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Implementing a Robust Test Automation Framework

by Thijs Kok, on February 15, 2022

robust-test-automation-frameworkThe manual versus automated testing debate has been around for a long time, but many organizations are beginning to realize the benefits of both worlds.

From the insights and unique feedback of manual testing to the speed and tirelessness of automated testing, finding the right way to blend them can take your quality assurance testing—and your design—to the next level.

We shared the benefits and best practices of manual testing in an earlier blog post, so we wanted to dive a bit deeper into automated testing and how to best leverage it for your needs. One of the best ways to make automated testing work for your team is using a robust test automation framework.

So what are test automation frameworks, and what can they do for your team?

What Is a Test Automation Framework?

A test automation framework is a set of principles or rules used by a software development team to create and design test cases consistently and comprehensively. 

When paired with a powerful test management tool, test automation frameworks help quality assurance (QA) professionals test more efficiently, design cases that follow best practices, and summarize and report results.

Although there can be multiple aspects of a test automation framework, some of the more common principles that define them include:

  • Coding standards
  • Object repositories
  • Test result capture standards
  • Test case design expectations
  • Test data standards

Ultimately, these elements come together to help testers script and record tests in a structured, consistent way, ensuring that automated testing runs smoothly and meets testing expectations.

The Types of Test Automation Frameworks

There are several test automation frameworks, each with its own advantages and features. These frameworks include: 

  • Linear Automation Framework: This is a basic method to test small applications or features with hardcoded test data for each test case.
  • Modular-Driven Framework: With this framework, larger applications are divided into smaller units, or modules, to be tested individually. As testing continues, modules can be brought together to test larger workflows or features.
  • Library Architecture Framework: Similar to the modular-driven approach, this framework identifies similar tasks across test scripts and organizes them by function. The resulting library can then be used throughout testing.
  • Data-Driven Framework: To replicate the variability of a user’s inputs and a system’s outputs, this framework passes input parameters that are built into the test scripts to evaluate the system’s underlying functionality and logic.
  • Keyword-Driven Framework: Building on the data-driven framework, this methodology can test potential user actions that would be taken within a graphical user interface (GUI) with predefined scripts.
  • Hybrid Testing Framework: This is a combination of two or more testing frameworks based on the needs and complexity of the application.

The Benefits of Test Automation Frameworks

Using test automation frameworks as a part of your QA process can create an efficient automated testing experience. More specifically, test automation frameworks can:  

  • Decrease test case maintenance and administrative effort.
  • Enable the reuse of test scripts.
  • Improve test efficiency.
  • Increase the coverage of feature tests.
  • Minimize manual customization or intervention before or during testing.

Learn More About Test Automation Frameworks

There are many different perspectives, test approaches, and even opinions when it comes to software testing. However, the one agreement among all test managers is the value of a robust test management tool in standardizing tasks and increasing coordination throughout the process.

This is especially true with a test management platform like TestMonitor, which is flexible enough to guide your team through each phase of testing, no matter the size of your software development portfolio.

Ready to learn more about test automation? Then we recommend signing up to view our recent webinar, “Automated Testing with TestMonitor,” which goes into more detail on how to get started.

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