A test automation framework is a set of best practices, standard tools, and libraries that help quality-assurance testers assess the functionality, security, usability, and accessibility of multiple web and mobile applications.
You don’t need to build a test framework that’s unique to your dev environment. In most cases, you’d do better to consider one or more of the open-source options available. This article will discuss why you need to look out for open-source test automation frameworks and list the top 10 frameworks.
Why choose open source test-automation frameworks
Although development teams could build elaborate automated testing frameworks, there’s usually little reason to spend the money, resources, and person-hours to do so when they can achieve equal or even better results with existing open-source tools, libraries, and testing frameworks. Other reasons to use open-source test-automation frameworks include;
- Their reusability
- They are easy to maintain
- They need minimum manual intervention
- They are stable in a volatile environment
- Their scalability
How do you select a test automation framework?
What to look for in a test automation framework;
Ease of script development
To support agile processes and short iterations.
A test framework must be compatible across roles and request inputs from the development side and QA testers.
Support for multiple languages
A framework should include language support for different app platforms.
Support for the latest platform capabilities
An open-source testing framework should be updated regularly and remain compatible with the latest operating system features to avoid framework gaps around testing.
What are the top 10 open source test-automation frameworks?
The top open-source test-automation frameworks include;
Robot Framework is a mature solution for software developers and QA testers. Robot framework’s main feature is its keyword-driven approach to creating easy-to-read and write tests. RobotFramework main features are;
- It allows rich integration of APIs, generic text libraries, and tools
- Integrates with Jython (Java) and IronPython (.NET), despite being Python-based
- Tests numerous things, including websites, FTP, MongoDB, Android, Apium, and more
- It supports tabular data syntax
Apache JMeter is explicitly designed for load testing and can test performance on static and dynamic resources and dynamic web applications. Apache JMeter simulates a heavy load on a server (group of servers), network, or object to test its strength or analyze and measure overall performance under different load types.
Robotium is a test automation framework that is made to simplify writing powerful and solid automatic black-box UI tests for Android. With the help of Robotium, developers can write function, system, and user acceptance test scenarios covering numerous Android activities. Some of its advantages are;
- Faster test case execution
- Tests both native and hybrid Android apps
- Handles multiple Android activities automatically
- It requires minimal time needed to write solid test cases
- Robotium can be used both for testing applications with the source code available and applications with unknown implementation details
- It requires minimal knowledge of the application under test
Gauge is lightweight and cross-platform. It is built on a plugin architecture to be used with any language, IDE, and ecosystem. It offers an easy setup – you can get a framework up and running with a single command. It executes automation texts in simple language syntax.
Appium is an open-source test-automation framework that is based on a WebDriver protocol for testing mobile applications. It is built around uniformity, thus allowing you to write tests for different platforms using the same APIs.
Watir is a web automation testing tool based on a family of Ruby libraries. It is easy to read and maintain, mimics a user’s behavior interacting with a website, and supports cross-browser testing.
Cucumber is a Behavior Driven Development (BDD) tool used to write acceptance tests for web applications. It was initially implemented in Ruby but extended to the Java framework. It focuses on the end-user experience. It allows reusing code in the tests and supports multiple languages, including; Python, Perl, PHP, .NET, Groovy, and Scala.
EarlGrey 2.0 is a native iOS UI automation test framework with a flexible design, works in conjunction with the XCTest framework. It integrates with Xcode’s Test Navigator to run tests directly from Xcode or the command line. It features built-in synchronization with the UI, network requests, animations, queues and ensures that the UI is steady before any actions are performed.
Carina is a Java-based test automation framework that is built on top of the most popular open-source solutions (Selenium, Appium, TestNG), which reduces dependence on a specific technology stack. It unites all testing layers: mobile applications (web, native, hybrid), WEB applications, REST services, databases, and supports all popular browsers and mobile platforms.
Selenium is one of the most popular open-source test automation frameworks for web applications. It provides a playback tool (Selenium IDE) for test authoring without learning a specific scripting language. It is flexible and easy to maintain and supports a wide range of languages such as C#, Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby.
Be sure to check for an existing open-source test framework that you can leverage before creating your own framework. This article features a small sampling of the top open-source test automation frameworks out there. The list stands out based on the frameworks’ ease of script development, cross-team compatibility, and support for multiple languages.