SQA Software and Tools
In quality assurance, it is always important to get all the help we could get. In other industries, developers could easily check the products manually and discard those that do not meet the standard. The length and the width of the product are checked to maintain standardization of the product. Others use special machines to check the product. With tools and machines, they can easily set a standard with their products.
That also goes the same with software and applications. Although it does not use physical machines, applications go through rigorous testing before they are released to the public even for beta testing.
The tools used in SQA are generally testing tools wherein an application is run through a series of tests to gauge the performance of the application.
The tools used in SQA vary in purpose and performance. These applications range from testing the code or running the application under great stress. These tools are employed to test the application and produce numbers and statistics regarding the actual application. Through these numbers, the SQA team and their developers will know if the application has lived up according to the targeted performance.
Like most developers each SQA team has their preferred tools for application testing. Based on their belief and expertise, the SQA team will usually give the owners or business managers a free hand on what type of testing tool to use.
Notable SQA Tools
The following are some of the renowned SQA tools and applications. There are still hundreds out there but the following tools have been around for years and have been used by thousands or probably millions of testers.
WinRunner – Developed by HP, WinRunner is a user friendly application that can test the applications reaction from the user. But other than measuring the response time, WinRunner can also replay and verify every transaction and interaction the application had with the user. The application works like a simple user and captures and records every response the application does.
LoadRunner – Developed by HP, LoadRunner is one of the simple applications that can test the actual performance of the application. If you are looking for a program to test your application’s tolerance to stress, LoadRunner is your tool. It has the ability to work like thousands of users at the same time – testing the stress of the application.
QuickTest Professional – If you have worked with WinRunner you surely have bumped in with this tool. Built by HP, QuickTest emulates the actions of users and exploits the application depending on the procedure set by testers. It can be used in GUI and non-GUI websites and applications. The testing tool could be customized through different plug-ins.
Mercury TestDirector – An all-in-one package, this web-based interface could be used from start to end in testing an application or a website. Every defect will be managed according to their effect to the application. Users will also have the option to use this exclusively for their application or use it together with wide array of testers.
Silktest – Although available in limited operating system, Silktest is a very smart testing tool. Silktest lists all the possible functions and tries to identify the function one by one. It can be implemented in smaller iterations as it translate the available codes into actual objects.
Bugzilla – Developed by Mozilla, this open source testing tool works as the name suggests. Bugzilla specializes in detecting bugs found in the application or website. Since the application is open-source it can be used freely and it is availability in different OS makes it even a viable alternative for error tracking. The only downside is it has a long list of requirements before it could run.
Application Center Test – Also known as ACT, this testing tool was developed by Microsoft using ASP.NET. This application is primarily used for determining the capacity of the servers that handle the application. Testers can test the server by asking constant requests. A customized script either from VB or JS could be used to test the server’s capacity.
OpenSTA – Another open source tool, testers can easily launch the application and use it for testing the application’s stress capacity. The testing process could be recorded and testing times could be scheduled. Great for websites that needs daily maintenance.
QARun – Instead of an application, QARun is actually a platform where you can build your own testing application. QARun could be easily integrated with the application so that it could easily sync with the releases and checks the application or website every time something new is introduced.
Selecting Right SQA Tool
The tools that are listed above are only a very small chunk of the hundreds of testing tools available as a free or licensed application. Among the dilemmas of the SQA team is to select the proper testing tool for the particular website or application.
In selecting the right tool, testers and SQA managers should always start with their objective. Although usually the testers’ objective is to know every bug and error related to the application, testers and developers should also consider writing benchmarks. Through this benchmark, they can assure the application works as expected.
Every tester should understand that each application might require a completely different testing tool. Experience will always tell the testers that a simple automation tool will never work in complex applications.
Aside from this consideration, testers also have the choice to use more than one testing tool. But before getting all the possible testing tools, the SQA team should consider what metrics they are looking for. By determining the numbers they need and the benchmark they are looking for they can easily select the testing tools they can use.
The success of SQA can be determined based on the applications they use. In fact, it can be safely said that the SQA team is only as good as the software they use. Although they can check the application manually, it will take time and it will always be prone to human error. With the right testing tool, the application is tested faster with better accuracy.