Test automation will save you time and money. That is why it was developed, and that is why you want to use it. To access all the speed and efficiencies of automation testing, you need to have the right foundation in place.
That foundation is your test automation framework. To put it plainly, the test automation framework is a set of rules, guidelines, standards, and conventions governing the testing process. In a manner of speaking, your test automation framework is the race track upon which your lightning-fast test automation race car can run.
A well-designed framework can boost your team’s productivity, help you release at greater speed, and significantly reduce your testing costs.
The secret to finding the right test automation framework—and there are many to choose from—is understanding your own product, technologies stack, any specific requirements, and what you aim to test.
The best test automation framework is the one that is right for your team, your goals, and your product.
Align Your Testing Goals Before You Choose a Framework
With that approach in mind, the only way to proceed with your QA process is with an agnostic partner. Do not outsource your testing to a company that has already chosen a test automation framework before they ever speak to you about your product. Being agnostic means having the experience and the skills to apply whatever test framework best suits your product, your development environment, your team’s coding preferences, your domain, and your platform. In other words, the best test automation framework is not one-size-fits-all.
We will discuss the various test framework design options. But first, it is important to keep in mind the following four advantages as you consider which framework may be the best solution for your needs:
Maintainable. Robust. Portable. Reportable.
These are the essentials of framework design. Ultimately, considering these potential advantages upfront will help you maximize your ability to get comprehensive test coverage.
If necessary, how easy is it to populate and reuse your test design as change occurs? This goes to the strength of your initial test structure and your planning around how each function of your product will be tested. Well-designed frameworks are less likely to face maintenance delays.
How well will the framework cope with future requirements and additions? Is the framework scalable, extendable, and reusable enough to be applied over time?
Can the framework be run on another machine, environment, or platform? Portability gives you flexibility during the test phase.
How does the framework generate test results? Even market-leading automation products such as Selenium can provide unsatisfactory reports. Make sure your framework provides the answers your test phase was designed to achieve.
With these key ingredients in mind, it is time to take a look at the variety of test automation framework designs currently available for your product testing.
Types of Test Automation Framework Architecture
You should use the above criteria as a guide for selecting the right framework architecture for your product. When outsourcing your QA process, be sure to ask questions about the prevalence of each during your initial design discussion.
While an agnostic approach is always best and there are many ways to approach test automation, you will most likely find your framework solution among the following:
- Linear scripting: Typically best for small applications, this basic level test automation framework follows a simple approach with no reusability
- Modular: This framework allows you to break down the overall application and approach each part with small, independent tests
- Data-driven: This framework relies on external database sets to perform tests with different data inputs
- Keyword-driven: Similar to data-driven, this framework uses keywords and, thereby, reduces the need for programming knowledge
- Hybrid-driven: Combines data-driven and keyword-driven testing in a single framework
- Behavior-driven: This framework defines test specifications with natural, non-technical words and enables everyone in an organization to automate the test scenarios
- Page object model: This robust framework may reduce maintenance efforts during any change in the application, UI elements, or workflow. It can be used in conjunction to enhance any of the above frameworks.
As you can see, there are a number of choices to be made before a single test case is run. Consider the particular needs of your product, as well as the long-term goals of your QA test process to select a framework that will result in reliable automation. An experienced QA partner can help you to make these critical decisions and to access the high-speed advantages of automated testing solutions.
Choosing the Best Test Automation Framework
The test automation framework is the foundation of your QA process. Selecting the right framework is the first, and perhaps most important decision you and your QA partner will have to make.
Get it right, and you’ll be able to release quicker and save on the cost of testing. Get it wrong and you’ll have a brittle design that will break, potentially undoing all the advantages of automation testing.
While it takes an agnostic, product-specific approach to find the right framework for your software, remember these key elements: Maintainable. Robust. Portable. Reportable.
QASource has the experience and skills necessary to take an agnostic approach to every development project we undertake. Our engineers are able to guide you toward selecting the right frameworks, tools, and technologies for your project so you can enjoy the rewards of automation testing. Contact us today for a free quote, or call +1.925.271.5555 to get started.