During a recent consulting assignment, a tester told me he spent 90 percent of his time setting up test conditions. The application allowed colleges and other large organizations to configure their workflow for payment processing. One school might set up self-service kiosks, while another might have a cash window where the teller could only authorize up to a certain dollar amount. Still others might require a manager to cancel or approve a transaction over a certain dollar amount. Some schools took certain credit cards, while others accepted cash only. To reproduce any of these conditions, the tester had to log in, create a workflow manually, and establish a set of users with the right permissions before finally doing the testing. When we talked about automation approaches, our initial conversation was about tools to drive the user interface. For example, a batch script like this:

Jones defines BDD as the process where teams use domain-specific language to express the expected behavior of an application through scenarios. She points out that this is not magic - there is automation code involved in the process - but that BDD is ideal for developers and testers sharing automation work. Specialized tools like Cucumber, the most popular open source tool for automation code integration, executes this work and is the tool of choice for Jones.
Email marketing is still a force to be reckoned with, even though it was one of the first forms of digital marketing to take off. In an age of social media, blogging and text messaging, email marketing is going strong because of the powerful results and conversion rates it gets for businesses of all types. Two email marketing services in particular are helpful to small businesses:
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.
In my organization, we've taken automation to the extreme, and we automate every test we believe will yield a good ROI. Usually, this means we run automation tests on all delivered features at both sanity and end-to-end levels. This way, we achieve 90 percent coverage while also maintaining and growing our test automation suite at all stages of the application lifecycle.
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.
With so many options, it can be challenging for enterprise mobility teams to choose the right solution. Whether open-source or commercial, the top mobile testing tools each have their own strengths and overall benefits. But, depending on the size of the enterprise mobility team, overall skill set and available resources, some solutions may not be the right fit for all mobile developers, testers and quality assurance professionals.
LiveAgent is a little more expensive for the most basic plan, but there are a lot of features packed in that you wouldn’t get from similarly priced options. Customer satisfaction and self-service tools, service level agreement rules and reporting, and even canned answers for common questions are all included at the lowest subscription cost. LiveAgent also has an optional VOIP tool as an extra add-on for companies who want to integrate their customer phone calls directly with their help desk.
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.
The flowchart-based accounting of QuickBooks is as close to a standard in financial management as the small-business world has, and it's arguably the easiest way for nonprofessionals to transfer their books from the filing cabinet to the computer, where they belong. Most actions, from cutting a check to billing a client, are just a click or two away from the start screen. ($200)
Mozilla's Thunderbird (our e-mail pick; see that category below) lacks a calendar, so most business users rely on the equally free Sunbird for scheduling. It's a very straightforward application, with day, week, and month views, and even a publishing feature to enable sending your calendar to a Web site, should you wish to make it public. Get the Lightning plug-in to integrate Sunbird directly with Thunderbird. (free)
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

In this article, I'll discuss some of the best practices I discovered through on my own journey toward automation. These are practices you should consider when automating your testing cycles to make sure you build a suite of tests that work well and can be maintained throughout the life of your application. (This article is based on a presentation that can be viewed in full here.)

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).
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.
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.

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.

With automated testing, that time is cut drastically. The work for automated testers is instead spent coding the tests and making improvements to these tests repeatedly as adjustments are needed. Once the test is complete, however, automated testing allows for the recycled use of tests so that they do not have to go through this whole process again. In essence, the time spent on the mundane tasks and repetition a manual tester would go through is instead spent focusing on larger, more important issues involving the software you’re developing.


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
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.
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.
Tipalti is a cloud-based payment automation and management software that is known for helping businesses accurately meet deadlines. The solution helps solve problems that include non-compliance, late payments, administrative overload and complications arising from human error. Time spent on financial management is significantly decreased, solving one of the biggest problems facing accounting teams.
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.
Come to Infusionsoft for the CRM, stay for the marketing automation. Infusionsoft offers a low monthly fee for a single-user account, which includes CRM, marketing automation, and unlimited email sends. Need more user accounts to get more done? Infusionsoft charges a low monthly price per extra user. Growing teams can also add sales pipeline and ecommerce modules.

Tipalti is a cloud-based payment automation and management software that is known for helping businesses accurately meet deadlines. The solution helps solve problems that include non-compliance, late payments, administrative overload and complications arising from human error. Time spent on financial management is significantly decreased, solving one of the biggest problems facing accounting teams.
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.
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.
Although this a complete list of the best software for small businesses in each of these categories, there might be other options that work better for your company. Click on the category headers below for a full list of available products. For personalized recommendations based on your business needs call one of our Technology Advisors at 877-822-9526 for a free, 5-minute consultation.
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.
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.
If your business still doesn't have a blog--one of the best ways around to provide up-to-date company and product news--you're only about three years behind the curve. Hey, it's not too late to catch up: WordPress installs in minutes (it even offers a free, hosted option on WordPress.com), and the platform is dazzlingly easy to use (the site's home page carries an ad for WordPress for Dummies, but we doubt you'll need to crack that volume). WordPress so simple, your team will be begging to contribute to the blog instead of whining that it's too laborious. (free)

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.


With an increase in the adoption of agile and DevOps methodologies, the software testing industry is undergoing a paradigm shift. Test automation is gaining traction as there is very less time left to perform testing.  The automation testing tools not only provides intelligent automation but also provide smart analytics to address any testing challenges. Here is a list of top 5 automation testing tools and frameworks that can improve your software testing outcomes significantly.
Come to Infusionsoft for the CRM, stay for the marketing automation. Infusionsoft offers a low monthly fee for a single-user account, which includes CRM, marketing automation, and unlimited email sends. Need more user accounts to get more done? Infusionsoft charges a low monthly price per extra user. Growing teams can also add sales pipeline and ecommerce modules.
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.

Marc is a copywriter who, fittingly enough, runs Marc Schenker Copywriter. An expert in business and marketing, he helps businesses of all sizes get the most bang for their ad bucks. Just click on the links below to talk to me about anything from landing pages, blogging, social media, websites, video scripts, infographics and email marketing to white papers, case studies, paid search and SEO!


There’s no clean way to pigeonhole Airtable. It is technically a database, but can be used for data visualization, project management, task management, calendars, and planning. All of these tasks work better in Airtable if you store your data (customers, email subscribers, financial metrics) there, because any tasks, projects or events can be linked to assets.

Kathy Yakal has been annoying computer magazine editors since 1983, when she got her first technology writing job because she tagged along with her ex-husband on a job interview. She started freelancing and specializing in financial applications when PCs became financial tools for consumers and small businesses (after a stint at a high-end accounti... See Full Bio
Collaborate around tasks with your team, with projects, comments, and assignments. MeisterTask is visually similar to Trello, but supports a native integration to MindMeister for fast and easy mind mapping. Its integrations with Dropbox, GitHub, Zendesk, Box, Bitbucket, and Google Drive allow you to map tasks to one another and keep you from entering data in the same place twice.
This “how” and “why” make organization, consistency and speed imperative to supporting a continuous testing model, and that’s where test automation can help. Managing all of the testing needs in a continuous testing environment is a massive undertaking — it requires a tremendous communication effort to keep track of which environments have deployed new code, when each piece needs testing and how those requirements integrate back into the moving process of continuously delivering software.

The IT industry depends on similar Agile practices of different names to meet the market’s demand for their products and services. Test automation is vital to Agile and the companies using Continuous Integration and Delivery, TDD, and BDD. For the titans of technology and the IT industry at large to reap the benefits of test automation, they must rely on automation frameworks.
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.

Simple, familiar language. The principles of double-entry accounting are several centuries old. You can't get away from some of the terms and phrases that wouldn't normally come up in casual conversation, like debits and credits, general ledger, and chart of accounts. But the developers who have produced today's best-of-breed accounting sites only subject you to arcane language when it's absolutely necessary. You can't get around the fact that double-entry accounting is a complex process that must follow the rules, but these wizard-based services hide as much of the complexity as they can.


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.
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.

#5) We can have yet another set of tests that are simple but very laborious to be carried out manually. Tedious but simple tests are the ideal automation candidates, for example entering details of 1000 customers into the database has a simple functionality but extremely tedious to be carried out manually, such tests should be automated. If not, they mostly end up getting ignored and not tested.
Here’s a disarming stat: only 2.5% of companies finish every project they start. A Gartner report reveals that only 5% of companies use just one project management tool. This indicates a need for an “all-in-one” solution that helps employees reduce the amount of time they spend switching between apps. Here are three great solutions to get you started.
This approach works fine for the first weeks, when running checks only takes five minutes. Over time, though, five minutes turn into an hour, then two, then three. Before you know it, testing locks up the tester's computer or test environment all afternoon. So you start kicking off automated test runs at 5 am or 5 pm and get the results the next day. Unfortunately, if something goes wrong early on, all the results will be corrupted. That slows to a crawl the feedback loop from development to test, creating wait states in the work.
The move to agile has led many teams to adopt a pyramid testing strategy. The test automation pyramid strategy calls for automating tests at three different levels. Unit testing represents the base and biggest percentage of this test automation pyramid. Next comes, service layer, or API testing. And finally, GUI tests sit at the top. The pyramid looks something like this:
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