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Everything You Need to Know About Test Automation Frameworks in 2023

What Are

Test Automation Frameworks


At their core, test automation frameworks are simply a set of guidelines for software testing. These guidelines can include coding standards and test data handling methods.

Deciding on the framework is one of the critical aspects when it comes to approaching test automation. According to the 2019 survey by the New Stack, developers said that they spend 35% of their time on software testing. And half of the respondents found it difficult to meet the quality standards set by their organization.

By implementing the right test automation framework, a software team can reduce the amount of time and effort spent on setup, test creation, and maintenance. This means smarter resource allocation and tighter test coverage.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common test automation frameworks and highlight their standout features so you know which one to sign up for.

Types of Test Automation Frameworks

There are a number of test automation frameworks, each with its own approach to testing. In this section, we’ll take a look at the different types of test frameworks:

Linear Automation Test Framework

The key aspect here is to record the steps of tests as a sequence, with testers leveraging a user interface to save the steps as a test. This type of framework is also known as a record-and-playback framework. The linear automation test framework is most suitable for basic testing, for example, with simple websites and smaller or less complex software applications.

The advantage of linear automation test frameworks is that they’re typically simple to start with, and make it easy to automate the manual testing process. However, linear test automation doesn’t offer the benefits of more complex testing frameworks like scalability and might not work well for end-to-end testing.

Modular-based Test Framework

In a modular-based test framework, the application under test is divided into smaller, isolated modules. This allows testers to create and run test scripts to first identify defects in individual components, and then combine these scripts with building larger test cases for testing the application as a whole.

With the modular approach, whenever a code change is introduced in the application, testers can simply modify the test script of that specific module and reuse all other test cases. This leads to reduced test time and test maintenance.

Library Architecture Test Framework

Library architecture testing framework enables testers to group similar tasks within the test script into standard functions. These grouped tasks are then assigned to a library, ready to be used in other parts of the software application.

Like the modular-based test framework, this architecture also uses the modular approach, which helps minimize the cost of maintenance. Similarly, code reusability allows QA teams to speed up the testing workflow in an efficient and cost-effective way.

Keyword-driven Test Framework

In the keyword-driven test framework, test data is separated from script logic and stored inside a library file/object repository. Next, keywords for each action (like openbrowser, clickSignInbutton, etc.) are stored in an external data table. Each keyword has its corresponding test implementation inside the library file.

Then, a test automation tool reads keywords based on the specified order of test steps in the data table and finds its corresponding test implementation inside the library file. Finally, it performs the test execution in the GUI of the software application.

Keyword-driven testing works in programming languages, including Java and Python. It also allows less-savvy users to run keyword-driven tests using keywords without the need for coding experience. These keywords are highly-reusable across multiple test cases, reducing the cost of running and maintaining tests.

Data-driven Test Framework

Similar to the keyword-driven test framework, the test data and script logic are separated in the data-driven framework. The test data is stored in an external file such as Excel sheets or SQL tables.

As the test data is not hard-coded in test scripts, testers can validate the same functionality of an application multiple times with different data sets in different test scenarios.

In addition, the data-driven testing framework enables testers to reuse test scripts, reduce test maintenance, and increase test coverage.

Hybrid Test Framework

The hybrid test framework, as the name suggests, combines two or more testing frameworks to obtain the best test results.

For example, the hybrid test framework in Selenium is a combination of the data-driven framework (externalizes test data in Excel, XML file, etc.) and the keyword-driven framework (externalizes keywords in a separate library file).

Test automation is crucial for agile testing processes, and hybrid test frameworks can offer the flexibility testing teams need to implement continuous integration/continuous testing while working on different aspects of the same project.

Behavior-driven Development Framework

The behavior-driven development enables creating test scenarios for features that haven’t been coded yet. The goal is to shorten the feedback loop by expanding the communication between technical and non-technical people on the team.

BDD has proven to be nearly impossible to implement the way it was designed to, which is the reason why very few companies use it today.

However, we think that the fundamental concept of BDD is great, which is why we’ve created a similar concept called SDD – which improves on all the implementational aspects of BDD.

The Future of Test Automation Frameworks

In terms of where the test automation frameworks are headed in 2023, cutting edge platforms like testRigor are now leveraging artificial intelligence to get rid of scripting and further optimize and evolve the software testing process. If you’re interested in seeing how testRigor uses AI to make testing easy to set up and maintain, reach out to our team today, and we’ll be happy to provide you with a quick overview and demo.

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