Test automation framework refers to the set of rules and the corresponding tools used to build test cases. It’s specifically designed to make the engineering practices effortless and efficient. This collection of tools and processes integrates various functions like test data, libraries, and reusable modules to perform automated tests on different software.
In this case, the framework provides the right conditions, automatic testing sequences, programming codes, adequate space, automatic documentation, and monitoring capabilities. Here, the data is harnessed and extracted to carry out several tests.
Evolution of testing
In 1980-1990, manual testing was the primary way several tests were carried out. Waterfall methodology was highly used in this case which was a tedious and very long process to complete.
Bulky automation tools were then developed between 1990-2000 to facilitate experimentation with different development approaches. Then there was the development of more robust automation tools and open-source frameworks between 2000-2010 for agile approaches and faster release cycles.
Most of these automation techniques were being developed to improve the efficiency of the testing process. Between 2010 and 2018, the focus was more on the scale of the tests with the development of DevOps, CI/CD, and continuous testing. With the growth of artificial intelligence, automatic testing that was highly powered by machine learning was developed to facilitate collaborative smart testing. With the growth of artificial intelligence automation testing techniques have reduced human interference in the testing process. As we already know, manual testing can cover less in the same period of time, giving a huge advantage to automated testing which has the ability to increase the coverage of testing and give better results.
Effective and successful test automation requires the high involvement of intelligent systems that can automatically control most operations. There should be very little human intervention and supervision as the test framework systems are well-equipped with big data management, human-machine interaction, and artificial intelligence.
Several common test automation frameworks can be implemented in any software, regardless of how simple and complex they might be.
Linear automation framework
As the name suggests, the linear automation framework works with a series of functions arranged line by line. It can be implemented through non-structured scripts that interact directly with the system under test. The linear automation framework can use any programming language and be implemented through the capture and replay tools.
None of the test sessions is skipped in the testing process and does not require advanced knowledge of writing codes. The strict sequence that must be followed makes the process fast. An organization commonly uses a workforce with little experience with automated testing techniques.
Modular based testing framework
Here, the software being tested is divided into various modules before the onset of the test operations. It’s implemented through driver scripts “drive” test executions, and most of the interactions with the system under test are done by functions in the test library.
The personnel in charge should segment the software into different functions before deploying the modular-based framework. They also have to adjust the framework by categorizing the modules into sessions to fit the software functions. Here, advanced knowledge in coding and programming is highly required.
Library architecture testing framework
It’s similar to the modular-based testing framework and highly flexible to the extent of allowing the testers to make the necessary adjustments during the test process. Like modular-based testing, the software is segmented, and the segments with similar functions are grouped.
Like a library, each function can be located based on the group that falls the same way books under the same category are arranged in the same section. The tester should also have high coding and programming skills to write the required scripts and program them to the desired group function.
It creates separation between the codes that make up the software under test and its data. A data-driven framework allows software testing with or without the database associated with it. With this method, the testers will know the actual effects of the data on the software.
The data and software are separated; data is stored in an external database, and software is deployed without any data. To implement this method, test the data taken out of the test scripts. It’s generally presented in tabular format. Here, one of the drivers can execute multiple similar tests. A new driver script is a must for the different kinds of tests.
For this test framework, the database associated with the software is separated into external storage, and some keywords related to the software functions are also arranged in an external system. To implement the keyword-driven testing, operations should be performed on the test data and on the directives-keywords that tell how to use the data taken out of the test scripts.
The keywords and the test data associated with the process drive the test execution. It’s a very flexible framework as the testers can fiddle with each function via its coding, and manipulations can be performed on both the associated and the anticipated data.
The test automation frameworks are very vital for the different industrial processes. These frameworks consist of tools and capabilities that support the automation process for the testing process to be successful. They can carry out the tests appropriately, provided the testers have adverse knowledge of what they are doing. The above points summarize the various test automation frameworks from the simplest to the most complex and their costs, from cheapest to the costliest.