We will share in this article a state of the art in the test automation field, specifically with the low code approach. We want to help you select the best tool for your context, offering a centralized place with information about the different options on the market.
It’s kind of difficult to distinguish if this is another marketing-created buzzword in the software development world. In the literature (blogs, websites, tech journals) I observe how different terms are used for the same idea, including “low code”, “no code”, “codeless”, “scriptless”, and probably I’m missing some.
Basically, “low code” refers to an alternative approach to traditional software development. Instead of defining the expected behavior of the system in code, it tends to be more visual and use little or no code at all.
As I see it, we are increasing the level of abstraction of the language we use to express to machines what to do. We started programming circuits, strings with 0’s and 1’s, assembler instructions, and then different languages providing more and more abstraction layers. Each layer is removing complexity, closing the gap between the human and the machine. The flip side is that the abstraction also has a cost, typically associated with performance or flexibility, but it typically makes sense to pay that cost in terms of productivity and results.
We could say that low code is another abstraction layer on the top, and we are also seeing how we can benefit from this approach for test automation.
Low code platforms for test automation aim to simplify the test automation with functionality that doesn’t require the user to write almost any code. You will have a recorder that will let you create test cases easily, and edit them with a simple interface, without requiring coding skills.
In the last few years, new low code solutions for test automation have been spinning up. There is an interesting cycle: more entrepreneurs are trying to build this type of tool, more investors are supporting them, the testing community adopts the tools and provides feedback. These are a few signs that it’s an interesting approach for test automation to follow.
Today we are releasing the first draft of our research, just with the list of tools, as another step toward discovering blind spots and getting early feedback.
The next steps are:
- Describe the details of our research method.
- Add more information about each tool, highlighting the main characteristics.
- Analyze results and give our perspective and conclusions.
- We included only test automation tools for web and mobile.
- For now, we excluded tools that are specific for a certain platform such as Salesforce or GeneXus (that’s why you won’t find Provar or GXtest in the list).
- We are trying to exclude those tools that don’t provide enough information to evaluate them, and will continue filtering the list as we progress through the research.
Asking for feedback
If you know a test automation tool with a low code approach that is not included in the list according to the criteria we followed, please let us know and we will review it, add it to the list if it corresponds, and also we will try to understand why we didn’t find it in our search.
I want to thank Danny Gutiérrez, who performed most of the research, also with the help of Andrea González, Leticia Martínez and Lucía González.
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