Productivity is a rare property and skill that should never be underestimated. Often, it’s the secret ingredient that can take a small business from doing just okay to exceeding all expectations. When you know how to get things done successfully in a shorter period of time—you simply achieve more. These productivity apps are integral to small business success.
Automatically testing your web application is a good way to ensure that new versions of your application don't introduce bugs and regressions. Automation of your web application testing also allows your development team to make changes and refactor code with more confident, as they can quickly verify the functionality of the application after every change.
Though it is expensive, Unified Functional Testing is one of the most popular tools for large enterprises. UFT offers everything that developers need for the process of load testing and test automation, which includes API, web services, and GUI testing for mobile apps, web, and desktop applications. A multi-platform test suite, UFT can perform advanced tasks such as producing documentation and providing image-based object recognition. UFT can also be integrated with tools such as Jenkins.
Amazon is testing delivery drones that pick up warehouse orders sorted by robots, Google is testing self-driving cars, Starbucks is testing cashier-free stores dedicated to mobile ordering and payment, and Facebook is testing a brain-computer interface that may one day translate thoughts into digital text. There are mundane versions of automation technology behind all of this testing — software automation testing. Companies use automation technology to create the software responsible for the products and services causing all the hype.
The takeaway is that testing is a process requiring human intervention. Bas Dijkstra, an experienced test automation consultant, describes how even the term “test automation” is flawed unless you understand what is and isn’t automated. The actual “learning, exploring, and experimenting” involved in manual, human-performed testing cannot be automated, according to Dijkstra. He writes:
Of all the automated testing tools on our list, none of them is more simple or adaptable than this one. If you’re not from a programming background or you’ve never done automated software testing before, Ranorex lets you run your test without a script. It easily integrates with other testing tools such as TeamCity and nCover, and it comes with robust debugging capabilities.
One of the most basic components of mobile application testing is finding the right automated framework. Whether you are looking for a new tool, or are just considering getting started with test automation for mobile, here are the Top 10 Automated Testing Tools for mobile and what you need to know about each tool to choose the solution that is the best fit in your mobile testing lab.
Building a successful automated testing strategy is tough and the approach will vary on a team-by-team basis. No team is completely identical to another. Some may consist of more manual testers than automation engineers, while some may have shifted left and depend on developers to do the heavy lifting. Budget, deadlines, application type, and development model are all factors that impact how an automated testing strategy should outlined be implemented.
Though you can still read reviews of them here, three of the small business accounting applications we covered do not appear in the features matrix because they're not quite as mature as the ones that are posted here. Sage One Accounting was developed by Sage, a global software company that sells a diverse family of accounting solutions, both desktop and cloud-based. WorkingPoint is still missing some functionality offered by its competitors, such as mobile access and integration with related apps. ZipBooks is the newest; it had the thinnest feature set when we reviewed it, but it's growing rapidly.
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
Looking up the list, we’d probably begin with Wave – their billing & invoicing services may not have the bells & whistles QuickBooks does, and you may not be able to infuse that much branding material in your docs, but they’ll get the job done for free. Zoho Books is the next-to-the-best service, as it lets you bill 25 clients for as much as $9 a month. FreshBooks, QuickBooks, and Xero are slightly more expensive (pricing starts at $15) and restrict their low-tier package to a smaller number of billed clients, but they will suit you perfectly if you want to customize and categorize invoices, and to report on your billing activity.
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.

Bugfender does not require any physical installation – it can be simply loaded onto any user’s device, even if it’s an obscure model you’ve never heard of. It logs 24-7, so you don’t just get crash reports – you get a forensic view under the hood of your application, even when things are running smoothly, and you get a breakdown of all the devices using your product, which is great for customer service.


Appium relies on a robust community of users active on GitHub to release updates or to fix any bugs. For enterprise mobility professionals, getting involved with the Appium community allows testers to contribute to Appium’s growth and development. Appium is a full-on coding solution, that can be cumbersome for some mobile testers as it is not the most user-friendly solution available today.

Running a small business is hard and challenging. Many don’t survive past the first, few years. Using the right apps can make a big difference in helping you overcome the basic issues that every small business owners runs into when they have their own operation. They help you get organized, streamline your workflows, and get more done with greater efficiency and reliability.


Robotium android automated testing can be performed on several different devices simultaneously, and the tests can run on either an emulator or the real thing. They are also renowned for being extremely robust, because Robotium recognises UI elements by their internal code reference; if you’ve built your product using Java, you can combine Robotium with the JUnit test framework for even stronger results. Yet perhaps the coolest thing of all is Robotium can simulate ordinary user behaviour, like touching, clicking and typing text.
With Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD), business customers, testers, and developers can collaborate to produce testable requirements that help them build higher quality software more rapidly. However, ATDD is still widely misunderstood by many practitioners. ATDD by Example is the first practical, entry-level, hands-on guide to implementing and successfully applying it.
Automated software testing is becoming more and more important for many software projects in order to automatically verify key functionality, test for regressions and help teams run a large number of tests in a short period of time. Many teams (especially larger projects) still require a significant amount of manual functional testing in addition to automated testing, either because of the lack of sufficient resources or skills to automate all tests.
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.
Many companies may need to use multiple automated products, with some being used for user experience, others being used for data validation. Others are used as an all-purpose repetitive testing tool. There are free trials available for many of the products listed above, so that your business can see how each solution would fit into its existing workflow and development pipeline.
Intacct is advanced, cloud-based accounting software that automates processes and helps you manage business finances so your business can grow. It generates a wide range of reports, giving you the ability to evaluate your business's performance from any financial angle, including profit margins, losses, income and revenue segments like total revenue, revenue by product and revenue per square foot. intacct.com
Testing is a very important phase in the development process. It ensures that all the bugs are ironed out and that the product, software or hardware, is functioning as expected or as close to the target performance as possible. Even so, some tasks are too laborious to be done manually even though they are easy enough to do. This is where automated testing comes in. 

BeeBills is an automated invoicing software with features designed to make the invoicing process simpler for both businesses and their consumers. You can send automatically scheduled reminders to customers to pay invoices among other features. The company is based in Norway, but the product is marketed and meant for businesses in the United States and United Kingdom. beebills.com
With KashFlow accounting software for small businesses, you can invoice your customers, reconcile bank transactions, accept invoice payments online and generate more than 50 reports. The software includes a mobile app for Android and iOS, and integrations are available. It can be used by businesses in many countries, including the U.S., but its payroll features are exclusive to U.K.-based businesses. kashflow.com
In a traditional environment, testing gets completed at the end of a development cycle. But as more and more companies move toward a DevOps and continuous delivery model in which software is constantly in development and must always be deployment-ready, leaving testing until the end no longer works. That’s where continuous testing comes in — to ensure quality at every stage of development.

“While using and teaching Agile practices like test-driven development (TDD) on projects in different environments, I kept coming across the same confusion and misunderstandings. Programmers wanted to know where to start, what to test and what not to test, how much to test in one go, what to call their tests, and how to understand why a test fails. [….] My response is BDD.”
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.
Botkeeper is an accounting service that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate bookkeeping, and a dedicated (human) accountant to oversee your account and handle urgent or complex issues. Businesses in any industry can use this service, and it integrates with top banks and accounting, POS and ecommerce software. Pricing is based on the number of transactions you record each month, and there's no lengthy contract. botkeeper.com

A subscription to Xero runs varies depending on the plan you choose. Xero will handle five invoices for you, pay five bills and reconcile up to 20 transactions a month with the starter version. You get unlimited reconciliations, invoices and bills with the Standard or Premium plans, and the Premium plan will also handle payroll for you. You’re not locked into the plan you choose — you can change at any time.

Intuit QuickBooks Online offers a range of features for all types of small businesses. This includes freelancers, consultants, online merchants, store and restaurant owners, service providers and more. Whether you're just starting out, expanding or have an established business, QuickBooks Online is packed with basic and advanced features to meet your accounting needs. [Go here for a full review of QuickBooks Online accounting software.]


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.
To do more with less, developers reused test scripts during development and integration stages to work more efficiently. The demand for new software built, and the constant change to software under development opened the door for automation testing practices to serve as a reliable control mechanism for testing the code (Automated Software Testing, 1999).
BeeBills is an automated invoicing software with features designed to make the invoicing process simpler for both businesses and their consumers. You can send automatically scheduled reminders to customers to pay invoices among other features. The company is based in Norway, but the product is marketed and meant for businesses in the United States and United Kingdom. beebills.com
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.
 Use Smartsheet to track the schedule and results of planned, current, and completed tests. Share the schedule with your team and collaborate on the details in real time, in one central location. Whether you’re running manual or automated tests, Smartsheet’s broad range of views – Calendar, Gantt, Card, and traditional Grid – allow you to manage progress the way you want. Organize test results with hierarchy and use comments to keep work in context.

InfoFlo Pay is invoicing management and payment software that you can use to create estimates and invoices, and receive payments. It has client portals that allow your customers to accept estimates, view statements and pay invoices online. Mobile apps are available, and the software integrates with QuickBooks, MailChimp and Google Drive for an extra fee. infoflopay.com
With the growing number of web-based applications this is changing, however, as verifying and testing web-based interfaces is easier and there are various tools that help with this, including free open source projects. Please see below for a list of popular and useful tools, projects, books and resources to get started with automated software testing.
While programmers are waiting for feedback, they start the next thing, which leads to multitasking. Eventually, someone re-skins the user interface, and, unless there is some sort of business logic layer in the tool, all checks will fail and you will be left with no easy way to revise the system. In an attempt to just get done, teams revert to human exploration, the automation becomes even more out of date, and, eventually, it will be thrown away.
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.
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.
A total payroll solution known for its ease-of-use, OnPay is highly-designed for small to medium-size businesses. This cloud-deployed software has the ability to streamline your payroll processes while automating tax filing and payment. You can enter payment data like tips, hours, bonuses and reimbursements easily. It can likewise manage benefits such as compensation insurance (for pay-as-you-go workers), health insurance and 401(k).
I am using Xero for three years already, and I never encountered a security issue. I’ve logged in from several devices, and each time I got a unique code sent to my mobile phone to access the account, there is no way to get around that. From what I know, they are also backing up data on several locations, so I see no reason for you not to consider it.
Watir is made to automate web application testing and this is done using Ruby libraries. Watir is also called as water by the people and is an open source testing tool.  This tool can be used to tests any language-based web application. Watir works well with RSpec, Cucumber, and Test/Unit and is a business-driven development tool. It basically tests web page’s buttons, forms, links, and their responses. It can be used on a number of browsers as it is compatible with them.
The software automatically syncs business profiles to a single dashboards, where multiple users can view reports and corporate accounts. It is capable of generating profit and loss and trade sheets, invoices and billing, all which are accessible via mobile devices. Custom reports and feeds can likewise be created from the dashboard. Popular integrations include Quickbooks Online Payroll and Intuit GoPayment.
OneUp is robust cloud-based accounting software that includes CRM and inventory tools. Your sales team can use the software to follow up with leads and create quotes and sales orders, which can then be converted to invoices with a single click. The software tracks inventory and can be set to automatically generate purchase orders when inventory is low. It also runs a variety of reports. oneup.com
Botkeeper is an accounting service that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate bookkeeping, and a dedicated (human) accountant to oversee your account and handle urgent or complex issues. Businesses in any industry can use this service, and it integrates with top banks and accounting, POS and ecommerce software. Pricing is based on the number of transactions you record each month, and there's no lengthy contract. botkeeper.com

This article uses the term “tester” to refer to the person involved in testing software with automation tools. It is not meant to distinguish by job title or technical proficiency. Jim Hazen describes himself as a hybrid, or “technical tester,” because he can write test scripts and develop what he refers to as “testware.” The trend is to hire for multiple skillsets, but that does not mean the non-technical stakeholders involved in software development don’t benefit from automation testing.

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