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Ranjan Singh Author's Perspective
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5 Minutes read

Test Automation Framework

Test automation framework is a set of tools, rules, guidelines, standards and protocols that can be collectively used for creating and designing test automation scripts.
Testing framework creates an environment for automated tests which revolve around certain pre-defined concepts, assumptions and practices.
A test automation script enables efficient performance for test development, execution and reporting.

Purpose of Test Automation Framework

Test automation framework is necessary for efficient testing and to do away with the time-taking manual testing processes, which come with high costs. Some of the key purposes include:

  • 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 dynamic 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

Benefits of Test Automation Framework

Automation in testing has multiple benefits that revolve around the idea of effectiveness and efficiency. Some of the benefits are listed below:

Re-usability of automation code

Test automation frameworks are equipped with coding data that can be re-used for multiple tests. These codes can be saved for future references. Thus, saving the time of re-entering the same code over and over again.

Example: All test cases for logging into applications require automation code, which can be re-used. Thus, writing the same code every time make the process tedious. Using test automation framework, this code can be re-used.

Lower maintenance of automation code

With Test Automation Framework, the maintenance of automation code can be reduced. If there is a change in a particular test case, the framework allows us to update the automation code related to that particular test case without disturbing the other codes. In other words, codes pertaining to a particular test case can be altered without disturbing codes related to drive scripts, start-up scripts and other cases.

Using automation framework, even the locators for identifying the elements can be maintained at a centralized location. All the test cases, which need to use these locators can access the centralized repository. Hence, if there are any changes to a locator which is used by multiple test cases, we can simply update the locator only once at the centralized repository, instead of updating all the test cases which are using the changed locator.

Duplication of test cases chosen for automation can be avoided

Using test automation frameworks, test cases chosen for automation can be properly organized. As a result, the duplication of test cases will be avoided. Hence, test automation frameworks help in organizing the automation code to minimize storage duplication and confusion of test cases.

Easy reporting of test automation results

Test Result reports can be generated for every test case individually. But test automation framework help us to generate a single Test Result Report for all the test cases. This means that the test results of the executed test cases will be presented in a single report. Configuring a third-party API in Automation Project is a part of framework building. Based on the configured third-party API for report generation, we can also generate logs and screenshots for the failure steps in the same test results reports.

Apart from the above advantages, test automation frameworks also provides the below self-explanatory advantages:

  • Test automation script development and execution gets easier
  • Standardization of test automation scripts development
  • Test automation scripts execution gets easier
  • Segregation of test data and cases
  • Role-based access can be provided for accessing the automation code
  • Low-level commands can be abstracted and won’t be visible directly while automating the scripts
  • Many tools which are helpful for test automation can be dragged into a single umbrella
  • Errors and exceptions can be handled to continue the execution of automation scripts without halting
  • Running automated tests in parallel is possible
  • Running automated tests on multiple machines at the same time is possible
  • Global properties like URL of the Application, Username and Password to login etc. can be set and automated tests can read them
  • Latest versions of the tools required by automation can be automatically downloaded
  • Can choose to run a specific set of tests like Functional Tests, Regression Tests, Smoke Tests etc.
  • Can set the automated tests to run continuously when the application build is ready or based on the regular time interviews

Different Types of Test Automation Frameworks

By now, purpose and the benefits of using test automation framework or clear. Now, it is important to understand its type, along with the ideal situations for each type. Some of the important types of these frameworks are:

 

 

  1. Linear Framework
  2. 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 is added to the automation tests.

  3. Modular Testing Framework
  4. 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. Modular testing framework ensures the division of scripts that leads to easier maintenance and scalability. We can write independent test scripts using this framework.

  5. Data Driven Testing Framework
  6. 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 to create test automation scripts by passing different sets of test data. It reduces the number of scripts required. Hence, multiple scenarios can be tested in less code.

  7. Keyword Driven Testing Framework
  8. 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. A single keyword can be used across multiple test scripts, so the code is reusable.

  9. Hybrid Testing Framework
  10. This form of hybrid testing framework is the combination of modular, data-driven and keyword test automation frameworks. As this is a hybrid framework, it is based on the combination of many types of end-to-end testing approaches.

  11. Test Driven Development framework (TDD)
  12. 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.

  13. Behavior Driven Development Framework (BDD)
  14. 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.

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Conclusion

The pace of technological development has up scaled the software ecosystem. The tech fraternity has observed the benefits of automation in terms of delivering higher performance with the use of automation tools.

All 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. We can choose the framework as per the project requirements, team expertise, time as well as budget. Test automation frameworks boost productivity with standardization. By adopting the framework, we can ensure maximum test coverage in the development process.

Ranjan Singh Lead Testing at Altudo


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