Choosing the Right Automation Framework

Choosing the Right Automation Framework

When it comes to testing apps, a significant amount of time and resources needs to be devoted to the process in order to make sure that everything works perfectly once the app goes live. Every feature that is included needs to be tested not only when it is first introduced, but also with every subsequent version where there are many changes made to the code. Because testing is so important to the success of an app, it is important to get it right from the outset. Having to go through thousands of lines of code looking for errors is simply impossible, and that is why choosing the right automation framework is crucial.

Fortunately there are several automation frameworks that developers are able to access for both Android and iOS. Before deciding on one product to handle all their testing needs, there are some standard requirements that need to be considered:

  1. Code must be reusable, able to be easily understood, and maintainable.
  2. Testing data needs to be kept separate from the code itself.
  3. Test results need to be logged and easy to understand.
  4. Processes need to be in place to handle any testing errors.

Once one of the most widely used Android frameworks, Robotium made API testing extremely simple and straightforward. Robotium is an open source library that allows for automatic black box testing for both apps and web testing. The tester is able to write function, system and acceptance tests as well as allowing for the recording of test scripts. Robotium also allows for testing on devices, and it records every action and converts it to Java script for manipulation later on. While Robotium is very useful, it is mostly used for more basic testing.

The latest test automation framework from Google is called Espresso. This is open source, which makes it available to all Android testers and developers. Espresso was built to be easy to learn and allows the tester to write concise and reliable automation tests. The framework is also compatible with Android Froyo, Gingerbread, and Ice Cream Sandwich — as well as potential future iterations. While Espresso may be more flexible than Robotium, it does not allow the tester to conduct web testing, which might pose a problem for some developers.

Another option that is available for both iOS and Android is Appium, which is also open source and can be used with native, hybrid and mobile apps. One of the biggest benefits to using Appium is that it is compatible with almost any coding language, unlike other tools that depend on only one language. Unlike Espresso that is backwards compatible, Appium is only compatible with Android APIs level 16 or higher — so it is somewhat limiting.

Test design and implementation is central to the lifecycle of any application or website. One person sitting in front of a console simply cannot conduct the testing needed for today’s applications. In order to get the best possible results, utilizing an automation framework will be needed. By using automation, testers are able to scale up the amount of work that is needed. Not only are they able to test larger and more complex apps, but the testing will also be done infinitely faster. There is no single right tool that should be used — instead testers and developers will need to look at their goals and from there decide what tool will deliver the best results.

To find out more about InfoStretch’s expertise in test automation, click here.

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