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Test automation frameworks: Overview of popular testing frameworks like Selenium, Appium, and JUnit

Published On: May 19, 2023

Before being released to the public, any software must be tested. Testing software is crucial since it guarantees that the final product will be of good quality and will accomplish its intended goals. Since testing is so important to every company, the majority of them are switching from manual to automated methods. For this reason, structured test automation frameworks are essential for checking software.

The utilization of test automation frameworks & test automation tools is crucial to the effectiveness of any automation testing. If QA teams are serious about optimizing their agile processes and providing a greater return on investment (ROI) on test automation, they need to find ways to cut costs in testing and maintenance. Joining SLA’s Software Testing Training in Chennai enables you to master various Test Automation Frameworks and Test Automation tools with hands-on experience.

If you’re looking for a thorough reference of the most well-liked test automation frameworks in 2023, you’ve found it. These frameworks are great for apps since they support multiple languages and provide a wide range of functionality. These frameworks allow development teams to increase the quality of their software while decreasing the time spent testing it and the likelihood of bugs.

Let’s talk about what an automation testing framework is, why we need them, the different kinds of automation frameworks out there, and which ones are the most widely used.

Just right, then; let’s get started!

Test Automation Frameworks

A test automation framework is a collection of best practices for creating reliable test scripts. A framework is a set of policies and programs designed to help quality assurance professionals run tests more rapidly and effectively. Coding standards, methods for handling test data, object repositories, processes for saving test findings, and how to go to external resources could all be part of the framework’s rules.

Even if testers don’t follow these guidelines when creating or recording tests, they can still do so. Although embracing a structured approach brings with it additional benefits. Therefore, a better software product can be achieved through the use of an efficient automation testing framework by facilitating the early detection of errors and decreasing the amount of time spent on manual testing.

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The Significance of Test Automation Frameworks

Since automated testing frameworks facilitate code reuse across testing scenarios and help teams create standardized test scripts, they have become an integral part of today’s software development and testing processes. In addition to reducing the need for human interaction, increasing test coverage, and fostering teamwork, frameworks offer similar benefits.

Automation test frameworks are helpful for analyzing the application and verifying the output by repeatedly executing the same test scripts with different builds. A software quality assurance plan that addresses every issue must include the use of an automation testing framework.

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Benefits of Using an Automated Testing Framework

  • Code reusability
  • Cost-effective maintenance
  • Regular checking of code
  • Reduced need for human intervention
  • Increased effectiveness
  • Comprehensive testing
  • Consistency in approach across test cases

So Why Do We Require Test Automation Frameworks?

Today, test automation is in high demand, and the world as a whole is moving inevitably toward an automated future. Below are just a few examples of the many positive outcomes that can result from incorporating automation testing frameworks into your strategy and procedures:

  • Helps maximize available resources by streamlining their application to meet specific business needs.
  • Provides a method for structuring work that ensures design consistency while minimizing test case usage.
  • Reduces the need for manual analysis while maintaining accuracy.
  • Facilitates rapid development and execution of test scripts.
  • Reducing reliance on teams by making the decision of which test to run depending on circumstances automatically.
  • Modifies the scope of the test automatically as the test plan or system conditions change.
  • Allows testing on several browsers, devices, and OS versions simultaneously.
  • Reduces the time and effort required to generate reports, customize settings locally, and manage errors.
  • Shift left testing is a concept that can be implemented by businesses.
  • High rate of return over time.

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Types of Test Automation Framework

Having established what a Test Automation Framework is, we will now take you through the numerous Test Automation Frameworks that are now accessible. We’d also aim to provide some useful insights into their potential benefits and drawbacks, as well as suggestions for how best to put them to use.

These days, you can choose from a wide variety of Automation Frameworks. Some frameworks may be better suited to certain types of automation than others, while others may be easier to use or maintain.

Here are some of the most widely-used Test Automation Frameworks to discuss:

  • Module-Based Testing Framework
  • Data-Driven Testing Framework
  • Library Architecture Testing Framework
  • Keyword Driven Testing Framework
  • Linear Driven Development Framework
  • Hybrid Testing Framework

Modular-Driven Automation Testing Framework

It is necessary to have certain modules present in order for the modular-driven testing framework to perform as intended. To achieve the most accurate results possible from the automated test, you will need to create unique scripts for each module and run the tests using those scripts.

  • If the application’s operation is modified in any way, it will not have any effect on the modules.
  • The safety of test scripts is not compromised unless such scripts are altered by hand.
  • The process of integrating various modules results in a high level of modularization and provides a management strategy that is more efficient and cost-effective.
  • Productivity at a high level.

Advantages

  • Code reusability and the ability to scale
  • Extremely effective.
  • Modular approach

Drawbacks:

  • Complexity level has increased
  • Inflexibility in approach
  • The requirement for technical expertise

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Data-Driven Automation Testing Framework

As a result of the separation between the test data and the script logic provided by a data-driven testing framework, testers are free to store test data. Testers may find themselves in a situation in which they are required to perform tests on a particular attribute or functionality of an application over and over using unique sets of data. 

Additionally, because this testing framework eliminates the need for hard-coded scripts for the test data, the process becomes much simpler.

Testers are able to save input and output parameters from an external data source in a data-driven test framework, and then pass those parameters to test scripts. Examples of external data sources include Excel spreadsheets, text files, CSV files, SQL tables, and ODBC repositories.

Advantages

  • A quick pace for the test.
  • Extremely scalable.
  • Better flexibility
  • Fewer test scripts are required.

Drawbacks

  • An extended period of time is required for setting up
  • It is necessary to have advanced technological expertise.
  • The process of troubleshooting is laborious.

Linear Automation Testing Framework

In contrast to the method described above, linear scripting is carried out by hand by a single individual, who then painstakingly documents each stage of the technique. It is more frequently referred to as the “record and playback” framework, and its operation takes a significant amount of time.

Even if it is a straightforward method for recording and does not call for expertise in automation, it does not make it possible to reuse scripts. The process of maintaining the framework would take more time because you would need to manually create the test script in the future in order to execute the framework.

Advantages

  • Clarity
  • Quickness and ease of operation
  • Extremely adaptable

Drawbacks

  • Need for increased maintenance
  • Additional redundancy
  • Single-use

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Keyword-Driven Testing Framework

The data-driven testing framework has an extension known as the keyword-driven testing framework. This framework copies your test data to an outside source and safely stores the codes. These codes, which are sometimes referred to as “keywords,” have the ability to alter the script for the test and draw additional conclusions based on the test framework.

In addition, the use of these phrases is what effectively determines the duties that are carried out by each program.

Advantages

  • Enhanced potential for reuse
  • Simple in terms of upkeep
  • More scalable

Drawbacks

  • The level of complexity grows as time passes.
  • Long period of time for development.
  • Demands an in-depth understanding of automation testing.

Hybrid Testing Framework

As is the case with the majority of testing techniques used today, automation testing frameworks have started to blend and overlap with one another. A hybrid framework is one that combines two or more of the aforementioned frameworks to make use of each one’s benefits while minimizing the negative aspects of the others.

Because each application is different, the testing methodologies used for it should also be distinct. As more teams adopt an agile methodology, it is imperative to put in place a testing infrastructure that is both adaptable and automated. Having a hybrid framework is essential if you want to get the best possible results from your tests. Job opportunities for software testers are numerous. Grab yours by registering for SLA’s Software Testing Training in Chennai.

Advantages

  • The rapid rate of test execution
  • The high degree of scalability.
  • A reduction in expenses

Drawbacks

  • Extremely difficult, which means that a high level of technical expertise is required.
  • Tests must be completely programmed in order to pass.

Library Architecture Testing Framework

It is possible for testers to group similar activities according to the function that is stored in a library if the framework for testing the library architecture detects tasks inside each test script that has features in common with one another. Because of this, it is now much simpler to reuse code across several different test scripts. 

This framework is helpful in situations in which distinct application components have functionalities that are comparable to one another.

Advantages

  • A high degree of reusability
  • Cost-effective
  • Enhancement of the ability to scale
  • High ROI over the long haul 

Drawbacks

  • More development time Complex
  • It is necessary that you have extensive technical knowledge.

Well-Known Automation Testing Framework and Test Automation Tools

The ever-increasing need for automated testing has led to a proliferation of available frameworks and test automation tools. We’ve enumerated them and described their capabilities. If you think it could help you improve your skills in automation testing, give it a shot.

Selenium Automation Testing

The Selenium software suite is an open-source application that may be used to automate web browsers. Selenium Automation testing grants developers the ability to design scripts that may interact with web pages in a manner that mimics human behavior, such as clicking buttons, filling out forms, and moving between pages. 

Among other things, this includes browsing between pages, clicking buttons, and filling out forms. Selenium Automation testing is a tool that is frequently employed in the testing of online applications. It is compatible with a wide variety of programming languages, such as Java, C#, Python, and Ruby. Enroll in the Selenium Testing Training in Chennai to master automation testing.

Within the realm of automation, selenium has a significant amount of history. Testers that work with the Selenium framework have the ability to rapidly offer test cycles by automating test cases that are repetitive. When integrated with a CI/CD pipeline, Selenium can facilitate the creation of a release deployment workflow that is dependable and error-free. 

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Highlights of Selenium Automation Testing Includes the Following:

  • Provides support for a variety of web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge.
  • It is compatible with a wide variety of programming languages, such as Python, C#, Java, and Ruby, amongst others.
  • Integration with a wide variety of tools, including JUnit, TestNG, Maven, and Jenkins, is simple and straightforward.
  • Provides support for parallel testing, which implies that a number of tests can be executed all at once.
  • Offers the capability of recording and playing back tests within the Selenium IDE environment.
  • Extremely modifiable, in the sense that new plugins and extensions can be installed whenever desired.
  • The large and vibrant community of users and developers helps make it easier to discover solutions to challenges and get support when needed.

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Appium

Appium is a framework that is open-source and can be used to automate native, mobile, online, and hybrid apps for iOS, Android, and Windows. You can write tests for several platforms by utilizing the same application programming interface (API). Appium’s handy graphical user interface (GUI) makes it much simpler to inspect and more efficient to develop code.

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Highlights of Appium include the Following:

  • Provides support for a wide variety of computer languages, like Java, C#, Ruby, PHP, and Python, amongst others.
  • All actual devices, as well as emulators and simulators, are supported for use.
  • Provides a recording function to simplify the process of testing mobile applications for new users.
  • No modifications to the server or the code are required, nor is anything required to be installed on the device.
  • Integration with other DevOps technologies is a breeze.

JUnit

Because Java is so widely used in software applications, the popularity of JUnit has seen a major uptick in recent years. JUnit stands out from other testing frameworks by providing a graphical user interface (GUI) for the creation of test cases that are repeatable and easy to maintain. 

It presents a one-of-a-kind method for the creation of test cases that are more well-structured, short, and efficient. Annotations are utilized by JUnit to make it possible to construct many test scripts that cater to a variety of requirements.

Highlights of the JUnit Software include the following:

  • Provides annotations of the pertinent information on test procedures.
  • Offers statements that can be tested against the anticipated results.
  • Provides test runners, which are used to perform tests.
  • Create more efficient and reliable code.

TestNG

An automation testing framework known as TestNG, where the NG in the name stands for “Next Generation.” TestNG, which is designed to make end-to-end testing easier, is an improvement that makes up for JUnit’s shortcomings. 

Utilizing TestNG, one is able to determine the number of test cases that succeeded, failed, or were skipped, and then build a suitable report employing that information. The test cases that were unsuccessful might be run on their own.

Highlights of the TestNG Software are as follows:

  • Supports annotations.
  • Provides access to a variety of Java and 
  • OOP features.
  • Promotes the use of standardized tests in integrated classrooms.
  • Maintains a partition between the data and configuration information used during runtime and the test code used during compilation.
  • Flexibility in the runtime configuration as needed.

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Selenide

Selenide is an automation testing framework for user interfaces that are based on the Java programming language. Because it is built on top of Selenium WebDriver, you will be able to make use of the low-level functionalities that it provides while also receiving features and functions that are unique to Selenide. Selenide, in contrast to Selenium WebDriver, was developed primarily for the purpose of automating testing.

Highlights of Selenide include the Following:

  • It prevents needless coding and maintenance, which results in a significant reduction in the amount of time spent.
  • API that is both succinct and fluent for testing.
  • Controlled experiments.
  • Selectors with a lot of power.
  • Simple arrangement.

TestCafe

TestCafe is an end-to-end testing framework that simplifies testing across many browsers. It is not essential to use WebdriverIO or any other testing software in order to utilize TestCafe. It works with the browsers you already have and relies on Node.js for its power. 

TestCafe offers developers a high-level application programming interface (API) for interacting with web applications. This makes it easier for developers to build tests for basic actions such as filling out forms, pressing buttons, and other similar activities.

Highlights of TestCafe Test Automation Tools Include the Following:

  • Integration with common CI/CD tools is simple and straightforward.
  • Enables the execution of tests concurrently across different browsers.
  • Enables the insertion of manual timeouts and the usage of expressions that are onerous and boilerplate.
  • Provides easy syntax, which in turn aids in the efficiency of the team.
  • Provides built-in debug mode.

NightwatchJS

Nightwatch.js is an easy-to-use, comprehensive testing solution for websites and online apps that is written in Node.js. It makes use of the W3C WebDriver API in order to exercise control over browsers, give instructions, and perform assertions on DOM components. It is a straightforward method of laying the groundwork for continuous integration.

Highlights of Nightwatch Js features are as follows:

  • Provides the ability to run parallel tests leveraging the built-in command-line test runner, with support for implicit waits and retries.
  • The Page Object Model is easy to understand thanks to its support for CSS and XPath selectors.
  • The APIs for built-in commands and assertions can be expanded, and you can write your own plugins, making it a flexible solution.
  • Provides developers with a syntax that is easy to understand, which makes it much simpler for them to construct tests in a short amount of time.

NodeJS

Node.js is a JavaScript-based platform that is exceptionally robust due to the fact that it was built on Google Chrome’s JavaScript V8 Engine. It is put to use in the process of developing input/output-heavy online applications, including single-page programs and websites that stream video. Because it is open source, Node.js is used by thousands of software developers. 

Node.js is a cross-platform environment that serves as both a library for JavaScript applications and as a tool for the development of networking and server-side applications.

Highlights of Node.js include the Following:

  • Extremely scalable, as the event mechanism makes it possible for the server to respond in a manner that is not blocking.
  • Shortens the amount of time needed to process the uploading of audio and video files.
  • Provides an open-source community with high-quality modules for many software applications.

Cypress

Cypress is an end-to-end testing framework for web applications that is free to use, packed with features, and easy to learn how to operate. Cypress is a participant in automation testing that has been around for a while but has just recently witnessed considerable growth. 

It is a testing automation framework that has received widespread praise from the developer community. It is possible to examine the speed, simplicity, and efficacy of applications in their respective browser settings.

Highlights of the Cypress Include the Following:

  • Due to the architectural design of the system, it provides results of test execution that are rapid, consistent, and dependable.
  • Offers a comprehensible error message that explains why the script could not be run.
  • Gain access to a variety of elements that are built-in so that you can test Cypress more rapidly.
  • Offers a user-friendly application programming interface (API) and does not require any configuration at startup.
  • Provides support for a variety of testing methods, including end-to-end, integration, component, application programming interface (API), and unit testing.
  • Provides a support document that is well-organized and, as a result, is quite helpful in getting started.
  • Offers a wide variety of tools for developers to employ while carrying out debugging.

WebdriverIO

Both Chrome dev tools and the WebDriver protocol are supported by WebdriverIO, which is a test automation framework that is widely used and is widely recognized as being one of the best frameworks for test automation. It is a Node. js-based open-source progressive automation framework with an emphasis on the word “progressive.” 

Any application built using modern web frameworks, such as React, Angular, Polymer, or Vue.js, as well as native mobile apps for Android and iOS, are all capable of being automated by WebdriverIO.

Highlights of WebdriverIO include the Following:

  • It works well with all of the popular browsers.
  • Installation that is both speedy and simple.
  • Allows page object patterns.
  • Both WebdriverIO and the WebDriver Protocol can be utilized in order to perform testing on many browsers.
  • The Chrome DevTools Protocol allows for the utilization of automation that is based on Chromium.

Playwright

Playwright is a framework for end-to-end testing that automates testing across many browsers. It was developed by the team at Microsoft, and it has been rapidly gaining popularity. The vast majority of users choose it as their favorite automated testing framework, placing it at the very top of the list. 

It automates Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit browsers through the use of a single API by utilizing a module for Node.js. You can use Node.js, JavaScript, or TypeScript to test your Playwright application.

Highlights of the Playwright include the following:

  • Allows testing in parallel on a number of different browsers.
  • It is compatible with a wide variety of selectors and related techniques, including text selectors, CSS selectors, XPath selectors, and React selectors, amongst others.
  • Includes support for cutting-edge frameworks such as React, Angular, and Vue.
  • Allows for simple integration with CI/CD technologies and provides accessibility to docker images for use in language bindings.
  • There is no configuration required for TypeScript language support because it can understand both the TypeScript and JavaScript code you use.
  • Provides a variety of debugging options, which helps make it user-friendly for developers.

Robot Framework

Robot is an open-source testing automation platform that may be used for acceptance testing as well as acceptance test-driven development. It is consistent with a variety of test case formats. The Robot framework offers excellent support for open-source tools and other third-party libraries that can be utilized in the automation process. 

A Robot framework can be used by any operating system, program, or browser, as well as any technological innovation. You will have the ability to develop test scripts for a number of different systems with this. If you have experience with keyword-based testing, then learning this will not be difficult for you.

Highlights of Robot are as follows:

  • Tabular representations of either predefined test cases or user-defined keywords are available.
  • Users have the option of generating their own keywords.
  • Provides access to a diverse range of variables.
  • The effortless connection between the various tools and libraries.
  • When carrying out smoke tests, regression tests, system tests, and so on, this feature enables the labeling of useful test cases.

Cucumber

For the purpose of automated testing, the behavior-driven development technique is utilized by Cucumber, which is a free and open-source framework. It includes documentation and test plans in their entirety. Ruby was the language that was initially used for the programming, but later on, a separate script known as Gherkin was implemented. 

Cucumber is a test automation framework that offers a high-level application programming interface (API) and supports a broad variety of programming languages. These languages include Java, Ruby, and JavaScript.

Highlights of the Cucumber include the following:

  • Enables seamless communication between business and technical jargon.
  • Assists users in writing test scripts even if they have no prior knowledge of programming.
  • Your testing framework will receive support from the very beginning to the very end.
  • Makes advantage of a streamlined test script design that makes it possible to reuse code.

Puppeteer

Puppeteer is a Google-developed open-source tool written in Node.js that offers a high-level application programming interface (API) for manipulating headless Chrome or Chromium browsers. It gives programmers the ability to automate, test, and scrape web pages by simulating human behaviors such as clicking, typing, and scrolling.

Access to the DevTools protocol is also offered by Puppeteer. This gives developers the ability to generate screenshots, crawl web pages, and automate form submissions, among other activities. It can also be used for web scraping and data extraction, in addition to automating and testing online applications.

Highlights of the Puppeteer include the Following:

  • Screenshots should be tested, and PDF files of the pages should be saved.
  • Makes use of Chrome’s built-in performance analysis tool in order to measure load time.
  • keyboard input, form submission, user interface testing, and other tasks can all be automated.

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Laravel

Laravel is a framework for creating web applications with flexible syntax. Testing in Laravel promotes clear syntax and organized programs. With only one command, it may be used for a wide range of scenarios, from traffic management to error handling to coding expressions. For programmers, this has a lot of significance.

Highlights of the Laravel Framework Include the Following:

Makes use of PHPUnit’s predefined phpunit.xml file structure to facilitate testing. SQL injection, Cross-site scripting, and cross-site request forgery are all made simple.

Final Thoughts

It’s common to be perplexed when tasked with selecting a best-in-class test automation framework/ test automation tools. Keep in mind that not every framework will work well for your company. When deciding on a framework, keep both the immediate requirements and the project’s potential growth in mind.

No matter whatever automation testing framework you end up going with, simulating real-world user scenarios requires running tests on a cloud of actual devices. 

Transitioning between frameworks is time-consuming and fraught with danger. Although there is no universally ideal structure, there is likely one that works best for your company. Before commencing the evaluation process, it is best to gather requirements, learn about the big picture, do a pilot test, and settle on a framework.

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