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In-Depth Guide to Test Automation Frameworks in 2024

Test automation frameworks have become an integral part of the software development lifecycle. These frameworks are crucial in improving software testing processes’ efficiency, accuracy, and speed. By leveraging the capabilities of test automation frameworks, organizations can achieve faster product delivery and ensure the quality of their software applications. This article informs businesses about test automation frameworks, benefits, and types.

Why are test automation frameworks important?

Test automation frameworks are crucial for software development companies, as they offer several benefits that can help ensure the quality and reliability of the products.

  1. Efficient test execution: Test automation frameworks help execute tests more efficiently, providing a standardized way to write and run test scripts. This saves time and reduces the likelihood of errors caused by manual testing.
  2. Consistent results: Using a test automation framework, the test results will be consistent each time the test is executed. This is important for regression testing, where the same test cases are run repeatedly to ensure that changes to the software do not introduce new bugs.
  3. Improved test coverage: Test automation frameworks can help improve test coverage by allowing testers to create and execute more test cases in less time. This helps to identify more defects in the software, which can be fixed before the software is released to customers.
  4. Reusability: Test automation frameworks promote code reusability, as the same test cases can be reused across multiple projects. This reduces the time and effort required to create new test cases.
  5. Scalability: Test automation frameworks can be scaled easily, allowing for testing large and complex systems. This is important for companies that are rapidly expanding or developing new products.
  6. Cost-Effective: Test automation frameworks are cost-effective, as they reduce the time and effort required for testing, which can help companies save money in the long run.

CAST is a low-code test automation tool offered by Testifi. It provides mobile, desktop, and API testing, performance testing, and static code analysis. It simplifies test automation for companies seeking to reduce their reliance on scarce technical talent. 

BMW, Amazon, and Vodafone all use Testifi’s services. CAST follows a shift-left and test-first strategy compatible with CI/CD tools such as Xray, Zephyr, Jenkins, and Jira.

See their demo below:

Types of test automation frameworks

There are several test automation frameworks, each with a unique approach and benefits. The most popular ones are:

1-Linear Scripting Framework

The linear scripting framework is a test automation framework based on creating a linear sequence of test steps. In this framework, the test cases are created sequentially and executed one after the other.

The linear scripting framework is also known as the record and playback framework, as it involves recording the manual testing steps and then playing them back as automated test scripts. This makes it easy for non-technical testers to create automated test scripts without the need for programming skills.

Advantages

  1. Easy to use: The linear scripting framework is easy to use and does not require extensive programming knowledge. Non-technical testers can easily create automated test scripts by recording and playing back manual test steps.
  2. Quick test creation: With the linear scripting framework, test scripts can be created quickly by recording the manual test steps. This saves time and effort, especially for repetitive tests.
  3. Seamless automation: Also, with a new test automation tool, this is the quickest approach to start using automated testing. You won’t need to make elaborate plans with this framework because most automated testing solutions on the market today will include record-and-playback functionality.

Disadvantages

The scripts created with this framework can’t be used again. Because the data is hardcoded into the test script, the test cases cannot be run again with other sets and must be changed if the data changes. 

The fact that any modifications to the program would need a significant amount of redesign makes maintenance a burden. When the testing’s range increases, this approach is not especially scalable.

2-Data-Driven Framework

A data-driven framework is a test automation framework based on using external data sources to drive test execution. In this framework, test data is stored in external files such as spreadsheets, XML, or databases and is read by the automation script to perform the tests.

Advantages

  1. Multiple uses of data sets: Several data sets can be used to run tests. 
  2. Data alteration: Altering the data makes testing several scenarios rapidly and with fewer scripts possible. 
  3. Ease of modification: It is possible to avoid hard-coding data such that any modifications to the test scripts have no impact on the data being utilized and vice versa. 

Disadvantages 

  1. Highly skilled tester: To effectively use this framework architecture, you’ll require a highly skilled tester who is knowledgeable in a number of programming languages. To construct code that smoothly connects the tests to those external data sources, they will need to recognize and prepare the external data sources.
  2. Time-consuming: Also, a data-driven framework requires a lot of time to set up in comparison to other frameworks.

3-Keyword-Driven Framework

The keyword-driven framework is a type of test automation framework that separates the test automation code from the test cases. In this framework, each test case is represented by a set of keywords that are used to perform the test steps.

Advantages

  1. Reusability: The code can be reused since it allows for the usage of a single keyword in several test scripts. 
  2. Modular framework: The keyword-driven framework is highly modular, with each keyword representing a specific action. This makes it easy to reuse keywords across different test cases, reducing the amount of time and effort required to create new test cases.
  3. Programming language: Little programming skills are required. 
  4. Independent test scripts: It is possible to create test scripts apart from the tested application.

Disadvantages

  1. Expensive: The keyword-driven framework can be more expensive to set up and maintain due to the need to manage many keywords. 
  2. Increased maintenance efforts: The keyword-driven framework relies on keywords; any changes to the keywords may require changes to the automation code, leading to increased maintenance efforts.

4-Modular Framework

This approach divides the application into smaller, independent modules, allowing testers to create and maintain test scripts more efficiently. It promotes reusability and reduces script complexity.

Advantages

  1. Easy to implement: In a modular framework, just the module and the individual test scripts that are linked will need to be corrected if any changes are made to the application; the rest of the application can remain unchanged. 
  2. Reusable: Test scripts for several modules may be reused, and creating test cases is relatively easier.

Disadvantages

  1. Hard-coded: You cannot utilize different data sets since the data is still hard-coded into the test script because the tests are run independently. 
  2. Programming expertise: Setting up the framework calls for programming expertise.

5-Hybrid Framework

The hybrid framework is a type of test automation framework that combines two or more different types of frameworks, such as data-driven, keyword-driven, or modular frameworks, to create a customized framework that meets the specific needs of a software testing project.

Advantages

  1. Customization: The hybrid framework allows for customization, as it can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a software testing project.
  2. Improved test coverage: By using a variety of frameworks, the hybrid framework can help improve test coverage, identifying more defects and ensuring a higher degree of software quality.

Disadvantages

  1. Complexity: The hybrid framework can be more complex to set up and maintain than other frameworks due to the need to manage multiple types of frameworks and ensure that they are properly synchronized with the automation code.
  2. Skill set: The hybrid framework requires more technical expertise to create and maintain the automation code and modules.
  3. Cost: The hybrid framework can be more expensive to set up and maintain due to the need to manage multiple types of frameworks.

7-Library Architecture Testing Framework

Library Architecture Testing Framework, sometimes referred to as a library-based framework, is a test automation framework that involves creating reusable libraries or components for common functionalities in the application under test. These libraries consist of utility functions, methods, or classes that can be called upon to perform specific tasks or actions.

Advantages

  1. Modularization: Using this design will result in a high degree of modularization, similar to the modular framework, which makes test maintenance and scaling simpler and more affordable. 
  2. Reusability: Additionally, since there is a library of common functions that several test scripts may use, this framework is more reusable.

Disadvantages

  1. Hard-coded: The script still contains hard-coded test data, just like a modular framework. Any changes to the data will thus need corresponding adjustments to the programs. 
  2. Time-consuming: Writing and analyzing the test scripts’ common functionalities requires technical competence, and the creation of test scripts requires extra time.
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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Altay Ataman
Altay is an industry analyst at AIMultiple. He has background in international political economy, multilateral organizations, development cooperation, global politics, and data analysis. He has experience working at private and government institutions. Altay discovered his interest for emerging tech after seeing its wide use of area in several sectors and acknowledging its importance for the future. He received his bachelor's degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Bilkent University and he received his master's degree in International Politics from KU Leuven .

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