Why you should go framework agnostic for test automation

  August 02, 2021

"The most flexible native mobile-app testing solution.” It’s a bold claim that we are making about the BitBar Real Device Cloud. One of the essential features of being the most flexible is being framework-agnostic.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this term and see how QA teams and managers can benefit from such a platform.

BitBar Cloud recently extended Flutter support to include Flutter 2.2 released by Google on May 18th, 2021. Ensuring timely support of new and updated frameworks ensures that we stay framework agnostic for mobile app testing and is critical to our commitment to being the most flexible native mobile-app testing solution.

What Is a Framework Agnostic Service in Test Automation?

First things first: What does being framework-agnostic in the scope of test automation mean anyway?

Across the different tools available for testing mobile applications, most of them can only support a limited selection of test frameworks and third-party tools. This is for two reasons: (1) rigid, legacy systems that don’t allow much versatility; and (2) the investments required to ensure that each new release of each testing framework will work with the hardware and software in the device cloud. Hence, most services choose not to be framework agnostic.

Other services, like the BitBar real device cloud, are flexible and independent in terms of the frameworks and tools developers and testers can use, even offering support for customer defined tools and frameworks.

With this flexibility, users don’t have to adapt their workflows, test cases, and scripts to be compatible with the service. Instead, customers can run their tests as needed.

Now let’s go ahead and take a closer look at how developers, testers, and business leaders benefit from these solutions.

What Does Being Framework Agnostic Mean for Automation Teams?

Ultimately, a service must be helpful to the people who use it.

Developers and testers can’t work productively if a tool makes testing too complicated. What’s more, your teams most likely work with a specific framework already, and it would be resource-intensive to make them switch and get comfortable with a different one. Additionally, they’d have to rewrite all of their existing test scripts.

Therefore, it makes sense to choose a cloud-based mobile app testing and test automation platform that supports the framework in use today.

Typically, developers and QA teams only work with one specific framework, and once they’re able to use it without a hassle, they’re good to go.

But, developers may want to switch to another test automation framework at some point. This could be because the official support of the current tool has been discontinued, as we saw with Calabash, for example. Or they may want to check out a new, promising framework like Flutter.

With a framework-agnostic platform, your team can experiment with new frameworks without making a significant effort. They can quickly try different tools to see if they work in their favor.

But what if your developers and QA teams rely on the use of unique and custom tools and configurations? In that case, you need an app testing platform that goes beyond support for common and popular frameworks and also support Docker or VM images to run customer-defined test frameworks and existing testing environments.

What Other Benefits Does It Bring to Managers and Their Teams?

Businesses often have multiple teams responsible for different types of mobile testing. For example, a testing team focuses on UI testing with Espresso and XCUITest, and a development team creates unit tests with Robolectric and XCTest.

Or maybe your team has experienced a lot of acquisitions. You might have several mobile applications, developed and tested independently with different frameworks and different tools.

The more services you use, the more complex and problematic your setup becomes. Because of this, most managers want their teams to use a shared tool to eliminate the complexity mentioned above.

This is when a framework agnostic tool comes to the rescue. It enables you to unite all your test teams under one shared tool. No matter what framework they use, today or in the future, everyone can get their work done.

Future-Proof Your Business by Staying Adaptable

More importantly, a platform that supports all native frameworks and even custom environments, helps you future-proof your organization. It lets you adapt workflows according to your evolving technical and testing requirements.

To stay relevant, you need to set up and maintain reliable processes that will allow your organization to adapt quickly in the future. You need a flexible testing service in order to evaluate new opportunities, tools, and workflows to help you innovate.

However, we don’t have to look to the distant future to understand the benefits of such a service.

For example, Apple launches new iOS and Xcode beta versions months before the official release. This way, companies can already develop mobile apps with the upcoming features. And this is where the ability to support custom tools and frameworks comes into play!

While one team develops new functionalities with the beta version, another one can continue working with the latest official version. Existing tools and workflows from both teams will not be impacted, and both can accelerate innovations and deliver business value at paces.

Companies that can release stable apps as soon as a new OS version gets introduced to the public have an advantage over businesses that can not.

Enjoy Full Flexibility with Framework Agnostic Test Services

BitBar is a flexible, framework-agnostic platform for mobile test automation, providing you with all the advantages described in this article. Let your developers and testers use any native mobile test automation framework and create straightforward test execution workflows. If you have specific requirements for the tools or environment in which they run, you can use Docker or VM images to build your ideal setup.

Learn more about the features of our cloud-based mobile-app testing solution and sign up for a trial here.