Popular Test Automation Frameworks: Types, Benefits & Testing Tools

4 min May 26, 2022 Manish Kumar GENERAL Views : 2930
Manual testing is kept on obsoleting, and enterprises find a new alternative to it.
Indeed, that's the story behind manual testing.
You might know why manual testing is not getting the spotlight because it is a time-consuming, a tedious process and asks for a huge investment in human resources.
But most businesses are still ignorant and resist implementing automation in testing. But if they deploy testing automation, it can help them cutting-down labor costs, save time, and offer precise results.
Think this way; Programmers rescue their time by using programming language by avoiding machine code. Similarly, testers can leverage&test automation frameworks, circumvent the raw programming steps, and speed up testing.
Let's dive into testing automation and understand the ins and outs of the frameworks.

What is a Test Automation Framework?

The test automation framework is a set of protocols or guidelines and doesn't rely on a single process or tool. It has incorporated many tools, practices, and functions, including reusable modules, test data, and libraries that work together to help QA professionals to perform the testing process effectively.


• Coding standards
• Test-data handling processes
• Object repositories
• Information regarding accessing external resources
• Test results storing processes  

However, these guidelines have flexibility as it depends on the designer how to apply them to action. But having an organized framework helps them not to miss the relevant step.

Benefits of the Test Automation Framework

Certainly, harnessing the power of automation architecture frameworks will help your team boost their testing efficiency and speed. In addition, it also helps in enhancing test accuracy, lowers test maintenance costs, and substantially reduces the overall risks involved with it. Here are the intuitive benefits of test automation frameworks.


The framework incorporates the relevant code data to perform the automation test successfully, and it can reuse for other future frameworks. The best thing is that it doesn't require manually rearranging or inserting the code


The key benefit offered by the test automation frameworks is that they already have a given set of rules; therefore, the test cases are generated at a reasonable cost. Furthermore, the codes are reused innumerable times; hence designing the test cases that involve new features will be done in less time and reasonable cost.


The test automation frameworks comply with the rules and guidelines therefore, the maximum coverage is accomplished at the initial stage. The automated frameworks can be redone with minor changes if the process doesn't succeed. But it doesn't require altering the data and hence requires no cumbersome efforts from the team.


Due to standardization, test automation frameworks are capable of boosting productivity. It delivers optimum test coverage because the code is executed consistently from the start.

Must Read: Unit Testing Frameworks in Python

Types of Automation Testing Frameworks That You Should Know

After discussing the test automation framework and its benefits, let's explore the range of frameworks. Some of the common types of automation testing frameworksare explained below-


This framework allows for testing small applications and is popularly known as the "Record and playback" framework. It helps the testers by not writing the code for creating functions. 

In this framework, the steps write down sequentially. The tester can record each step, including user input, navigation, and checkpoints capable of playing the script automatically to carry out the test.


• Hassle-free testing as no demand for writing custom code.
• Quickly generate scripts with easy recording.
• Easy to understand as all steps are written sequentially.
• With its "Record and playback" feature, no need to plan substantially.


• It requires modifying the script if data is altered because this framework isn't reusable.
• Maintenance is a big issue because it demands a plethora of rework.  


It is one of the automation testing frameworks in which the test scripts will get created module-wise by fragmenting the entire application into smaller modules as per clients' needs.
The testers can leverage its advantages by dividing the application into different sections, functions, or units for the test. After that, test scripts will be created for each part and integrated to create larger tests in a hierarchy. The main purpose is to create an abstraction layer that allows changes in a particular section without disturbing the whole module.


• It allows altering the individual test script without disturbing the whole module.
• The test scripts are reusable, due to which creating test cases requires less effort.


• It doesn't allow the leveraging magnitude of data sets as the data is still hard-coded.
• For setting up this framework, knowledge of programming is needed.


The tester can easily read the data from external files such as text, CSV, Excel files, DAO objects, and ODBC sources.

It can seamlessly wipe out the problem of the hard-coded script, as has been seen in linear or modular test automation frameworks. It helps testers test the same function or feature of an application as many times as testers want with numerous data sets.


• Seamless multiple data sets testing execution.
• It can reduce the number of scripts because of the quick testing of multiple scenarios with varying data.
• This framework can avoid hard-coded data; therefore, the data doesn't affect if do any changes in the test scripts.  


• Utilizing this framework requires a highly-experienced tester with proficiency in many  programming languages.

• Setting up this framework requires a considerable amount of time.  


Did you know even a non-technical person can understand this framework? The tester who knows the simple English language can create test cases and analyze and understand them without trouble.
In addition, this framework can create an ecosystem in which business analysts, testers, and developers can participate easily and actively.


• It allows the easy creation of test specifications.
• It doesn't require technical language competency.  


• Working with a client requires a dedicated team of developers.  


A table format is used for each function or method to characterize keywords or action works. It leverages the automation test scripts according to the keywords mentioned in the excel sheet. Even a tester with less programming expertise can also perform the test scripts.

 The keywords are the intuitive part of the script that defines multiple actions to carry out the test of the GUI application. It can be labeled as click, login, click link, or verify link.


• It is a framework that requires minimal scripting knowledge.
• Ease of code reusability
• The test scripts are written independently in reference to the software under test.  


• The framework requires a high initial investment during its setup.
• It needs top-notch technical expertise.  


The hybrid framework is a combination of test automation frameworks that can leverage the benefits of each other to manage the particular test environment.
Each application is unique and different, and therefore the testing methodologies should be as well. Establishing a flexible and robust framework for automated testing is critical. A hybrid structure can be more adaptable to attain the best test results.


• It is one of the test automation frameworks that can harness the benefits of all associated frameworks.  


• The tests are completely scripted; therefore, they can enhance the automation effort.  

 Also Read: How to do A/B Testing in Kentico Xperience

5 Popular Test Automation Tools 


Robot framework is a python-based, keyword-driven approach to performing the test easily. It can also be capable of testing the FTP, Android, MongoDB, Appium, and many libraries, including WebDriver library, Selenium, and rest helpful tools that make the open-source much easier.


It is one of the automation test frameworks that includes Node.js and incorporates the test runner and automation tests for native and web apps. It is also capable of running on the Chrome Devtools and Webdriver protocols. It consists of a variety of automation plugins that do the setup easy.


It has the ability to automate integration tests for data format or messaging protocol. Citrus test automation framework can be exceptionally suited for test messaging integration for all the messaging transport, including HTTP, JMS, SOAP, and REST. You can also integrate Citrus with Selenium to authenticate the back-end processes and well interconnect with the user interface.


It is one of the renowned open-source test automation architecture frameworks that can act as a base for most testing tools because of its cross-browser and cross-platform functionality. More than that, it has the immense potential to support diverse programming languages, including Ruby, Java, PHP, Python, etc. The testers prefer this framework when they need to write test scripts to meet a spectrum of complexities.


It is a behavior-driven development tool with cross-platform functionalities that can incredibly help testers write acceptance tests for different web apps. The easy and quick setup execution allowed for to reuse of the code in the tests. One of the most incredible features is that it can enable test documentation and specification uploads in one up-to-date document. It supports programming languages like Scala, Groovy, .Net, PHP, and python.

The Way Forward

Certainly, test automation frameworks are a great way for automation testing. The testing frameworks offer guidelines and protocols that provide quicker defect detection and minimum human interference and can reuse the test scripts.
But there is no clear winner, and every framework has its own benefits and can be chosen according to the client's needs. Although, additional research is necessary to understand the best suitability of the framework.