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App Development

Why fluent automation for testing your web applications?

Let us explore today’s varied choices we have for Automated Browser Testing. There are headless WebKit browsers like PhantomJS and cloud-powered multi-browser testing tools like BrowserStack and SauceLabs. Also, Selenium is kind of the gold standard and offers not only a lot of “drivers” but also a lot of language bindings with which drive a browser.
Generally speaking, a framework is defined as a real or conceptual structure created to provide support or guidance to an entity that could expand in future.

In simple terms, a test automation framework can be defined as a set of processes, standards, and interactions between the components in which scripts are designed and executed. Of course, it is very important for organizations to clearly identify the merits and demerits of a Test Automation framework before choosing one.

Fluent Automation

Although there are a lot of automation testing frameworks available in the market, one option I’ve been looking at is FluentAutomation. Fluent Automation Framework categorically stands out. When trying to automate any web application, we will definitely look for a simple and powerful testing framework. The primary reason for this framework to gain a wider acceptance is due to its agility and ease of usage.

FluentAutomation is a simple, powerful automated testing framework for web applications. Software testing professionals can utilize Fluent Automation Testing Framework to automate any web-based application. FluentAutomation is a DSL (DSL stands for Domain Specific Language), which is a kind of programming language that helps to deal with some specific problems. An example of this Technology can be found at the heart of the O2 Platform, which uses FluentSharp. It’s a Fluent Automation API that supports Selenium as well as WatiN along with all their flavors and drivers. Since Fluent supports Selenium, that means you can use the Selenium ChromeDriver, IEDriver, Remote Web Driver or even the headless PhantomJS. FluentAutomation is also on GitHub, of course. Given below are a few high-level features of the Fluent Automation Testing Framework.

Fluent Automation Testing Framework – Prerequisites

  1. Software testers need to have basic software testing knowledge.
  2. Automation testing know-how is essential.
  3. Basic understanding of C# programming.

Fluent Automation

Fluent Automation Testing Framework Features

  1. The Fluent API is very easy to learn and implement.
  2. Tests can be run on multiple browsers.
  3. Lastly, it has a very nice method chaining.
1. The Fluent API is very easy to learn and implement:

In order to implement a Fluent Automation Testing Framework, software testers will require a unit test framework. We can use xUnit or NUnit or MSTest. Once you have decided to use fluent automation and have your test framework ready, it is super easy to start testing with FluentAutomation. Just need to download the NuGet into Visual Studio to start with – The default unit test framework in Visual Studio test projects. It is a fairly easy process to initiate web application testing utilizing Fluent Automation Testing Framework.

To start with, Download and Install the NuGet into Microsoft Visual Studio (To know how to install it click here).  After installing NuGet, now we need to


the fluent API package into our test project. For this open the “NuGet Package Manager Console” from Tools and use the below command to add references to our test class.

Fluent Automation

Inherit the test classes from ‘FluentAutomation.FluentTest’ and call provider’s appropriate Bootstrap method. Most of the automation testing frameworks follow this in the constructor of the class. The Bootstrap method takes the browser target as an argument.

Fluent Automation

2. Tests can be run on multiple browsers:

Many projects require that you validate your application in multiple browsers. Automation testers often struggle with cross-browser testing. However, in the Fluent Automation Testing Framework, if software testers are required to test the same scripts in multiple browsers, all they have to do is place a comma and mention the browser name.

Fluent Automation

3. It has a very nice method chaining:

As the name indicates, ‘Method Chaining’ allows to chain the methods without breaking the code i.e. Once ‘I’ has been initialized, methods can be written without initializing ‘I’ on multiple occasions. Below is an example that will make the concept very clear. Imagine there are three text boxes and data is required to be entered into these text boxes. Utilizing the concept of ‘Method chaining’ the syntax would appear as follows:

Fluent Automation

Fluent Automation Testing Framework Advantages:

  1. Readability
  2. Predefined Methods
  3. Selenium Integration
  4. Single line coding
1. Readability:

The very first advantage of Fluent automation framework is the ‘Readability’ of the test script. Let’s compare an instance of Selenium Testing Framework with that of a Fluent Automation Framework (as it is also built on Selenium). Let us assume an automation tester has to write a test script to login into Gmail, the syntax is as follows:

Fluent Automation

Notice the above code, the statements given as comments are scripts using selenium framework. Also, the corresponding code using fluent automation is as given below each. Even if a layman looks at the script, they can easily comprehend by reading each line of code.

2. Predefined Methods:

Fluent Automation framework provides us, some number of predefined methods for each and every action. Some of the actions we perform in web applications are Enter a text, Click a button, Select an item from a drop-down, Wait until an event is complete, Taking Screenshot, etc., The following script shows the usage of the some of the predefined functions.Fluent Automation

3. Selenium Integration:

Another great advantage of Fluent automation framework is its ability to integrate with selenium. If we are facing any issue with the fluent framework, because it does not provide support for some of the functionality or couldn’t be able to proceed further, Then no need to worry, we can easily integrate this framework with Selenium automation framework to achieve the desired functionality.

4. Single line coding:

In Fluent automation framework, anything can be achieved by simply writing a single line of code. The same thing, while using selenium framework, we may have to write multiple numbers of lines. Even using the fluent framework, we can share the instance of the same browser by just a single line of code (ie., “StickySession”).

Fluent Automation

Which enables a set of tests to reuse the same browser instance between tests. This can result in much faster execution times as compared to the standard method of creating a new browser instance for each test.

Limitations of Fluent Automation Framework:

Similar to other Test Automation Frameworks, even Fluent Automation Framework has its own set of limitations. It is important for software testers to understand the limitations before going ahead with the implementation.

  1. It only works with CSS Selectors to identify the elements on a web page.
  2. Do not expect any support, as it is an open source framework.
  3. This framework cannot recognize flash objects.

From the above information, we found that the Fluent Automation Testing framework is very simple and easy to implement, learn and use. Of course, this framework is being extensively utilized by the organizations which prefer to simplify their automation testing processes, especially for web-based applications. I hope you might have gained valuable references about this framework.

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