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QA: Do I Need a Test Automation Framework?

Tuesday 12 of May, 2020.
Reading Time: 2 minutes.
By Marlon Cabraca

What is a Test Automation Framework?

In software testing, automation allows us to execute tests constantly and quicker in comparison to manual testing. Currently, to run automated functional tests, we can find tools such as Selenium, TestNG, Sikuli, Cypress, Watir, TestCafe, WebdriverIO, among others. Each of these compares obtained results against expected results, and generates reports. 

A framework brings together all of a software’s required generic and common functions while standardizing code generation at the same time. This streamlines the requirement scope so we spend less time on a project's low-level tasks.

A test automation framework gives us a set of guidelines or rules for generating test cases and standardizing execution for tests such as UI, API, performance, and security, among others.

Types of Test Automation Frameworks

  • Data-driven: frameworks where data is required for test execution (called ‘datasets’); these are separated from the testing code directly in the database or using Excel, .csv, json, or xml files. Due to this separation, if we find it necessary to change the expected results, we won’t need to modify the tests themselves and will only have to change the data source. Also, we will be able to test the application using multiple sets of data values during regression testing. 
  • Keyword-driven (also called ‘Table-driven)’: this framework technique identifies a series of keywords and then assigns each of these to a series of actions, such as login, click, close window, etc. It requires the use of tables: tables where ‘keywords’ and their actions are stored, and tables of data to be used. Scripts interact with and handle the logic part.
  • Modular: this type of framework includes the creation of small and independent scripts that represent modules, sections, and functions of the tested application. This separation improves test maintainability and updating.
  • Behavior-driven development: these frameworks use natural - as opposed to technical - language for test specifications with the objective of making tests easy to understand not only for developers and testers but for business analysts as well.
  • Hybrid: all of the above frameworks have certain advantages, which means it’s common for automation frameworks to be a hybrid of two or more of these; especially when it comes to modularization and the use of datasets. 

Reasons Why We Should Use Frameworks

  • Reusing code allows us to focus on developing new tests and widening our test scope
  • Maintenance and scalability
  • Consistency and integration
  • Sets a standard for the team
  • Reduces test execution times
  • Reports integration according to the team’s needs

Avantica’s Framework: Advantages

Avantica has a hybrid automation framework that offers:

  • UI, desktop web, and mobile automation
  • Suitable exception management
  • Testlink tool integration
  • A data management layer
  • Integration with continuous testing tools

Using a test automation framework gives us several advantages in comparison to using a tool that can lead to bad practices of rewriting similar functions and maintenance difficulties. Due to this, we can conclude that no matter the automation tool we are using, it is important to apply the methodologies mentioned above and to integrate a framework to obtain all its benefits when automating our testing. 

About Avantica

If you are looking for a software partner who will work towards your business goals and success, then Avantica is your solution. We offer dedicated teams, team augmentation, and individual projects to our clients. We are constantly looking for the best methodologies in order to give you the best results.

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