Software testing has become an integral part of any software development lifecycle. It allows teams to thoroughly test the product under development and ensure it meets the quality and security standards. Although manual testing remains a popular way to test applications, the quest for faster releases and quality products has surged as agile and DevOps methodologies become rampant.
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Test automation frameworks offer a faster and more efficient alternative to manual testing. They enable software teams to respond to changing business scenarios and evolving customer needs with speed and accuracy. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the automated testing market is expected to reach $49.9 billion by 2026 - up from $20.7 billion in 2021.
What is a test automation framework?
Techopedia defines a test automation framework as "a set of guidelines for creating and designing automated test cases". It empowers teams to abide by a set of rules or best practices. As a result, they're able to test quickly and judiciously and systematically deliver intended results.
A test automation framework comprises a set of processes, tools, and protocols. These work in conjunction to help run different types of tests. Through these standardized procedures, a testing framework enables efficient design and development of automated test scripts. Consequently, it can uncover and resolve issues and bugs in the application under test.
Why do you need an automation testing framework?
An automation testing framework helps improve the speed and efficiency with which teams can test software. A robust framework can improve test accuracy and drastically reduce test maintenance costs and risks.
- Reuse components and code and enhance the overall efficiency of development and testing processes.
- Enhance time-to-market via standardized tools and automated processes and reduce dependency on manual testing approaches.
- Quickly and reliably detect bugs and issues while also carrying out detailed root-cause analysis with minimum human intervention.
- Reduce testing efforts, minimize maintenance costs, and enjoy a higher return on investment.
- Optimize agile processes and maximize test coverage through improved team speed and efficiency.
What are the different types of testing frameworks?
Testing teams can use different types of test frameworks to meet business needs and requirements.
- The linear automation framework allows testers to create functions across different steps and quickly generate test scripts – with no coding expertise.
- Using a data-driven framework, testing teams can separate test data from script logic and test the same feature or function of an application multiple times with different sets of data.
- The modular testing framework divides the application under test into separate units, functions, or sections. It tests each in isolation and then combines them to build larger tests.
- Using the library architecture testing framework, testers can group different tasks of the application under test into functions with common objectives, making test maintenance easy.
- The keyword-driven automation framework allows teams to lay out each function of the application under test and run a series of tests to be run in a consecutive manner.
What are the pros of an automation framework?
Automation frameworks offer various benefits that help teams to develop, execute, and report on test scripts efficiently. They are a constructive blend of different guidelines, coding standards, concepts, practices, and reporting mechanisms.:
These frameworks deliver several benefits, including:
- Ease of scripting via automated capabilities.
- Better scalability and modularity.
- Efficient and effective reusability of code.
- Improved test coverage.
- Low-cost and low-risk maintenance.
- Minimal manual intervention.
What are the cons of a testing framework?
Despite being a powerful tool that streamlines the testing process, not all teams see value in using a testing framework.
Let’s look at some cons of a test automation framework:
- For testing teams that are pressed for time, automated tests prove extremely complex to develop and implement. Moreover, they’re more difficult to integrate into the development workflow.
- Automated test suites usually incur high initial costs. Further, they require a significant amount of time and money to create and implement.
- Lack of manual intervention causes poorly designed automated tests to generate false positives and false negatives – even if no actual issue is present.
- Unless developed to function across different platforms, automated test suites need to be rewritten for every environment to ensure they work as expected.
- Designing reliable and maintainable tests is difficult and requires skilled expertise.
Why should you use a codeless tool?
A codeless tool is a great way to accelerate the testing process and make code maintenance easy and efficient. It allows testers to efficiently reuse code, reduce the cost of script maintenance, and enable code readability – with minimal or no coding.
It offers the ability to separate data sets from the test case, allowing for easy modification for different functionalities. Such separation of keywords for a common set of functions and instructions helps speed up automated testing while also giving testers more control over the functionalities they want to test.
Visual test case management capabilities of a codeless tool enable seamless support for comprehensive taxonomy and requirement mapping from multiple sources. A codeless tool also paves the way for in-sprint automation and plug-and-play CI and ALM for robust workflow automation.
With a codeless, testers can:
- Quickly get started with testing using business process-driven design and run tests in parallel on multiple machines – with no additional setup or coding expertise.
- Eliminate investments in building a tool from scratch and leverage a ready framework to get started with testing.
- Choose from an array of plug-and-play features to customize test cases and suites and ensure optimal test coverage.
- Exploit open source assets to enable modularity and reusability and avoid vendor lock-ins.
- Make the most of automation from the beginning and drastically bring down testing time, effort, and costs.
- Carry out resilient and reliable tests using a single platform that seamlessly works across the entire application portfolio.
- Promote test case reusability – thus saving both time and effort spent in test automation.
- Execute tests on any browser and OS and enable 360-degree actionable reporting with a functional perspective.
- Leverage an integrated development environment to develop advanced test cases and extend them using a variety of plugins.
- Achieve continuous test automation across the test stack and ensure end-to-end quality assurance.
As software applications get increasingly complex, test automation frameworks offer a great way to make the testing process reliable, resilient, and repeatable. In essence, modern testing frameworks allow teams to eliminate time-consuming and error-prone manual processes. As a result, they help improve the speed and efficiency with which applications are tested and deployed.
But since automated testing requires a lot of time, effort, and skilled developer oversight, opting for a hybrid framework instead can help teams create test scripts – with little or no programming expertise.
Invest in a codeless or hybrid framework today and meet your continuous test automation goals with ease and efficiency!