How to decide which framework suits best for Dynamics 365

In the previous blog of the Platform Optimization series, we discussed best practices for automating Dynamics 365 application testing, and their pivotal role in ensuring the stability and success of your business applications. The sixth blog of the series provides insights on some widely used Test Automation Frameworks, things to consider when deciding on the framework, and Celsior Technologies AI-Powered Test Automation Framework capabilities. 

Automated testing has become a cornerstone of modern software development, ensuring rapid, reliable, and repeatable testing processes. However, the success of test automation efforts largely depends on selecting the right test automation framework. The Test Automation Framework serves as more than just a set of guidelines for developing automation scripts. It also facilitates seamless integration with other tools for tracking and management purposes. While it’s not mandatory, automating tests without a framework may lead to inefficient executions and inconsistent results. A robust, well-designed framework enhances test efficiency through increased code reusability, lower maintenance, more reliable results, and simplified scripting.

To optimize the Return on Investment (ROI) of Test Automation, it’s crucial to select the right framework based on execution methodology and test data management before initiating scripting. Here are some of the most widely used Test Automation Frameworks in the industry:

  • Data-Driven framework
  • The Data-Driven Automation framework is a testing approach that separates test data from test scripts. This framework enables running a set of tests using diverse input data sets, facilitating comprehensive testing of various scenarios without requiring additional scripting. Test data is stored in external files or databases and is fed into the automation scripts. The scripts themselves remain consistent, while the input data changes, making it an efficient way to conduct extensive testing with minimal effort.

  • Keyword-Driven framework
  • The Keyword-Driven framework is an ideal choice for those who prefer not to delve into coding when creating automation scripts. In this approach, you create keywords corresponding to each action performed on the application. This allows even non-programmers to develop scripts effectively. A controller script is necessary to recognize these keywords and execute the required actions. Developing this type of framework takes a substantial amount of effort.

  • Functional-Decomposition framework
  • This type of framework is most suitable for applications that undergo frequent UI changes. In this framework, scripts are developed using a modular approach, consisting of several independent components shared across multiple scripts. Modifying these components is sufficient to restore the functionality of all affected scripts, significantly reducing the maintenance efforts needed to adapt the scripts to application changes.

  • Hybrid framework
  • The Hybrid framework is employed to harness the advantages of the above-mentioned frameworks. This approach not only offers increased flexibility in scripting and script maintenance but also provides liberty in managing data within the scripts. The Hybrid framework enhances test execution flexibility and scalability while reducing maintenance overhead and seamlessly integrating with CI/CD tools.

Testing Dynamics 365 applications presents a unique set of challenges due to their complex design, many features, and integration with various components. To handle these challenges, you need a strong and adaptable automation framework. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the key criteria to consider when making this critical decision.

  • Application Under Test Compatibility
  • The first and foremost consideration is ensuring that the chosen framework is compatible with your Application Under Test (AUT), in this case, the Dynamics 365 application itself.

  • Programming Language
  • Choose a framework that supports the programming languages your team is proficient in or prefers to work with.

  • Dynamics 365 prebuilt components
  • Choose a framework that is compatible with prebuilt components in Dynamics 365, which are predefined modules or functionalities included as part of the standard package.

  • Ease of Use and Learning Curve
  • The chosen framework should be intuitive and easy for the team to learn. A steep learning curve can delay your automation efforts and lead to frustration among team members.

  • Cross-Browser and Cross-Platform Support
  • Ensure the framework supports testing on different browsers and operating systems. This is crucial for ensuring your application functions consistently across various platforms.

  • Object Recognition and Locators
  • The framework should offer reliable methods for locating and interacting with UI elements. This ensures stable and consistent test execution.

  • AI and Machine Learning Capabilities
  • Consider the complexity of your Dynamics 365 application and assess whether Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven features for dynamic object identification are required.

  • Data-Driven and Parameterized Testing
  • Support for data-driven testing allows you to test different scenarios with varying inputs. This capability is essential for comprehensive testing of your application.

  • Parallel Execution
  • The ability to run tests in parallel can significantly reduce execution time and increase efficiency. This is particularly important for large-scale projects.

  • Cloud Support
  • Evaluate the framework’s compatibility with containerization technologies, such as Docker, and orchestration platforms, like Kubernetes. This capability can enhance efficiency of testing and promote consistency, portability, and efficient resource utilization, making it an essential aspect of modern automated testing workflows.

  • Reporting and Logging
  • Effective reporting is crucial for identifying and analyzing test results. Look for frameworks that provide clear and detailed reports, enabling you to quickly spot issues and track progress.

  • Test Script Maintenance
  • Avoid frameworks that result in brittle or overly complex test scripts. Choose a framework that allows for easy maintenance of test scripts as your application evolves.

  • Integration with CI/CD Tools
  • Seamless integration with Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) tools is essential for incorporating automation into your development pipeline. Look for frameworks that integrate well with popular CI/CD platforms like Jenkins, GitLab CI, and others.

  • Scalability
  • Consider whether the framework can scale with your testing needs as your application grows in complexity and size. A scalable framework ensures that your automation efforts remain effective in the long term.

  • Flexibility and Extensibility
  • Choose a framework that allows for customization and extension to meet specific testing needs. This ensures that the framework can adapt to the unique requirements of your project.

  • Documentation
  • Comprehensive documentation is an invaluable asset when working with a test automation framework. It provides a wealth of resources for troubleshooting, best practices, and advanced usage.

  • License and Cost
  • Evaluate the licensing model of the framework. Some frameworks are open source, while others may require a commercial license. Consider your budget and licensing requirements when deciding.

Celsior AI-Powered Test Automation Framework

Choosing the right test automation framework with AI object Identification capability can significantly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your testing efforts. The Celsior AI-Powered Test Automation Framework is a versatile choice that allows you to create a customized testing environment to suit your project’s unique requirements. It leverages AI-powered object identification, making it the ideal choice for testing Dynamics 365 applications. It’s structured around a component-based architecture, where each component operates independently, offering distinct features or functionalities as the foundation for the framework. These components are not tied to specific tools and can seamlessly integrate with any tool.

Conclusion

Selecting the right test automation framework lays the foundation for a successful automation endeavor. By considering the crucial criteria outlined in this guide, you’re equipped to make an informed decision tailored to your team’s expertise and project requirements. Remember, the ideal framework is one that seamlessly integrates with your existing tools, supports your application innovation technologies, and empowers your team to create and maintain robust test scripts. It should grow with your project, adapt to evolving requirements, and facilitate efficient testing processes.

In this context, the Hybrid test automation framework powered with AI object identification emerges as an especially powerful choice for Dynamics 365 Test Automation. Its versatility, combining the strengths of different approaches, aligns well with the complexities of Dynamics 365 applications. It offers a balanced solution that captures the strengths of various methods, delivering both flexibility and efficiency in your testing endeavors.

About the author:

Kamlesh Kumar Yadav
Celsior Technologies

Read other blogs of the series:

Best practices for automating Dynamics 365 application testing

Why do you want to test Microsoft Dynamics 365 Updates?

Lowering your Anxiety over Microsoft Dynamics 365 Upgrades

Optimizing Your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Implementation & Maintenance Environment

Why is test automation critical to successful Dynamics 365 upgrades?

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