The Beginner's Guide to Automation Frameworks
Test automation is key to keeping pace with digital innovation — and preventing big bottlenecks in the SDLC. It helps teams become more efficient, extend test coverage, and reduce time-consuming manual testing. Most teams utilize automation frameworks for this.
While manual testing will always exist to some extent, organizations must strive toward test automation rates of 75-80% and beyond for mature DevOps. Automation frameworks can help.
Keep reading to learn the basics of testing frameworks and how automation can help you release faster.
What Is an Automation Framework?
A test automation framework is just that — a framework from which you can automate tests. They are often based on best practices and assumptions, along with elements such as libraries, test data, and reusable modules. Test automation frameworks execute test scripts and are key to helping you scale your testing.
Some teams create their own automation frameworks to fit their needs. But most rely on open source automation tools. Our recently published State of Test Automation report found that 84% of teams utilize open source frameworks in their technology stack. It comes as no surprise that so many teams do, given the many benefits they provide.
Benefits of Utilizing an Automation Framework
There’s a reason that so many testing teams have adopted automation frameworks.
It’s Cost Effective
Most automation frameworks are open source, and thus free. Some operate on freemium models, with advanced features available within a paid version.
Get your free copy of The Complete Guide to Mobile Automation Testing.
It’s Backed By Active Communities
Most automation frameworks are backed by dynamic and committed communities with robust documentation and steady support. If you run into a testing problem, you have plenty of resources and individuals available to consult online.
It Accelerates Testing
Automation frameworks can streamline your testing for more efficient test cycles. Frameworks automatically run tests after the completion of others, reducing downtime and manual intervention.
It Increases Test Coverage
By automating more of your tests with an automation framework, you can extend test coverage beyond what would be feasible with manual testing alone.
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Types of Automation Frameworks to Consider
Not all automation frameworks are created equally. Learn about the different types and how they are used.
Linear Automation Framework
This type of framework is also known as a record-and-playback framework. Testers don’t need to write custom code for linear automation frameworks. Instead, testers can record sequential steps, which are then played back when executing the test.
Modular Driven Framework
Modular driven frameworks approach test automation differently. These automation frameworks break apart the application under test into different sections, which are then tested independently before they are tested as a whole. This makes it easier to adjust test scripts without impacting the entire app.
Behavior Driven Framework
Behavior driven frameworks are built off the software development process behavior driven development (BDD). BDD testing is an Agile methodology and collection of best practices. The main benefit of BDD is that it’s written in plain English, meaning you don’t need to write test scripts.
Data-driven frameworks work by separating data and test scripts. Data is stored externally, which enables the reuse of test scripts with multiple data sets. And when changes are made to the data or test scripts, it doesn’t affect the other component.
Keyword-driven frameworks work by assigning actions or objects to individual keywords. These are compiled into a function library, and can be reused across different test scripts.
Hybrid Testing Framework
Hybrid testing frameworks combine all features of the above frameworks into one. In this way, it takes advantage of all the benefits and best features of each type of framework.
Leading Automation Frameworks for Mobile & Web
Get a sense of the top testing frameworks available for web and mobile app testing.
Appium is the leading automation framework for mobile app testing.
- Appium Tutorial: From Beginners to Advanced
- The Complete Guide to Appium Basics
- Appium Framework Pros and Cons: What The Future Might Look Like
Selenium is the leading automation framework for web app testing.
- What Is Selenium Testing?
- 6 Ways to Use XPath in Selenium WebDriver
- How to Use Selenium Grid in the Cloud
Espresso is a framework for mobile app test automation, specifically Android.
XCUITest is an automation framework for iOS mobile apps.
Cypress is a front-end dev friendly framework for testing your web apps.
- 5 Benefits of Cypress Automation for Web Testing
- Cypress vs. Selenium: What’s the Right Cross-Browser Testing Solution for You?
- Mastering Cross-Browser Test Automation With Cypress and Selenium
Quantum is a cross-platform BDD automation framework.
- Quantum Starter Kit
- Building Sustainable & Scalable Automation Scripts Using Quantum
- Quantum Introduction
Pair Automation Frameworks With a Testing Cloud
Automation frameworks can get you set up for automated testing. But that’s just half the equation. You also need a place to execute those tests — such as a testing cloud, like Perfecto.
Perfecto has integrations to whichever framework you use, including Selenium, Appium, Espresso, and XCUITest. With Perfecto, you can execute your tests with an automation framework of choice against cloud-based devices and VMs.
See for yourself how Perfecto can help you add efficiency and even more automation to your testing processes. Get started today for free.