5 Open Source Tools for Software Testing

Software testing using open source tools can be a valuable option if used smartly. One can harness the power of the open source while relying on the security of a vendor based tool by prudently assigning tasks.

Open source can be viewed as perfect online socialism – everyone working for the greater good of the web. One of the greatest myths about open source is that it offers no support. The fact is that every open source tool is organic – it keeps growing all the time, unlike the proprietary tools which are reviewed and renewed once a year. A bug in the code, once detected, is easily fixed and the fix propagated through the internet. In fact, mature open source tools are very less likely to be problematic since they have been debugged so many times.

Software testing is a tedious and complicated process. Among the plethora of options for software testing tools available in the market today, here we focus on a few open source testing tools that can be trusted. Let Us Look at a Few Open Source Tools for Software Testing:

  • Selenium

Selenium is an open source portable software testing framework for web applications. Selenium provides a record/playback tool for authoring tests without the need to learn a test scripting language. With deploy capabilities on most modern browsers running on the most popular platforms including Windows, Linux and Mac OS, Selenium is a top open source choice when it comes to software testing. This open source software runs on the Apache 2.0 license and can be downloaded and used without any charge. It also boasts a writing capability on a wide range of programming languages including C#, Java, Ruby, Perl, PHP and Python.

  • Canoo WebTest

Canoo WebTest is another open source tool for automated testing of web applications in an effective manner. It is simple, fast, efficient and has excellent reporting capabilities that enable you to quickly analyse failure cause. Like with most open source technology, this tool is easy to understand under the hood, and the makers promote tinkering and extension of the source code to run it better. Canoo WebTest runs in the background, gives quick results and is based on plain Java, which means it will run everywhere as long as you have JDK for your operating system.

  • Watir

Watir is Web Application Testing in Ruby. Watir is an open source family of Ruby libraries for automating web browsers. It drives Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari and is available as a RubyGems gem. Watir makes use of Ruby’s Object Linking and Embedding capabilities, to completely automate a web browser and operate it just the way we do. It can click links, open pages, fill forms and more importantly check results. It allows you to write simple and flexible tests that are easy to maintain.

  • WatiN

WatiN is a Web Application Testing in .Net, a cousin of Watir. Indeed, Watir’s success as a software testing and web automation tool sprouted relatives such as WatiN, Watij (Java), Vapir (A Watir fork with bug fixes) and Win32::Watir (Perl). Inspired by Watir, WatiN development began in December 2005 with an aim to create a similar automation and testing tool for the .Net languages. Since then, WatiN has grown to be an easy to use, feature rich and stable framework.

  • iMacros

iMacros is similar to Watir, except it has visual recording, web scraping support and a COM object for use with any programming language. It can be combined and controlled via JavaScript and is one of the most popular open source tools for software testing and web automation in the market.


One has to be very careful while using an open source tool. The licensing, user reports and previous bug fixes should be thoroughly checked before deciding to use it. Open source is a great community but one essentially pays the extra bucks to the vendor for security and guarantee against failure. So, you can even choose the deployment of a particular tool depending upon the sensitivity of the task.

Contact OptimusQA for your quality assurance and software testing doubts. Get in touch with your doubts about the trustworthiness and implementation of open source testing tools and other queries. We are always happy to help!