Software Testing Automation Frameworks & More

September 26th, 2022 by inflectra

You probably understand the importance of test automation, but it's also important to know what tests should be automated. Learn about all this & more!

The Importance of Automated Software Testing

In any modern software development, it’s necessary to automate parts of the process. There are several reasons for this, from computers being able to work 24 hours a day to the efficiency gains they can make over human/manual testing. Not only does it accomplish tedious and complicated tasks more effectively than a person, but it frees up your developers’ time to focus on other pieces of the process.

Factors To Consider When Deciding Whether a Test Should Be Automated

A developer’s time can be spent elsewhere because not all tests should (or even can) be automated. When deciding which test cases should be automated, some of the most critical indicators that it would be more efficient than using human resources include:

  • The task is going to be repeated
  • It’s going to save time
  • The requirements, the test, or the task are low risk, stable, and unlikely to change often
  • The test is subject to human error
  • The test is time-consuming
  • The test has significant downtime between steps
  • The test is repetitive
  • The test is business-critical

For more information, you can watch our video on this topic: From Manual to Automated Testing | Inflectra Webinar | Test Automation, Demystified

What Kind of Tests Are Best Done Manually?

Outside of those tests, a few types are tough to automate. Tests that are best done manually include:

  • Tests That Are Constantly Changing - Tests where the correct outcome changes frequently can’t be automated. Equally, tests where the outcome isn’t always clear.
  • One-Off Tests - Sometimes, you need to test to check a particular condition or to search for a reported bug. These ad-hoc tests aren’t suitable for automation. However, if you do find steps to recreate the bug, you may then want to automate the test.
  • Testing Features That Are Still Evolving - As new features are developed, you need to build your tests in parallel. It usually isn’t worth automating the test while the feature is evolving.

Automation Based on the Type of Testing

When we break down the categories that software testing can be grouped into, there are two primary types:

  • Automation of Functional Tests - These tests are written to test the business logic behind an application. Automating these means writing scripts to validate the business logic and the functionality expected from the application.
  • Automation of Non-Functional Tests - These tests define the non-business requirements of the application. These are the requirements related to performance, security, data storage, etc. These requirements can remain constant or can be scaled as per the size of the software.

Automation Testing Frameworks

An automation testing framework is a set of guidelines or rules for creating and designing test cases. A framework is comprised of a combination of practices and tools that are designed to help professionals test more efficiently. Utilizing a framework for automated testing will increase a team’s test speed and efficiency, improve test accuracy, reduce test maintenance costs, and lower risks. There are many frameworks to choose from, but here are some of the most common ones:

Linear Testing Framework (Record-and-Playback)

Linear Testing Framework is the most basic kind of framework. Testers write and run a test script for each test case, like recording and playing back a clip on a screen. Because of its simplicity, it is most suited for small teams and test automation beginners. With a linear test automation framework, testers don’t need to write code to create functions; the steps are written in sequential order.

Modular-Based Testing Framework

This framework breaks down test cases into small modules. Then, it follows a non-incremental and incremental approach. There, the modules are independently tested first, and then the application is tested as a whole. This makes each test independent. This sort of abstraction concept ensures that changes made to the other part of the application do not affect the underlying components. However, prior planning and test automation knowledge are required to implement this framework successfully.

Library Architecture Testing Framework

The library architecture framework for automated testing is based on the modular framework but has some additional benefits. Instead of dividing the application under test into the various scripts that need to be run, similar tasks within the scripts are identified and later grouped by function, so the application is ultimately broken down by common objectives. These functions are kept in a library, which can be called upon by the test scripts whenever needed.

Data-Driven Testing Framework

In this testing framework, a separate file in a tabular format is used to store both the input and the expected output results. A single driver script can execute all the test cases with multiple data sets. This driver script contains navigation that spreads through the program, which covers both readings of data files and logging of test status information.

Keyword-Driven Testing Framework

A keyword-driven testing framework is an application-independent framework and uses data tables and keywords to explain the actions to be performed on the application under test. This is also called a keyword-driven test automation framework for web-based applications and can be stated as an extension of a data-driven testing framework.

Hybrid Testing Framework

This form of the hybrid testing framework combines modular, data-driven, and keyword test automation frameworks. As this is a hybrid framework, it has been based on combining many types of end-to-end testing approaches.

Test-Driven Development Framework

This framework focuses on creating unit test cases before developing the actual code. It is an iterative approach that combines programming, the creation of unit tests, and refactoring. Developers start creating small test cases for every feature based on their initial understanding. The primary intention of this technique is to modify or write new code only if the tests fail. This prevents duplication of test scripts.

Behavior-Driven Development Framework

This framework derives from the Test-Driven Development approach, and in this method, tests are more focused and are based on the system behavior. The testers can create test cases in simple English. This easy-to-understand language helps even non-technical people to easily analyze and understand the tests.

Automated Testing Tools

Test automation tools help teams automate their software testing needs. Such software enables people to define testing tasks that subsequently run with as little human interaction as possible. They help in the efficiency of software development. See our list of the top automation testing tools for your best options. We include open-source, cross-browser, commercial test automation software, and more. 

Steps To Choosing an Automation Tool

When choosing what tool is going to be the best fit for your needs, there are some basic steps that we recommend following:

  • Identify the types of tests you want to automate 
  • Based on the types of tests you want to automate, plan the design of automation and move towards a framework.
  • Based on the kind of automation testing you are targeting and the type of framework that you may want to build around, you can select the tools that suit your needs.

Get a Powerful Automation Tool Out of the Box

It can be challenging to find a software testing tool that checks all of your required boxes, let alone the preferred ones that focus on the quality of life and ease of use. For an all-in-one solution that can easily integrate with your other tools and platforms, look no further than Rapise. Working across web browsers, desktop applications, and even on mobile devices, it easily automates any tests you need and makes it simple to update or edit them at any time. Ready to get started? Click the button below to get a free 30-day trial!

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