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Test Automation Frameworks

A test automation framework is a crucial component of automated testing, providing methods for driving automated tests. It includes coding standards, test data handling techniques, object repositories, and a test automation API, such as Selenium, Selenide, WinApp Driver API, or RestAssured API. A well-designed framework improves the quality and reliability of software products. Testing frameworks are essential for successful automated testing. They reduce maintenance costs and testing efforts.


What is a Test Framework?


A testing framework is a set of guidelines and tools used for creating and designing test cases. It includes coding standards, test-data handling methods, object repositories, processes for storing test results, and information on accessing external resources. While not mandatory, using an organized framework typically provides additional benefits for more efficient testing.


Benefits of a Test Automation Framework


Automated testing frameworks enhance testing speed and efficiency, improve accuracy, reduce maintenance overheads, and lower risks. They provide a structured approach to testing, ensuring that tests are reliable, consistent, and maintainable. Implementing such a framework helps teams identify and remediate issues quickly, leading to the timely delivery of high-quality software.


  • Improved test efficiency

  • Lower maintenance costs

  • Minimal manual intervention

  • Maximum test coverage

  • Reusability of code


Types of Automated Testing Frameworks


Test automation frameworks are crucial for software testing projects. There are six common types of frameworks, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Choosing the right framework is essential for a successful test plan. It is important to understand the features and limitations of each framework and match them with the project's requirements.


  1. Linear Automation Framework

  2. Modular-Based Testing Framework

  3. Library Architecture Testing Framework

  4. Data-Driven Framework

  5. Keyword-Driven Framework

  6. Hybrid Testing Framework


Linear Automation Framework



The linear automation framework is a simple approach to automated software testing. Testers record sequential actions with the user interface and playback the tests without emphasizing test reusability. It is designed for testing small-sized applications and involves creating and executing test scripts separately for each test case. Before executing the scripts, testers capture each test step, such as browsing, navigation, user inputs, and enforcing checkpoints.


Advantages:

  • The fastest way to create test scripts is by recording them quickly.

  • Custom code is unnecessary, so no prior test automation experience is needed.

  • The test workflow is sequential and easy to understand for all parties involved in testing.

Automated testing is easy to begin with a new tool. Most tools come with record-and-playback features, so no extensive planning is required.


Disadvantages:

  • This framework's test scripts are not reusable and require modification if the data is changed, as the data is hardcoded into them.

Maintenance is a hassle, as any updates require significant rework. This model isn't scalable when testing expands.


Modular Based Testing Framework:



To implement a modular framework, testers divide the application into separate units and test each one individually. Test scripts are created for each part and then combined to build larger tests. Building an abstraction layer ensures changes in individual sections won't affect the overarching module.


Advantages:

  • Changes made to the module and its associated individual test script will not affect the rest of the application.

Test case creation is easier with reusable scripts for different modules.

Disadvantages:

  • Data is hard-coded in the test script as tests run separately, so multiple data sets cannot be used.

  • Programming knowledge is necessary to set up the framework.

Library Architecture Testing Framework:



The framework for testing library architecture follows guidelines that are similar to those of the modular framework. However, it provides additional benefits for testers. Instead of dividing an application into different scripts to run, the library architecture framework identifies, groups, and stores similar tasks within scripts in a common library.


Advantages :

  • The framework's modular design saves time and money in testing and scaling.

  • Framework has reusable functions for multiple test scripts.

  • Testers can organize similar tasks based on functionality and add them to a library.

Disadvantages:

  • Data is hardcoded, requiring script changes for updates.

  • Writing and analyzing test scripts require technical expertise.

  • The process of developing test scripts is time-consuming.

Data-Driven Framework:




Data-driven frameworks separate test data from script logic, allowing testers to store data externally. We can use Selenium with C# and Apache POI library to automate application UI that deals with tabular data stored in Excel. TestNG is a popular framework for Selenium web driver with data-driven features used widely in supply chain and finance industries.

Advantages:

  • Test data is separate, changes are easy. Multiple scenarios can use external databases.

  • Executing tests quickly will help you save time.

Disadvantages:

  • Thorough test planning and preparation, including test scripts and data, require adequate time and coding expertise.

  • Creating a data-driven framework is time-consuming.

Keyword-Driven Framework:



This framework requires the development of keywords and data tables that are independent of test automation tools. It's widely used by HP UFT, Selenium, and Robot Framework. With languages like JavaScript, JScript, Python, VB.NET, you can convert existing desktop, mobile, and web keyword tests into scripted tests. It's suitable for scenarios that involve a large number of keyword search cases, such as web or browser testing, e-commerce testing, etc.

Advantages:

  • This framework allows code and keyword reuse for designing test cases with or without the application, giving testers control over the execution order.

Disadvantage:

  • It’s a challenge to update the test scripts according to change in the UI of the applications.

  • High automation and technical expertise are required.


Hybrid Test Automation Framework:




This is a combined framework designed to merge the strengths and mitigate the weaknesses of multiple frameworks. It can be easily adapted to cater to specific requirements. Cucumber, SpecFlow, and HP UFT are popular open-source tools that merge test specification and documentation. Before selecting a framework, consider the usage, pros, and cons. eInfochips offers a unified Test Automation Framework that reduces operating costs, speeds up time-to-market, and offers end-to-end testing across web and mobile platforms.

Each software application is unique, requiring tailored testing processes to ensure it functions seamlessly. With more teams embracing the agile methodology, it's vital to establish a flexible framework for automated testing. A hybrid framework can facilitate easier adaptation and produce optimal test results.

Conclution: Each software application is unique, requiring tailored testing processes to ensure it function seamlessly, to implement a hybrid framework for automated testing, choose a tool that is flexible and supports a wide range of applications and languages. TestComplete is our automated testing tool that enables QA teams to create and run UI and functional tests across different platforms.


I hope this Blog helped you to understand the Test Automation Frameworks!!

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