Test Tools

What are test tools?

There are lots of different types of test tools, each with its own purpose. We can classify test tools by stating the testing activities they support:

Test tools per activity

The use of any test tools is aimed to produce an effect. Test execution tools accelerate test execution, so the primary effect is saving time. There is a choice in the derived effects: either reducing test execution time, increasing coverage in the same test execution time, or increasing the number of times the tests are executed. The exception in this category of test tools is a performance test tool, whose primary effect is the ability to execute a performance test; the derived effect is insight in performance and stability.

In the same way that test control tools have the primary effects of quality and progress control, test design tools save time, and test environment tools enable control over the preconditions to execute tests.

People Involved

The people involved in using test tools are test tool engineers, testers and developers who configure the tools and automate activities. The test tools in the Control category produce progress and quality reporting, that is intended for all stakeholders, be it business people or IT staff.


The artifacts of test tools differ strongly per type of test tool, but can be summarized as all types of testware:

  • Test Cases
  • Tool scripts
  • Test data
  • Test Results
  • Defects

Success Factors

The right test tool that has a technical fit with the application under test and meets other non-technical criteria like ease-of-use and maintainability
Knowledge & Skills of the test tool users for implementing, maintaining and using them
Test tool usage becoming an integrated part of the application life-cycle: it should be self-evident to use them.