6 Best Codeless Test Automation Tools: Features, Advantages, and Their USPs


Manual testing can take up weeks or even months of your development schedule, and not every tester has the programming skills needed to automate testing. Organizations can address this by using codeless test automation tools that help save time, cost, and resources. Here are some of the best test automation tools available in the market in 2021, including some open-source ones. 

As release cycles get shorter and dev teams are under pressure to take new features to market quickly, test automation is no longer an option. ResearchOpens a new window suggests that leading companies earmark more than 10% of their budgets for test automation, and over half are looking to automate 50-75% of test cases. One of the key areas of opportunity and improvement is codeless test automation – it would allow non-technical resources and teams without dedicated testers to speed up QA and accelerate release schedules. 

How Does Codeless Test Automation Work?

Codeless test automation eliminates the need to create and maintain automation scripts from scratch. Traditional automation tools are built for programmers, requiring some level of coding – or at least code manipulation – to execute various steps of QA. There’s no GUI interface, and testers must spend several hours on each test scenario, which also has to be crafted manually. Further, the execution environment for traditional test automation is code-based, as is the maintenance process. 

Codeless test automation tools replace these with intuitive, GUI-based test solutions. There is a visual Ui workflow that can be used by anyone, even without advanced programming skills. The automation can be scaled across different environments, and some tools even let you reuse testing steps for a different use case. According to researchOpens a new window , over 56% of companies are looking to invest in codeless test automation in 2021 to achieve the following benefits: 

  • Better test coverage (54.7%) 
  • Faster test automation maturity (47.6%) 
  • Cost savings (43.9%)
  • Resource optimization towards other work (39.6%)

One of the key reasons why some organizations are yet to develop a codeless test automation strategy is that nearly 1 in 5 companies feel it is too expensive to buy automation tools. Fortunately, several affordable and open-source test automation tools are available in the market to help you get started in 2021. 

Learn More: The 5 Most Surprising Skills for Test Automation Professionals

The 6 Best Codeless Test Automation Tools to Try in 2021

The following codeless test automation tools cover a wide spectrum of use cases across mobile app testing, web app testing, and CI/CD, with an option at every price point. Here are our recommendations listed in alphabetical order: 

1. ApplauseOpens a new window  

General overview – Applause Codeless Automation (ACA) is a codeless test automation solution that was launched earlier this month. It is among the first enterprise-grade SaaS solutions in this segment. 

Key features: 

  • Support for mobile and web test use cases 
  • Integrates with a device cloud to execute test scripts 
  • Data from the bug tracking system is exported to document test failures 
  • Compatible with Appium and Selenium frameworks 
  • Optional integrations with the Applause Product Excellence Platformâ„¢

USP – ACA is easy to use, as it automatically records user actions to translate the session into an automation script – adapting to business and technical users alike. 

Advantages – Unlike most codeless automation tools, ACA can be deployed as a SaaS platform, which eliminates any risk of vendor/platform lock-in. 2

2. Katalon StudioOpens a new window

General overview – Katalon is widely known as a robust, all-in-one codeless test automation tool that’s used by large enterprises like Samsung, Deloitte, Unilever, and Verizon. 

Key features: 

  • Integrates with your CICD pipeline 
  • Supports all environments, devices, browsers, clouds, and local infrastructures 
  • Pre-built solutions for API testing and desktop testing 
  • Out-of-the-box Jira integration
  • The option to configure code-based scripts 

USP – Katalon is an end-to-end solution, automating processes across test case generation, testing execution, and orchestration via TestOps. 

Advantages – There is a free version you can use with open-source support as well as enterprise solutions that include AI/ML and on-premise hosting. 

Learn More: Automated Testing Vs Test Automation – Clearing the Cloud of Confusion

3. Selenium IDEOpens a new window

General overview – Selenium is a popular web application test automation framework and Selenium IDE builds on this by adding codeless capabilities. 

Key features: 

  • Easy cross-browser testing through the Selenium SIDE runner
  • Test scripts stored as JSON files
  • Uses multiple locators for each element to minimize maintenance efforts 
  • A wide range of plug-ins or extensions 
  • Chrome and Firefox ready 

USP – Selenium IDE is incredibly easy to implement, requiring no additional setup besides installing a browser extension. 

Advantages – Selenium IDE is fully open-source with a GitHub, Slack, and Google Community, while giving you impressive test automation controls. 

4. SikuliOpens a new window

General overview – Sikuli is an open-source project, applying image recognition techniques to optimize UI test automation. 

Key features: 

  • Useful for testing non-technical GUI elements 
  • Records images at pixel level 
  • Support for a variety of devices 
  • Integrates with Selenium and other test automation frameworks 
  • Support for flash-object automation 

USP – Sikuli is among the few codeless test automation tools out there that can be used for testing user interfaces and non-functional features. 

Advantages – Sikuli is a fully open-source tool purpose-built for desktop environments. It is highly recommended for testers operating in a Java environment. 

Learn More: 3 Software Testing Trends To Watch Out for in 2021

5. TestProjectOpens a new window

General overview – TestProject is a free end-to-end test automation platform powered by the codeless testing company, Tricentis, as part of its open-source contributions. 

Key features: 

  • Multiple deployment options (on-premise, hybrid cloud, and TestProject cloud) 
  • Mobile, web, and CI/CD testing 
  • Built-in AI services 
  • Remote test execution 
  • Cross-platform trying, including containers 

USP – TestProject is one of the rare open-source tools to provide AI capabilities, not to mention remote execution and team collaboration on the same platform. 

Advantages – The solution is backed by Tricentis’ years of domain expertise. It is an excellent choice for mid-sized-to-large teams, requiring collaboration capabilities in addition to bare-bones test optimization. 

6. TestCompleteOpens a new window

General overview – TestComplete is compatible with 1500+ real-world test environments, enabling an impressive degree of scalability. It also has object recognition for UI testing automation. 

Key features: 

  • AI-powered GUI testing 
  • Flexibility to create scripted or scriptless test cases 
  • 500+ controls and an intelligent object repository
  • Supports all desktop apps including .Net, Java, WPF, and Windows 10
  • Integrates with all major CICD tools 

USP – TestComplete uses AI and object recognition, along with prebuilt test elements, to give you a ready-to-use codeless testing solution out of the box. 

Advantages – TestComplete is ideal for enterprise users owing to its slightly higher price point (perpetual license) and its feature-rich functionalities – including keyword-driven tests, automated reporting, and more. 

Considerations for Implementation

As web, mobile, and desktop applications become central to every kind of industry workflow, Dev teams are under pressure to increase their delivery speeds. Codeless test automation is essential for democratizing the process, allowing testers who may not be expert coders to perform at their best. It also lets business users contribute and free up resources for more complex development tasks. But one must also remember the potential drawbacks of codeless – for now, pure-play codeless automation tools are limited to basic APIs, and may not incorporate complex use cases or user stories. 

Codeless testing automation should serve as your starting line towards overall testing maturity, augmented and aided by the Dev team and manual coding as required. 

Are you looking to adopt codeless test automation tools in 2021? Comment below or tell us on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window . We would love to hear from you.