I am a big fan of test automation. As a consultant I’ve worked with a number of them, open source and those provided by vendors. These days, I’m an open source tool guy. Why? Because of the price! Vendor tools are OK, but from my perspective, rarely worth the money. I have my favorite set of tools for various phases of the test process.
For testing the back end or middle tier business logic I prefer Fitnesse. It’s relatively easy to use, fully capable (although there could sill be improvements) for testing services such as REST and Web services. There are a number of publicly available fixtures such as the REST fixture or you can develop custom fixtures if needed. It’s pretty versatile.
For UI testing (Web Apps) my tool of choice in Selenium Web Driver. There is a Selenium IDE with rudimentary record and playback. I never use the IDE. No I prefer writing Java tests via Web Driver. OK you need some coding skills for this one, but nothing heavy. Using Web Driver, Selenium is very powerful.
When it comes to load and performance testing, my tool of choice is JMeter. Yeah, I know, JMeter is capable of doing functional testing. But it’s primarily a load/performance testing tool. A task it does extremely well. Some what limited functional testing capbilities. It’s kinda like using vise grips to remove a screw. Will it work? Sure. Is it pretty? Not so much.
I’m currently looking into Cucumber. It’s definitely getting a lot of talk lately. The installation process is a bit challenging, which is really turning me off. To be honest, I’m about to throw up my hands with Cucumber. But I’m trying to keep an open mind.