02 Apr 2020
Published: 17 Mar 2020
Test Automation Frameworks – Why, Types, Benefits, Approach
Software testing undoubtedly forms an integral part of the application’s software development lifecycle (SDLC) and earlier manual testing was more popular. But, today with agile and DevOps software methodologies on the go, and the enterprises quest for faster releases and quality products, it requires software testing methods that are faster and efficient than manual testing methods. It is at this point the software test automation enabled through test automation frameworks comes into prevalence and is today leading the charts of software testing.
1. What is Test Automation Framework?
2. Why do we use automation framework in test automation?
3. What Is the purpose of a Test Automation Framework?
4. What is the need for Test Automation Framework for enterprises?
5. What are different types of automation frameworks?
6. What are the major advantages of Automation Frameworks for Enterprises?
7. What are the steps for an effective Test Automation Approach?
8. What Is Selenium Automation Framework?
9. What are the types of tests to test automation frameworks?
10. Is there an intelligent and easy-to-use Test Automation Framework?
11. Why Should Enterprises Leverage Tx-Automate framework?
Techopedia defines Test Automation Framework as a set of guidelines for creating and designing test cases. It is a conceptual part of the automated testing that helps testers to use resources more efficiently.
A framework is defined as a set of rules or best practices that can be followed in a systematic way that ensures to deliver the desired results.
Typically, a broader description of test automation framework shows that it consists of a set of processes, tools, and protocols that can be collectively used for automated testing of software applications.
An automation testing framework is a platform developed by integrating various hardware, software resources along with using various tools and services based on a qualified set of assumptions. This framework enables efficient design and development of automated test scripts and ensures reliable analysis of issues or bugs for the system or application under test (AUT).
The important functions of automation frameworks are broadly defined as they are effectively used to identify objects and arrange them to be reused in test scripts, perform some action on these identified objects and further also used to evaluate these objects to get the expected results.
It can be inferred that a testing framework is an execution environment for automated tests which revolve around a set of assumptions, concepts, and practices that successfully support the designated process of automated testing.
It is essential to use a framework for automated testing as it specifically improves the automation testing team’s efficiency and test speed. This automation testing framework also helps to improve test accuracy, and drastically reduces the test maintenance costs and lowers risks involved. Due to the numerous advantages of automation frameworks, test automation has become a fundamental component of today’s agile and DevOps practices.
– Enhances efficiency during the design and development of automated test scripts by enabling the reuse of components or code
– Provides a structured development methodology to ensure uniformity of design across multiple test scripts to reduce dependency on individual test-cases
– Enables reliable issue and bug detection and delivers proper root-cause analysis with minimum human intervention for the system under test
– Reduces dependence on teams by automatically selecting the test to execute according to test scenarios
– Refines dynamically test scope according to changes in the test strategy or conditions of the system under test
– Improves utilization of various resources and enables maximum returns on efforts
– Ensures an uninterrupted automated testing process with little man-power involvement
As mentioned, the test automation framework consists of a set of guidelines for creating and designing test cases. They form an important aspect of automated testing as it significantly helps testers to use resources effectively and efficiently. These automation frameworks also help to configure and create test suites by combining various automated tests and make them available for execution.
In general effective test automation support rigorous functional tests and also prove to be more useful as they require shorter design time. These automation testing frameworks ensure more consistency of automation across the organization and brings in higher developmental activity.
Enterprises often face the dilemma of balancing costs and managing resources select automation frameworks that could cover all their business scenarios to deliver quality applications. Evidently, by selecting and implementing best test automation framework, enterprises can significantly increase the speed of test execution and accuracy of the testing process to deliver higher return on investment (ROI) and quality products. Hence, enterprises should choose effective types of automation framework to ensure effective testing of their applications.
There has been a significant evolution of these over the years and some of the important types of these frameworks are:
This framework is based on the concept of record and playback mode that is always achieved in a linear manner. It is more commonly named as record and playback model.
Typically, in this scripting driven framework, the creation and execution of test scripts is done individually and this framework is an effective way to get started for enterprises.
The automation scripting is done in an incremental manner where every new interaction will be added to the automation tests.
Abstraction is the concept on which this framework is built. Based on the modules, independent test scripts are developed to test the software. Specifically, an abstraction layer is built for the components to be hidden from the application under test.
This sort of abstraction concept ensures that changes made to the other part of the application does not affect the underlying components.
In this testing framework, a separate file in a tabular format is used to store both the input and the expected output results. In this framework, a single driver script can execute all the test cases with multiple sets of data.
This driver script contains navigation that spreads through the program which covers both reading of data files and logging of test status information.
Keyword Driven Testing framework is an application independent framework and uses data tables and keywords to explain the actions to be performed on the application under test. This is more so called as keyword driven framework and can be stated as an extension of data driven testing framework.
This form of hybrid testing framework is the combination of modular, data-driven and keyword driven testing frameworks. As this is a hybrid framework, it has been based on the combination of many types of end-to-end testing approaches.
Test driven development is a technique of using automated unit tests to drive the design of software and separates it from any dependencies. Earlier, with traditional testing a successful test could find one or more defects, but by using TDD, it increases the speed of tests and improves the confidence that system meets the requirements and is working properly when compared to traditional testing.
This has been derived from the TDD approach and in this method tests are more focussed and are based on the system behavior. In this approach, the testers can create test cases in simple English language. This simple English language helps even the non-technical people to easily analyse and understand the tests.
What are the major advantages of Automation Frameworks for Enterprises?
– Helps reduce time-to-market as it delivers continuous execution of automated test scripts
– Ensures enhanced scalability
– Reduces operational costs
– Delivers faster and quality products for launch
– These frameworks ensure higher test performance over manual testing
– Though initial costs are high but lowers overall maintenance costs
– These automation frameworks become reusable and brings in cost-effectiveness as they can be used for similar testing needs in the future with the same test scripts
– Delivers comprehensive defect management reports
– Identifies defects early with effective detection of bugs and issues
– Ensures maximum test coverage as end-to-end automation testing frameworks are used
– Reduces manual efforts as tests are fully automated and need less manual intervention
– Most significant usage is with respect to code reusability
– Delivers greater efficiency as testing time consumed is reduced
– Automated scripts save lot of QA time and ensures quality is maintained and delivered
– Automated tests can run anytime,anywhere as the system runs them automatically
– Bug tracking reports deliver comprehensive reporting that is useful to DevOps teams
– With agile and DevOps continuous integration and continuous deployment, test automation is the key and pre-requisite to ensures continuous testing is achieved
– Delivers real-time communication
– Facility to access data and resources anytime/anywhere
– Supports parallel testing across various platforms, OS and environments eases testing process
– No need of any upfront costs
– Ensures faster time to market
– Delivers cost effectiveness
1. Evaluate to understand the real need for automation based on application type
2. Define automation goals and priorities
3. Plan automated testing strategy
4. Select the right automation testing tool & testing framework based on project requirements
5. Decide on what test cases to automate
6. Develop good quality test data
7. Create automated tests more resistant to UI changes
8. Execute the tests for the test scripts developed
9. Test early and often with continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pattern
10. Maintain the test scripts for future use
Selenium is a leading test automation framework that is portable and is used for testing web applications. This tool provides a record and playback feature for authoring functional tests.
Some of the other test automation frameworks effectively used by testers are integration testing framework, UI testing framework and more commonly used are the keyword driven frameworks.
Before using the testing frameworks, it is important to perform a number of tests on these frameworks which include:
– Functional testing,
– Learning tests,
– Upgradability testing,
– Installability testing,
– Portability testing,
– Interoperability testing,
– Performance testing,
– Suitability testing,
– Syntax testing,
– Usability testing
– Understandability testing along with static analysis
All this can be performed to ensure the successful performance of these test automation frameworks.
TestingXperts’ has developed an innovative and extensible test automation framework, ‘Tx-Automate’ – a reusable, integrated and compatible framework. It has ‘out-of-the-box’ and best ‘in-class features’ for test automation. These features include rich custom reporting, third party integrations, configurable execution options and supports all latest tools.
This end-to-end testing framework helps to configure test suites by combining various automated tests and makes them available for effective execution.
Tx-Automate helps in drastically reducing the effort to kick-start automation and offers a fully operational test automation solution.
– Matured Continuous Integration/ Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) solution across a diverse set of applications (Digital, IoT, API, Legacy and more)
– Best-in-class features for test
– Rich custom reporting & configurable execution options
– Supports integration with market-leading open source and commercial tools
– Supports functional and non-functional tests within an automated pipeline
– Scalable, robust and reusable
– Manages a large number of scripts in real-time
– Easy to maintain test scripts
– Common reusable components include function library, driver script & configuration files
– Consists of separate features related to Test Design
– Consists of separate features related to Test Execution and Test Reporting
– Tool agnostic solution which can integrate with all leading tools like Selenium, Appium
– Generates rich UI based output reports with details for different stakeholders
– Supports complete integration into the development pipeline with CI tools
– Supports integration with third-party tools like test, defect & version management
– Interfaces with Cloud-based providers for on-cloud test execution
– Integrated to deliver performance testing and can be used for functional testing
– Integrates with all latest market trending new technologies
– Flexible framework (as simple as a Plug and Play)
– Integrates well with alternate frameworks supporting many programming languages
– Supports Cross Browser Testing
– Reusable Components
– Command Line Execution
– Integration with Test Management and Bug Tracking Tools
– CI Integration with Jenkins
– Multiple Notification Formats
– Object Identification Page Object Model
With the agile and DevOps practices on the go, there is a need for faster releases and quality products. Test automation using test automation frameworks has many advantages such as faster defect detection, reusable test scripts and minimum intervention by humans while running the test scripts.
However, for enterprises to take the complete advantage of these automation frameworks, they should consider leveraging independent next-gen software testing services providers who have already developed fully functional test automation frameworks that needs a simple plug and play to ensure faster and continuous releases.