Open Source tool based automated testing is freely available and widely used, and there’s an impressive array of open source tools used for different types of testing. For enterprise applications, specifically Oracle applications, Oracle has developed licensed automation testing tools, but those come with a different set of downsides.
Licensed products have their benefits, sure, but when there’s a viable option using open source technology, why not use it?
Let’s first take a look at what challenges come with using a licensed product, like Oracle Application Testing Suite (OATS) or PeopleSoft Test Framework (PTF).
What’s wrong with licensed software?
Really, nothing is wrong with using licensed software; some businesses prefer it and always will. However, there are some definite cons to it, which we’ll address here.
Most of the upsides and downsides that businesses consider when looking at automation testing tools (or any solution, really) come down to cost. Licensed software attracts a bundle of fees and not just the one you pay to acquire the license either. You also have to pay the renewal price each year to make sure your license doesn’t expire, and when (it’s always a when not an if) there are changes on the backend, you have to spend more money on maintenance as well.
You’ll also have to hire specifically skilled resources to help with implementation and day-to-day tasks. This is not unlike hiring a SharePoint developer—it’s a niche skillset, and those who have the skills you need don’t come at a cheap price.
Cost aside, licensed tools often don’t align with a business’s long-term architectural vision, and frankly, they’re also outdated. There are a lot of newer technologies available that you can use to automate testing, and since many of them are open source, there’s a large repository of talent to assist you.
Why open source?
Open-source software has definitive perks. Open source technology stacks and solutions for automation help define standards for an enterprise because most of them are developed by big names—Microsoft, MIT, and so on. In addition, the uptick of open source automation methods has increased its global adoption, so there is a lot of support available if needed.
The public has a lot of misconceptions, one being that open source solutions are less reliable than licensed software, but we’ve experienced the opposite—particularly from the programs developed by the big names we pointed out before. Most importantly, they are highly reliable, scalable, and maintainable, and your developers can easily create a version unique to your enterprise.
A lot of these products, like Sikuli (developed by MIT), can handle native forms and flash-based applications. Historically, a lot of organizations used Java native form-based applications, and when programs like Selenium and Phantom.js emerged, those organizations didn’t evolve. There wasn’t a solution in the market that could help them with their current applications and they wanted to stick with what they knew worked. Taking that as a challenge, bright minds developed open-source programs to handle older applications. Sikuli is an example of this.
Open-source technologies are also easier to align with your cloud vision. There are minimal to no licensing costs, to begin with, and even enterprise licenses are affordable. So you can maintain the technology, develop it as needed, and look for ideas across the world as developers continue to innovate and publish on the tech stack. This is in line with a lot of organizations’ architectural desires.
As you can see, the cost is a big factor, as it is with everything, but there are important upsides to using open source solutions that don’t have anything to do with price and have everything to do with talent and availability. Sure, it’s a little more work than just throwing money at licensed software, but the outcome is worth it.
Want to see more?
If you’d like to watch a demo of Infolob’s director of architecture and delivery, Girish Mallampalli, using open source automation testing tools for Oracle applications, take a look at his webinar here. He covers all of this and more concerning test automation, DevOps, and CI/CD.
This article was compiled by Carson Collins, Infolob’s resident writer. You can reach him at [email protected]