Open Source Vs Paid Software Test Automation Tools

Open source V's licensed automation tools

When it comes to automation tools, there are two main types available: open source and licensed tools. Open source automation tools are free to use and modify, while licensed tools require a fee to use. Choosing the right automation tool can be a tedious task, especially when you are facing budget constraints. However, when it comes to web development and testing software, investing in a reliable and efficient automation tool can be a game-changer.

In this blog post, we will discuss the key factors to consider when choosing between these two types of automation tools. It outlines the importance of evaluating the cost, specific requirements, software support, integration, skills of the testing team, scalability, security, and test reporting requirements. 

So, whether you’re a startup, mid-sized, or large-scale organization, stay tuned to learn which tool is right for you. 

While open source tools are free to license, they may incur additional costs such as training and maintenance. Paid tools may offer better support and integration but have an upfront investment cost. The choice ultimately depends on the needs and priorities of your team and software testing project. 

Factors to be considered when deciding whether to use paid or open source, test automation tools include the following: 


Whilst open source tools are obviously free to license and paid tools require paying for every license used, it is important to consider the total cost of implementing the tool for your development project. Additional costs associated with using “free” tools may include training the QA (Quality Assurance) team, software support and maintenance of the automated solution. Overall, the key factor is the ROI (return on investment) that can be achieved from using paid Vs free tools. Free is not always the lowest cost option. 

Specific Requirements of your Test Automation Project  

Will the selected tool meet your particular needs, or can it be customized to meet those needs? Open source software is often more customizable than paid tools. However, you need to determine if your project team has the required skills and resources to implement the required customizations. If a paid tool can meet your requirements, it may well be worth the extra up-front investment cost. 

Software Support 

Paid tools will often provide support engineers to answer questions and support their paying customers. Assess how useful and available this support will be to your team. Also consider the availability of online support documentation available for individual tools. It is sometimes easier to Google helpful answers to support questions for popular open source tools than lesser used paid tools. Open source tools may also have the advantage of a strong user community, willing to provide free support via their forums and blogs. 


How well will the selected tool integrate with your other software, such as test management tools, bug tracking tools, your source control set-up, and any CI (Continuous Integration) tools you may use? When choosing a paid tool, confirm that you are not locked into a specific vendor and that the tool allows for interoperability with other software tools. 

The Skills and Experience of your Software Testing Team 

How ready and capable are your team of using the chosen automation tool? Many paid automation tool providers invest heavily in their UI (User Interface) with a focus on making their tool usable by non-developers. Open source tools often require a decent level of programming knowledge for their use. Also consider the programming languages the tools support. For example, if your team has a strong knowledge of C#, you may wish to avoid tools that require a knowledge of different programming languages such as JavaScript. 

Test Reporting  

Paid automation tools will generally include user-friendly and easily readable reports of test run results. Although, it is not always the case, open source tools may require the bolt-on of additional reporting tools. Take some time to assess the reporting capabilities of any tools you consider. 


Consider the scalability of the automation tool as your testing needs grow. Will the tool handle a larger volume of test cases and test runs, or will it become slow and inefficient? 

Maintenance of the Test Automation Tool 

Maintenance is an essential part of any software application. When evaluating an automation tool, consider the frequency of updates and upgrades. Paid tools generally provide regular updates, whereas open source tools rely on community support. 

Software Security 

Security is now a crucial aspect of any software application / vendor decision. When evaluating an automation tool, consider its security features and whether it meets your security standards. 

Here are the top five automation test tools in the world market and their respective percentage shares: 

  1. Selenium: Selenium is the most widely-used automation test tool in the world market, with a market share of approximately 26.4%. 
  2. Katalon Studio: Katalon Studio is a newer tool compared to Selenium, but has quickly gained popularity due to its easy-to-use interface and a range of features. It occupies about 6.1% of the market share. 
  3. HP UFT (Unified Functional Testing): HP UFT is a licensed tool and is used for both functional and regression testing. It has a market share of approximately 5.7%. 
  4. TestComplete: TestComplete is a GUI automation tool that allows users to write scripts in various programming languages. It currently holds a market share of 3.3%. 
  5. Appium: Appium is a widely-used open source automation tool for testing mobile applications, with a market share of approximately 2.6%. 


Note that these statistics reflect the world market and are based on a recent survey conducted by the Test Automation Community. The market share of each tool may vary based on different surveys or reports. 

In conclusion, choosing the right automation tool for your business can have a significant impact on your overall performance. While open source automation tools have their benefits, licensed automation tools provide more comprehensive features, security, and support. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your business requirements, budget, and the type of project you are working on. If you need help choosing the right automation tool for your business or require automation solutions, CelticQA Solutions can help. Our team of software experts specializes in providing efficient and cost-effective automation solutions tailored to meet your unique business needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at or visit us at to take the first step towards the right automation tool for your business.

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