Test Automation is one of the most advanced and popular method of testing products and applications before they are released in the market. Test automation has secured its place in today’s many software development cycle with more and more test managers relying on this new methodology of performing testing. However, test automation has been rejected by many companies due to its failure to meet the company’s test objectives which are the results of problems in either technology, process, automation tools or automation framework.
Today, we will talk about test automation frameworks as how it raises issues in test automation projects and what characteristics are mandatory in a test automation framework that lead to successful test automation.
What is a Test Automation Framework?
Test automation frameworks are guidelines on which Test Automation is based like coding standards, reporting, script designing, test data handling, etc. They are the foundation on which test automation is carried out which when followed provides outcomes like reduced maintenance cost, increased code-reuse and increase ROI. The ideal framework, in my opinion, is that defined test execution steps are transformed to test automation code without making the software testing process tedious. Some of the common Test
Automation Frameworks are:
• Linear Programming
• Keyword Driven
• Data Driven
• Test Library Architecture Framework
• Hybrid Test Automation Framework
• Test Script Modularity Framework
Test automation framework contains infrastructure encapsulating libraries, files and database which enforce standards for implementing test automation. If these standards are not adequately met, it can lead to failure of test automation or deviate the test results from the set objectives. Hence, just like test automation tools are implemented only if they have the required features, similarly test automation framework should be put into use only if they meet some pre-defined criteria.
Every test automation framework should contain characteristics that result in driving successful test automation. Below I have highlighted a few characteristics that I found really important in terms of test automation concept.
Characteristics of a Good Test Automation Framework
1. Fast: Test automation framework should be fast so that they can execute tests 100 times faster than what a human can execute manually.
2. Modular: TA framework should be modular so that testers can change it depending on the test environment and cases. It should be flexible enough to withstand the changes in the size of the test cases.
3. Reusable: Test automation framework should be reusable. Reusability of test framework helps reduce duplication and rework to a great extent and allows to be more productive.
4. Integrated: Test automation framework should be easy to integrate with internal functions like reporting. This will help in mapping the test results and generating reports with greater ease.
5. Broad: Also make sure that your test automation framework is broad and deep enough to accommodate a variety of test cases and impart sufficient coverage to each of your tests.
6. Extensible: Test automation framework should be extensible in that any further addition of new test cases and components should be easily done without facing any major difficulty.
7. Repeatable: Any test framework should have the ability to run tests repeatedly in a given schedule without the need to give commands to execute tests every time.
8. Compatible: Test framework should be compatible enough to run on multiple browsers, operating systems and servers.
9. Consistent: TA framework should also be consistent so that any new codes or recruits are added in a uniform manner which remove the chances of further edition of rework.
10. Traceable: A good test automation framework should be traceable so that the testers can easily find the data and results which can be easily monitored or act upon to respond to a particular requirement
11. Error Detection: Detecting the error in an earlier stage would be more efficient rather than handling the error raised during the implementation. So an ideal tool must be integrated with better bug detection tools.
If your test automation framework features all these characteristics, it can really take your test automation to the next level enabling you to focus more on building robust automation solutions. With these characteristics, you can rest assured that your test automation efforts will save you testing time, increase profitability, reduce maintenance and enforce a standardized management of your test automation project.
Author Bio: Prashant Chambakara is a software testing technology enthusiast and loves to write about test automation. He is working with TestingWhiz, a functional testing tool for web applications. You can also connect to him on Twitter at @PChambakara.