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Test Automation Framework - The Ultimate Guide

Navdeep Singh Gill | 19 August 2022

Test Automation Framework - The Ultimate Guide


A testing framework is a set of principles or guidelines for developing and designing test cases. A framework is a collection of procedures and technologies meant to assist quality assurance.

When followed during automated scripting, it benefits such as enhanced code reuse, more portability, and lower script maintenance costs, among other things. These are suggestions rather than rules; they are not mandatory, and you can continue to script without following them. However, you will be missing out on the benefits of having a Framework.

What are the types of Testing Automation Framework?

There are six different test automation frameworks, each with its architecture and set of pros and cons. 

Linear Automation Framework

Testers don't need to write code to develop functions in a linear test automation framework, also known as a record-and-playback framework. The stages are written in sequential order. The tester records each step, such as navigation, user interaction, or checkpoints, and then automatically replays the script to conduct the test.

Advantages of Linear Automation Testing Framework

  1. The quickest way to create a script
  2. Expertise in automation is not necessary.
  3. The quickest method to become familiar with the Testing Tool's functionality is to use it.

Disadvantages of Linear Automation Testing Framework

  1. Scripts are rarely reused.
  2. The script contains test data that is hardcoded.
  3. Maintenance is a pain because any modifications to the application necessitate a significant amount of rework.
  4. As the scope of testing grows, this methodology becomes less scalable.

Modular Based Testing Framework

When using a modular framework, testers must break down the programme under test into different components, functions, or sections, each of which must be tested separately. Following the partitioning of the application into discrete modules, each component is given its test script, which is then combined to build more extensive tests in a hierarchical method. These larger groupings of tests will begin to reflect a variety of test scenarios.

Advantages of Modular based testing framework

  1. Only the module and its corresponding individual test script will be fixed if the application changes.
  2. Because test scripts for multiple modules may be reused, creating test cases takes less time.

Disadvantages of Modular based testing framework

  1. Because the tests are run independently, data is still hard-coded in the test script. Therefore, you can't use several data sets.
  2. You'll need to know a little programming language to build up the framework.

Library Architecture Framework

Rather than breaking down the programme under test into scripts that must be executed, this testing framework realizes related jobs within the scripts and gathers them by function, resulting in the application being broken down into shared goals. The main test script, Driver, calls these Functions in various ways to generate test cases.

Advantages of Library Architecture Framework

  1. Using this architecture will result in a high level of modularization, making test maintenance and scaling easier and less expensive.
  2. This framework has a higher degree of reusability because it includes a library of standard functions that multiple test scripts can use.

Disadvantages of Library Architecture Framework

  1. Writing Scripts with the Test Library Framework requires technical knowledge.
  2. To plan and create test scripts, more time is required.
  3. The scripts contain test data that is hardcoded.

Data-Driven Framework

While the Test Case logic is preserved in Test Scripts, the Test Data is kept separate and outside the Test Scripts in this framework. External files (Excel, Text, CSV, ODBC Sources, DAO Objects, and ADO Objects) are read and loaded into variables in the Test Script. Input and verification values are both stored in variables. When using a Linear or Modular-based testing framework, the test data must not be hard-coded in the script.

Advantages of Data-Driven Framework

  1. Multiple data sets can be used in tests.
  2. Multiple scenarios may be tested fast by varying the data, minimizing the number of scripts required.
  3. It's possible to avoid hard-coding data so that any changes to the test scripts don't affect the data being used and vice versa.
  4. You'll save time by running more tests more quickly.

Disadvantages of Data-Driven Framework

  1. To properly use this framework design, you'll need a highly experienced tester skilled in multiple programming languages.
  2. A data-driven architecture requires a significant amount of time to set up.

Keyword-Driven Framework

Each application function under test is written down in a table with instructions in sequential order for each test that needs to be conducted in a keyword-driven framework. The test data and script logic are separated in a keyword-driven framework in the same way as they are in a data-driven framework, but this method goes one step further.

Keywords are likewise maintained in an external data table with this approach, independent of the automated testing tool used to run the tests. Keywords are the parts of a script representing the various activities taken to test an application's GUI. These can be simple labels like 'click' or 'login' or more complicated labels like 'clickButton' or 'loginButton'.

Advantages of Keyword-Driven Framework

  1. Only basic scripting skills are required.
  2. The code is reusable because a single term can be used in several test scripts.
  3. Test scripts can be written without regard to the application being tested.
  4. Independent of the test tool.

Disadvantages of Keyword-Driven Framework

  1. The initial expense of putting the framework together is quite costly. It's time-consuming and difficult. Keywords must be declared, and object repositories/libraries must be established.
  2. It is a pain to keep track of keywords when making a test operation. You'll have to keep expanding the repositories and keyword tables.
  3. The Keyword Driven Framework necessitates a high level of automation skills. You'll need someone who knows how to automate tests.

Hybrid Testing Framework

A hybrid framework is a combination of any preceding frameworks designed to take advantage of some of their strengths while minimizing the weaknesses of others. Every application is unique, and the techniques used to test them should be as well. Setting up a flexible framework for automated testing is critical as more teams adopt an agile style. A hybrid structure is more adaptable to achieve the best test results.

What are the top 5 examples of Test Automation Frameworks?

Selenium Framework

The Selenium framework is the most popular automation framework for improving code readability, increasing code reusability, increasing portability, and increasing test productivity. It is a code structure that facilitates easy and efficient code maintenance. Selenium automation frameworks can also execute test cases from a remote source.

Google EarlGrey

EarlGrey is a native iOS UI automation testing framework that enables developers to create concise and clear tests. The tests are less difficult to write and maintain. It comes with a strong built-in synchronisation with the user interface, animations and network requests


Cucumber is a behaviour-driven tool primarily used to write acceptance tests for web applications. It provides users with a quick and easy setup and allows them to reuse code in the various tests. The framework was initially implemented in Ruby and extended to the Java framework.


Appium is primarily intended for testing mobile applications. It is designed so that you do not have to recompile or modify your app in any way in order to run the tests. A cross-platform framework can run on multiple platforms while using the same API.


Gauge is a cutting-edge lightweight testing automation tool with cross-platform capabilities. It has a simple, rich, and flexible syntax and executes data-driven. This framework's test cases are simple to understand and maintain, and it has a modular architecture with highly extensible plugins.

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