Is Open Source Right for you When Shifting Left?

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Over the years, open source tools have become more prevalent than ever before. With new open source tools for testing in the market, it has become evident that no industry is immune to market disruption, including the software development and testing space.

QA managers are increasingly asking themselves if they should leverage open source tools and validating commercial tools against free, community-based open source options. Although the technical functionality may address the same user needs, it is important to understand the differences between open source and commercial tooling. There are advantages for both open source and commercial tools, but this will help you identify the benefits and drawbacks for your organizations’ needs with a focus on Selenium and TestLeft.

Benefits of Open Source Tooling

  1. ‚ÄčFree - Let’s be honest, free is an amazing four-letter word. One of the challenges developers and organizations face when they first get started is capital. Sometimes people can’t afford commercial tools right in the beginning, or they can’t justify the cost of commercial tools if they’re a freelance developer. With open source, there are automation tools such as Selenium can be downloaded for free.
  2. Multi Language - Selenium is robust in the sense that it supports a range of languages including Java, Perl, Python, C#, Ruby, Groovy, Java Script. This allows different kinds of developers to use this tool without having to learn a new language, and it can be easily adapted.
  3. Multi-Platform Support - Selenium can operate and support multiple operating systems and browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc. This variety allows you to be adaptable, and not confined to one platform.
  4. Reusability & Integrations - Well-crafted Selenium scripts can be used with other testing tools to ensure maximum test coverage. Concurrently, it is possible to execute multiple tests with Selenium, as it covers almost all aspects of functional testing by implementing add-on tools that broaden the scope of testing. If done right, this can save you time by not having to re-write scripts.

Drawbacks of Open Source

  1. Speed - With most open-source tools, a lot of your testing is manual. Each step takes time because you need to install web drivers or libraries. With a commercial tool such as TestLeft, you’re paying for ease of use and speed – which can result in cost savings in the future. TestLeft has built in object repositories with classes and methods that allows you to quickly and easily build stable tests, project and test templates that make it easier for you to create and run functional tests and test logs of prior test runs to quickly debug issues or share results.
  2. Scalability - Open Source tools such as Selenium requires careful designing of well-crafted tests and an architectural background planned ahead of time to truly scale with success. This might work in the beginning, but as your tests get larger and more complex, you won’t have the bandwidth or time to maintain each test.
  3. Costs - How can open source tools have a cost? We literally just talked about how open-source tools were free. Although the tool itself might not cost you anything, but there are usually additional costs occur from 3rd party integrations for basic needs such as extendibility, debugging, reporting and training.
  4. Reliability - If you get stuck there is no one to help you. If there is a bug, you have to fix it yourself or wait for someone to come up with the fix for a bug. But that can take time – time you might not have to waste on troubleshooting or having to start from scratch.

Open Source tools like Selenium are great to get started, but not for scale. Commercial tools such as TestLeft can take your testing to another level. With TestLeft, a UI Test Automation Tool, you can generate tests faster in your IDE with our UI Object Spy, accelerate your Shift Left movement with Behavior Driven Development, and test within your own DevOps Ecosystem.

Learn more about TestLeft and how it can help you here, and if you want to shift left now, download the free 30-day trial.


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