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A Brief Guide to Test Automation Frameworks

For any automated testing process to be successful it is vital that test automation frameworks are used for a variety of reasons. Used in software design and development, they are mainly used by quality assurance professionals to help them test more effectively. If you’re new to the concept, it’s likely you’ll have many questions surrounding test automation frameworks, which our brief guide can hopefully help answer.

What are Test Automation Frameworks?

A test framework is basically a set of guidelines or rules which are referred to and used for creating and designing test cases. These are made up from a number of practices, tools, processes, coding standards, modularity and more. Testers can still script or record tests without following such a framework but using an organised one offers a wide range of benefits that would otherwise be missed.

What are their Advantages?

Using a test automation framework increases test accuracy along with a team’s test speed and efficiency. Maintenance costs will be lowered as there should be far fewer problems with maximum test coverage as well. Easy reporting and a recovery scenario. Minimal manual intervention and the reusability of code are two other significant benefits. The advantages can also be in different forms like scalability, process definition, reusability, scripting, cost, maintenance, and modularity

Without automated testing frameworks, you will not benefit from any of these and can encounter a much more inefficient process.

What Types of Automated Testing Frameworks Are There?

There are six common types of automated testing frameworks:

  • Modular Based Testing Framework
  • Linear Automation Testing Framework
  • Data-Driven Framework
  • Library Architecture Testing Framework
  • Hybrid Testing Framework

Each one offers its own slightly different advantages and disadvantages, though it is important to choose the one that is best suited to your needs. It can be quite a confusing process to understand which will be the best choice, there are plenty of guides out there to help you with choosing the best testing framework.

We will look at each one in more detail.

Modular Based Testing framework

This type of framework requires testers to divide the application under study into separate units, functions or sectors. With each being testing completely separate from one another. Advantages of this include that if any changes are made to the application only the module and individual test script needs to be fixed, so you can leave the rest of the application untouched. You can also reuse test scripts for different modules however, you can’t use multiple data sets. This will require programming expertise to set it up.

Data Driven framework

This framework will separate the test data from script logic so that testers can store this data externally. This allows the tester to store, pass input/output to sources such as Excel, CSV files, text files etc.

The advantages of this are that tests can be completed with several data sets, it’s a time saver in conducting tests more quickly and multiple scenarios can also be tested. Like modular framework, this will require expertise

Linear automation Framework

Also known as record and playback framework there is no code required as the steps are written in sequential order. The tester will record each step and then play the script back automatically to conduct the test. Linear frameworks are super-fast and require the least amount of expertise for easier use.

Library Architecture Testing Framework

Based on the modular framework instead of dividing the test into scripts that need to be run. Similar tasks instead are grouped by the function broken down into common objectives. This framework has a higher level of reusability and there is also a higher level of modularisation and scalability.

Hybrid Testing

A hybrid is a combination of any of the previously mentioned frameworks. The aim of this is to take some of the advantages of some and remove weaknesses of the others.

Are There Any Other Uses?

Test automation frameworks can be used to help speed up your DevOps delivery when you use such services from Sogeti. DevOps enables you to get fresh features and products to market faster and with fewer bugs and with a strong test automation framework behind it this should be more efficient than ever.

What Should I Look For?

Choose an automated testing tool by looking for one that is flexible, able to support a wide variety of languages and applications. This should ensure that all your team can contribute to the testing efforts and minimise inefficiencies.

This is just a brief guide to test automation frameworks if you want more in-depth information it can be found here.

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