Katalon: the complete test automation platform

What is Katalon?

Katalon is a test automation platform that enables developers and testers to create, execute and manage tests for web, mobile, API and desktop applications. Katalon is based on the open-source Selenium framework and provides a number of features that make the test automation process easier and faster.

Katalon is suitable for every developer and IT tester of all experience levels. It offers a simple and intuitive interface that is easy to understand even for beginners. In addition, Katalon provides a number of features that make it easy for advanced testers to create complex and robust tests.

Katalon Studio

Katalon Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for Katalon. It provides developers and testers with all the tools and features they need to create, execute and manage tests. Katalon Studio is based on Eclipse and supports a wide range of programming languages, including Java, Groovy and Python.

Katalon Studio offers a number of features that make the test automation process easier and faster. These features include:

  • Katalon Recorder: a web event recording tool that allows testers to automatically generate test scenarios.
  • Katalon Studio Recorder: a mobile event recording tool that allows testers to automatically generate test scenarios for mobile apps.
  • Katalon Studio API: an API that allows developers to integrate Katalon Studio with their own applications.
  • Katalon TestOps: a test management platform that allows developers and testers to manage and track tests.

Katalon Recorder

Katalon Recorder is a tool that allows testers to automatically generate test scenarios for web applications. The Recorder records the actions that the tester performs in the application and then generates these actions into a test scenario.

Katalon Recorder is a simple and intuitive tool that is easy to understand even for beginners. It offers a number of features that make it easy for testers to create complex and robust test scenarios.

Advantages of Katalon

1. All in one platform

With its depth and breadth of test automation capabilities, the Katalon platform meets the needs of all test teams and enterprises for functional and visual automated testing.

2. Artificial intelligence-driven features

AI/ML features enable QA teams to test faster and more efficiently. Katalon’s AI features, such as Smart Wait or Self-healing, reduce test maintenance effort, while Wait-time control uses machine learning algorithms to determine the optimal time to wait for elements to load, making test scripts more reliable.

3. Testing in different environments

The Katalon platform allows teams to run tests remotely or locally across a wide range of devices, browsers, models and operating systems, increasing test coverage.

4. Easy use with available educational resources

Katalon is a simple platform and easy to learn. Its features allow testers to get quickly used to the product and meet business needs. There is also a Katalon Academy where new testers can learn how to use the platform for free. Numerous courses are available on YouTube, Coursera and also Udemy.

5. Affordability

Katalon has flexible pricing with free usage levels so anyone can experiment with the platform and try out its features.

Of course, the Enterprise version offers more robust options, including AI/ML features as well as access to plugins. It is recommended that testers start with the free license, and then gradually move up to higher versions.

Disadvantages of Katalon

1. Lack of scripting languages

Katalon only supports Java, Python and Groovy. If you want to switch from another platform, having scripts written in Java, Pythonor Groovy can give you a head start. Otherwise, you would have to rewrite the test scripts if they are not already in these three languages.

2. Not open-source

Katalon is a commercial platform for automated testing and is therefore not open source. Automated testing teams and every automation tester need some investment to unlock more advanced features. However, free features can already add significant value, and the Katalon Store is available with community plugins to meet your specific testing needs.

Katalon is a commercial platform for automated testing and is therefore not open source.
Katalon is a commercial platform for automated testing and is therefore not open source.

3. Performance issues

Users report that they sometimes experience performance issues with the platform, such as screen freezes and some object verification issues that slow down their testing activities. However, these issues have been allegedly resolved in recent updates.

4. Small community

Katalon was discovered on the market just recently, so its community is smaller than other, more well-known competitors. Sometimes you may not find enough support for your queries on StackOverflow or GitHub, but that will certainly change over time.

API testing using the Katalon platform

  • The API testing mode in Katalon Platform supports all of the above features including end-to-end API testing, autocomplete, code checking, snippets, dual interfaces, debugger, and many more.
  • Katalon also supports BDD (Behavior Driven Development) with Cucumber files and the native Gherkin editor. Built-in integrations allow QA testers to enable CI and DevOps best practices.

Web testing with Katalon

  • Katalon inherits web testing capabilities from Selenium, but with built-in features and native CI/CD and DevOps integrations.
  • Katalon Web Testing offers many unique features, including Smart Wait, which automatically waits for all front-end website processes to complete before taking further steps, preventing unwanted testing output.
  • It also offers many code support tools including uploading, code refactoring, and custom keywords to quickly create tests.
  • A number of native plugins are available to integrate with most popular CI tools (e.g. Jenkins, Bamboo).

Testing mobile devices using the Katalon platform

  • Automation teams can test native apps, web apps or hybrid apps using the Katalon Platform, which uses the popular mobile testing framework
  • Even better, tests can be performed locally and remotely using real devices, simulators or cloud-based facilities. Testers can now access thousands of devices, models, operating systems to perform tests without having to invest in an endless list of expensive physical devices. It means more coverage, but cost-effectively.

Testing desktop applications with Katalon

  • Testers can perform desktop testing with the Katalon platform locally (on MacOs and Linux) or remotely to test an application from another Windows device.
  • Testers can analyze and capture desktop application objects and add them to object repositories for easier test creation using the Spy Windows feature, saving a lot of time searching for objects.
  • Other smart features including Record Windows (test action logging), intelligent feature search and rich built-in keywords are designed to increase efficiency.

Visual AI testing with Katalon platform

As a comprehensive testing platform, Katalon supports visual testing alongside functional testing. Using AI/ML, Katalon reduces the number of false positives in visual testing with intelligent features (e.g., layout matching, text-to-text) that allow testers to save time and effort and achieve visual quality along with usability.

Katalon alternatives

If you’re still not convinced if the Katalon platform is for you, here’s a little comparison of Katalon with its alternatives:

Katalon vs Selenium

Feature Katalon Selenium
Type Automation test platform. Framework for automation testing of web applications.
Supported application types Web, mobile, API and desktop applications. Web applications
User interface Intuitive and easy to understand. More complex and requires more knowledge.
Features It offers a number of features that make the test automation process easier and faster. Offers features specific to web application testing.
Price The freemium, professional version costs 1,200$ per year. Open-source, but commercial licenses are also available.

Katalon vs SoapUI

Feature Katalon SoapUI
Type Automation test platform. A tool for testing web services.
Supported application types Web, mobile, API and desktop applications. Web Services.
User interface Intuitive and easy to understand. More complex and requires more knowledge.
Features It offers a number of features that make the test automation process easier and faster. It offers features specific for testing web services.
Price The freemium, professional version costs 1,200$ per year. The freemium, professional version costs 2,995$ per year.

Katalon vs Postman

Feature Katalon Postman
Type Automation test platform. API development and testing tool.
Supported application types Web, mobile, API and desktop applications. API
User interface Intuitive and easy to understand. More complex and requires more knowledge.
Features It offers a number of test automation features, including test scenario recording and generation, support for different programming languages and test strategies, reporting and test result analysis. It offers a number of features for API development and testing, including creating and submitting requests, storing and managing API collections, and generating API documentation.
Price The freemium, professional version costs 1,200$ per year. The freemium, professional version costs 9$ per month.

Katalon vs Cypress

Feature Katalon Cypress
Type Automation test platform. Tool for end-to-end web UI testing.
Supported application types Web, mobile, API and desktop applications. Web applications.
User interface Intuitive and easy to understand. More complex and requires more knowledge.
Features It offers a number of test automation features, including test scenario recording and generation, support for different programming languages and test strategies, reporting and test result analysis. It offers a number of features for end-to-end web UI testing, including automatic re-running of tests in case of code changes, support for different types of tests (such as unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests), and easy test debugging.
Price The freemium, professional version costs 1,200$ per year. Open-source

Katalon vs Tosca

Feature Katalon Tosca
Type Automation test platform. Automation test platform.
Supported application types Web, mobile, API and desktop applications. Web, mobile, API and desktop applications.
Features Recording and generation of test scenarios, support for different programming languages and test strategies, reporting and analysis of test results. Model-based testing (MBT), Business process testing (BPT), Data-driven testing (DDT), Keyword-driven testing (KDT), Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) and more.
User interface Intuitive and easy to understand. More complex and requires more knowledge.
Price The freemium, professional version costs 1,200$ per year. Commercial, price on request.

Katalon vs Robot Framework

Feature Katalon Robot Framework
Type Selenium-based test automation platform. A general framework for test automation.
Supported application types Web, mobile, API and desktop applications. Web, mobile, API and desktop applications.
Features Recording and generation of test scenarios, support for different programming languages and test strategies. Reporting and analysis of test results, uploading and generation of test scenarios, support for different types of applications, extensibility and other features such as control flows, parameterization and real-time testing.
User interface Intuitive and easy to understand. More complex and requires more knowledge.
Price Open-source Open-source

Katalon vs Appium

Feature Katalon Appium
Type Automation test platform. Framework for test automation.
Supported application types Web, mobile, API and desktop applications. Mobile applications
Platforms Android, iOS, Windows. Android, iOS, Windows.
Features Recording and generation of test scenarios, support for different programming languages and test strategies, reporting and analysis of test results. Cross-platform support, flexible and extensible.
User interface Intuitive and easy to understand. More complex and requires more knowledge.
Price The freemium, professional version costs 1,200$ per year. Open-source

Katalon tutorial – installation

Installing Katalon is relatively simple. All you have to do is download the zip file from the Katalon Studio website by registering. Then you need to unzip and double click on the Katalon studio.exe file and hurray for testing. You can download the zip file from this page.

Conclusion

Katalon is a powerful and flexible test automation platform that is accessible to developers and testers of all experience levels, offering a wide range of features for web, mobile, API and desktop applications. With its ease of use, support for multiple programming languages, and integration with AI/ML to improve testing efficiency, Katalon increases the productivity of testing teams and simplifies the process of creating, executing, and managing tests.

If you’re looking for a job as an IT tester and you speak German, take a look at our employee benefits and respond to the latest job offers.

About the author

Michaela Kojnoková

Agile Test Engineer

Po štúdiu informatiky na ŽU a TUKE som sa najviac ponorila do oblasti automatizácie testovania. Okrem toho sa venujem tvorbe webov, databázam, dátovej analytike, umelej inteligencii a strojovému učeniu. Mám rada cestovanie, šport a najviac si užívam čas strávený v prírode s mojimi blízkymi. LinkedIn

Let us know about you