What is a Test Automation Framework?
A framework, in general, is a set of rules, practices, assumptions and the tools used to perform an activity. The same can be said for a test automation framework as well. It is a set of test-handling codes, object repository treatment and test automation tools that combine together to form a guideline, which when followed will give you beneficial results.
Such frameworks can be re-used again and again for various applications, if they give you the desired results. As a result, this increases the portability of the framework for various products and reduces script maintenance costs in a huge way.
However, the testing community often debates over whether test automation frameworks should be made from scratch for every new project. You can surely build your own frameworks from scratch for each project but the truth is that more often than not it is not needed. There are enough tried and tested frameworks in the industry, which you can use to your advantage by making a few tweaks here and there.
Yes, such tools and frameworks may not have everything you need but if you know when to use which framework, it makes your job much easier. Therefore, in this article, we take you through some of the best test automation frameworks out there and tell you when to use them.
Serenity is a framework tool that is ideal for users who need a Java-based framework that integrates with BDD (Behaviour Driven Tool) tools like Cucumber and JBehave. With this framework, you can design automated acceptance and regressions tests with ease. Furthermore, if you are to accommodate lower level implementation details in your reports while keeping your test scenarios at a higher level, Serenity has the provision to do so.
It also offers a lot of built-in functionality like managing state between steps, running tests in parallel, taking screenshots, handling WebDriver management, facilitating Jira integration and much more. Another benefit of using Serenity is that it gives you detailed reports, which you can not only used to view your BDD results but also document how your application behaves.
If you are looking for a developer-centric test automation framework that focuses on making test-driven development cycles, then Cypress is a great option to consider. One of the biggest advantages of this framework is that it has a design principle that bundles the entire end-to-end testing together to make it a pleasant experience for you.
Cypress gives you native access to every object in the process without any need of object serialisation or other over-the-wire protocols. Thanks to this, it will notify you regarding everything that happens inside the browser, thus giving you access to every DOM (Distributed Object Model) element, as and when you want.
If you want a keyword-driven framework that uses Python for test automation, then the Robot Framework will not disappoint you. Such a framework is ideal for testers who are familiar with other vendor-based keyword driven test tools, because the integration of the framework with the tools would be much easier.
If a development and testing team is mostly made of testers, then this framework should suit them. Additionally, it supports a lot of APIs, which should make the whole process easier.
If you want to automate tests for simple HTML applications, then the Sahi framework can be a good option. It is developed to test web applications and works as a proxy server, which can be used within a browser. By simply hovering the controller over an element, it shows you all the actions that can be performed on it, making the framework quite easy to use.
One drawback of this framework is that it is not so good when it comes to creating robust tests for high-end applications. For this, you can try the Sahi pro version instead of the open-source option.
If you want a test automation framework that revolves around the user experience (UX) and layout testing, then the Galen Framework should do you justice. The framework has been created specifically to perform UX testing in the best possible manner, using specific syntax and rules, used to describe the layout of your application.
If you are looking for a framework that can be used for web applications, mobile applications and APIs, then OpenTest is good open-source framework. One of the best features of this framework is that you do not need any coding skills, as claimed by the service provider.
You simply need to use a combination of keywords and write them in English. This is then stored in a YAML file. From here, the functions will be performed. The ideal scenario to use this framework would be where cross-platform automation is vital to your team.
If you are looking for a framework that will help you automate integration tests for messaging transports such as HTTP, REST, SOAP or JMS, then CitrusFramework is the right option for you. It can also integrate with Selenium, which can come in handy when you want to interact with the user interface and then check the back-end process as well. Citrus gives you true end-to-end test coverage, which is something that most other GUI test tools fail to deliver.
These are some of the best test automation frameworks that are available in the market right now. Before trying to create your own framework from scratch, you must look for options where you can leverage such existing frameworks to your advantage. However, you need a team of experienced and highly-skilled team of testers and developers to do that. This is where a company like TestUnity can help you with their team of testers from around the world. Contact us to know more!