Automation testing frameworks have become a necessity for enterprises all across the world to ensure exceptional product quality, quicker testing processes, and seamless application delivery. However, choosing the right automation testing framework is a tedious task.

In this article, we will discuss some of the leading automation testing frameworks and the features they offer.

  1. Selenium

Selenium is an open-source framework that is a collection of three different automation tools that cater to different purposes:

  • Selenium WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver is a collection of language-specific bindings. It helps teams to develop robust and browser-based regression automation tests and suites that can be scaled, as well as distribute scripts across various environments.

  • Selenium IDE

Selenium IDE is a Chrome and Firefox add-on that allows teams to do a simple record-and-playback of their interactions with the browser.

  • Selenium Grid

Selenium Grid enables teams to:

  • Scale by distributing and running tests on multiple machines
  • Manage multiple environments from a central point
  • Easily run tests against an expansive combination of browsers, versions, and operating systems
  1. Appium

Appium is a test automation framework that can be used with native, mobile, and hybrid web applications. It aims to automate any mobile app from any language and test framework, with full access to DBs and back-end APIs from test code.

Some salient features of Appium are:

  • It is an open-source tool that uses vendor-provided automation frameworks
  • It uses the WebDriver protocol to drive iOS, Windows, and Android applications
  • It has a client-server architecture
  • Its server is written in Node.js
  1. Citrus

Citrus is an open-source testing tool that enables testing teams to define entire use case tests to be executed in a completely automated manner. It is a framework for automated integration tests with a focus on messaging integration.

Here are some salient features of Citrus:

  • Testers can write more customized functions, test actions and execute groovy code to support more protocols
  • The existence of data can be validated by preparing or simulating database content, writing tests, executing queries, and utilizing database content in tests
  • Test flow can be controlled by:
    • Specifying control messages for validation
    • Forcing timeouts and error situations
    • Defining message sequences
    • Reusing dynamic message content in test cases
    • Using loops, delays, parallel sections, and retries
    • Testing complex messaging scenarios
    • Message validation
  • Message validation can be done by:
    • Database access/validation
    • JSON message payload validation
    • XML message payload validation
    • Groovy JSON validation
    • XPath element validation
    • JsonPath element validation
    • Groovy XML validation
    • XML tree comparison
    • XML schema and DTD validation
    • Groovy message validation
  • It facilitates human-readable tests via simple test creation with cross-editor and XML schema support
  • It offers easy environment switching and improved maintenance
  • It offers test grouping/test-suite/test templates via:
    • IDE support
    • Reports and test results
    • Parallel test execution
    • Faster test runs
    • Integration into build lifecycle (Maven, ANT)
    • Reliable failure descriptions
    • Test plan and document test coverage
    • Framework extensions
  1. Robot Framework

As a generic open-source automation framework, Robot Framework can be used for test automation as well as robotic process automation. Initially developed at Nokia Networks, it was open-sourced in 2008.

Here are some salient features of Robot Framework:

  • It was launched under Apache license 2.0
  • It can be integrated with practically any tool
  • As it is open-source, there are no licensing costs
  • It is independent of the application and operating systems
  • Most of its libraries and tools are also open source
  • Python was used to implement its core framework
  • It additionally runs on Jython (JVM) and IronPython (.NET) as well
  • It has an easy syntax that uses human-readable keywords
  • It has extendable capabilities which can be achieved with the help of libraries that are implemented with Python or Java
  • It has a modular architecture that is extendable via self-made and bundled libraries
  1. TestComplete

TestComplete is a UI automation testing tool by SmartBear that can run UI tests on both cloud and mobile devices. TestComplete enables testers to connect with their local Appium server. They can also gain access to the latest devices on a public or self-hosted cloud. License is required to use TestComplete, even if it is a trial version. There are five types of licenses:

  • Node-Locked Licenses
  • Floating User Licenses
  • Licenses by Expiration Date – Subscription and Perpetual
  • Licenses by Modules (Desktop, Mobile, and Web) and Add-ons (Intelligent Quality and Device Cloud)
  • Licensing Other Products – TestExecute and TestLeft

Each type of license specifies the available product features and the number of product instances that can run simultaneously.

Here are some salient features of TestComplete are:

  • It facilitates the conversion of Gherkin syntax test cases into automated UI functional tests
  • Test cases can be maintained without any additional integrations
  • It facilitates the building of automated UI tests consisting of scriptless Record and Replay or keyword-driven tests
  • Testers can accurately identify dynamic UI elements via property-based, AI-powered visual recognition
  • Testers can increase coverage and ensure easy maintenance by using different sets of input data to run automated UI tests
  • It offers automated test reports and analysis
  • Automated UI tests can be reused
  • Testers can leverage keyword-driven testing frameworks to separate objects, actions, test steps, and data
  • Testers can accelerate continuous testing by integrating TestComplete into DevOps ecosystem
  • It offers cross-browser testing, cross-device testing, and parallel testing

An organization’s final choice of automation testing framework should be considerate to their requirements as well as their industry’s potential future trends. Investing in a framework that fulfills the current requirements but leaves no room for change is a sheer wastage of time and money in the long run. Every framework has a different set of features and capabilities to offer. Hence, organizations should carefully compare each framework with their requirements before finalizing it.

Sources: Selenium, Appium, Citrus, Robot Framework, Test Complete