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The 7 Best Open Source Test Automation Frameworks

Choosing the right test automation framework for your project is important. In this blog, we have listed the top open-source choices for you.

The 7 Best Open Source Test Automation Frameworks Blog

Nowadays, we have many open-source test automation frameworks to choose from that we have created this list of the top 7 open-source test automation frameworks to use. But back in the day, test automation frameworks had to be developed using commercial test automation tools. Before the emergence of such open-source automation testing tools, many proprietary tools had the below-listed limitations.

  • Only a few limited programming/scripting languages were supported.
  • The scripts could be executed only on IE browsers.
  • Separate licenses had to be purchased for script executions.
  • Only limited Reporting Features were available.
  • Third-party test management tools integration was not possible.
  • There was a lack of documentation.
  • The annual tool support fee was huge.

Even now, some of the commercial’s test automation tools have these limitations. In the earlier days, the Excel-driven test automation framework was very popular. The claim was that testers didn’t have to open the tool to write the automated test scripts. Stakeholders thought that filling the excel sheet to create an automated script was simple and a game-changer. So if any change was required in the framework, it would be done by the test automation architect. That is when the open-source automation frameworks slowly started to emerge in the market.

Selenium brought the capability to automate both Firefox and IE. This was in a time period when even many of the popular commercials automation testing tools didn’t have the feature to automate any other browser apart from IE. It is important to remember that Selenium is a browser automation library; it is not a test automation framework. You have to use Selenium to build the framework.

Why do we need a test automation framework?

With the help of a test automation framework, we will be able to

  • Organize automated test scripts
  • Avoid duplication of scripts
  • Reduce the effort required for maintenance
  • Troubleshoot failures quickly with the help of test reports
  • Integrate with test management tools
  • Manage test data that are required for test execution
  • Follow common scripting guidelines
  • Ease portability & adaptability

Now that we have seen why we need an automation framework, let’s move over to our top 7 list of open-source test automation frameworks which can be used right away instead of having to build an in-house framework. As a leading QA company, we get projects requests from our clients to work with ready to use framework. Given our expertise in the domain, we believe that this blog article will help you to choose a suitable open-source automation testing framework to kick start script development from day one.

Serenity

First up, we have Serenity BDD which is a ready-made automation testing framework. It has many built-in methods for both Selenium and API automation which will ease the script development process. The Serenity test reporting feature will be very helpful in understanding what tests have been executed, and what requirements have been tested.

We know for a fact that Serenity is a popular open-source test automation framework. Let’s take a look at what makes it so popular.

  • Serenity introduces one more layer between the Step Definitions and page objects. ‘Steps’ is the new layer that represents actors or personas who interact with the application. This layer makes your test scripts more readable and maintainable.
  • You can mention environment-specific configurations in serenity.conf file.
  • Built-in methods and test reporting system for REST API automation testing using REST Assured is a great value-add.
  • Serenity supports the Screenplay pattern which helps to produce readable test code.
  • It introduces a new Ensure class to write readable assertions.
  • You can also run Serenity tests on a Zalenium server to achieve parallel execution.

Robot Framework

Robot Framework is an open-source automation testing framework that has many built-in keywords and libraries. The robot framework’s core is developed using Python. It was developed by Nokia Networks and open-sourced in 2008.

The various standout Robot framework features are:

  • It is a keyword-driven framework.
  • You can write test scenarios in the Gherkin format.
  • It produces both HTML and XML reports.
  • You can tag tests to categorize them.
  • Robot Framework has standard and external libraries. Standard libraries come along with the installation. Whereas, you can install the external libraries which are required for the project.
  • It has plugins for all popular IDEs like (Eclipse, Intellij, PyCharm, SubLime, TextMate, Vim, Emacs, Brackets, Atom, etc…).
  • Execution can be scheduled in Jenkins.
  • You can use Robot Framework for Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD).
  • Desktop App test cases can be automated using WhiteLibrary.
  • You can also automate JavaSwing GUI.
  • Video recording and screenshots can be captured during execution.
  • It supports IBM Mainframe automation testing.

Robot Framework is very vast, and so you will be able to automate any application or API. So even if you don’t find any library for your requirements, you won’t be in trouble as Robot Framework lets you write your own library.

Gauge

Gauge is an open-source test automation framework developed by the Thoughtworks team that eases automated acceptance tests. You can write the test scenarios in the .spec or .md file format. The implementation codes can be written in JavaScript, TypeScript, Java, C#, & Python languages. Gauge allows you to focus only on tests instead of spending time on utilities & keywords development.

If you want to share data from one test scenario to another, you can use the Gauge data store factory. There are three types of data stores (ScenarioStore, SpecStore, & SuiteStore).

If a test execution has any failures, you will be able to rerun only the failed scripts using the below command.

gauge run --failed

You can run these specs in parallel, but you must be able to write the thread-safe test code. Gauge is a simple and flexible test automation framework that avoids complex test code layers.

Atata

Atata is an open-source C# based Web App Automation Testing framework. It provides a rich set of libraries to automate web-related test cases and uses Page Object Pattern to define the UI elements & actions to be performed on web pages. Atata is supported in all major C# based unit & BDD testing frameworks (NUnit, Xunit, MSTest, & Specflow). Atata even integrates ExtentReports for test report generation.

Carina

Carina is a Java-based open-source automation testing framework that can be used to automate Web Apps, Mobile Apps, REST Services, Windows apps, and even DB-related test cases. Carina has one very unique and resourceful feature for mobile app automation testing. It allows you to have common automated snippets for both iOS and Android platforms.

WebDriver.IO

WebDriver.io uses the Selenium, Appium, and DevTools protocol to automate Web apps, mobile apps, and Electron-based Desktop Apps. The DevTools capability was introduced in Selenium 4. However, the WebDriver.io framework has already implemented DevTools without relying on the WebDriver protocol.

Some notable features of WebDriver.io are:

  • It is suitable for automating all modern web, mobile, and desktop apps.
  • It supports all major reporting libraries (Allure, Concise, Dot, Junit, Spec, Sumologic, etc).
  • You can embed video recording in test reports.
  • Execution can be triggered based on GitHub actions.
  • WebDriver.io has built-in commands. You can also add custom methods if you need any.
  • You can schedule executions in Jenkins and Bamboo CI tools.
  • You can also migrate the existing Protractor automated scripts to WebDriver.io.

Citrus

Citrus is an open-source test automation framework best suited for integration testing. You can send, receive messages, and also specify control messages for validation. Citrus allows you to test complex messaging scenarios with a step-by-step sequence of operations.

Conclusion

You need experts such as us by your side to provide the best automation testing services. Yes, choosing the right framework is a critical choice. But your team should be capable to create a custom test automation framework, explore, and even suggest the ready-to-use framework for a project.

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Nowadays, we have many open-source test automation frameworks to choose from that we have created this list of the top 7 open-source test automation frameworks to use. But back in the day, test automation frameworks had to be developed using commercial test automation tools. Before the emergence of such open-source automation testing tools, many proprietary tools had the below-listed limitations.

  • Only a few limited programming/scripting languages were supported.
  • The scripts could be executed only on IE browsers.
  • Separate licenses had to be purchased for script executions.
  • Only limited Reporting Features were available.
  • Third-party test management tools integration was not possible.
  • There was a lack of documentation.
  • The annual tool support fee was huge.

Even now, some of the commercial’s test automation tools have these limitations. In the earlier days, the Excel-driven test automation framework was very popular. The claim was that testers didn’t have to open the tool to write the automated test scripts. Stakeholders thought that filling the excel sheet to create an automated script was simple and a game-changer. So if any change was required in the framework, it would be done by the test automation architect. That is when the open-source automation frameworks slowly started to emerge in the market.

Selenium brought the capability to automate both Firefox and IE. This was in a time period when even many of the popular commercials automation testing tools didn’t have the feature to automate any other browser apart from IE. It is important to remember that Selenium is a browser automation library; it is not a test automation framework. You have to use Selenium to build the framework.

Why do we need a test automation framework?

With the help of a test automation framework, we will be able to

  • Organize automated test scripts
  • Avoid duplication of scripts
  • Reduce the effort required for maintenance
  • Troubleshoot failures quickly with the help of test reports
  • Integrate with test management tools
  • Manage test data that are required for test execution
  • Follow common scripting guidelines
  • Ease portability & adaptability

Now that we have seen why we need an automation framework, let’s move over to our top 7 list of open-source test automation frameworks which can be used right away instead of having to build an in-house framework. As a leading QA company, we get projects requests from our clients to work with ready to use framework. Given our expertise in the domain, we believe that this blog article will help you to choose a suitable open-source automation testing framework to kick start script development from day one.

Serenity

First up, we have Serenity BDD which is a ready-made automation testing framework. It has many built-in methods for both Selenium and API automation which will ease the script development process. The Serenity test reporting feature will be very helpful in understanding what tests have been executed, and what requirements have been tested.

We know for a fact that Serenity is a popular open-source test automation framework. Let’s take a look at what makes it so popular.

  • Serenity introduces one more layer between the Step Definitions and page objects. ‘Steps’ is the new layer that represents actors or personas who interact with the application. This layer makes your test scripts more readable and maintainable.
  • You can mention environment-specific configurations in serenity.conf file.
  • Built-in methods and test reporting system for REST API automation testing using REST Assured is a great value-add.
  • Serenity supports the Screenplay pattern which helps to produce readable test code.
  • It introduces a new Ensure class to write readable assertions.
  • You can also run Serenity tests on a Zalenium server to achieve parallel execution.

Robot Framework

Robot Framework is an open-source automation testing framework that has many built-in keywords and libraries. The robot framework’s core is developed using Python. It was developed by Nokia Networks and open-sourced in 2008.

The various standout Robot framework features are:

  • It is a keyword-driven framework.
  • You can write test scenarios in the Gherkin format.
  • It produces both HTML and XML reports.
  • You can tag tests to categorize them.
  • Robot Framework has standard and external libraries. Standard libraries come along with the installation. Whereas, you can install the external libraries which are required for the project.
  • It has plugins for all popular IDEs like (Eclipse, Intellij, PyCharm, SubLime, TextMate, Vim, Emacs, Brackets, Atom, etc…).
  • Execution can be scheduled in Jenkins.
  • You can use Robot Framework for Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD).
  • Desktop App test cases can be automated using WhiteLibrary.
  • You can also automate JavaSwing GUI.
  • Video recording and screenshots can be captured during execution.
  • It supports IBM Mainframe automation testing.

Robot Framework is very vast, and so you will be able to automate any application or API. So even if you don’t find any library for your requirements, you won’t be in trouble as Robot Framework lets you write your own library.

Gauge

Gauge is an open-source test automation framework developed by the Thoughtworks team that eases automated acceptance tests. You can write the test scenarios in the .spec or .md file format. The implementation codes can be written in JavaScript, TypeScript, Java, C#, & Python languages. Gauge allows you to focus only on tests instead of spending time on utilities & keywords development.

If you want to share data from one test scenario to another, you can use the Gauge data store factory. There are three types of data stores (ScenarioStore, SpecStore, & SuiteStore).

If a test execution has any failures, you will be able to rerun only the failed scripts using the below command.

gauge run --failed

You can run these specs in parallel, but you must be able to write the thread-safe test code. Gauge is a simple and flexible test automation framework that avoids complex test code layers.

Atata

Atata is an open-source C# based Web App Automation Testing framework. It provides a rich set of libraries to automate web-related test cases and uses Page Object Pattern to define the UI elements & actions to be performed on web pages. Atata is supported in all major C# based unit & BDD testing frameworks (NUnit, Xunit, MSTest, & Specflow). Atata even integrates ExtentReports for test report generation.

Carina

Carina is a Java-based open-source automation testing framework that can be used to automate Web Apps, Mobile Apps, REST Services, Windows apps, and even DB-related test cases. Carina has one very unique and resourceful feature for mobile app automation testing. It allows you to have common automated snippets for both iOS and Android platforms.

WebDriver.IO

WebDriver.io uses the Selenium, Appium, and DevTools protocol to automate Web apps, mobile apps, and Electron-based Desktop Apps. The DevTools capability was introduced in Selenium 4. However, the WebDriver.io framework has already implemented DevTools without relying on the WebDriver protocol.

Some notable features of WebDriver.io are:

  • It is suitable for automating all modern web, mobile, and desktop apps.
  • It supports all major reporting libraries (Allure, Concise, Dot, Junit, Spec, Sumologic, etc).
  • You can embed video recording in test reports.
  • Execution can be triggered based on GitHub actions.
  • WebDriver.io has built-in commands. You can also add custom methods if you need any.
  • You can schedule executions in Jenkins and Bamboo CI tools.
  • You can also migrate the existing Protractor automated scripts to WebDriver.io.

Citrus

Citrus is an open-source test automation framework best suited for integration testing. You can send, receive messages, and also specify control messages for validation. Citrus allows you to test complex messaging scenarios with a step-by-step sequence of operations.

Conclusion

You need experts such as us by your side to provide the best automation testing services. Yes, choosing the right framework is a critical choice. But your team should be capable to create a custom test automation framework, explore, and even suggest the ready-to-use framework for a project.