Software Development & Testing

Agile Test Automation: the most common testing frameworks

Agile Test Automation that puts emphasis on coordination of software development and testing to perform test automations more effectively.

Automation testing is an innovative software that allows you to test your product (another software) to ensure its quality.

Agile testing (AT) is a kind of test automation that puts emphasis on coordination of software development and testing to perform test automations more effectively.

In this article, we discuss what Agile testing is and the testing frameworks that help make the process smoother and more efficient.


Agile Testing (AT) and How It Varies from Waterfall (WT)

Although Agile Testing and Waterfall share the basic principle of automation testing, they vary in aspects like project planning, execution, and even the team itself.

Waterfall is also known as the linear-sequential life cycle model. Testers and developers work independently under projects using WT.

Agile Testing, however, takes a more gradual approach. In AT, development and testing work hand-in-hand, and are aligned to meet the specific requirements of clients. It uses several iterations at each of which the tester has to check the quality criterion. Moreover, since development and testing are done collaboratively, it ensures quick problem-solving, quick elimination of bugs, and flexible planning.

Even though waterfall testing has its advantages, Agile proves to be more result-oriented, dynamic, and well, agile.


Testing Frameworks (TF)

Automatic testing heavily relies on testing frameworks for their success. These frameworks make software development more effective and efficient while reducing costs and increasing the returns on investments (ROI).

Testing Frameworks consist of an integration of tools, libraries, and utilities which can include coding standards, test-data management, object repositories, methods to store test results, and so on. TFs determine the efficiency, test accuracy, and maintenance costs of projects.

Besides, what tools you use to test an application depends on whether it is web-based or mobile-based. Hence, picking the right kind of Testing Framework is crucial for a Software Development project.

Some of the common Testing Frameworks are1:

  • Linear automation framework: This allows you to write scripts sequentially and perform it individually for each test case; thus letting you record and play back.
  • Modular-based TF: Divides the application into separate units or functions, each of which is individually tested.
  • Data-driven TF: Separates test data from script logic thus allowing them to store data externally.
  • Keyword-driven TF: Separates test data and script logic in a keyword-driven way.
  • Library architecture TF: Identifies similar tasks by function. Allows reusability of code across various test scripts.
  • Hybrid TF: Uses a combination of different TFs.

Testing Frameworks, in order to be effective, need to be reliable, flexible, and easily extendable. For example, if a TF can only perform user interface automation, it can limit the reach of the test, making the latter slow and brittle.


Robot Framework

Robot Framework is an open-source test automation framework that can be used for RPA (robotic process automation) and acceptance testing. It uses different test case styles such as data-driven, behavior-driven, and keyword-driven.

Robot Framework is extremely useful because it is flexible enough to be integrated with virtually any other tool to develop automation solutions. Unlike other Testing Frameworks, Robot Framework comes with a standard set of test libraries, which eases your interaction with the operating system. It also provides great support for external open-source libraries and tools.

RF uses Selenium Library for web development and UI testing2. Interestingly, experts usually recommend Selenium for web-based applications3. Additionally, Robot Framework can be used by libraries implemented with Java or Python- two of the most commonly used languages. This makes a programmer’s experience quite seamless.


Final Thoughts

Finding the right tool and framework is key to efficient test automation. You must always look for Testing Frameworks that are flexible and support a wide range of languages. This will ensure smooth testing regardless of a team’s background or skill set.

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[1]: Various frameworks

[2]: Selenium


Other References:


2) Robot Framework 2

3) Robot Framework 3

3) Waterfall vs Agile

4) Waterfall vs Agile 2

5) Automation testing in Agile

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