8 Best Tools to Easily Run CI/CD Tests

Best Tools to Easily Run CI/CD Tests

Scott Pickard

The testing phase of a CI/CD pipeline can be grueling without the assistance of automation software. This article lists 8 of the best solutions for easily running CI/CD tests.

When it comes to the testing portion of your Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) pipeline, several automation tools are available to drastically increase the speed that you can adequately test your product. These automation tools vary in scope but ultimately achieve one goal: repeatedly and synchronously do the job that hundreds of humans could do.

The proper testing software for you will depend heavily on two primary considerations.

Here is our list of the best tools to efficiently run CI/CD tests:

  1. Katalon Free automated testing for UI with scripting or record-and-playback functions, with broad CI/CD pipeline integration support, enhanced with a premium RunTime Engine upgrade.
  2. Ranorex Studio Another UI testing platform built for both new and experienced DevOps teams. The software can be easily integrated with any major CI/CD pipeline suite and has a comprehensive support base.
  3. Selenium A free, open-source testing framework that can provide in-depth test scripting capabilities if you have the coding know-how, with full CI/CD pipeline integration.
  4. Appium Another free and open-source testing framework that requires a decent amount of programming know-how is built for mobile application and browser testing.
  5. Specflow A free and open-source BDD framework that can primary easily integrate your existing testing solutions and includes Web and Application UI testing, API testing, and more.
  6. ThreatModeler As the name might imply, this software solution is built for threat modeling and security vulnerability detection and mitigation. It can be integrated with most CI/CD pipelines for DevSecOps.
  7. Checkmarx Another security-based solution that tests your source code for potential security vulnerabilities and has a utility for checking open-source code against a pre-checked library for vulnerabilities.
  8. SoapUI Testing software specifically for API development, allowing you to create virtual API environments. The software itself is free but requires a premium upgrade to support CI/CD pipeline integration.

What kind of testing do you need to do?

Perhaps you need to test the UI elements of a particular piece of software, or you need to perform security testing to mitigate potential vulnerabilities. Testing software is typically focused on accomplishing one specific goal – before choosing your testing software, determine what specific purpose you’re trying to achieve.

What kind of CI/CD pipeline do you have in place?

There are several solutions to integrating a CI/CD pipeline into your development processes. Utilities like Jenkins, CircleCI, or GitLab are built to provide a scalable CI/CD infrastructure for your DevOps needs. Alternatively, on a minor team, you might simply orchestrate a CI/CD pipeline through specific practices and procedures without a software utility to automate your workflow. Finally, you should consider your CI/CD solution when picking your testing solution since a number of them provide full integration support for the various CI/CD software solutions.

This article will walk you through various options available for automating and streamlining your CI/CD testing needs.

The Best Tools to Easily Run CI/CD Tests

1. Katalon


Katalon is a free automated testing solution designed for general-purpose UI testing. The software can allow you to create elaborate automated scripts, often without any prior scripting experience. In addition, you can use the recording tools to create automated CI/CD testing parameters and take advantage of the IDE and numerous options for advanced purposes.

Katalon is built for integration in mind and has several modular options to expand on the capabilities of the base software. However, the most important for your purposes will be the Runtime Engine package, designed to add CI/CD pipeline capabilities.

Key Features

  • Record/Replay UI Testing
  • Jenkins, Azure, Bamboo, CircleCL, etc. integration
  • IDE for automated test generation
  • AI-driven test execution
  • Modular pricing options

Katalon supports all operating systems, browsers and devices, and can be managed from a cloud-based platform. The base software, Katalon Studio, is entirely free to download. However, for proper CI/CD testing, you’ll likely need the Runtime Engine component that costs $599 per year.

If you handle multiple converging test pipelines as part of CI/CD management, you may also consider the TestOps component that provides test orchestration tools. The essential software is free for up to 2,000 test executions per month, with scalable pricing models for more requirements. In addition, both the Runtime Engine and all other premium features have a free trial available on the website.

2. Ranorex Studio

Ranorex Studio

Ranorex Studio is a premium testing tool designed for UI testing and built for both beginners and experts, providing sophisticated GUI-based parameters that can provide testing methods without prior coding know-how. In addition, it Includes an in-depth object inspection tool and can allow you to produce recorded testing parameters that automatically adjust based on intelligent object detection methods.

The software also includes rigorous tools to build automated testing modules for C# and VB.NET. In addition, several productivity and assistance tools are built into the software to ensure test development is quick and easy.

Key Features

  • Record/Replay UI Testing
  • C# and VB.NET IDE
  • Object inspection tools
  • Testing parameter assistance
  • Jira and TestRail integration

Ranorex Studio is one of the more premium solutions available for UI testing and is perfect if CI/CD testing is a crucial component of your UI development pipeline. The software costs around $3,500 for a perpetual Studio (single-user) license or around $5,600 for a perpetual Enterprise (floating) license.

The software install is only available for Windows, though there is a browser version and mobile install available too.

3. Selenium


The framework that Katalon is built on, Selenium, is also available as an open-source solution that provides three primary functions: web automation testing, a development IDE for test scripts, and a central management point. However, Selenium offers only the basic framework with no interface and requires advanced fundamental programming knowledge, unlike the above solutions.

All three of Selenium’s major functions are available entirely for free and fully integrated into several CI/CD platforms. So if you have a QA team with advanced knowledge of programming, or if you simply wrap your testing into the responsibilities of your DevOps team, Selenium may be the best option for your small-to-medium-sized business.

Key Features

  • Scripted web automation testing
  • Development IDE
  • Multi-environment management
  • Browser interaction record-and-playback
  • Open-source and free

You can download Selenium from the website for free. Selenium Webdriver is the web automation testing suite and supports C#, Ruby, Java, Python, and Javascript. Selenium IDE provides the script creation platform with browser integration and supports Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

Finally, Selenium Grid is the management and multi-environment orchestration platform and must be installed on a central server to be installed on. While you don’t need Selenium Grid for your CI/CD pipeline, it will likely be worthwhile for the full integration.

4. Appium


Appium is the equivalent of Selenium but for testing mobile applications. What’s more, it can integrate with Selenium to expand your web browser testing capabilities to include mobile browsers. In addition, the framework is free and open-source and has a substantial body of documentation and support.

Much like testing with Selenium, it requires advanced programming know-how to get the most out of the development framework. Still, it does provide a functional desktop interface for more in-depth app visualization. In addition, you can integrate Appium with several CI/CD pipeline solutions for your automated mobile testing needs and integrate with Katalon.

Key Features

  • Mobile application/browser testing
  • Selenium and Katalon integration
  • Scripted automation testing
  • Substantial support base
  • Open-source and free

You can download Appium from the website for free. However, a client and server version are there is a client version and server version available. You will need a fully installed server version to enable proper CI/CD pipeline integration.

For testing iOS applications, you’ll need to install the framework on Mac OSX. While testing for Android, you can install the framework on either Mac, Windows, or Linux.

5. Specflow


Specflow is an open-source framework that expands on the capabilities of several testing solutions by integrating Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) into the testing cycle. For example, Specflow can expand on automated browser tests within Selenium or provide in-depth API automation capabilities to REST web services.

Specflow is the most general of the solutions available in this article and is a framework that can cover a broad spectrum of functions. However, it relies upon integrating other systems, and for CI/CD integration, you’ll need to incorporate elements of the Specflow+ Living Doc to automate testing properly.

Key Features

  • BDD Testing framework
  • CI/CD Integration with Specflow+ Living Doc
  • Expanded automated browser testing
  • API development automation
  • Mobile and desktop application automation

Specflow is entirely free and open-source and can be installed through the Specflow website or as a plugin for Visual Studio. Specflow+ Living Doc has integration capabilities with most CI/CD solutions such as Jenkins, TeamCity, and GitLab. This solution may be perfect if you’re familiar with BDD and want to enhance your existing testing solutions.

6. ThreatModeler


As the name might imply, ThreatModeler is security focussed testing tool that provides automated threat modeling and mitigation systems. Using a threat library customized on a per-project basis, you can perform security testing and generate comprehensive threat models. The utility can also scan your environment to identify where security controls are missing and automatically perform identified threat mitigation.

The utility has full Jenkins and JIRA support to provide enterprise-level CI/CD pipeline integration. It has several scalable options available, but the DevOps Edition includes the proper CI/CD integration you will need for your dev pipeline.

Key Features

  • Record/Replay UI Testing
  • Jenkins, Azure, Bamboo, CircleCL, etc. integration
  • IDE for automated test generation
  • AI-driven test execution
  • Modular pricing options

The base cost of the tool is around $4,000 for a 12-month license. For the DevOps Edition that includes full CI/CD integration, you’ll need to contact the ThreatModeler company directly to receive a personalized demo and quote.

7. Checkmarx


Another security-focused solution, Checkmarx, has several modular utilities designed to scan and test your source code for potential security vulnerabilities. The first is the Static Application Security Testing (CxSAST) software that flexibly scans your source code during development and provides insights to resolve any identified issues.

Other modules like Software Composition Analysis (CxSCA) scan the open-source code you use in projects by comparing the data to a security-vetted library. For your automated CI/CD integration purposes, you can package these modules into the Application Testing Platform, which encompasses all of the features into an orchestration platform.

Key Features

  • Source code vulnerability testing
  • Open-source code security scanning
  • Gitlab and AWS integration
  • Central testing platform for organization
  • Enterprise-level support and training

Checkmarx products are designed for enterprise-level DevSecOps teams, and their pricing reflects the high standard of their products. In addition, the software integrates with several popular CI/CD tools and supports a wide variety of programming languages.

A basic license covers 12 developers and costs around $59k per year.

8. SoapUI


SoapUI is a free and open-source testing tool designed specifically for API development. The software provides you with several functional testing methods, including creating mock API environments or running thorough performance analyses. For the full CI/CD suite, though, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium ReadyAPI testing software package.

In addition to CI/CD automation support, the ReadyAPI version adds several data generation systems and more robust reporting tools. So while the free version might suit your basic testing needs, for the more substantial CI/CD, you’ll want to consider the premium upgrade.

Key Features

  • SOAP/REST API Testing
  • Data generation
  • Performance reporting
  • API Mocking tools
  • Large open-source community

SoapUI supports SOAP and REST API testing with Groovy and JavaScript programming languages. The software works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. SoupUI is entirely free to download from their website. At the same time, the basic ReadyAPI testing module (which includes CI/CD automation) costs around $800 per license – but does have a free trial available on the website.

The company, Smartbear, also has several other software packages available. One such software, TestComplete, allows you to scale up API testing and enhance CI/CD automation on a more macro administration scale.

In Summary

The above article delves into various CI/CD testing solutions that can easily integrate into your development pipeline and speed up testing through automation. As mentioned previously, your chosen answer will depend heavily on:

  • First, what kind of testing do you need to do?
  • Second, what sort of CI/CD pipeline do you have in place?

Consider those two things before deciding on your testing solution.

If you’re working within an enterprise-level environment, you may consider using solutions such as Ranorex Studio or Katalon for automated UI testing. Alternatively, if you need to perform security testing, you may consider using Checkmarx or ThreatModeler, depending on your specific testing needs. Finally, suppose your testing / QA team already has substantial coding know-how. In that case, you might consider using a framework solution such as Selenium or even Specflow for more outstanding testing capabilities.

Regardless of your chosen testing solution, all of the above utilities can be integrated into a CI/CD pipeline, whether as standard or through premium upgrades.