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11 Test Automation Frameworks For Cross Browser Testing

As and when an application is developed, the process is called its Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC); and for each SDLC testing begins with the first level of unit testing where the basic functionality of the app is tested. This testing is done before integrated testing, which is carried out in an integrated hardware and software environment to verify the behaviour of the complete system. When the process of testing web apps was new, testing was done manually. Manually testing an application across various touchpoints is not just hectic but can seldom also lead to oversight. Thus, automation came into practice. Automation has made it easier for programmers to perform unit testing quickly and more effectively.

For automated (Unit) Cross Browser Testing, developers need a reliable framework, that’s also secure and can easily test all functionalities of a web app. A similar cluster of such automated testing sources is termed a test automation framework.

Test automation framework is a complied set of guidelines that includes test-data handling, coding standards, object repository treatment, and similar operational capabilities that can effectively test developing applications. The framework benefits in increasing higher portability, code re-usage, reduced script maintenance cost, and other economic aid during automation scripting. Testing automation frameworks are generally guideline-based and function over a test script. Test automation has become very essential for cross-browser testing today, especially because the market is flooded with a plethora of under development apps and websites. Let us understand in detail about a few automation frameworks that can help you in setting up easy cross-browser testing for your web apps.

Top 11 Test Automation Frameworks for CBT

  1. CasperJS

CasperJS is an open-source navigation scripting and testing utility for headless browser tools like PhantomJS and SlimerJS. This framework helps in building full navigation scenarios by allowing the usage of high-level functionality and a cutthroat interface that makes it very appealing. CasperJS is considered to be easy to self-begin with. It allows newbies to begin with writing tests irrespective of their technical background.

Merits:

  • Very useful for unit testing activity as well as seamless coverage
  • Offers fast execution time that provides quick feedback
  • Smooth ramp up and scripting based on Behavior Driven Development (BDD) framework

Demerits:

  • Not the best to pick for end-to-end (E2E) testing scenarios
  • Uses an older version of headless browser technologies than the Chrome blink based headless browser
  1. Selenium

Selenium is one of the most popular freeware cross-browser test automation framework. It works in multiple languages and the latest version has multiple productivity features like a modified selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE), relative locators, integration with CDP (Chrome Debugging Protocol), and other features that make it swift and effective.

Merits:

  • Selenium’s latest version will be 100% W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) compliant, which will make it consistent between different browsers
  • Selenium allows testing such as security, performance, and unit testing, via its APIs
  • It also offers extensions and integrations

 Demerits

  • The users should have exceptional knowledge related to programming
  • Doesn’t support windows-based automation application although efficient with web-based applications
  1. Robot Framework

Robot Framework is a generic open-source automation framework used for Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) and across other acceptance testing scenarios. It can be used for test automation and robotic process automation (RPA) and comes with tabular test data syntax which is convenient and has a keyword-driven testing approach.

Merits:

  • Best suited for Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) activities
  • Keyword-driven testing makes it easier for developing readable scripts
  • Supports extensive plugins and extensions
  • Supports testing for Android, MongoDB
  • Supports keyword-driven, behavior-driven, and data-driven style of writing test cases

Demerits:

  • Not completely embedded into workflows
  • Less concentrative towards JavaScript which apparently is a skillset issue
  • WebDriver is used as an external test library
  • Offers limited feedback loop and subsequently reporting
  1. Buster.JS

Buster.JS is a JavaScript test framework for Node and browsers. It offers highly extendable reporting and comes built into Phantom.JS or JSDom like headless browser tools. Since it is a Beta version framework, thus any information about its evolution in near future is skeptical. This in turn indicates technical limitations and integration issues. Buster.JS comes with DSL support and built-in assertions.

Merits: 

  • Perfect fit for headless browser testing
  • Unit testing for Node apps and browsers are possible
  • Domain-Specific Language (DSL) based scripting technology along with supportive assertions
  • Extendable to many Continuous Integration (CI) tools

Demerits:

  • The Beta version carries less stability and limited functionality
  • It is an A-sync testing tool
  • Unsupportive for exchange-to-exchange (E2E) functional testing objective
  1. Nightwatch.js

Nightwatch.js is another Node.js-based framework and is best suited for End-to-End (E2E) testing needs. It utilizes the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) WebDriver API for performing commands on DOM elements. The tool supports plugins like Jenkins and TeamCity.

Merits:

  • Fit for E2E functional testing
  • Reporting plugins are good like Allure and JUnit
  • Integration with cloud testing solutions is feasible
  • Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) friendly

Demerits

  • Contributors’ community is smaller than the Protractor
  • It is an A-sync testing tool
  • Multiple pre-requisites
  1. WebDriverIO

WebDriverIO is a trending WebDriver binding framework for Node.JS. It is a custom implementation of Selenium’s WebDriver API, and sends requests to the Selenium server through the WebDriver and manages its subsequent responses. The framework uses integrated test runners for writing asynchronous commands. WebDriver.IO framework is easy to use and gets integrated into many tools.

Merits:

  • End-to-end functional testing is well suited
  • Faster feedback and reporting functionality
  • Easy integration with Cloud testing solutions
  • Supports sync-based testing

Demerits: 

  • Non-supportive for angular specific object location
  • No TypeScript support
  1. Protractor

Protractor is an open-source E2E test framework for Angular specific and AngularJS apps. Protractor acts as a user and effectively runs testing while the application is running in a real browser. This framework was built by Google on top of WebDriver and serves as a replacement to existing Angular JS E2E. Additionally, Protractor supports Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) and cucumber scripting.

Merits:

  • Good for Angular based websites
  • Quick feedback and reporting because of the plugins like Allure, and Junit, etc.
  • Cloud testing solutions integration is easier
  • BDD friendly via Jasmine, Mocha, and other plugins

Demerits:

  • Supports only JavaScript
  • Doesn’t have much support across browsers other than Chrome
  • Doesn’t offer robot class support
  • In case of any issue with the WebdriverJs layer the Protractor team waits for the WebDriverJs to fix the problem
  1. Codecept.JS

Codecept.JS is a JavaScript supportive testing solution, which is a modern E2E testing framework with BDD-style syntax. The solution is an end-user authored testing framework and supports WebDriverIO, Protractor, Selenium WebDriver, and Nightmare that allow teams to expand the testing use cases.

Merits:

  • Testing in Domain Specific Language (DSL)/BDD language is supportive
  • Synchronous testing using API is available
  • Build-in dependency helps in creating a POM

Demerits:

  • Not completely designed for mobile application testing
  • Requires wrappers and / or command line to execute scripts
  • It is an async testing solution
  1.            PhantomJS

PhantomJS is a headless WebKit scriptable with a JavaScript API. It has quick and native support for numerous web standards that include DOM handling, CSS selector, JSON, Canvas, and SVG. Additionally, the key benefits are screen capturing, network monitoring, as well as script execution capabilities. PhantomJS is used to launch the tests through a suitable test runner.

Merits:

  • Good for unit testing mostly
  • Additional automation of HAR files
  • Supports screen capture feature
  • Offers good documentation along with community support

Demerits:

  • Not suitable for E2E testing objectives
  • Non-supportive for real browsers
  • Non-supportive to BDD
  • Outdated rendering engine
  1. JSDom

JSDom is an in-JavaScript implementation of the document object model to be used with Node.JS. It is a library that interacts with assembled HTML just like a browser. The DOM is the compilation of nodes that forms the UI for the documents displayed in web browsers. It can run tests without browsers, like in Node or even in continuously integrated environments.

Merits:

  • Perfect for unit testing
  • Quick feedback on a specified subset of the website’s implementation
  • Supports Mocha for scripting

Demerits:

  • Not good for E2E testing
  • Real browsers are not supportive
  • Test at scale or Cloud-based environment is not possible
  • Often troubles in asynchronous based script loading
  • Limited reporting features
  1. ChimpJS

Chimp is an open-source software that makes it simple for developers to write automated tests.  The framework sets up tools and enables developers to concentrate on building quality, while it allows integration with leading frameworks like Mocha, Jasmine, Cucumber.JS Selenium, and WebDriverIO.

Merits:

  • Fits E2E testing objective
  • It is BDD friendly and offers a mix of supported tools
  • It is a synchronized testing solution
  • Innovative approach for agile/fast feedback
  • Support web screenshots

Demerits:

  • Non-supportive visual navigation testing
  • Only offers basic reporting
  • Does not support cross-platform reporting
  • Setup and configuration is complex

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Reaching a Conclusion

If you’re able to perform faster unit testing of your application, the scope of these apps hitting the markets also increases significantly. Therefore, it is important to use Unit Testing Frameworks to test the compatibility and functionality of your web apps. The discussed frameworks here offer quick resolution and testing. You also have the flexibility to choose from a set of desired languages to work in. The above-discussed coverage of Unit Testing Frameworks can help you pick the best one that serves your testing needs. If you are still in doubt about how to begin, then LambdaTest offers ideal automated Cross Browser Testing solutions for you.

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