Frequently Asked Questions

What is QA2L? How is it different from other site monitoring services and browser automation tools?

Our philosophy is that QA automation should be easy to use and maintain over time, highly cost-effective, and stellar at identifying the issues you care about.

Unlike other site monitoring tools, we won't crawl "up to 5000" pages of your site just to tell you things you already know. We won't ask you to install cumbersome browser plugins in order to design tasks. We won't ask you to change your site design just so that those tasks would actually work. Instead, we'll help you to build and maintain your tests quickly, and we'll help you target the crucial user flows on your site or web application.

Unlike other browser automation tools, we won't ask you to write code, or set up servers dedicated to testing and alerting, or have Bob and Steve and John at IT all working to figure out why the product you bought is not working right, or why it can't be customized to actually work for you.

At the heart of QA2L is a unique online task design interface--it's like a browser drawn by a stop-motion artist. It mirrors very closely the browser executing the automated tests and makes it very easy to design and tweak tasks. And you can even use it on your tablet or smartphone. The resulting tests are very close matches to actual user behaviors and can be scheduled to run with a variety of options, producing clear alerts when something needs your attention.


I've tried other tools and they all have issues with dynamic sites using lots of AJAX and event tags. They're great for page-level content but can't even handle simple interactions or a form that has dynamic behavior.

This is one of our great strengths. We built (and we constantly improve) our tool on the premise that it should support modern websites, and it should be able to do at least 99% of everything a normal user can do on a website.

Not only can you easily automate advanced interactions and form input, you also have intuitive ways to handle most common scenarios like changing elements in the same position, or form fields that require a unique username or email every time.


Some of the sites I need to QA have lots of authenticated user content or include content from multiple domains via iFrames. Traditional tools have a hard time with those. Is QA2L better?

Yes, unequivocally.

Getting to authenticated content is especially easy. All you need to do is configure one task with a login sequence. You can then use that task as a precursor to multiple other tasks. If the login flow changes, you just need to update that one task.

Crossing domains and QA'ing iFrame content is another area where we are much stronger than anyone else. Not only that, but you can test actual user flows that include other websites (such as Paid Search or Affiliate Campaigns), whereas other tools may artificially restrict you to your own domains.


Can I use QA2L to automate the audits of data layers?

Absolutely.

In addition to the automated validation of GTM Data Layers, Tealium Data Layers, and Adobe DTM Rules, QA2L supports the discovery of any W3C compliant Digital Data Layer (DDL).


OK, that all sounds great, but will it tax my website or create noise in my data?

Under the hood, an automated flow task uses a single browser session to access a site exactly like a single normal user would, and performs a natural-seeming sequence of user actions. It does not burden your website any more than a single user would. If you are running regular scans and audits, which involve crawling, we take extra care to maximize efficiency (and value) without overtaxing your website.

There are several ways to ensure that even this minimal footprint is not visible in your reporting. The easiest way is to turn on stealth mode, which prevents outgoing analytics tracking calls from reaching any reports. Other options for filtering out traffic generated by QA2L are also available (IP-based, UA-based, etc.).


Do you emulate different browsers, especially older versions of Internet Explorer? Are there any technical limitations we should be aware of?

QA2L does not support true browser emulation at this time. We hear this request often, and we're exploring ways to provide this in a robust and agile manner. But as of today, we only support modifying the custom User Agent string. This is enough to make any website think that a certain browser is on the other end, but it is not enough to test for rare client-side issues that may be specific to a browser or browser version.

At this time, QA2L does not support Flash and HTML5 Audio / Video. Many analytics tags related to loading these assets will still fire, but not tracking event related to playback activity. That said, QA2L does support almost all other HTML5 standards related to rendering, so the vast majority of modern websites should work fine and be fully testable.


I work with capable coders and QA testers. What can your service do that they can't?

It can save everyone a ton of time by automating tedious and repetitive QA tasks, freeing humans to do the things humans are good at. It can provide that extra layer of assurance that things are not going to break while no-one is looking, undermining the effectiveness of your organization or that of your customers. It can provide rapid return of investment in terms of hardware and human resource allocation, data integrity, and quality standards.


My organization is security-minded and does not feel comfortable with services outside its firewalls. Is there an on-premise option?

A dedicated QA2L server can be hosted in the cloud but placed behind an organization's firewall, or set to VPN automatically to an organization's Intranet. At the enterprise level, a dedicated server can also be provided to you as a VM (Virtual Machine) that you can deploy within your Intranet.


Let's say I'm considering it. How much does it all cost?

There's no cost involved in designing tests. The free tier, ideal for self-service proof-of-concept evaluations, also comes with a limited number of automated runs to show you how that part of the system works.

Paid subscription tiers are available for individuals and organizations who find that they need the powers (and peace of mind) of scheduled tasks and alerting. All paid tiers include unlimited task design and free ad hoc task runs in Design mode. Subscription levels (starting from about $250 per month) limit the number of automated / scheduled test steps per month. But all limits are soft, so you can grow your usage without fear that your scheduled tasks may stop running.


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