Automation testing is a process where manual testing steps are automatically run to test its quality. Automation testing framework is a set of automation test guidelines. Following these leads to increased productivity and results. It also saves manual effort and time taken for testing. Test Automation framework provides execution environment for the test scripts.
Frameworks include guidelines, concepts, standards of coding, project hierarchies, report mechanism among others all of which allows the user to code, run and report the automation test scripts in an effective way. These help the users to easily follow the standards while automating a particular application. Easy to script, modularity, scalability, reusability, easy to report and cost-effective maintenance are some advantages of test automation frameworks. Developers can work on single or multiple frameworks. It is essential to follow a single approach while working on the different modules of the same application. This reduces errors and confusion. Choosing a framework according to the requirements and applying the same for all the modules would be the best option for the organizations. The cloud-based frameworks will allow the user to automate from any place where there is a connection to the cloud. This can be even more cost effective. There are many automation testing frameworks to choose for your organization. But before choosing the right one, here are few factors to consider-
• How is the application built? What is the user experience with the application and technology involved with it?
• What are the costs for each framework and the license cost of the tool?
• What are the testing requirements?
• Do the application have a complex workflow?
• Which skills does your team possess and whether these can plug into any of the frameworks?
Types of Testing Frameworks:
Module Based Testing – The application under test is divided into separate modules. A dedicated test script is received by every module and when combined, all the scripts together result in creating a large-scale test that represents every module. The modules are divided by an abstraction layer. Due to this, there will be no effect on the entire module when the changes are made in the application. This framework has a benefit of including high level modularization that is easier and cheaper to maintain. It is flexible so that the changes can be implemented only on the affected test script. The only disadvantage is that the data is embedded into the scripts, so while testing with different data the changes have to be made on test scripts too.
Library Architecture Testing – This is developed on module based testing with a few changes. Instead of dividing the application into multiple scripts, this framework separates the application into functions. These functions can also be used by all the parts in an application. Common functions that are used for the application under test are compiled at one place called as the Common Library. This can be used based on need. This framework also has a benefit of including high level modularization that is easier and cheaper to maintain, which is similar to module-based testing. This makes reusability easier with its library approach. Changes in test data need changes to be done on test script as well which makes this a complicated framework.
Data Driven Testing – This allows separation of the data and the test script while storing it in an external database. This database can include files like XML, Excel, CSV . The data is stored in Key-Value pairs. We can access the data within the test scripts with the use of this key-pairs. This framework reduces the number of scripts in all the test scenarios and reduces the coding time required by the team. In addition, it is also flexible and maintainable. This requires creation of test data sources, reading of the mechanism and knowledge of coding language used. Inability to test the real-time functionalities under test simultaneously is a major drawback.
Keyword Driven Testing – An alternate name for this framework is table- driven testing framework. It is an extension of data driven testing and separates the test data from the scripts. This keeps the code in external files and the code is self-guiding and is called keyword . The keywords and the test data are not dependent on the tool which is being used. The test data that corresponds to the keyword is read, when a test case is executed. The user need not have wide coding knowledge as a single keyword can be used for multiple scripts, which is a major advantage of this framework. Whenever there is a change in the user interface of an application, the corresponding test scripts also need to be updated which is a challenge and a disadvantage of this framework.
Hybrid Testing – This is a mix of testing frameworks and has all the benefits from related frameworks. The team may choose more than one frameworks depending on their application which is to be tested.
Record & Playback Testing – This is the easiest framework. The steps which are used to execute are recorded manually by the tester. This is the simplest among the frameworks as it does not require any technical expertise or coding in the process. Once the steps are recorded, it can be played back to perform an automatic test of the script. The disadvantage of this framework is that the scripts are not reusable and are hard-coded. This makes it difficult to manage.
UI Page Maps Testing –Of all the available frameworks this is the best. This offers a solution for almost all the problems that arise during the execution of any of the frameworks mentioned above. The test scripts are written for individual pages for a specific page. All the instructions are specified in the data that will identify the object on which it has to work and calls the related script for that object. The benefit of this framework is that the script is reusable and the creation of test cases is quite easy. Whenever a new UI is introduced, simultaneously, the scripts should also be written and similarly, any change to the object also needs change in related test script.