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Popular Test Automation Frameworks

By Akshay Badkar, Community Contributor and Pradeep Krishnakumar, Manager -

Table of Contents

Test automation frameworks are a set of rules and corresponding tools that are used for building test cases. It is designed to help engineering functions work more efficiently.

The general rules for automation frameworks include coding standards that you can avoid manually entering, test data handling techniques and benefits, accessible storage for the derived test data results, object repositories, and additional information that might be utilized to run the tests in a suitable manner.

Advantages of using Test Automation Frameworks

The advantages of having test automation frameworks in check are as follows –

  • Reusability of Code

Since these frameworks come with the required coding data beneficial for the automation test to become a success, the valuable data is saved for future use and can be reused at any given point of time. There is no need to insert codes manually or rearrange them. The code can also be utilized to run other automation framework tests. The developed scripts can also be retained.

  • Low Cost

Test cases can be developed at a fairly low cost because the frameworks already have established rules. Also, given these codes can be reused multiple times, the cost and time of building test cases for new features are low.

  • Minimal Manual Interference

The automation frameworks run according to the guidelines that surround them. Since maximum coverage is already in-built and achieved at the initial stage, there is very little or no intervention required by individuals to run the automation tests. In case the process fails, the automation frameworks can be run again with a little change, but the data remains constant and devoid of additional effort from an individual or team.

  • Improved Efficiency

Test automation frameworks increase productivity due to standardization. It guarantees maximum test coverage as the set of codes in a framework are executed in a standard manner from the beginning.

Types of Test Automation Frameworks

You can utilize one or more of the following automation frameworks for your tests. All these have been tried and tested and provide optimum results to ensure your tests are comprehensive:

  • Data-Driven Testing Framework

While testing an automation framework, a series of tests need to be conducted before a successful outcome is derived. You might need to change the test data in such cases to try arriving at a different conclusion. The Data-Driven Testing Framework allows you the freedom to store the test data in an external drive, which can be accessed later to add a new script to the test case.

  • Keyword-Driven Testing Framework

Usually considered to be an extension of the data-driven testing framework, the keyword-driven testing framework not only extracts your test data to an external source but also maintains the set of codes safely. These codes are also referred to as ‘keywords’ and can be used to alter the test script to conclude further possible outcomes from the test framework. These keywords also essentially decide the functions performed by every application.

  • Hybrid Testing Framework

The hybrid testing framework combines the data-driven and keyword-driven frameworks to execute the most out of the aforementioned frameworks. It is the most ideal automation framework, allowing more scope for increased productivity and a better success rate.

  • Linear Scripting Framework

Unlike the above, Linear Scripting is carried out manually by an individual who records each and every step of the process. This framework is also known as the Record and Playback framework and takes up ample time to execute. It does not rely on automation expertise and might be a simple way to record a script, but it does not leave any space of script reuse. It also takes time for maintenance and you would have to hand-code the test script in order to run the framework in the future.

  • Module Based Testing Framework

As the name suggests, the Module Based Testing Framework requires the existence of various modules to run the framework. You would have to create separate scripts for every module and collaborate them in order to generate the best results out of the automation test. If variations are made in how the application works, the modules would not be affected. The scripts remain unharmed until one manually alters them. This offers a cost-efficient method of management since the combination of several modules creates a high level of modularization. The productivity remains at its peak. However, much time and effort can go into individually making changes to the test data in case there is a need.

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Popular Examples of Test Automation Frameworks

Here are some of the most popular test automation frameworks used by developers across the globe:

Selenium Framework

The Selenium framework is the most widely used automation framework structure that increases code readability and hence improves test productivity. The ‘test case’ and ‘data’ are separately kept from each other to test how efficiently a web page can run. Selenium automation frameworks can also be utilized by executing test cases from an external source.

Google EarlGrey

EarlGrey is a native iOS UI automation testing framework that allows developers to write concise and clear tests. The tests are easier to write and maintain. It is has a powerful built-in synchronization with the user interface, animations, network requests, etc.


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


Appium is mainly designed to test mobile applications. It is designed in such a way that you don’t have to recompile your app or modify it in any way to run the tests. It is a cross-platform framework that can be used to run on different platforms using the same API.

Robot Framework

This is one of the most generic test automation frameworks leveraged for acceptance test-driven development and acceptance tests. It is a cross-platform framework that provides easy-to-use tabular test data syntax. The framework allows for easy integration, detailed logs, and clear testing reports.


Gauge is one of the advanced lightweight testing automation tools which provides cross-platform features. It showcases a simple, rich, and flexible syntax and performs data-driven execution. The test cases in this framework can be easily understood and maintained, and it has a modular architecture that provides highly extensible plugins.


The testing fraternity uses all these frameworks to see what works best for them. Since these frameworks are open source, the level of integration is fairly high, leaving you with countless opportunities in the development process.

BrowserStack has two automation testing products that support the above frameworks – an automated selenium testing tool and an automated mobile app testing tool.

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