Silk Test Review

A stable solution with good scripting feature, but needs better scalability and a bigger pool of third-party contractors

What is our primary use case?

We used it for data-driven automated tests that have numeric calculations with high precision requirements. We probably are using the version from two years ago.

How has it helped my organization?

It was implemented to solve a very large and specific test scenario with 24,000 test cases. It did that, and the company was quite happy with this solution, but it did not easily scale, and we could not find good and short term third-party help. So, we moved to Ranorex. We've now canceled the maintenance for Silk.

That one test scenario has been very valuable. We still use the data results from that. We used it to validate Ranorex. It has helped keep the company on the automated test path.

What is most valuable?

Scripting is the most valuable. We are able to record and then go in and modify the script that it creates. It has a lot of generative scripts.

What needs improvement?

We moved to Ranorex because the solution did not easily scale, and we could not find good and short term third-party help. We needed to have a bigger pool of third-party contractors that we could draw on for specific implementations. Silk didn't have that, and we found what we needed for Ranorex here in the Houston area. It would be good if there is more community support. I don't know if Silk runs a user conference once a year and how they set up partners. We need to be able to talk to somebody more than just on the phone. It really comes right down to that.

The generated automated script was highly dependent upon screen position and other keys that were not as robust as we wanted. We found the automated script generated by Ranorex and the other key information about a specific data point to be more robust. It handled the transition better when we moved from computer to computer and from one size of the application to the other size. When we restarted Silk, we typically had to recalibrate screen elements within the script. Ranorex also has some of these same issues, but when we restart, it typically is faster, which is important.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been with the company for a little over two years. They were using it when I got here. They have used it for several years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It was stable. It didn't crash and ran as expected.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had one specific large scale job on which we needed to have automated tests. We had 24,000 test cases, which were too much to do in a timely way by hand. We got Silk Test set up, and it ran. We wanted to run other 24,000 general test cases, but we didn't find cloning to be as effective as we would have wanted. It was easier with Ranorex. That might have been because we were able to hire a third-party consultant to come in for three weeks and get that kicked off for us, where we couldn't find that help with Silk. 

How are customer service and technical support?

On the phone, they were fine, but we needed a full-time consultant for three weeks. We could not find that through Silk or their contractor base. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I believe they used something called TestPartner.

How was the initial setup?

It was done before my time.

What about the implementation team?

It was all done in-house. We had a limited number of licenses for people. We took it off for maintenance a couple of times. That's probably the same challenge with any tool.

Everyone engaged with it worked in proper quality assurance, with the exception of one developer whose job was to set up the DLL link between Silk and our products. His role was limited. He got it set up, and he was done. On an ongoing basis, it was all on our SQA testers.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We paid annually. There is a purchase cost, and then there is an ongoing maintenance fee.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We now use Ranorex, and we had looked at Ranorex, TestComplete, and LEAPWORK. One of the deciding factors for Ranorex was a recommendation from a respected colleague in a different company.

Generally speaking, Silk Test was fine and better than Ranorex in some ways. The biggest thing was that we were able to get some short-term and very specifically-focused help when needed with Ranorex, but we couldn't get that with Silk. Otherwise, the tool has many comparable features.

What other advice do I have?

It is a fine product. It is just like any other tool. It is a powerful tool, and it needs commitment. Our way to get that on top of our workload was to find a short term contractor. If you've got the manpower to commit to being there to get it started, it will be just fine. There is no real big objection to Silk Test. We just needed some other help with the designs.

I would rate Silk Test a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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