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I have a team of 2 QAs and we just started at a company which have a windows client software application with no documentation and no test cases. What would you recommend as a tool to start building an automated test suite for this application.

What are the best options in the follow cases:

  1. Commercial tools? (If money is no issue)
  2. Budget friendly or low cost tools? (considering the cost and features provided by tool)
  3. Free / open-source tools?
  • Which GUI framework is used to built the app? It's important. – Vasily Ryabov Sep 18 '15 at 10:53
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For the free tools you can use AutoIt or Winium. And if you want to go for commercial tool then TestComplete is a good tool in that league.

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If you company works with the HP QC/ALM then QTP is a good tool to automate as its also from HP to work together with QC/ALM. (But it has to be licened)

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I've used AutoIT a lot - TestComplete is great too. Quick test Pro is excellent (and pricey) and hooks up to HP QC (as stated elsewhere) - that's a real forward-facing investment which will pay dividends in the future.

I've used AutoIT to create small tools to automate UIs on legacy logging tools which didn't implement an automation interface of their own: the UI snooping tool which AutoIT installs as part of the package is great for finding UI control IDs for automating, and the documentation for AutoIT is second to none. Install the full SciTE editor and you'll get highlighting and code completion, with in-IDE tools to syntax check and build into standalone executables.

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Currently I am working on a project using the commercial Coded UI of Microsoft. You can try the record and playback in a trail version of Visual studio enterprise. (We are not using the recording tool, but handcoding tests with the page objects pattern, personally I do not like record&playback tools, but for testing that it works it might be good.)

There is also an open source project which uses the MS UI Automated libraries, have a look at this answer for a code example: What are some good open source UI Testing tools for testing Windows GUI? (Should work with free Visual studio community)

There is one issue with these frameworks that the underlying application needs to implement the UI Automation hooks, most standard Windows / MS (.Net) application should though. Else it will fallback to clicking on coordinates, which might not be very maintainable.

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There are many good tools available out there. Since you have not mentioned which exact requirements you have, I would suggest using Ranorex because it supports a lot of different software technologies, frameworks and 3rd party controls.

It is a commercial tool which allows you to record your tests even without coding (but if you want to code, you can do it, too)

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