Selecting the Right Automation Testing Framework

Automation testing isn’t too different from manual testing in its essence. What it does is mimic manual testing steps in the form of a script that can be run automatically on a system to test its performance, efficiency and usability. Automation testing frameworks can help too by defining a set of testing guidelines that can help testers and QA consulting companies save effort and time while increasing productivity. There exist a lot of options for automation testing frameworks available to choose from.

  1. Record and Playback

  2. Data-driven

  3. Keyword-driven

  4. UI Object Maps

  5. The Hybrid Model

Record & Playback Automation Framework

This is perhaps the simplest and easiest of automation frameworks that are present. In record and playback automation, QA testers manually record every test step like user inputs, checkpoints and navigation. These are performed so a test case can be executed. As there is no coding required for this step, the overall process is made simple. When the recording is done, the QA tester can playback the script and begin testing.

Advantages

  • No coding is required due to codeless record and playback automation, which makes the generation of the script fast and easy.

  • No technical expertise is needed.

  • A great introduction to start learning automation testing for QA consulting companies.

Disadvantages

  • Test data is hard-coded into testing scripts.

  • Reusing test scripts isn’t possible.

  • Test script failures may cause synchronization problems in web UI testing.

  • Difficult to manage as the test area/scope widens.

Data-Driven Automation Framework

The data-driven automation framework provides a larger test coverage when compared to the record and playback approach. In this framework, each test case is seen as a function call to which data is given by an exogenous source. Also, in this approach, test data is stored in an external file which gets rid of the hard coding required of test data into test scripts. This makes it possible to run the same test case with different sets of test data.

Advantages

  • Test data is maintained separately which makes it easier to make alterations to the test script.

  • Makes it possible for better test coverage by using multiple test data for the same test case.

Disadvantages

  • Impossible to test all real-time business functionalities of the system.

  • Can’t specify which data file to be associated with which test script easily.

  • Requires testers to have basic programming skills in the tool of selection.

Keyword-Driven Automation Framework

This approach is additionally referred to as a table-driven testing framework, during which data tables and keywords are to be developed (independent of testing automation tool) for the test suit. Each test script is seen as a keyword prompted action which then directs the testing here. Thus when the automated test suit is run, the test data is read which points to the corresponding keyword then finally the relevant script is called/executed.

Advantages

  • The testers can choose which test cases are to be executed and during which order.

  • This approach provides code reusability.

  • The keywords also are reusable.

  • The test scripts are often developed independently of the test tool/application.

Disadvantages

  • This needs the tester to possess good technical expertise within the field of automation testing.

  • When the UI of the software changes, it’s quite a challenge to update the test scripts accordingly (as it lacks web UI automation).

UI Page Maps Automation Framework

This approach is far and away from the simplest of approaches since it solves most of the issues encountered while using any of the above-mentioned frameworks. The tester writes test scripts for classes of the individual UI page under a selected window/page. Instructions are provided through test data, which recognizes the thing on which action has got to be taken which subsequently calls a script for the precise object.

Advantages

  • The maintainability and reliability are handled quite well during this framework.

  • The test script for a UI object is often reused anywhere within the application.

  • It makes the event of test cases a tad easier.

Disadvantages

  • When new UI objects are introduced, new test scripts may have to be written.

  • UI object class changes will require revision of the associated test scripts.

The Hybrid Automation Framework

As in life, one size doesn’t fit all. Therefore, the test manager must decide which testing framework is best suited for the software to be tested. A hybrid approach could also be considered.

As the name suggests, a wise combination of two or more automation testing frameworks is often adapted to get the simplest results. Depending upon the software to be tested, the test data pool available and therefore the consistency of the software, the test team and the QA consulting company in question may prefer to use quite one among the above frameworks to automate their testing processes.