Test Automation Frameworks
It has always been a challenge to test even a small system. Do you have enough time to test each part of the system? Once you have gone live do you have enough people to regression test each business critical process? With the multi-platform computing environment that we have now, you may also need to test your systems against a range of hardware and browser technologies.
Agile approaches to development require even more testing, as there needs to be regression testing for each sprint.
The only way is Automation
I feel that the only way we can get enough test coverage and solve these issues is to use test automation. It will never be a replacement for testers, but it can provide huge test coverage over masses of hardware platforms, browsers and combinations of these.
In my view there are four key elements to building successful test automation:
- The automation framework should provide maximum possible re-use of code so that it is possible to automate tests against even large systems which may contain thousands of pages or windows.
- It is essential that the automation can be maintained with the minimum possible code changes.
- End users and testers must be able to create tests without the need to understand complex automation scripting and programming languages.
- The testers must be free to decide what they wish to test without having to wait for the automation specialist to build code for them.
I’ve been building test automation frameworks for over twenty years and helped lots of organisations to automate tests using propriety tools such as HP UFT (QTP or Quick Test Pro). See the Test Liberation Framework pages.
Now my new Selenium WebDriver based ‘Freedom Framework’ allows for Keyword Driven automation and more standard approaches. It provides a platform for both GUI automation and Web API (REST/SOAP) automation. It is possible to plug in Cucumber or Specflow if you wish to drive your tests with Gherkin syntax or you can just use Excel. If you are interested in using the framework in your organisation to help your testing, contact me for more information.
It is a very exciting time to be involved in test automation for the reasons given above. The demand for test automation will only increase and with open source tools like Selenium, much of the technology is just a download away. If you want to learn more about my approach to test automation then see my blog series: Building Test Automation Frameworks.
Also you can download quite a widely read paper on automation that I wrote the EuroSTAR conference which is available on the resources page.