What are Automation Frameworks?

What are Automation Frameworks?

Posted on - Oct 16, 2021 | 3 min read

What are Automation Frameworks?

If you’ve been swimming in the ocean of app testing for a long time, you’ll remember the days you swam against cross currents in the trying times of Manual Testing! It was quite a herculean task - testing apps manually using Linear Scripting Frameworks. For the uninitiated, let me take you back in time and give you a sneak peek into the not so recent past.

In the good old days or dare I say tedious old days, app testing was done using manual coding systems, where the software engineer would diligently and meticulously record every thought and action of his testing process! It was a Record and Playback Framework - needless to say that it was extremely time consuming and expensive. Furthermore, the testing script had to be re-coded manually each time the framework had to be reused, making execution and maintenance cumbersome.

Thankfully, times have changed and app testing is now automated, enriching the professional life of the modern software engineer. So if you’ve not yet hopped on to the comforting bandwagon of test automation, let me introduce you to it because test automation is here to stay! In the world of Information Technology, the role of speed and accuracy can never be over-emphasized and hence test automation is an extremely important innovation and boon to this sector. So let’s first understand what Test Automation is and then explore the world of Automation Frameworks.

Test Automation is a method of testing software using specific tools to execute the test scripts without human intervention. It implies that tests are conducted on apps using various automation tools to check how the apps react or respond to varying actions.

In the world of test automation - Automation Frameworks form the backbone, as they provide the structure for tests to be executed using other tools and software - without human assistance. In case the thought crossed your mind that with automation, your job is at stake, then let me assure you that test automation is not here to replace you, but to be an enabler to jumpstart your career! Rest assured that as a Software Testing Engineer you have a vital role to play in successfully implementing a test automation framework.

This brings us to the important question: What is an Automation Framework?

A Test Automation Framework is a set of pre-coded rules or guidelines that have been framed and stored, using corresponding tools for creating and designing test cases. It provides a structure for combining programs, compilers, features, tools, etc. to make software testing more efficient. In automation frameworks, the nerve racking human function of writing complex codes and rules is replaced by predetermined and tested coding standards, providing you with relevant information to help you in running future tests.

Did I just hear a sigh of relief? Well here’s more good news for you!

The guidelines provided by the test automation framework, offer you a basket of enablers which include coding standards, test-data handling methods, object repositories, processes for storing test results, and information on how to access external resources.
To summarize, a Test Automation Framework is a set of components which include equipment, testing tools, scripts and procedures that help accelerate the execution of tests and enable systematic, all-inclusive reporting of test results. Whether you are a software developer or a software testing engineer, the test automation framework is here to make your life easy.

So let’s venture further and understand the most important areas that need attention for implementing a test automation framework. Data being very vital to the testing process, it is absolutely important to collect, create, organize and store this vital information well. Hence the two pillars of test automation frameworks are: Managing Test Data and Organizing Testing Libraries. Let’s briefly understand these key aspects of an automation framework.

  • Managing Test Data: In this age of data overflow, filtering data that is important and pertinent to your testing process can be a challenge. Remember garbage in is garbage out! A successful automation framework has no time or room for testing or storing garbage. Hence your automation framework should provide the right tools to digitally access and manage data that is appropriate for your test automation.
  • Testing Libraries: Organizing and successfully executing your test cases is another very important component of the testing process. Test cases need to be clearly defined and systematically arranged to help improve testing efficiency. This is where the test library plays an important role of allowing you to create, edit, store and organize your test cases.

Now that we have our two pillars of automation frameworks in place, let’s venture further into this fascinating arena and briefly explore the most widely used Test Automation Frameworks. These frameworks provide you with high levels of integration and offer you innumerable prospects to make your development and testing processes quick, accurate and efficient.

Most Common Test Automation Frameworks:

  • Selenium Framework is an open source automation framework that makes code maintenance easy and efficient. It provides for the “code” and “data” to be separately stored to test how efficiently web pages run. It increases code readability which in turn enhances test productivity and can also execute test cases from other sources.
  • Appium is an open source framework that allows automated app testing on different platforms like Android, iOS, and Windows. It is widely used to test mobile apps. Its important features are that apps do not need to be modified to run tests and it allows the use of the same API to run on different platforms.
  • Google EarlGrey is an iOS UI automation testing framework that enables one to write clear and concise tests and also makes test maintenance easy. In addition it provides excellent synchronization with user interface, animations network requests and other such facilities.
  • Cucumber is an open source testing tool that supports behavior driven development (BDD). It is primarily used to write acceptance tests for web applications. It provides ways for anyone to write tests irrespective of their technical knowledge.
  • Robot Framework is a generic test automation framework used extensively for acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). It is a cross-platform, keyword driven testing framework which uses tabular test data syntax and facilitates easy integration, detailed logs and clear testing reports.
  • Gauge is an open source lightweight test automation tool with cross-platform features. Tests are in Markdown which makes writing, understanding and maintaining tests easier. Reuse specifications and robust refactoring reduce duplication. Gauge has simple, rich and flexible syntax and performs data-driven execution.

Having explored the basics of automation frameworks, the question that pops up is: Where does one go to enjoy the benefits of tried and tested automation testing?

Here’s good news for you! BOTm is the accelerator BOT for automated and manual testing of
mobile applications - developed for both Android and iOS devices.

So if you are a Mobile Testing Engineer wanting to switch from swimming in the cross currents of manual testing, or perhaps, you are not satisfied with the automated testing boat in which you are sailing, then hop on to our cruise to experience the delight of a true Mobile Testing Platform!

Visit us at botmtesting.com and begin your free trial that will transport you into the new era of error-free mobile testing across spectrum!