In software testing, test automation is the use of special software (separate from the software being tested) to control the execution of tests and the comparison of actual outcomes with predicted outcomes.[1] Test automation can automate some repetitive but necessary tasks in a formalized testing process already in place, or perform additional testing that would be difficult to do manually. Test automation is critical for continuous delivery and continuous testing.
When it comes to running a small business, having the right tool for the job can make a huge difference in both your workday and your business performance. That’s why now is a great time to be an entrepreneur — you still need to wear a lot of hats, but there have never been more business tools available to help you fit into those hats a little better.
Choosing the framework for your project comes down to deciding what guidelines will produce the desired results of the automated tests. Often, developers end up designing a custom framework. This requires experienced testers and dedication to planning for the changes that may arise while implementing the automated testing. In some cases, an existing automation tool already has the functionality necessary to achieve the desired result of automated tests.  
Test automation helps in reducing regression testing time and cutting down the time to market with significant cost savings on a long-term basis. However, a clear automation strategy and roadmap are key to ensuring the right return on investment on your automation initiatives. With disparate application architecture, multiple environments, third-party integrations and multiple user devices, a standardized and consistent automation approach is needed to ensure high reusability, ease of maintenance and lower upfront costs.

Quickbooks has been around forever, and for good reason. The tool scales quickly from individual freelancers to small businesses to multinational enterprises, and offers lots of great business add-ons like payroll and payroll tax preparations. The most basic plans track payments, expenses, and invoices with a full reporting suite that gives small businesses deep insight into where their money comes from and goes to.
Making the decision to purchase software can feel overwhelming for many small businesses just getting their feet under them. It’s scary to sign on to a $100 per month subscription when the ROI isn’t immediately apparent. But as technology has progressed over the past several years, sophisticated business technology has become affordable for even the smallest companies. Small business software is more accessible than ever. 
However, as businesses grow, they’ll likely need to implement more controls over their business processes and better alignment between information and operational technologies. At this stage, they should consider investing in business process management software to help them standardize processes and workflows for multiple departments and improve operational performance. (Not to be confused with general "business managment" software, "business process management" software carries a more specific definition and set of technical requirements. Follow the link above to read our buyer's guide and learn more.)
QuickBooks can come up with reports on a business’ profits and losses, with a few clicks from users, allowing them to stay on top of their game. 24/7 premium support is also provided by competent personnel while adoption of high security standards help protect information. Upgrades are always available at no extra charge and can be availed easily. To make the product even better, the vendor has introduced smart search filters and automated reporting.
Another common misconception about automated testing is that it undermines human interaction. In all honesty, automated testing is more clear-cut and faster than what humans could do without suffering extensive human errors, so this misconception is understandable. That said, products like TestComplete are designed to facilitate a collaborative approach by including features that allow co-workers to go through a piece of test coding and comment on the script.
A cloud-based solution provided over Appium’s open-source system, Kobiton allows you to use real phones using its awesome feature. You can perform both mobile app testing and mobile web test runs, and flit between manual and automated options – so you can always go back to the old-fashioned hands-on method if you feel the urge. You can also build your own customised test cloud using Kobiton’s Device Lab Management feature.
Sikuli is based on image recognition and has the capability of automating anything that we see on the screen. Currently, it supports desktop apps only which run on Windows, Mac or Unix/Linux. This tool is good at reproducing bugs quickly and its users have reported it to be very useful as compared other tools when you are going to automate an application which is not web-based.
Xero is an accounting software that is largely known for having revolutionized accounting. Developed to provide the best user experience possible, the solution is easy to use, making tough accounting tasks like double bookkeeping simple even for first time users. For those who require a bookkeeper, the vendor offers certified advisors who are more than willing to assist them. The platform has gained traction in countries like the UK, US, Australia and Europe. It comes with integrations with known third-party applications and accounting tools and the software’s Express Setup feature makes set up a breeze. You can maximize the product’s potential with the assistance of its help center.
With accounting software, these tasks were automated and costs and human errors were remarkably reduced, making them indispensable tools for just about any type and size of business. What’s very interesting is that accounting platforms are now being used even by small businesses. These startups often need the basic functionalities that most of these platforms share.
The increased demand for automation is trending in our software testing industry, as well. If you check out any software or application testing communities (i.e., uTest, Quora, etc.), you will find software testers urging for various tools that can be helpful in their day to day testing activities, whether it is for desktop testing, web testing, browser testing, regression testing, web services and API testing, and many more.
Selenium is perhaps the most popular automation framework that consists of many tools and plugins for Web application testing. Selenium is known for its powerful capability to support performance testing of Web applications. Selenium is a popular choice in the open-source test automation space, partly due to its large and active development and user community.
Unique on this list, the Galen Framework is designed for those who want to automate their user experience testing. Galen is a niche, specific tool that can be used to verify that your product is going to appear as it should on most platforms. Once testing has been completed, Galen can create detailed reports, including screenshots, and can help developers and designers analyze the appearance of their application over a multitude of environments. Galen can perform additional automated tasks using JavaScript, Java, or the Galen Syntax.
While automation saves you a lot of time, it still takes time. You can't run all your tests all the time. It takes too long and would generate an unmanageable analysis and maintenance effort. In my group, we've taken both manual and automation testing to three levels: sanity, end-to-end, and full. In addition to our feature tests, on every code commit, we run a set of high level, cross-feature tests to make sure that a code change in one feature hasn't broken another one. Only then do we run a set of more extended tests specific to the feature for which the code was committed. Then, we run our suite of feature-level sanity tests on our continuous delivery environment every three hours to make sure all features are in good shape. We only do this on one browser though, because we've found that if a test fails, it doesn't usually depend on the browser. Finally, we run feature end-to-end testing on our nightly environment.
You’ll still get a few other features besides, such as expense tracking and an “It’s Deductible” feature that can help you out all year long, making tax time that much easier. And the “SmartLook” feature enables you to talk to a tax expert in real time if you run into a problem. When you grant the expert access, he’s able to see exactly what you see on your monitor so he can provide guidance.
Test automation eases this burden by automating the tracking and managing of all those testing needs, including how much of the system different tests cover and what other types of testing might be required to cover all the moving parts. In doing so, test automation goes a long way toward helping ensure that teams maintain a high standard of quality at all points along the pipeline. Additionally, it allows testers to focus more time and effort on creating effective test cases to ensure the quality of the software since they’re no longer bogged down in managing all the minutia of testing needs.
You try to enter random data in this form which took around 20 minutes. Then you press submit. Wolla!! An error message is shown which looks like an unhandled exception. You become very happy. You proudly note down the steps and report the bug in your bug management system. Great effort, you feel really confident and energetic. You continue the testing until the day ends and find some more bugs. “Amazing first day”, you thought.
Every software project takes time before its requirements and design stabilize. A classic comparison is between the UI that can change at any time in an application's lifecycle and back-end services that may live untouched for generations. Agile projects behave differently from waterfall in this respect. If you're developing a SaaS product, you must use automation to support frequent deliveries, but you'll have to carefully consider the effort you invest in developing tests because your requirements may also change frequently. This a fine balance you'll have to learn to work with. For an on-premise solution, it may be easier to identify the stage in which automation tests can be safely developed and maintained. For all these cases, you have to carefully consider when it's cost-effective to develop automated tests. If you start from day one, you'll expend a lot of resources shooting at a moving target.
To find the best accounting software for small businesses, we began by asking business owners which accounting software they use, what they love about it and what they think makes it a "perfect" accounting application. We also researched popular accounting software that frequently appeared on reputable review websites, top lists and business websites.

The Internet can be a big, bad, scary place because of all the viruses and malware that are out there. The last thing any small business owner wants is for their work computer, tablet and/or smartphone to be infected by a malicious program that’ll set back the smooth running of their operations. These security and anti-virus apps give small businesses protection and peace of mind.
This article features the most useful, best small business software tools that are integral to your success and easy to learn and install. We provide a curated selection of the best online small business software, from accounting, to project and email management, document storage, security software and more. This way you can get your small business running smoothly. 

You need collaboration and extensive automation to achieve Continuous Delivery. According to Fowler, the rewards of doing so successfully include reduced risk, believable progress, and user feedback. Continuous Delivery is an important method in Agile development. It helps remove obstacles that prevent the frequent deployment of features. Automation testing is a fundamental part of the continuous development practice associated with Agile.  
Test automation eases this burden by automating the tracking and managing of all those testing needs, including how much of the system different tests cover and what other types of testing might be required to cover all the moving parts. In doing so, test automation goes a long way toward helping ensure that teams maintain a high standard of quality at all points along the pipeline. Additionally, it allows testers to focus more time and effort on creating effective test cases to ensure the quality of the software since they’re no longer bogged down in managing all the minutia of testing needs.
“If you need a framework to test web services, you may use a different set of tools within a framework,” says Jones. “You should be able to combine tools within a framework in a way that allows you to test, so you are not limited to just UI, integration, or web-services testing. Build your framework in a way that supports a range of testing goals.”

We should be clear that automation can reduce testing time only for certain types of tests. Automating all the tests without any plan or sequence will lead to massive scripts which are heavy maintenance, fail often and need a lot of manual intervention too. Also, in constantly evolving products automation scripts may go obsolete and need some constant checks.

Building on these early successes with IBM, Hewlett-Packard and other early suppliers of business software solutions, corporate consumers demanded business software to replace the old-fashioned drafting board. CAD-CAM software (or computer-aided drafting for computer-aided manufacturing) arrived in the early 1980s. Also, project management software was so valued in the early 1980s that it might cost as much as $500,000 per copy (although such software typically had far fewer capabilities than modern project management software such as Microsoft Project, which one might purchase today for under $500 per copy.)


At present things may look simple and clean as both side setups are being done and all is fine. We have seen on numerous occasions that when a project enters the maintenance phase the project is moved to another team, and they end up debugging such scripts where the actual test is very simple but the script fails due to a 3rd party software problem.

GitHub’s major competitor is Bitbucket, an Atlassian product that has deep integrations with JIRA, Confluence, and Trello. For up to 10 users, Bitbucket is cheaper. When you hit 10+, it’s more expensive but may work out as cheaper for large enterprises. Also, if your company is looking to spark interest in the open source community, there’s no bigger audience than GitHub’s.
It’s still very much a product in development, we’re happy to admit that. It’s not available for web, Windows or Apple’s tvOS as yet. But we’re proud of the functionality it offers mobile development teams. Bugfender is specifically designed to confront the problems we see on a daily basis as developers – most notably Android fragmentation, the exponential proliferation of new devices which means we now have to consider thousands of different smartphones when designing our apps and websites.
As we can see, each of these automation tools has unique features to offer in addressing the growing challenges of software automation in the years ahead. Most provide capabilities for continuous testing and integration, test managementing, and reporting. They all support increasing automation needs for Web and Mobile testing. However, intelligent testing and smart analytics for adaptive and heterogeneous environments are still something to be desired for automation tools.
Sufficient test coverage typically demands significant effort. Hundreds of test cases may be needed to exercise all use scenarios, validate boundary and edge cases, and ensure that an application is compatible across browsers and devices. Data-driven automated testing separates test procedures from test data, allowing you to cover more scenarios with a minimum amount of effort. Easily repeat test cases across browsers or devices to ensure your application’s compatibility and consistent performance.
Both keyword-driven and data-driven, TestComplete is a well-designed and highly functional commercial automated testing tool. TestComplete can be used for mobile, desktop, and web software testing, and offers some advanced features such as the ability to recognize objects, detect and update UI objects, and record and playback tasks. TestComplete can be integrated with Jenkins.
Sage 50cloud is an online accounting solution designed to help small and medium-sized businesses manage their financials and stay compliant with taxes and reporting requirements. It comes with all essential features expected of a best-in-class accounting platform such as taxes, inventory, budgeting, cash flow, and invoicing. In addition, you get a wide range of add-ons including credit card processing, HR/payroll, POS, e-commerce, data management and more.  With its mobile capability, you can make payments on-the-go and bill customers, and provide your accountants real-time access to accounting books. You can easily sign up for a Sage 50cloud free trial here and get to know the features firsthand at no cost and without commitment.
Need customized invoicing software for your freelance or other small business? Hiveage allows you create estimates and quotes, then convert them to invoices after client acceptance. The software tracks time, expenses and mileage. It also allows you to accept online payments, including recurring payments such as subscriptions. All plans support unlimited clients and invoices. hiveage.com
Built for small businesses to enterprises, EasyForm Expense Management provides users with an easy way to control, track, and manage their expenditures to enhance their bottom line. This online expense tracking and management solution paints a clear picture on all expenses through complete visibility on expense records and various reporting tools, such as category and split reports.
Alan Page is an author with more than two decades of experience in software testing roles, the majority spent in various roles at Microsoft. He offers another perspective on the importance of distinguishing automated and manual testing. In “The A Word,” an ebook compilation of his blog posts on automation, Page mentions that most of his commentary on automation focuses on the “abuse and misuse” of automation in software testing and development. He is skeptical of replacing manual testing activity with test automation, as you can see from the his Twitter feed:
At some point, someone may want to change the way the code works. Some operation you call a hundred times suddenly requires that the users fill out a captcha or click a button before they can proceed, and all of the automation breaks. Fixing it requires a great deal of searching and replacing, and that could take days, while the programmers continue to move further and further ahead of you. Once this happens a few times, the test process becomes messy and expensive, and fails to deliver much value.
You try to enter random data in this form which took around 20 minutes. Then you press submit. Wolla!! An error message is shown which looks like an unhandled exception. You become very happy. You proudly note down the steps and report the bug in your bug management system. Great effort, you feel really confident and energetic. You continue the testing until the day ends and find some more bugs. “Amazing first day”, you thought.
AccountEdge Pro does more than accounting. It features DIY or outsourced payroll services so you can link accounting to payroll, pay your employees (including direct deposit), track time and prepare payroll taxes. Retailers will also enjoy its inventory-management suite, which integrates with the popular ecommerce platform Shopify. AccountEdge Pro is available on Mac and Windows. Mobile and cloud companion apps are also available. accountedge.com/pro

There are various tools that help software teams build and execute automated tests. Many teams are actively using unit tests as part of their development efforts to verify critical parts of their projects such as libraries, models and methods. Historically, testing user interfaces of desktop-based applications via automated tests have been more challenging, and currently available tools for this are usually commercial and quite expensive.
QA professionals know that UI testing is essential to a comprehensive test strategy, because it provides critical feedback from the user’s perspective. But this requires significant effort: validating visual details like images, colors, and fonts as well as every aspect of the application’s functional behavior — including its controls, navigation, error messages, data entry handling, and more. Comprehensive GUI testing is time-consuming and expensive, especially when tests must be repeated as part of a regression suite or for cross-browser/cross-device compatibility. Automated tests save time and costs by executing in a fraction of the time required for manual testing. Test automation conserves system resources by running overnight and in parallel, across multiple browsers and platforms. Automation also frees test personnel from routine tests so that they can focus on more challenging and exploratory testing.  The improved test coverage possible with test automation creates confidence that an application is ready for release with the quality that users demand.
When we talk about continuous testing, and with it continuous delivery and DevOps, the term automation gets thrown around a lot. In a basic sense, we all understand what automation means — the use of some technology to complete a task. But when we talk about automation in terms of continuous testing, there are some nuances that we need to take into account.
TestComplete by SmartBear is a powerful commercial testing tool for web, mobile, and desktop testing. TestComplete supports various scripting languages such as JavaScript, VBScript, Python, and C++Script. Like Katalon Studio, testers can perform keyword-driven and data-driven testing with TestComplete. The tool also offers an easy-to-use record and playback feature.
The platform offers unlimited payroll runs for W-2 workers and 1099 contract workers. You can pay workers using check or via direct deposit, for which you must pass a risk assessment. OnPay handles all your payroll tax needs. It can compute state and federal payroll taxes, manage filing of tax forms, withholding and tax payments. What makes it even better is that the vendor guarantees accuracy by taking responsibility for any tax filing errors committed by the product.

It is exactly SMB-friendly accounting systems that invest the most in efficient billing & invoicing technology, as larger companies are usually looking at tools they can integrate with their bank service providers, and handle payments from their original accounts. The challenge is, as you noticed, to get a standalone and restrictions-free product, or at least one where you don’t have to pay recurring fees each time you cross a predetermined limit.
If the latter is the type of business management software you’re interested in, inquire about the integration capabilities with the vendor. It’s important that any stand-alone applications or other software currently in use at your company will integrate with your business management platform. This way, you can ensure seamless data transfer between systems, offering you greater oversight and control over operations.
Watir which is pronounced as water is another tool (Ruby libraries) to automate web browsers. Ruby enables connection to databases, reads files, export XML, etc., and also structures your code as reusable libraries. And moreover, it is an open source library, which gives you the flexibility of automation. Watir lets you write tests that are easy to maintain and flexible.
Jones recommends flexible automation frameworks and cautions against using a framework limited to only UI testing, for example. Some test teams build their frameworks from scratch to satisfy the desired result of the test automation code and activities. According to Jones, most test automation initiatives fail due to the poor design of the test automation framework architecture for that project.
It is exactly SMB-friendly accounting systems that invest the most in efficient billing & invoicing technology, as larger companies are usually looking at tools they can integrate with their bank service providers, and handle payments from their original accounts. The challenge is, as you noticed, to get a standalone and restrictions-free product, or at least one where you don’t have to pay recurring fees each time you cross a predetermined limit.

The platform offers unlimited payroll runs for W-2 workers and 1099 contract workers. You can pay workers using check or via direct deposit, for which you must pass a risk assessment. OnPay handles all your payroll tax needs. It can compute state and federal payroll taxes, manage filing of tax forms, withholding and tax payments. What makes it even better is that the vendor guarantees accuracy by taking responsibility for any tax filing errors committed by the product.


Anyone who says their business "runs itself" probably owes a great debt of gratitude to a small army of software applications and Web services that tirelessly feeds the machine from behind the scenes. From creating and storing documents and staying on top of e-mail to keeping the books and getting teams working together, it takes a lot of code to run a business, or at least to run it well. But setting up your company isn't as easy as just fishing apps out of a barrel. You want the best you can get, and at a price that isn't through the roof.
However, as businesses grow, they’ll likely need to implement more controls over their business processes and better alignment between information and operational technologies. At this stage, they should consider investing in business process management software to help them standardize processes and workflows for multiple departments and improve operational performance. (Not to be confused with general "business managment" software, "business process management" software carries a more specific definition and set of technical requirements. Follow the link above to read our buyer's guide and learn more.)

Zendesk offers modular service and support software that’s built for enabling customer communication. The most basic plans are priced per user so even the smallest businesses have a dedicated software for customer interactions. Track customer support tickets within an email-like interface where support teams can collaborate. You can also opt for specialized tools that centralize interactions from all over the web, making customer connections easier to manage.
Data mining is the extraction of consumer information from a database by utilizing software that can isolate and identify previously unknown patterns or trends in large amounts of data. There is a variety of data mining techniques that reveal different types of patterns.[2] Some of the techniques that belong here are statistical methods (particularly business statistics) and neural networks, as very advanced means of analyzing data.

Sikuli is based on image recognition and has the capability of automating anything that we see on the screen. Currently, it supports desktop apps only which run on Windows, Mac or Unix/Linux. This tool is good at reproducing bugs quickly and its users have reported it to be very useful as compared other tools when you are going to automate an application which is not web-based.
Sufficient test coverage typically demands significant effort. Hundreds of test cases may be needed to exercise all use scenarios, validate boundary and edge cases, and ensure that an application is compatible across browsers and devices. Data-driven automated testing separates test procedures from test data, allowing you to cover more scenarios with a minimum amount of effort. Easily repeat test cases across browsers or devices to ensure your application’s compatibility and consistent performance.
Authors Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster wrote the field's seminal text, Software Test Automation, which has guided many organizations toward success. Now, in Experiences of Test Automation, they reveal test automation at work in a wide spectrum of organizations and projects, from complex government systems to medical devices, SAP business process development to Android mobile apps and cloud migrations.
FreeAgent is a feature-rich, cloud-hosted accounting platform intended to help small businesses and freelancers. It is relied upon by more than 60,000 businesses with its ability to bring together and manage all aspects of financial operation. The software comes with an array of tools designed to let you efficiently manage all important financial tasks and processes such as payrolls, taxes, expenses, estimates and invoices, bank transactions, cash flows, time tracking, and your project’s financial performance.
With Vyew, anyone can host an Internet session that lets scattered colleagues work together on a project in real time. This Web conferencing platform gives you a very simple whiteboard where you can upload documents for discussion, share your desktop, or create designs from scratch. You don't even have to register to use Vyew, but if you do, you get access to VoIP and other audio services. (free for up to 20 live participants; additional services extra)
Every software development group tests its products, yet delivered software always has defects. Test engineers strive to catch them before the product is released but they always creep in and they often reappear, even with the best manual testing processes. Test Automation software is the best way to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and coverage of your software testing.

Xero is our top pick for the best accounting software for Macs. We like that Xero is affordable, easy to use, offers a ton of features and integrates with hundreds of third-party business solutions, many of which you likely already use. Xero also offers 24-hour email and live chat support, so there's always someone ready to help you. Read our full review here. Xero.com
A very popular accounting platform, QuickBooks is capable of tracking customers and vendors and is able to automatically manage all relevant banking processes. It has a lot of organizational features that are very useful in managing accounting information such as payable bills, contact data, overdue items and common accounting tasks. The solution makes payment so much easier with its Pay Now link, which can be connected to customers and vendors’ credit cards or bank accounts.
As a business management software, iBE.net is an appropriate choice for mid-sized companies as it offers expense tracking, invoice reports, CRM support along with an easy integration of project details. It is extensively used in consulting, marketing, management, and other technical industries. It is like your entire business within your palm of hands.
The method or process being used to implement automation is called a test automation framework. Several frameworks have been implemented over the years by commercial vendors and testing organizations. Automating tests with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) or open source software can be complicated, however, because they almost always require customization. In many organizations, automation is only implemented when it has been determined that the manual testing program is not meeting expectations and it is not possible to bring in more human testers.
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