Let’s begin by reviewing the history of automation testing tools. Personally, my introduction to automation testing was through Quick Test Pro, now known as Unified Functional Testing (UFT). This tool offered a convenient “Record and Playback” feature and a user-friendly interface, making it accessible for testers with limited technical expertise to create automation tests effortlessly. Additionally, it provided the flexibility to write code, although this functionality was typically employed for extending and modifying existing features.
Following that, Selenium WebDriver emerged as an independent code library, ushering in the era of coded solutions for test automation. With Selenium WebDriver, testers gained the ability to construct diverse automation frameworks using different programming languages like C#, Java, Python, and more. However, while Selenium remains a potent and cost-free option for testing web applications, building tests from scratch with it can be time-consuming, and the maintenance costs are considerable. Moreover, it demands testers with a stronger technical background.
Consequently, some companies seek an automation tool that allows everyone to create automation tests with ease.
Low-code or codeless automation tools have made a comeback, reintroducing legacy features like “Record and Playback” and a user-friendly interface, while also incorporating new functionalities such as self-healing capabilities driven by Artificial Intelligence in the backend.
So, let’s take a deeper into the advantages and capabilities of both coded and codeless tools, examining how they can be effectively utilized.
Codeless Automation Testing Tools
Codeless automation testing tools enable testers to perform application testing without the need to write any code or scripts. These tools typically offer a user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI), allowing testers to create automation test cases by either recording the test steps or utilizing a drag-and-drop feature to easily select UI elements and define the flow for a test case.
- Create the tests quickly and easily.
- Don’t need to build framework.
- Don’t need to know the programming languages.
- Complete feature set and integrations: create tests, run test, generate report and CI/CD integration.
- Have technical support: The majority of codeless automation testing tools are available as commercial products. In the event that we encounter difficulties or require assistance, we can reach out to their dedicated support center for guidance and support.
- If these tools encounter a bug, we must wait for a fix beyond our control.
- To test unsupported features, we must rely on the support team’s response and wait for their assistance.
- Limited community support is available due to the commercial nature of these tools, making the support center the primary source of help.
- Pricing can be steep, particularly as many tools charge based on the number of test runs, resulting in higher costs for extensive testing.
- Certain tools restrict the execution of tests on external tools or integrated development environments (IDEs).
- Test creations may be deleted if we discontinue payment for these tools.
Coded Automation Testing Tools
Coded automation testing tools refer to software tools or frameworks that require testers to write code or scripts to create and execute automation tests such as Selenium, Cypress, Playwright,…
- Using the programming skills to fix the framework’s issues.
- Decide which features should be in our framework.
- Custom the report for any specific purpose.
- Extend the framework to more flexible and expanse the scope. For example: the Framework is developed for test the web application test at the beginning. Later on, we extend the framework to test the mobile applications.
- Most of these tools are free and open source.
- We can use source control such as GitHub, Gitlab or Bitbucket to store our test cases.
- If we don’t use these tools anymore, we can keep our existed test cases or test scripts as well as our framework.
- Utilize programming skills to address framework issues.
- Determine the desired features to incorporate into our framework.
- Customize reports to meet specific requirements.
- Expand the framework’s capabilities and flexibility. For example, starting with web application testing and later extending it to include mobile application testing.
- Many of these tools are freely available as open-source software.
- Utilize source control platforms like GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket to store test cases.
- Retain existing test cases, scripts, and frameworks even if we no longer use these tools.
- Have a large community support.
- Development of a stable framework requires a significant time investment.
- Technical expertise is essential for successful implementation.
- Integration with CI/CD pipelines must be handled independently.
- Framework maintenance can be challenging and demanding.
- Finally in the next section, we will make a quick comparison between Coded and Codeless Automation Solutions.
Coded vs Codeless Automation Comparison
|Factors||Coded Automation Tool||Codeless Automation Tool|
|Required Programming Skills||YES||No or a Little|
|Productivity||Depending on programming skills.||Fast.|
|Flexible||YES||Limited (Depend on supported Tools)|
|License||Many open source (free)||Licensed or need a subscription plan. Some tools are open source.|
|Community Support||Large||Need support from Tools’ support center.|
|Data Retention||Can keep our existing test scripts.||Some tools will clean up test scripts after the subscription expires.|
I hope this information helps you in deciding which solution is best suited for your project. The choice between coded and codeless automation tools depends on the specific situation and objectives. If you prioritize full control over your tests and framework, the coded automation tool is the recommended option. On the other hand, if you aim to accelerate framework development and test writing to enhance test coverage, or if you want to enable the entire team to create automation tests, the codeless automation tool is a favorable choice.