With capability and frugality firmly in mind, we rounded up 25 of our favorite software tools and Web services that we deem the best for powering small and medium-size businesses. Of course, not every business needs every type of program or service, but if your small business could use some help in any of the categories below, our list will give you a pretty good shot at picking a winner.
Manual testing can be mundane, error-prone and even exasperating. Frequent repetition of the same test cases with only slight changes in data values is laborious and time-consuming. Test automation alleviates testers’ frustration with low-level, repetitive testing while increasing the repeatability and accuracy of these tests. Automation enables testers to focus on more challenging and rewarding work such as risk analysis and exploratory testing.
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.

Testers will approach an automated test framework best practices substantially differently from developers. While developers are more likely to program their automated tests, testers will need tools that let them create scenarios without having to develop custom scripting. Some of the best test automation frameworks are specifically designed for one audience or another, while others have features available for both.
Trello gives teams a visual way to collaborate over tasks, projects, approval flows, or the next big idea. It is based on one of the most efficient methodologies ever conceived — Lean. Lean and kanban (lean’s visual project management system) was used by Toyota manufacturers to manage projects as early as the 1960s. Trello is totally free for as many cards, lists and comments as you like.
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. 
TL;DR: Testing is a sophisticated task that requires a broad set of skills and with the means currently available cannot be automated. What can (and should) be automated is regression testing. This is what we usually refer to when we say test automation. Regression testing is not testing, but merely rechecking existing functionality. So regression testing is more like version control of the dynamic properties of the software.
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.
During my three years at Socialtext, I helped maintain a test tooling system through a user interface that was advanced for its time. O'Reilly took it as a case study in the book Beautiful Testing. The team at Socialtext uses the same framework today, although it now has several tests running at one time on Amazon's Electric Compute Cloud. Although we had a great deal of GUI-driving tests, we also had developer-facing (unit) and web services (integration) tests, a visual slideshow that testers could watch for every browser, and a strategy to explore by hand for each release. This combination of methods to reduce risk meant we found problems early.
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

BambooHR has two main plans, Essentials and Advantage. The Essentials plan includes everything for HR administration plus an employee self-service portal and online support. The Advantage plan includes hiring tools, advanced analytics, and integrations. BambooHR is built to grow with a company without overloading with features a really small business might not need.

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.
Quickbooks Online is an accounting solution specifically targeted at small businesses and freelancers as it simplifies the most complex accounting processes. It has become a popular tool among accountants, bookkeepers, small business owners and finance officers. For up to five users, all the app’s features can be accessed. However, functionalities are limited for packages with unlimited number of users. To learn more about this software and see if it matches your needs, you can easily sign up for a QuickBooks Online free trial here.
Unified Functional Testing (UFT) is a well-known commercial testing tool for functional testing. It provides a comprehensive feature set for API, web services, and GUI testing of desktop, web, and mobile applications across platforms. The tool has advanced image-based object recognition feature, reusable test components, and automated documentation.
Automated testing expanded with Agile principles because testing in a repeatable manner that is secure, reliable, and keeps pace with the rapid deployment of software is required for this environment. In their book Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams, authors Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory claim Agile development depends on test automation to succeed. They emphasize the team effort required for test automation and recommend automating tests early in the development process. Also, the development of automation code is as important as the development of the actual production code for software. The “test-first" approach to development is known as Test-Driven Development.

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.


Quicken lets you manage both your personal and business finances in one place, making it a convenient solution for really small businesses and home-based entrepreneurs who don't need accounting software designed for larger or more established businesses. The downside, however, is that the software isn't cloud-based and is only available for Windows, though it has iOS and Android apps that allow you to view your data. quicken.com
Automation frameworks are combined with specific automation tools to create a sound basis for your specific project goals. Automation tools are then aligned with testing goals. When the framework and tools are combined with common practices and coding standards for testing software, you have an automation framework. Jones offers an example using the most popular open source automation technology used for testing a web browser’s user interface (UI).
Robot is a keyword-driven framework available for use with Python, Java, or .NET. It is not just for web-based applications; it can also test products ranging from Android to MongoDB. With numerous APIs available, the Robot Framework can easily be extended and customized depending on your development environment. A keyword-based approach makes the Robot framework more tester-focused than developer-focused, as compared to some of the other products on this list. Robot Framework relies heavily upon the Selenium WebDriver library, but has some significant functionality in addition to this.
API driven testing. A testing framework that uses a programming interface to the application to validate the behaviour under test. Typically API driven testing bypasses application user interface altogether. It can also be testing public (usually) interfaces to classes, modules or libraries are tested with a variety of input arguments to validate that the results that are returned are correct.
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.
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
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.

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.)


Although all accounting software products have invoicing tools, FreshBooks' are incredibly easy to use. The WYSIWYG format is intuitive, and with just a few clicks you can add billable time and expenses, customize the look of the invoice and set up recurring invoices, automatic payment reminders and late fees. This accounting software connects to your bank, generates several reports, tracks time and helps you manage projects. [Go here for a full review of FreshBooks.]

This doesn’t replace the face-to-face communication that’s a necessary part of software development. Instead, it enhances that aspect by providing another channel through which to communicate. Think of it this way – email didn’t replace the telephone; it was just an additional tool that could be used to communicate. The same holds true with tools like TestComplete by SmartBear – they’re not replacements for face-to-face communication as much as they’re ways to improve communication.
Cloud-based accounting and invoicing management platform Sage Business Cloud Accounting is designed to cater to small businesses. Its core functionalities include accounting, compliance and expense management. What sets Sage Business Cloud Accounting apart from its sister app Sage 50c is that the former is an add-on service that allows for the integration of the latter to the cloud, resulting in cloud storage and accessibility for all your accounting data. This combination makes Sage Business Cloud Accounting better than ever.
The origins of test automation start with the computing industry. The book, Automated Software Testing: introduction, management, and performance, notes that the history of automated software tests followed the evolution of software development. Software testing in the era of large database systems that supported scientific and government programs meant that a finite amount of test procedures could test a complete system at the end of the development cycle. With the rise of personal computing, the methods for testing software changed to keep up with increased demand for new software applications and new product features.

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.
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.

IBM RFT is well suited for regression and functional testing.  It is a data-driven testing platform that supports applications like .Net, Java, SAP, Flex, and Ajax.  The scripting languages used by RFT are .Net and Java. One of the unique features of IBM RFT is Storyboard testing which simplifies test visualization by recording and visualizing user actions with the help of application screenshots in a storyboard format. It also allows editing using natural language. It also offers integration with IBM Jazz application lifecycle management like IBM Rotational Team Concert and Rational Quality Manager.
However, actually building automated tests for web applications can be challenging because the user interface of your application might change regularly, because of incompatibilities between browsers and because you usually need to support various server or client platforms. The following tools make it easier to build and execute automated tests for your web application.
myBooks Online Accounting Software comes equipped with all the essential features for small businesses that are looking to manage their accounting processes at an affordable price. This web based accounting application has a few automation capabilities to speed up one’s workflow, including automating conversions for foreign currencies and automatically displaying bank feeds on your dashboard. myBooks Online Accounting software supports multi-currency transactions, which essentially eliminates the intricacies attached to foreign exchange processes. Moreover, it features an enterprise-grade security to safeguard your financial data from external threats.
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
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.)
The software can be utilized in managing core HR processes like payroll, benefits administration and on-boarding, among many others. This web-based tool is highly-flexible and compatible with all popular browsers. It allows employees to check on all transactions and information related to their work. Managers can use the app to get pertinent information across all existing departments and applications. Errors and redundancies are minimized as the product makes use of a single record for each employee.
myBooks Online Accounting Software comes equipped with all the essential features for small businesses that are looking to manage their accounting processes at an affordable price. This web based accounting application has a few automation capabilities to speed up one’s workflow, including automating conversions for foreign currencies and automatically displaying bank feeds on your dashboard. myBooks Online Accounting software supports multi-currency transactions, which essentially eliminates the intricacies attached to foreign exchange processes. Moreover, it features an enterprise-grade security to safeguard your financial data from external threats.

Those who believe they will be actively customizing their automated test environments may want to start with Selenium and customize it from there, whereas those who want to begin in a more structured test environment may be better off with one of the systems that are built on top of Selenium. Selenium can be scripted in a multitude of languages, including Java, Python, PHP, C#, and Perl.
Katalon Studio is a unique tool that is designed to be run both by automation testers and programmers and developers. There are different levels of testing skill set available, and the testing processes include the ability to automate tests across mobile applications, web services, and web applications. Katalon Studio is built on top of Appium and Selenium, and consequently offers much of the functionality of these solutions.
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.
Some business applications are interactive, i.e., they have a graphical user interface or user interface and users can query/modify/input data and view results instantaneously. They can also run reports instantaneously. Some business applications run in batch mode: they are set up to run based on a predetermined event/time and a business user does not need to initiate them or monitor them.
The Business User calls the business application support team phone number or sends an e-mail to the business application support team. The business application support team gets all the details of the error from the business user on the phone or from the e-mail. These details are then entered in a tracking software. The tracking software creates a request number and this request number is given to the business user. This request number is used to track the progress on the support issue. The request is assigned to a support team member.
Paying bills isn't as much fun as sending out invoices, but it has to be done. You may already be managing this task through your bank's website, which may or may not excel at this service. There are few other options online for standalone bill-pay, and the ones that exist have restrictions. Bill.com rules when it comes to supporting both invoices and bills; you'll be charged $29 per user per month for payables automation only. If that's more than you want to pay, you could subscribe to Wave, which is free, and just use its bill-paying tools.
Some business applications are interactive, i.e., they have a graphical user interface or user interface and users can query/modify/input data and view results instantaneously. They can also run reports instantaneously. Some business applications run in batch mode: they are set up to run based on a predetermined event/time and a business user does not need to initiate them or monitor them.
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.

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.
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.
As an established solution, UFT enables enterprise mobility teams to buy into the MicroFocus ecosystem, or the HPE ecosystem, for improved support and timely releases. Although an expensive solution, there are a lot of content and guides available to help testers get up to speed testing and writing mobile test scripts with this more mature, established framework. To use UFT with Mobile Labs’ deviceConnect™, Mobile Labs recommends the use of Mobile Labs Trust™ to connect to mobile.

Katalon Studio is a unique tool that is designed to be run both by automation testers and programmers and developers. There are different levels of testing skill set available, and the testing processes include the ability to automate tests across mobile applications, web services, and web applications. Katalon Studio is built on top of Appium and Selenium, and consequently offers much of the functionality of these solutions.
In the early days, perhaps the most noticeable, widespread change in business software was the word processor. Because of its rapid rise, the ubiquitous IBM typewriter suddenly vanished in the 1980s as millions of companies worldwide shifted to the use of Word Perfect business software, and later, Microsoft Word software. Another vastly popular computer program for business were mathematical spreadsheet programs such as Lotus 1-2-3, and later Microsoft Excel.
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. 
This article covers the basics of automated software testing and provides a basic introduction to the vast, technical topic: what it is, why it’s necessary for the Agile IT industry, and how to make sense of the technology behind it. Along the way, you’ll find input from professionals in the test community that will help you determine what you need to explore further.
The increased level of production is important to companies developing software for rapid (sometimes daily) release. Companies like Google automate testing to scale their software development process and release products that billions of users rely on daily. Google created new testing roles and job titles for their engineers when they realized the benefits of automated testing during their rapid growth. Their efforts resulted in higher quality, more reliable, and more frequently released software.
Ranorex Studio produces straightforward and comprehensive test reports to reduce debugging time. View reports in Ranorex Studio, or formatted as a PDF and sent automatically by email. To get the fastest feedback, you can even view reports while testing is in progress. Choose whether or not to generate detailed logs, produce a JUnit-compatible report, or create a custom report template. Debug errors by jumping straight from the test report to the failed step in the test case. Use Ranorex predefined report levels to select messages by type such as “warning” or “error,” and include screenshots and snapshots in reports to aid in the debugging effort.
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
Sometimes it can seem that the most difficult part of running a small business is selecting the proper software to take care of the more tedious details for you. Sure, your grandfather just sharpened his pencil when it came time to take care of the books, but this isn’t your grandfather’s business climate anymore. These days, there are many products available to streamline the process for you, so you can put your mind to more important things…like making money.
This table-based example doesn't include if statements or for loops, and the %% sign indicates a variable that can be passed in or assigned. In the past, I have created accounts and users with a standard name, followed by a time stamp, to ensure that the users were unique for each test run. Individual functions, like search_for, followed by what to search and what to expect in the results, consist of code. Those might have if statements or loops in them, but what we expose to the customer is a straight flow.
Timecamp is a one-solution-fits-all business management solution that comes with a time tracker with computer activities, productivity monitoring, attendance tracking, integrations and more. The software tracks time automatically so you don’t have to worry about spending hours on figuring out how to do it. TimeCamp offers you an intuitive interface to get your team on board effortlessly.
Sahi is a automate web applications testing tool which is written in Java and JavaScript programming languages. It is an open source and helps in performing multi-browser testing. It supports ExtJS, ZK, Dojo, YUI Framework. It also records and playbacks well on the browser testing. . The wait for statements in eliminated by the Sahi technology as it works effectively on pages which have a lot of workloads.

TestCraft is a codeless Selenium test automation platform. The revolutionary AI technology and unique visual modeling allows for faster test creation and execution while eliminating test maintenance overhead. Testers create fully automated test scenarios without coding. Customers find bugs faster, release more frequently, integrate with CI/CD and improve overall quality of their digital products.


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.


There's plenty of failure in that combination. First of all, the feedback loop from development to test is delayed. It is likely that the code doesn't have the hooks and affordances you need to test it. Element IDs might not be predictable, or might be tied to the database, for example. With one recent customer, we couldn't delete orders, and the system added a new order as a row at the bottom. Once we had 20 test runs, the new orders appeared on page two! That created a layer of back and forth where the code didn't do what it needed to do on the first pass. John Seddon, the British occupational psychologist, calls this "failure demand," which creates extra work (demand) on a system that only exists because the system failed the first time around.

TL;DR: Testing is a sophisticated task that requires a broad set of skills and with the means currently available cannot be automated. What can (and should) be automated is regression testing. This is what we usually refer to when we say test automation. Regression testing is not testing, but merely rechecking existing functionality. So regression testing is more like version control of the dynamic properties of the software.

Unlike many accounting software products that limit transactions unless you purchase a more expensive package, FreeAgent is a cloud-based program that supports unlimited users, clients and invoices for one monthly price. It also has a project management feature to help you keep track of billable hours and expenses. FreeAgent is best for freelancers, consultants and other project-based businesses. freeagent.com


With EasyForm Expense Management, employees will no longer have to physically submit expense reports. Users can take a snapshot of their receipts and easily upload them alongside their expense claims. Thereafter, managers can quickly approve or reject expense claims based on acquired data and audits. The software also utilizes GPS technology for reconciling travel-related expenses by tracking distance traveled during a business trip. Its travel intelligence capability also provides useful insights on how to better optimize one’s cost and spend.
Frankly, I’d think twice before entrusting financial data to a free-to-use service, probably even the freemium ones you mentioned. To make my point clear, I have nothing against cloud-based technology, in fact I could not imagine doing business without my smartphone, but when it comes to financials I still vote for local hosting. No bad experience with these solutions though, the choice’s up on you!
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.
Really small businesses need really simple accounting software. Zoho Books offers all of the basic features microbusinesses need as well as advanced tools and integrations so you can continue using the software as your business grows. Furthermore, compared with other accounting software for really small businesses, Zoho Books has the best price for all of its capabilities. [Go here for a full review of Zoho Books.]
In our automated testing starter kit, we provide a variety of resources and tools for you to use to get the ball rolling. You will learn how to efficiently roadmap your efforts, build scalable and easily-maintainable automation frameworks, and how to compare and choose the right tool based on your needs. Don’t worry, we’ve also included tips regarding what testing types should remain manual. Not all tests can or should be automated, and to reiterate our previous statement, it’s essential for your success that some testing types, like exploratory testing, are performed manually.
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