Different Types of Test Automation Frameworks Explained

The advent of automation testing has revolutionized the world of software testing, and today every QA team across the globe is investing in automation testing tools. QARA Enterprise is an example of an advanced new age automation testing tool available today. The mobile and web test automation tools today are designed to offer highly advanced functionalities to help QA professionals to achieve higher test coverage, and better testing efficiency with test automation. As applications are becoming more and more complex, the approach to testing has become complex too, with the need for several different types of testing.

To add some sense to the chaos, we have the test automation frameworks and their purpose is to define a set of rules, along with a set of best practices to be followed in order to achieve the testing goals. There are different test automation frameworks and each of them is designed to help QA teams achieve different testing goals. Selenium is an example of one such framework on which most advanced test automation tools are based. In this article, we shall learn about the 4 types of test automation frameworks, and what makes each one stand apart from the rest.

1] Modular Testing Framework:

As the name suggests, the modular testing framework involves breaking down the entire application that needs to be tested, into smaller units or modules, and then testing one module at a time. In other words, instead of looking at the application as a whole, the testers look at it in parts, and develop individual test scripts for each part or module. Once the individual test scripts are ready, they can all be combined to form the larger master script.

Why it Helps: Modular testing framework makes maintenance easy as the entire testing process is broken down into separate modules. The modular nature of the framework makes it highly scalable, which means the framework can be scaled up to accommodate the increasing testing volumes, as and when required. The independent test scripts for each module means there’s no need to change the entire thing if there’s a change required in the code of one of the modules.

2] Keyword Driven Testing Framework:

Also referred to as table-driven testing framework, keyword driven framework involves defining the keywords for each function or method, in the form of a table. Similar to the data-driven framework, this framework also has data stored as external data files. The QA professionals can play around with the keywords to develop different scripts for automation testing.

Why it Helps: The keyword driven framework can be easily used to develop test automation scripts even by QA professionals with basic programming skills. Hence, this framework is recommended for teams who are switching to automation from manual testing. New age mobile and web test automation tools are based on the keyword driven framework and QARA Enterprise is an example.

3] Data-Driven Testing Framework:

Data driven framework is focused on separating the test data and the test scripts logic from one another. In other words, it separates the data from the test scripts, only to store it in the form of files in an external repository. Once the data is extracted and stored separately, all that remains in the test script is the programmed language.

Why it Helps: This offers a huge advantage for scenarios where there is a requirement to run test scripts for multiple sets of data. In such a scenario, the tests scripts can be easily made to work with different data sets, without the need for major modifications. Since it saves time, data driven web test automation and mobile test automation frameworks boost test coverage, and also reduce the efforts of the QA team.

4] Hybrid Testing Framework:

Just as the name suggests, the hybrid testing framework is a result of the combination of two or more frameworks, in order to get the best of both worlds. In other words, a hybrid framework is all about combining the strengths of different frameworks in order to make the testing process faster and more efficient. Which two frameworks are combined to get the result, depends on the qualities the QA team is looking for in the framework. A good practice is to follow standard guidelines to design a framework.

Why it Helps: The biggest reason they make hybrid frameworks, is the host of benefits available, with the drawbacks eliminated. Depending on the requirements of a project, one can create a hybrid framework that best fits the bill. For example, if a QA team has more resources with basic programming skills, creating a hybrid framework using the keyword driven framework can take care of the need to write complex test scripts.


So, that was about the major frameworks used in automation testing. Every framework comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and so it all zeroes down to the project requirements when it comes to choosing a framework. For example, a zero coding test automation tool like QARA Enterprise would rely on the keyword driven framework. Do you want to share your experience of working with any of these? Or is there any other framework that you believe needs to be mentioned here? Let us know in the comment box below.