons of WebdriverIO

  • No support for low code automation
  • Limited network-level logs
  • Supports only Javascript/Typescript programming language

Problems in most of the automated front-end testing tools

Test automation solves many problems in testing, smoothens the development process and reduces the cost – with all these benefits it comes with its own challenges and complexities. Let’s understand the problems

Setup and Infrastructure

Test automation tools require an automation framework setup. It also requires infrastructure support to execute the automation tests. Setting up infrastructure for automation is a challenging job. Most importantly if your application supports different platforms and browsers it demands more infrastructure maintaining them is not easy.

Technical Expertise

Most of the front end testing tools require coding expertise to write the automation scripts. If your application is complex and requires to cover thousands of use cases the test automation may take longer time to completely up and running.

Lack of Visual Testing Support

Most of the front-end automation testing tools focus on functional testing and user flows they do not focus on the user experience such as styles, alignments, borders, etc. Though your test cases are passing and functionality is working as expected, the user experience is not guaranteed.

Flaky Tests

The automation tools perform the actions by uniquely identifying the DOM elements on the web application, as and when new features are added the DOM tree changes which results in false failures and your test cases become flaky. Add on to this, the application latency and other network issues contribute to unstable results.

Execution speed

The execution speed is a commonly faced problem in front-end automation, especially if your application has thousands of regression test cases, completing them may take many hours. Though modern automation tools support parallel execution, they require test cases to be written independently.

Maintenance

Automation testing is not a “write once, run forever” approach, it requires timely maintenance as and when application changes, and third-party library upgrades. Timely maintenance is a major problem in the front end automation tool.

How to Choose the Right Front End Automation Testing Tools

There are hundreds of different tools available in the market, and as we already discussed each one of them has advantages and limitations. It is important to choose the right tool before you adopt automation testing in your organization. Below are some common areas that you need to focus on while hunting for the right automation tools

  • Evaluate the automation tools against your business requirements
  • Consider the budget and look for open-source or commercial tools accordingly
  • Consider your team skills, and skill upgradation cost and time
  • Never forget to evaluate the ease of use
  • Support is important it may be community support or dedicated support
  • Third-party integration helps smooth the process by including them as one of the evaluation criteria
  • The application may grow rapidly in the future, test automation tool should be capable of handling future needs
  • The success of the automation is measured by how well you present to stakeholders hence the reports are crucial to evaluate the supported and customizable reporting formats.

Conclusion

Front end automation is crucial and every organization needs to adopt it. There are many front end automation tools in the market. As always each tool has pros and cons. As the development tools, architecture, and technologies are changing, it is important to align the testing tool to match the development standards. 

Today, one of the major challenges that organizations are facing is a lack of technical resources or they are costly. Most automation frameworks require a complex setup process. To overcome such challenges organizations are shifting towards the No-Code/Low-code automation tools. 

No-code automation tools don’t require any programming knowledge and manual testers can also contribute to the automation. Testsigma is one such popular tool, used by many popular organizations. Furthermore, the success of automation depends on how well you present the automation report to stakeholders. The Testsigma provides customizable rich reporting options that help you to instantly share the report.



Frequently Asked Questions

Can JMeter be used for front-end testing?

JMeter is a performance testing tool. JMeter can be used for front-end performance testing. JMeter cannot be used for front-end functional testing.

Which Front-End Tool is Best for Performance Testing?

The best tool depends on various factors such as budget, team skillsets, business requirements, scalability, and many other factors. The tools should be chosen based on the needs of the organization.

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