Cheap and Free Software Test Tools

Budget-friendly planning and management tools—plus a few others.

By Randall Rice, Rice Consulting

I have been researching sources of test tools and other resources that are inexpensive or free. In some cases, you get what you pay for. However, it is possible to automate some or a lot of your testing using these tools. The good news is that the investment at risk is low.

I have not included prices, since they change often ($ indicates there is a cost). Please visit the web sites to get more information on these tools. Test Design

CTE-XL – Based on the Classification Tree approach (Free and $ versions) –

ACTS (Free) – Combinatorial test design.

AllPairs (Free) –

PICT (Free) –

More pairwise tools at

FreeMind (Free) – Mind mapping for test design.

METS (Free) – Minimal Essential Test Strategy These are Excel spreadsheets but help in planning and estimating tests. There is also an iPhone app in the iTunes store.

Shapes (Mac, $) –

yEd Graph Editor (Free) –

GraphWalker (Free) –


Test Management

These tools help you plan and organize testing.

Bromine (Free) –

Part of the Selenium suite of tools. Web-based QA tool for Selenium, that enables you to easily run Selenium-RC tests and view the results.

QA Book – Windows-based – Free – Allows you to create, edit and manage requirements, test cases, defects, environments, project success criteria, reporting, automated testing and more –

QA Traq (Free) – Provides a central location for all test documentation with full revision control –

Testopia (Free) – A test case management extension for Bugzilla –

qaManager (Free) –

TestLink (Free) – Web-based Test Management system.

TestMaster (Free) – A test case logging, reporting and test automation tool, much like the commercial product Test Director –

Zeta Test (Free and $) – An integrated test management environment that enables you to perform black-box tests, white-box tests, regression tests or change management tests of software applications.

XStudio (Free and $) – A fully-graphical application developed in Java (so theoretically deployable on any OS) (Free) –


Test Frameworks

Open2Test  (Free) – The Open Source Test Automation Framework is composed of a standard set of keywords that doesn’t change, no matter what automation tool you use to automate testing –

STAF (Free) – An open source, multi-platform, multi-language framework designed around the idea of reusable components, called services (such as process invocation, resource management, logging, and monitoring) –


Test Automation

Apodora (Free) – A framework/tool for automating functional testing of web applications. It provides the user with programmatic control of the web browser allowing them to interact directly with the browser’s user interface. It uses a database backend in order to remember how to find your html elements. This also makes your scripts easier to maintain –

AutoIT  (Free) –

Bad Boy (Free and $) .

Cubic Test  (Free) – Graphical Eclipse plug-in for writing Selenium and Watir tests. It makes web tests faster and easier to write, and provides abstractions to make tests more robust and reusable –

Cucumber (Free) – Cucumber lets software development teams describe how software should behave in plain text. The text is written in a business-readable domain-specific language and serves as documentation, automated tests and development-aid – all rolled into one format. Works with Ruby, Java, .NET, Flex or web applications written in any language. It has been translated to over 40 spoken languages.

Expect (Free) – Expect is a tool for automating interactive applications such as telnet, ftp, passwd, fsck, rlogin, tip, etc. Expect really makes this stuff trivial. Expect is also useful for testing these same applications. And by adding Tk, you can also wrap interactive applications in X11 GUIs.
Expect can make easy all sorts of tasks that are prohibitively difficult with anything else. You will find that Expect is an absolutely invaluable tool – using it, you will be able to automate tasks that you’ve never even thought of before – and you’ll be able to do this automation quickly and easily” –

Fake (Mac $) –

FitNesse (Free) –

Frankenstein (Free) –

Grease Monkey (Free) –

Selenium (Free) – A Firefox add-on that will do simple record-and-playback of interactions with the browser.

Sikuli (Free) –

WET (Free) –  Commercial grade Opensource Web automation testing tool –


Macro Recorders and Players

These tools capture keystrokes and even create simple scripts that can be replayed.

iMacros (Free) –

Macro Scheduler (Free, $) – Macro Scheduler is my favorite because of its full-featured scripting language –

Mouse and Key Recorder (Free) –

iOpus Internet Macros ($) –

Macro Express ($)


Comparison Tools

ExamDiff and ExamDiff Pro (Free) –

Beyond Compare ($) –

Compare It! ($) –

Total Commander (Free) –

WinMerge (Free) –


Load and Stress Tools

Web Server Stress Tool (Free, $) –

Load (Free) –

LoadUI (Free) –

Jmeter (Free) –


Screen Video Capture

These are great tools to document a test. Screen video is captured and saved in either avi format or wmv format, which is about 1/10 the size of avi files.

Windows Media Encoder (Free) – Search on the term “Windows Media Encoder” to find it on the Microsoft site –

Jing (Free) –


Screen Shot Capture

Clarify ($) – Capture, sequence and annotate screenshots to create documents that are a great alternative to screen recordings –


Test Drivers for Unit Regression Testing

TestMaker 3.3 (Free) –

NTest for .NET components (Free) –

JTest for Java (Free) –


Interactive Test/Debug

PEBrowse Profession Interactive (Free) – A very powerful, versatile, and customizable Win32 user mode debugger/disassembler. The debugger fully supports Microsoft .NET managed processes and seamlessly allows interop or mixed-mode debugging. It can be set as the startup debugger using the system registry Image File Execution—PEBrowse Professional Interactive


Configuration Management

Syncronize It! ($) –

FolderMatch (Free, $) –


Test Data Generation

This is a really cool web script that you can use for free and even download the script for use on your own server –


Training is a free and comprehensive resource that is a collection of open college course that spans videos, audio lectures, and notes given by professors at Harvard, Princeton and MIT. These include highly relevant courses such as iPhone Application Development from Stanford and Cyber Humor from Oxford. – Free courses in software testing from Kaner, Fiedler & Associates, LLC. – One or two testing courses, but many other free courses for web development. – Has many free and cheap online training courses for a wide variety of topics, including testing. I personally take courses on this site.

My free videos on YouTube – I have several playlists, including one for testing concepts and principles, and another for “How To” topics.

(Why do I list free courses when I sell my courses? 1. You may have limited funds, 2. To be helpful, 3. That’s how I am.)

Randy Rice

Randy Rice is a thought leading author, speaker and practitioner consultant in the field of software testing and software quality. Rice has worked with organizations worldwide to improve the quality of their information systems and optimize their testing processes.

His website is

His blog is


One Response to Cheap and Free Software Test Tools

  1. I appreciate your great post and thanks for sharing this awesone information regarding software testing training which I was looking for.

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