Building In-House Testing Tools: Is It Worth It?

Building In-House Testing Tools: Is It Worth It?

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

When faced with the challenge of automating various testing tasks such as performance/load testing, web service testing, and vulnerability scanning, many teams consider building their own in-house tools. This article explores the advantages and potential pitfalls of developing custom testing tools based on insights from experienced professionals.

Advantages of Building In-House Tools

Developing in-house tools can offer several benefits:

  • Customization and Control: Custom tools allow you to tailor functionalities specifically to your needs, offering greater control over the features and integrations.
  • Technical Expertise: Building tools in-house can leverage the technical skills of your team, enabling them to solve unique challenges effectively.
  • Open Source Integration: Combining open source components with in-house development can provide a robust solution while keeping costs low.
  • Ownership: Full ownership of the tool means no dependency on external vendors for updates or support, potentially leading to quicker resolution of issues.

Challenges and Considerations

While the advantages are compelling, there are significant challenges to consider:

  • Maintenance and Support: Developing a tool is just the beginning; continuous maintenance and support are crucial for its longevity and effectiveness.
  • Documentation: Comprehensive documentation is necessary to ensure that future team members can understand and maintain the tool.
  • Testing: In-house tools require rigorous testing to ensure they do not introduce new issues while solving existing problems.
  • Resource Allocation: Building and maintaining custom tools can divert resources from other critical projects, so it’s essential to prioritize effectively.

Practical Examples

Several teams have shared their experiences with in-house tool development:

  • Windows Automation Library: One team built a comprehensive automation library on top of UIAutomation, enabling them to control their testing process precisely.
  • HL7 Test Framework: Another team leveraged an open-source tool called Mirth to build a test framework for HL7 data, significantly speeding up their testing process.
  • Custom Utility Methods: Some teams have added utility methods to existing open-source tools like Selenium, externalizing test data and streamlining their testing workflows.

When to Build In-House Tools

Based on the shared experiences, here are some guidelines for deciding when to build in-house tools:

  • Pressing Need: Only build a tool if there is a clear and immediate need that cannot be met by existing solutions.
  • Technical Capability: Ensure your team has the necessary skills to develop and maintain the tool effectively.
  • Iterative Development: Develop tools iteratively, incorporating feedback and making adjustments as needed.
  • Future-Proofing: Communicate with product planning teams to ensure the tool will remain relevant and useful in future versions of your product.


Building in-house testing tools can provide significant benefits, particularly in terms of customization and control. However, it is crucial to weigh these benefits against the challenges of maintenance, support, and resource allocation. By prioritizing effectively and leveraging open-source components, teams can develop robust solutions that meet their specific needs.

For those looking for a no-code solution to automated testing, consider tools like Repeato. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that leverages computer vision and AI to create, run, and maintain automated tests quickly and efficiently. It is simple to set up and use, making it an excellent choice for quality assurance teams looking to streamline their testing processes without extensive coding.

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