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Mabl Automation Tool Review

A test automation tool called Mabl has been in the news after receiving $20 million in Series B funding from GV (formerly Google Ventures). Mabl is a cloud-based solution limited to testing internet-accessible applications in Firefox and Chrome. Its top-tier pricing also includes testing in IE, but tests are slower and not all functionality is included. I took Mabl for a twenty-minute spin recently, and here are my thoughts.

Mabl requires installing the Mable trainer, a Chrome extension. From the extension, you create test cases using a record and playback method similar to Selenium IDE. You navigate manually through your test case and Mabl records the steps. For pages with multiple, similar objects, Mabl has a "Find elements" tool to identify those elements using either CSS or XPath queries. You're also able to add variables, assertations and JavaScript from the extension. After creating the tests, Mabl executes them from its cloud infrastructure using either Chrome or Firefox.


Non-technical users will be comfortable creating test cases in simple, static apps. But most applications will require using the "Find elements" tool and writing CSS and XPath queries. Users comfortable with writing these queries are likely capable of using more powerful tools than Mabl.


The limitations here are extensive. Mabl requires test environments be exposed to the internet. It can only test in Chrome or Firefox with limited IE support, and testers will need to understand CSS or XPath. You'll also need other automation tools to support your API, DB, and other non-HTML applications. If you're comfortable with these limitations, you may also want to evaluate Selenium IDE. Selenium IDE is an open-source alternative with similar record and playback functionality that allows you edit your scripts by hand using the full Selenium framework. It allows you to test across more browser and test applications that aren’t externally accessible. Plus, because Selenium is a free open-sourced tool, you’ll find it easier to find people who are comfortable using it.

And if none of these options sound right for your organisation, then it’s likely you should consider a more full-featured tool like Tricentis Tosca or Micro Focus UFT.

Phillip Gastineau