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Automation testing tools help software development teams simplify and accelerate the testing process and minimize the need to complete repetitive and complex tasks manually. They also reduce human errors, save time, and ensure software quality, stability, and reliability. This guide will break down the following top automation testing tools in terms of their features, pros, cons, and pricing.

  • Datadog: A great pick for developers looking for an automation tool that offers continuous testing through a clean and modern interface.
  • Selenium: Ideal for developers looking for an open-source tool to automate web application testing across multiple platforms and browsers.
  • Appium: a solid choice for developers seeking an open-source and cross-platform solution to automate mobile application testing.

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Datadog APM Tool

Best for developers looking for an automation tool that offers continuous testing through a clean and modern interface.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Pricing: 3.5 out of 5
  • Core Features: 5 out of 5
  • Customer Support: 4.15 out of 5
  • Ease of Use: 4.45 out of 5
  • Performance: 5 out of 5
  • User Reviews: 5 out of 5

Datadog is a favorite of many DevOps teams for its monitoring and analytics capabilities. While the programmer tool specializes in modern monitoring and security, it offers a host of other functionalities, including continuous testing, log management, workflow automation, and more.

Features of Datadog

Datadog’s highlighted features as a testing automation tool include:

  • Codeless testing
  • Broad support
  • Minimized false positives
  • Automated cross-browser testing
  • CI/CD integrations
  • Collaboration integrations
  • Fast troubleshooting

Datadog saves time and offers scalability with its code-free end-to-end testing. Through automation, it accelerates application testing and eliminates the need to pay and wait for engineers to build, run, and maintain manually-coded tests. Thanks to features like parallel test runs, built-in multi-location testing, and a codeless web recorder, the programmer tool allows for seamless scaling with minimal effort. It also lets developers test across each level of their stack since Datadog supports various frameworks, protocols, and APIs.

Besides testing speed, Datadog also enhances reliability and confidence. Its automatic test retries and self-healing browser tests minimize false positives, while its automated cross-browser testing ensures an optimal end-user experience.

Software development teams can increase efficiency and minimize context switching through the automation tool’s integrations with popular CI tools like Jenkins, GitLab, and CircleCI and collaboration tools like Jira and Slack. And they can troubleshoot faster with correlated traces, metrics, and logs from Datadog’s APM integration that eliminate the need to switch between tools.

Pros of Datadog

Datadog’s pros include:

  • User interface
  • Solid visualization
  • Easy to start
  • Automations

Datadog’s user interface is modern and intuitive. The programmer tool offers solid visualization with its dashboards, and you can create no-code custom views with drag-and-drop widgets. Getting up and running with Datadog is simple, and it also excels in automating testing and other essential processes.

Cons of Datadog

Datadog’s cons include:

  • Limited documentation
  • Customer support
  • Pricing as you scale

A common Datadog gripe is that the developer tool’s documentation is insufficient and not helpful. This is made worse by Datadog’s customer support, which is also supposedly lacking. Depending on your monthly testing needs, the automation tool can be expensive.

Pricing of Datadog

Datadog has many pricing plans for its various solutions, such as infrastructure, log management, monitoring, workflow automation, etc. The developer tool’s continuous testing pricing is as follows:

  • API testing: Starting at $5 per 10,000 test runs, per month.
  • Browser testing: Starting at $12 per 1,000 test runs, per month.
  • Mobile app testing: Starting at $50 per 100 test runs, per month.
  • Parallel testing (add-on): Starting at $79 per parallelization, per month.

Datadog’s API testing plan lets you test API endpoints and workflows. Its browser testing lets you record tests without code and includes intelligent, self-healing tests, step-by-step screenshots, and error reporting. The mobile app testing lets you record tests without code and run tests on real iOS and Android devices. It includes intelligent, self-maintaining tasks and displays screenshots and front-end errors for every step. The parallel testing plan lets you run tests simultaneously across test environments and analyze tests across pipelines.


Selenium automation testing tool

Best for developers looking for an open-source tool to automate web application testing across multiple platforms and browsers.

Overall Rating: 4.3 out of 5

  • Pricing: 3.9 out of 5
  • Core Features: 4.4 out of 5
  • Customer Support: 3.25 out of 5
  • Ease of Use: 4.5 out of 5
  • Performance: 5 out of 5
  • User Reviews: 5 out of 5

Selenium is one of the top open-source frameworks for web testing automation. The software suite consists of Selenium IDE, Selenium Grid, and Selenium WebDriver. It offers multi-language and browser support, parallel and cross-browser execution, and integrations with CI/CD tools and testing frameworks.

Features of Selenium

Some of Selenium’s most noteworthy features include:

  • Multi-language support
  • Multi-browser compatibility
  • Cross-platform support
  • Multi-framework integration
  • WebDriver
  • Parallel test execution
  • Headless mode
  • Reporting

Selenium supports multiple programming languages and allows for web application testing across multiple browsers and operating systems. It also integrates with the top testing frameworks like JUnit and TestNG and has the Selenium WebDriver tool for browser automation.

Development teams can save time with Selenium’s parallel testing, and it has a headless mode for executing tests without a visible browser UI. You can integrate Selenium with reporting tools to get detailed reports and logs and leverage its large open-source community for support and resources.

Pros of Selenium

Some of the advantages that make Selenium one of the most widely-used testing automation tools include:

  • Open-source and free
  • Large community
  • Parallel testing
  • Flexibility

Selenium’s open-source nature makes it free to use, which is a major plus for developers with limited budgets. The automation tool’s large community offers added support and resources, and its parallel testing is a huge time saver for development teams looking to increase productivity. Selenium also offers flexibility by supporting multiple programming languages, platforms, and browsers.

Cons of Selenium

Some disadvantages of Selenium include:

  • Potential cost
  • Learning curve
  • Official support
  • Limited reporting

While Selenium is open source and free to use, the final cost of automated testing through the developer tool can skyrocket if you need to pay for setup and configuration of test frameworks, testers, etc. Its learning curve can be rather steep for users new to test automation. Such users may need technical support to get going. Unfortunately, since Selenium is open-source, they will have to rely on the community for answers versus a professional support staff. Another Selenium disadvantage is its lack of out-of-the-box reporting.

Pricing of Selenium

Selenium is an open-source framework that is free to use. However, as with other open-source software, you may incur costs when using Selenium for test automation. Depending on your software development team’s needs, you may have to pay for infrastructure like physical or virtual machines, subscriptions for cloud testing services, test script development and maintenance, integrating Selenium into your development/testing environment and your CI/CD pipeline, test environment setup/maintenance, reporting and test management, support and training, third-party tools, and plugins.


Appium Automation testing tool

Best for developers seeking an open-source and cross-platform solution to automate mobile application testing.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

  • Pricing: 3 out of 5
  • Core Features: 4.5 out of 5
  • Customer Support: 3.25 out of 5
  • Ease of Use: 4.25 out of 5
  • Performance: 4.25 out of 5
  • User Reviews: 5 out of 5

Appium is an open-source testing automation tool for mobile applications that supports multiple programming languages, cross-platform testing, and integrations with CI/CD tools and testing frameworks.

Features of Appium

Appium’s top features include:

  • Multiple language support
  • Cross-platform support
  • Testing framework integration
  • CI/CD integration
  • Testing environment flexibility
  • Parallel testing
  • Accessibility testing
  • Tracing and debugging
  • Extensibility

Appium supports multiple programming languages and platforms. The automation tool integrates with top testing frameworks and CI/CD pipelines, and you can use it to test mobile apps on various real devices, emulators, and simulators.

Appium’s parallel testing lets development teams run tests simultaneously on multiple devices to save time, while its accessibility testing ensures mobile apps function for users with disabilities. Appium also offers tracing and debugging to spot and troubleshoot issues and has a massive ecosystem with libraries, tools, and extensions for added functionality.

Pros of Appium

Appium’s strengths include:

  • Open-source
  • Flexibility
  • CI/CD integrations
  • Testing framework integrations

Perhaps Appium’s biggest strength is its open-source nature, which makes it free to use and ideal for those with limited budgets. The testing automation tool is flexible with its support for multiple platforms, programming languages, and real devices and emulators. Integration with CI/CD pipelines to automate testing is another plus, as is Appium’s integration with popular testing frameworks.

Cons of Appium

Appium weaknesses include:

  • Complex setup
  • User-friendliness
  • Technical support
  • Slow execution

Appium’s setup is rather complex and time-consuming since it requires coding. As such, beginners may not find it too user-friendly, with a steep learning curve that is hard to overcome. Should you need help working with Appium, the community support may seem underwhelming. Appium has also been noted for having slow test execution.

Pricing of Appium

Since Appium is an open-source automation framework, it is free to download and use. However, you will likely incur costs when using Appium to test mobile apps for infrastructure, integration and setup, test script development, cloud testing services, CI/CD tools, support and training, and so forth.

What to Look for in Automation Testing Software

To pick the right testing automation tool to fit your needs, you should clearly define your testing objectives and goals to see what tests you must automate. Next, you should ensure that the testing automation tool supports your preferred platforms, technologies, programming languages, and frameworks and is compatible with various operating systems and browsers. Look for reviews on user-friendliness and the user interface to minimize onboarding. Also, look at the vendor’s reputation and reviews on its community and support. Avoid developer tools that are no longer supported, as they will not be useful in the long term. Tools with frequent updates increase the chances of compatibility with the most modern technologies.

Cost and licensing are other important factors to consider. While some automation testing tools are open source and free, others charge a premium. As for features, keep an eye out for scripting and test creation (script readability/reusability, record and playback, etc.), test execution (parallel testing, headless testing, etc.), reporting, integration with CI/CD tools like GitLab CI/CD, Jenkins, Travis CI, etc., security, performance testing, and scalability.

Automated Testing Tool Feature Checklist:

  • Define testing objectives and goals
  • Check platform and framework support
  • Check programming language support
  • Read reviews on user-friendliness and user interface
  • Look at customer support options and community resources
  • Does the software get updated on a regular basis?
  • What is the cost and licensing fees? Do they fit your budget?
  • Does its features meet your needs?
  • Does it have reporting and advanced reporting features?
  • Does it facilitate collaboration?
  • Does it have third-party integrations with other developer tools?

How We Evaluated Automation Testing Tools

While evaluating the top automation testing tools, we began by creating six weighted categories containing important key sub criteria. That sub criteria was then used to assign scores (ranging from 1-5) to each automation testing software on our list, giving us a total score for each option. The top three tools with the highest overall score made our list.

Below is an explanation of our evaluation criteria and examples of sub criteria.

Pricing – 20%

Pricing is one of the most important elements when it comes to choosing an automation testing tool. Even Open Source options can be confusing and become pricey with their different options. For our Pricing criteria, we looked at sub criteria that included the following:

  • Free trial available and length of trial
  • Free to use?
  • Cost for additional features, including the range
  • Is the pricing difficult to understand and is it transparent on the vendor’s website
  • Is a demo available

Core Features – 25%

Core Features provided by an automation testing tool are particularly important, especially as developers often seek to limit the number of tools they need to switch between. In light of this, we looked at several sub criteria for our Core Features evaluation, including (but not limited to):

  • Language, browser, and platform support
  • Number of integrations with third-party tools
  • API and CI/CD support
  • Reporting and advanced reporting capabilities

Customer Support – 10%

Having someone to reach out to is vital when it comes to choosing any programmer tool. For our Customer Support criteria, we looked at the following support options to see if they were available and during what hours:

  • Phone, chat, and email
  • forums
  • Usergroups

Ease of Use – 20%

Having a tool that has a low learning curve and entry point helps software development teams test software more efficiently. Our Ease of Use criteria looked at the following sub criteria:

  • Difficulty to setup, configure, and maintain
  • Does the software offer advanced configurations
  • Is the user interface intuitive
  • Are there plenty of documentation and video learning resources

Performance – 15%

For our Performance criteria, we looked at the following sub criteria:

  • Speed
  • Reliability
  • Reported bugs
  • Frequency of updates

User Reviews – 10%

Finally, to fully evaluate the automation testing platforms on our list, we looked at other user reviews to see how other users across a myriad of backgrounds viewed our options. Since individual reviews are highly subjective, we ranked this criteria of the lowest importance on our list, but still felt it deserved consideration as peer opinions are still valuable.

Final Thoughts on Automation Testing Tools

The testing automation tools listed above are some of the best on the market. Before choosing an automation tool, make sure it fits your software development team’s needs in terms of pricing, user-friendliness, and features.

Read: 10 Must Have Software Development Tools

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