Test framework architecture FAQ

What is the most popular test framework architecture?
The most used one in my experience is layered architecture. I think it is also a good place to start for a newcomer.

Why three layers?
This is an empirical rule. In most contexts three layers seems to be the just enough layers of abstractions. It is not a hard rule though.

What are the alternatives?
I've seen quite good examples of a 2-layered architecture (here's a good example, here's a short post on that) and a Screenplay pattern (good intro here). Screenplay pattern is elegant and looks quite promising. There're some cases where no-architecture fits as well.

What is the best architectural pattern?
I think there's no "one-size-fits-all" or silver bullet solution. Each time different pattern may fit better and our professionalism is also defined by our ability to find a better solution for a specific context.
That is also one of the reason why I keep Test Automation Architecture series - to collect patterns that I've seen so anybody can find something helpful for their particular case.

What is the difference between n-Layred/n-Tiered (or any other) architecture and POM?
POM is pretty low-level pattern that suggests to hide Selenium-touching code under the Page Object classes. Those Page Object classes provides higher level API that can be used elsewhere.
There's a huge difference between architectural patterns and low-level structural pattern like POM. Architectural patterns suggests how we should structure whole Test Automation Solution. In contrast, POM scope is limited only to several classes.
n-Layered/n-Tiered architectural patterns (as well as others) are not new and not here to replace POM. In contrast, they usually utilize patterns like POM on a lower lever of abstraction.
Some more sources of information:


Why Page Object is a broken concept (original post)?
It is not, actually. I am not a big fan of POM (Page Object Model), I prefer to use more generic Page Wrapper/Adapter instead. The reason I claimed that "POM is a broken concept" is because often we could invest more into system testability and use no-architecture.
I can rephrase it "If you have to create sophisticated test automation solution try to question your product architecture - it may be the case that investing into testability would be a more sustainable solution".


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