What is/are the best QA tool(s) you use?

Hello Experts,

I just began work for a small traditional ad agency that would like to become a small digital ad agency. Currently they do not have a firm QA process in place and would like me to implement one. I understand the basic principles of QA testing, having worked for a digital company previously, but when it comes to the actual tools we should be using I am at a loss.

What tool(s) can I begin researching/downloading to help my company?

Thank you!
Natalie KuhnAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
wls3Commented:
I was going to reply but must have closed out the tab with my remarks.  Powershell will not work on Mac.  In that case, Perl is the route.  Also, Watir is something I have used with Powershell quite a bit.  It opens up a lot of testing possibilities for automation.  I found this forum:

http://www.qaforums.com

and

http://www.sqaforums.com/ubbthreads.php

which seems like it would help you get in depth answers.  These look more specifically focused on automated software testing, but, will at least get you in the arena. Development and testing are two different fields which often overlap, but, have very different focal points, schools of thought and tool sets.
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wls3Commented:
What sort of ads are you going to be running?  What are your intended audiences?  What language(s) does your team have experience with? What platform are you folks running (Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix)?  Are you developing web sites as well or just images?
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Natalie KuhnAuthor Commented:
Hello wls3,

We are not just running ads (we do run PPC) but also launching new sites, landing pages and sending email blasts. We would need to test for Mac and PC: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE7 and IE8. Does that answer the question? I can try to provide more detail if not!

Thanks!
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wls3Commented:
Well, let's start with the high level.  Do you have manual procedures in place that you want to convert to an automated process?  Or, have you even made it that far?
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Natalie KuhnAuthor Commented:
Yes - sadly we currently have a very manual process - We have a select group of people from the agency (different depending on project) that are chosen to "QA". When the group QA tests they are manually clicking through the site/landing page/email and its components. We do not have any tools.

I was hoping there were some decent tools out there that would allow us to crawl the site automatically to locate broken links and to view the site across multiple browsers without actually having all the browsers open. I am sure there are more features that would benefit our testing, but I cannot think of any big ones at the moment.
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Suhas .QA ManagerCommented:
For web based automation:

I suggest following tools: ( My preference Selenium / Sikuli )
1. Selenim ( you can use either of the languages for scripting C, Java, Perl, Python etc... and it had the option of Recorder too ) , the No. 1 freeware automatioon tool.

2. Watir

3. QTP ( the No. 1 thrid party application, bit expensive but its No. 1 Automation tool )

4. Sikuli ( Image based automation, easy way of automate... minimal knowledge of Python  required ) Freeware

5. Win32::IEAutomation ( using Perl, i am not sure how better it helps for your requirements ) Freeware/Open Source

6. Eggplant ( Image based automation, third party application ).
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Natalie KuhnAuthor Commented:
Thank you suhasbharadwaj! Is there a tool from that list (or another you have in mind) that would be best for these very early stages of developing our QA testing process? We currently have a few people who are selected internally (some of which have little to no technical experience) simply click through our sites/emails/apps and assess what adjustments need to be made. This process can be chaotic and confusing for all those involved. If one (or some) of those tools would work best to ease the group into a real QA testing environment I would be very grateful for your recommendation, thank you again!
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Natalie KuhnAuthor Commented:
I would like to close this question up soon. Any additional commentary suhasbharadwaj or wls3?
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Natalie KuhnAuthor Commented:
Thank you for following up wls3! I see your point about Development and QA. Again this place is still ironing out the most basic proceses. Learning as I go.

Both your feedback has given me some good tools to look into - I will get to work on that now.
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Natalie KuhnAuthor Commented:
Thanks again!
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wls3Commented:
Glad we could help.  If you have questions about Powershell and Watir contact me.  I have worked through some of the warts with that and am somewhat familiar with the project, processes and efforts that go into getting something like this set up.  Although you are looking for details, this book might help frame the conversation a little: Quality Control for Dummies.  I find these for Dummies books are great for getting me in the ballpark.  When I know something about a given tool, field, etc, I read these to be sure I have the basics covered.  From there I can start choosing more intelligently.  Also, you might consider something like http://www.webmasterworld.com/graphics_multimedia/ to get a taste of how folk who do web development day in and day out do this.  Some are independent folks, but, some are parts of larger teams.  I suspect poking around there may help you find a few tidbits.
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