Katalon Studio free version losing functionality making it a bit useless

Hi all,

It seems that every year the Katalon Studio (9.3.1) licensing prices go up and features are being removed from the free version of Katalon Studio. With the recent removal of the custom keywords from the free version (making even the sample projects Katalon provided fail) a point is reached where we start thinking about alternative testing software.

I can understand that Katalon wants to make money but as an early adaptor of Katalon it feels a bit sad that my own code (custom keywords) is now being blocked by a paywall. It doesn’t feel like this is gonna be the last change to the free version so making new testcases/code is not very future proof anymore.

Just wanted to share my feelings here :expressionless:



I agree with you. Your codes have been kidnapped by Katalon.

Let me tell you a path to escape under the wall.

You can use the Include/scripts/groovy folder to locate Groovy source codes of your custom classes. It is almost the same as the Keywords folder. There are just a little differences.

  1. @Keyword annotation is meaningless in the Include folder.
  2. Your test case script can not use CustomKeyword syntax to call your custom located in the Include folder :
String msg = CustomKeyword.'my.Greeter.sayHelloTo'("world")    // won't work if Greeter is in the Include folder

you want to write

import my.Greeter
String msg = Greeter.sayHelloTo("world")    // will work even if the Greeter is in the Include folder

I would show you a running example.


package my

public class Greeting {

	static String sayHelloTo(String name) {
		return "Hello, ${name}!"


package my

public class Address {

	static String welcome(String name) {
		return "Bonjour, ${name}."

Test Cases/TC0

import my.Greeting
import my.Address

println Greeting.sayHelloTo("world")

println Address.welcome("Mesdames et Messieurs")

How TC0 ran on KS v9.0

I ran TC0 in KS v9.0.0. It passed as the Keywords are still available to Free plan suers in v9.0.0

2024-03-14 10:37:11.292 INFO  c.k.katalon.core.main.TestCaseExecutor   - --------------------
2024-03-14 10:37:11.295 INFO  c.k.katalon.core.main.TestCaseExecutor   - START Test Cases/TC0
Hello, world!
Bonjour, Mesdames et Messieurs.
2024-03-14 10:37:11.780 INFO  c.k.katalon.core.main.TestCaseExecutor   - END Test Cases/TC0

v9.1.0 and above

If you run the TC0 in v9.1.0 and above, KS will find your code in the Keywords folder. It will advise you something. How to manage? You can move the my/Greeter.groovy from the Keywords folder into the Include/scripts/groovy folder. Then KS will find nothing in the Keywords folder. All’s right with the world!


Thank you @kazurayam for your elaborate answer.

I know the scripts directory workaround and have adjusted all my testcases accordingly. It was a one-time-only action for as long as it works; it takes to much time to do it again. So next time when the marketing people of Katalon decide to remove functionality from the free version, I guess we’ll be moving to something else. Most of the applications used in Katalon are open source so it shouldn’t be to hard but I’ll surely gonna miss some of the whistles and bells of Katalon.

Kind regards,


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OK. I thought you know it. I meant my answer above for those who don’t know it yet.

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Hi @j.jungbacker,

Thank you for sharing your concern with us and we are grateful for your support for Katalon Studio from the start.

For now, you can continue using an older version of Studio should you wish to use custom keywords within your projects. And while it is not currently the best solution, it is the only one that we can share with you.

That said, the Studio team is always open to your feedback and suggestions in the Feedback & Review category, which is crucial to not only us, but also to other teams, to improve our product and our roadmap.

Xuan Tran

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I believe that you are aware that Katalon Studio had a serious defect about ChromeDriver in the midlle of Feb 2024 where KS failed to update ChromeDrvier to v122. The defect was fixed at KS v9.3.1 released at 29 Feb 2024.

This problem damanged all versions (v9, v8, v7…) of Studio older than v9.3.1. Do you still think that the Free plan users will be happy to play on the broken toys?


this change has been ‘predicted’ long time ago in various topics.
i won’t search on it.
so, what is the big fuss?
Katalon bussines aproach is ‘take it or leave it!’

Couldn’t agree more
In the last year, multiple login issues have occurred on many older versions of the client.
And in the face of increasing prices every year, I have to explain again every time why the price has changed
The function changes often, and it doesn’t feel very good

I was wrong. In Katalon Studio v9.3.1, the Include/scripts/groovy folder is already an Enterprise feature!

I used v9.3.1, to create a package in Include/scripts/groovy:

then I got a dialog

It is now clear that Katalon Studio Free is focused to those who do not need (or like) programming. Perhaps it is their intention that Katalon Studio Free to offer no capability to implement the class files. I found a statement from Katalon at Katalon Studio Download Free | Katalon

I doodled in the above screenshot to make it easier to understand.

If you want the joy of programming in Katalon, you are supposed to purchance a payable license before your evaluation period (30days) expires. This is a common practice in the licensed software business. I can enumerate many companies do the same — e.g., Adobe.

I just want to play on programming. KS Free is no longer enjoyable for me. I wouldn’t touch it any longer.
In fact, I do not need KS. I would be happy with Selenium WebDriver + JUnit5 + Gradle projects, for example

So, I would say goodbye to this forum.

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HA! brilliant move! Think they got inspired from our previous debates!
So I agree.
Since Katalon became a totally useless product, I will quit this comunity soon.
Still waiting for @Russ_Thomas input which, on a certain previous topic mentioned ‘an official announcement will be sent’
Well, I guess, this is the answer …

Is this a joke?
Kindly review various topics regarding this new ‘feature’ (disabling important functionalities for free use).
I may be blind but I still didn’t see any official position on this matter posted.
So what kind of ‘feedback’ is this? Does Katalon teams understand properly what this term implies?

The following package creation procedure for 9.3.X and later (or until Katalon paywall this) is to create a New Java Class in the Include/scripts/groovy folder.

The New Keyword dialog will prompt for a Package path to be specified.

This will create the package path as part of the Class creation.

This is odd …
@kazurayam attempting to create just a package with your approach, i got the same message (licence is required).
however, creating a java class (which creates also the package) per the example shown by @jason.tolotta worked …
Something is messed … I am trying this on 9.3.2

I believe that we could update the webdriver by manual, we all know where it is and our mission is just download the webdriver and put it in the right place.

From what I can see, starting with 9.3.2 we have also (again) a splited version.
The download site shows another section for the free version at the bottom:

also, there is also a split on github repo.
the Enterprise version it is still tagged as previously:

but the free version has now his own tag:

… so, I wonder what other ‘features’ we can expect in the near future …

That’s true. That was what I was told. It didn’t appear.

@xuan.tran where is the roadmap. Is there a link?

As a recent adopter of Katalon, here are my 2 bits:

  1. In this world, nothing is free.
  2. Katalon delivers a solution, which enables companies to rapidly and efficiently test their products in an cost effective way.

WRT (1): there may be free alternatives to Katalon (even older versions), but there is a cost. Even if switching to open source equivalents enables you to do your job, there is a price to be paid (maintenance, effort, etc.). I mean, I could have accomplished what I have done without paying a single dime, but it probably would have taken me much longer. Remember, time is money. TTM (time to market), effort required to maintain, effort to gain development velocity, are all important elements to a company’s bottom line. Bottom line: it takes money to make money.

WRT (2): when I look at the cost of Katalon Studio itself, it is a very small price to be paid. The licensing cost is not in the hundreds of thousands of dollars nor even tens of thousands of dollars, and so in that respect, the cost is very reasonable, IMHO.

Compared to my wages, my boss is very happy to pay Katalon’s licensing cost, to enable me to deliver results in a timely fashion.

Fair enough!
However, this is your happy case.
Some other may not be that happy.
Kindly dig into some other topics on this matter and look for ‘small bussines’ keyword.
I totally agree, to make money need money.
But should be also a commonsense between promise vs expectations vs end offer.
The most ‘vocals’ on this matter are, mostly, people using this product since the early beginning.
At that time, lot of features were free and we helped a lot from comunity side to improve it.
… and after that the monetizing come in place.
We accepted that too.
But now it is more agressive marketing by cutting key free features to force existing users to buy a licence.
By disabling the key features lot of people rely with current use.

For my eyes, is just blackmail. Up to now was just fishing, so now that Katalon have a good-enough amount in the users pool, can change the rules at will.

Is that fair? Ask your manager that, please …
‘You cannot make a stable bussines using unpredictable environmets’ is a basic.
But ok, your boss is happy to pay … fine!
Most likely the bussiness profile is ‘one-hit’ … we deliver, we take the money, good-bye!
For support, kindly contact us for a new contract :smiley:

The above is the main reason I stopped using Katalon in production and I stopped recommending it.
It’s too unpredictible. On all aspects (stability, pricing, etc)
And, most probably, the reason i will quit this comunity soon.
There is no point into speaking with the wind …

It is.
Katalon Studio is not a perfect product. And for what I am using it for, it is will suited.
If I were doing some other testing, such as Performance / Load Generation, most likely I would pick another tool such as jmeter. However, for what Katalon Studio does, it does it well.
(No, it does not do everything that I want/need. Sometimes, I have to drop down to Selenium to do what I need to get done, but overall, Katalon is solid. And yes, there are bugs but hey, nothing in this world is perfect.)

Well, that is from your perspective, and yes, you have that right to have that opinion.

Consider another perspective: this is called business. A small company starting out needs to entice users to use their product. Overtime, they monetize some of the key features. Many different businesses employ similar tactics. For example grocery stores put all the essentials in the back of the store, such as dairy and meat products in the back of the store because they force you to walk through all the non-essentials. And then they line the checkout lines with vanity-food such as candy etc. Is this blackmail? is this ethical business practices? Some people call it - smart business.

My POV is slightly different. I look at the employees who work at Katalon, and they are trying their best to … pay their bills. We all have bills to pay. And what I say is - let the best person triumph. For me, I alone cannot conquer the world, but I am willing to have others help / share in the spoils of war as I move forward with my business. (well, not mine per se)

This I agree with.
Don’t spit into the wind. Don’t tug on Superman’s cape either. All sage advice.

Move on, and be satisfied for all the years you were able to benefit from Katalon products’ for free.
Good luck on your future endeavors.
And thank you for helping Katalon be the company that they are today, for better or worse.

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Shame on your whole team for cutting down features and going after money. You guys are greedy.