All software needs to be tested before it is released to users. Software testing is a crucial part of the development cycle as it ensures good quality deliverables to the users. Every company focuses on testing, and most of them are tending towards automation testing over manual testing.
This is because, in the manual testing process, the testing team generates various test cases and manually tests each and every feature. If a defect is found, the defect is reported to the developers to fix the errors. Again, the process continues until the defect-free product is attained.
Manual testing is very time-consuming. Managing the testing process is also complicated since it demands planning, bug tracking and reliability analysis. On the other hand, automation testing automates the routine testing operations with testing tools and makes the development process faster, cheaper as well as efficient.
While automation testing is still new, enterprises are looking to standardize their testing setup to successfully automate their legacy, desktop, web and mobile apps with a single tool. This is where the test automation framework appears. It helps them to standardize all their test automation assets, regardless of the tools they’re using.
What is the Automation Framework?
Automation Framework is not a single tool or process, but it is a collection of tools and processes working together to support automated testing of any application. It integrates various functions like libraries, test data, and various reusable modules.
Importance of Automation Framework in Software Testing
Framework supports automation testing as a technical implementation guideline. For example, consider a scenario where a testing team includes members who are based on different automation testing code. And, they are not able to grasp the common pieces of code and scripts updated by a team member in a project.
The automation framework not only offers the benefit of reusing the code in various scenarios, but it also helps the team to write down the test script in a standard format. Hence, the test automation framework handles all the issues. Besides, there are many other benefits of using automation framework testing as listed below:
- Maintain a well-defined strategy across the test suites
- Enhanced speed at which testing progresses
- Maintaining the test code will be easy
- The URL or Application can be tested accurately
- Continuous testing of coding and delivery will be achieved
Test automation framework is helpful when you need to execute the same test scripts multiple times with different builds to examine the application and validate output. It is better to avoid automated testing for functionality, which you used only once since building automation script itself is time-consuming.
Test Automation Framework Types
Each automation framework has its own architecture, advantages, and disadvantages. Some of these frameworks are:
- Linear Automation Framework
- Modular Driven Framework
- Behavior Driven framework
- Data-Driven Framework
- Keyword-Driven Framework
- Hybrid Testing Framework
1) Linear Automation Framework
The linear Automation framework is commonly used in the testing of small applications. This framework is also called as a Record and playback framework.
Pros: There is no need to write custom code, so expertise in test automation is not necessary.
Cons: The data is hardcoded in the test script; hence, the test cases cannot be re-run with multiple sets. You need to make some changes if the data is altered.
2) Modular Driven Framework
In this Framework, the tester can create test scripts module wise by breaking down the whole application into smaller modules as per the client requirements and create test scripts individually.
Pros: Modular driven framework ensures the division of scripts that leads to easier maintenance and scalability. You can write independent test scripts.
Cons: The modular driven framework requires additional time in analyzing the test cases and identifying reusable flows.
3) Behavior Driven Development Framework
Behavior Driven Development framework is to create a platform, which allows every person, like Developers, Testers, business analyst, etc., to participate actively. It also increases collaboration between the tester and the developers on your project.
Pros: You can use non-technical, natural language to create test specifications on this behavior-driven testing.
Cons: To work with this framework, sufficient technical skills as well as prior experience in Test driven development is required.
4) Data-driven Testing Framework
Generally, Test Data is read from the external files like Excel Files, Text Files, CSV Files, ODBC Sources, DAO Objects and they are loaded into the variables inside the Test Script. The data-driven framework allows us to create test automation scripts by passing different sets of test data.
Pros: It reduces the number of scripts required. Hence, multiple scenarios can be tested in less code.
Cons: You will need a highly experienced tester who should be proficient in various programming languages to completely utilize the design of this framework.
5) The Keyword-Driven Testing Framework
The keyword-Driven Testing framework is also known as table-driven testing. This framework is suitable only for small projects or applications. The automation test scripts performed are based on the keywords specified in the excel sheet of the project.
Pros: A single keyword can be used across multiple test scripts, so the code is reusable.
Cons: The initial cost of setting up the framework is high, and it is time-consuming & complex.
6) The Hybrid test Automation Framework
Hybrid Framework is used to combine the benefits of Keyword Driven and Data-Driven frameworks.
Pros: This type leverages the advantages of all kinds of related frameworks.
Cons: Tests are fully scripted in a Hybrid Testing Framework thus increases the automation effort.
All of these test automation frameworks can be effectively used to handle the code in a systematic way, which can be reviewed by a third person easily. You can choose the framework as per your project requirements, team expertise, time as well as budget. Test automation frameworks boost productivity with standardization. By adopting the framework, you can ensure maximum test coverage in your development process.