The tools supply the test object with test data, log the test object's reactions, and record the test execution. The tester is thus released from the necessary mechanical tasks for the test execution.

In most cases, the tools must run on the same hardware platform as the test object itself. This, however, can have an influence on the run time behavior (like memory and processor usage) of the test object and influence the test results. This must be remembered when using such tools and evaluating test results.

Since such tools need to be connected to the particular test object's test interface, they vary greatly depending on the test level (component, integration, system test) in which they are applied.

When speaking of test tools in general, we often mean tools for automating test execution, i.e., tools for automating dynamic tests.

Source: Software Testing Foundations
Andreas Spillner, Tilo Linz: Software Testing Foundations, A Study Guide for the Certified Tester Exam, dpunkt.verlag.

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26.08.2013 by Martijn de Vrieze Technical test consultant at http://www.polteq.com/en/

My name is Martijn de Vrieze, I am a technical test consultant for Polteq Test Services based in the Netherlands.
Over the course of my career I have developed a preference to not repeat manual test work where possible and as such have grown into a role strongly related to and relying on test automation.
In my personal blog I discuss a lot of topics, one of the main themes in there however is any form of test automation, be it for the purpose of removing manual labor or to support other test forms, such as performance measuring.

I will be one of the moderators for the Test Automation tools section of this platform.