Getting a head start with Katalon Studio

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In this blog post, I compare Katalon with Selenium and Appium, which are the two most leading  opensource test automation tools in the QA industry today. The following table compares Katalon with Selenium and Appium against criteria such as target users, deployment, test management, scripting support, performance, usability, reporting, and integration.

Target UsersFor testers with limited technical knowledge.
Allows tester to use keywords like drag-drop, select and test objects on implementing test scripts.
Allows scripting aided by syntax highlighting, code suggestion and debugging for advance users.
For users with good programming skills.
Users need to use IDEs such as Eclipse, Visual Studio, or IntelliJ to import Selenium or Appium libraries in to development project along with unit testing frameworks like Junit or TestNG to start writing tests cases.
DeploymentBuilt as a unified bundle which includes the following components:
- Java
- Android JDK
- WebDrivers
- Dependencies
Has a user-friendly UI and sample projects available with detailed user documentation ( to start with.
Note: The bundled components do not include Appium. Appium and NodeJS must be installed for testing on mobile.
Need to download and set up the following to start writing tests:
- Selenium library
- Drivers for each browser
- Preferred testing frameworks such as Junit, NUnit and TestNG
- Libraries such as NodeJS, Appium
- PATHvariables
Test Management•Provides user friendly UI with convenient components like menus, tree views, tables, etc. to manage test cases, objects and data files.
•Has a composer for scripting with full syntax highlight, code suggestion, and debugging.
Has the drag-and-drop capability, which is ideal for testers with limited programming skills.
For non-technical testers, managing tests on Selenium and Appium would be challenging.
Scripting Language SupportSupports Java and Groovy as of now.Supports Selenium, Appium + an IDE and many other scripting languages.
PerformanceKatalon uses Groovy (a language built on top of Java, and has to load many libraries for parsing test data, test objects, logging).
So, compared to Java it may be a bit slower when testing long test cases with hundreds of steps.
UsabilityKatalon supports the following:
• Object Spy for web through browser plugins for IE, Firefox, and Chrome
• Object Spy for mobile apps through the screenshot simulator
• Highlighting captured objects in AUT
• Provides Data File object which can query data from external sources: Database, Excel, CSV
• Generate scripts while recording on both web and mobile apps
• Released with sets of commonly used keywords or actions, which allows you to start implementing most test cases with ease. For advanced or specific needs, you must create custom keywords.
• Selenium had a browser plugin, which is now obsolete
• Appium has a mobile spy tool
• Does not support highlight feature
• Appium also generates scripts while recording for mobile apps
• Requires considerable programming effort if needed any support for external data sources
• You have to build common and reusable actions as programming functions
Reporting• Provides reports with friendly and readable messages and captured screenshots at the time of failure which can be exported into HTML, CSV and PDF files.
• Using Katalon Analytics, you can visualize test execution results in an actionable way that enables teams to quickly understand and have better insights of their automation tests.
• Selenium and Appium do not have built-in reporting tools but the testing framework offers simple report templates.
Integration• Supports Git
• Supports to qTest - a test Management and bug tracking system
• Supports JIRA
• Supports Sauce Labs and BrowserStack
• Supports Kobiton - a cloud-based mobile lab
• Supports command line interface Allows CI systems to call and trigger test execution
• Supports Slack

• Users have to configure the integration capabilities themselves
• Users have to configure execution jobs to trigger test execution

What Katalon can do?

Let’s find out features which allows testers to adapt Katalon to their test environment effectively and with less effort.

  • Built-in Project Structure. By having a project structure and its own project settings, Katalon allows users to define project level settings/configurations. This reduces time spent on implementing test framework.


  • Record & Playback. Katalon has two methods of recording test scripts: Web and Mobile. Using these methods, a tester can implement test script on the fly without performing test steps manually. This helps to reduce test script implementation time. For more information, see


  • Spy Objects. The Web Spy Utility and Mobile Spy Utility features allows you to inspect element you miss while recording a script. After inspecting an object, you can save them under a central object repository. For more information, refer


  • Design test case. When designing/implementing test cases, Katalon provides the following features. Refer for more information.
    • Record & Playback Utilities (Web/Mobile) – Provides the capability to record test script along with test verifications.
    • Manual View – Allows testers to make test script through dragging and dropping or clicking and choosing test objects.
    • Script View – Allows testers to use groovy/Java to write test scripts.


  • Custom keywords. Refer
    • Allows users to define custom keywords in addition to built-in keywords. Once created, custom keywords can be used when implementing test cases just like other built-in keywords. This significantly reduces complexity and reusability of your test scripts.




  • Test Data Management. Katalon allows users to manage their test data in a single location and reuse on test cases/test suites. Katalon currently supports test data types like Excel, Internal Data (same as excel but inbuild on Katalon), CSV, Database (Need to add libraries to access whichever database trying to connect). Refer


Katalon has a clean and clear documentation available on their public site and it is easy to understand as well. Sametime documentation has tutorials, tips & tricks, videos to help users.

Katalon Forum ( also active and you can ask any questions using your login credentials used for downloading software.

How to use Katalon?

There are many resources you can find on Katalon documentation or you can go to Katalon learning hub itself. If you are trying to get yourselves hands on this awesome free testing product, as a head start you can use following links which helped me lot when I was trying to get to know about the tool.

Enjoy Katalon and convince your team members why you should learn Katalon.

All videos related to Katalon can be found from this location:

All videos uploaded by contributors can be found from this location:

If you are planning on following as a course, you can use following links free courses from which will guide you through as a series of videos.



Tuan Shiyam
Software Engineer – QA

With more than 7 years of experience behind him, Shiyam is passionate about delivering the best QA and testing services to Fortude’s test automation clients. His expertise is focused on Web Service Testing, Test Automation, Performance Testing, Acceptance Testing, and Connector Testing. His domain knowledge spans across the telecom, energy, loyalty, and mobile industries.