While planning for automation testing for any project, a tough question for Testing automation engineers are – “Which automation scripting techniques or framework should be chosen?”
Choosing right framework/scripting technique helps in maintaining the costs and maintaining good ROI. Costs associated with test scripting are due to the development effort and the maintenance efforts. The approach of scripting used during test automation has effect on the costs

Various framework/scripting techniques are generally used:
1. Linear (simple record and playback)
2. Structured (uses control structures – typically ‘if-else’, ‘switch’, ‘for’, ‘while’ conditions/ statements)
3. Hybrid
4. Data driven (data is separated and stored in external excel sheets)
5. Keyword driven


  • In Easy techniques like record and playback, there is low development cost but high maintenance cost.
  • In Advanced techniques like keyword driven testing, there is high development cost but low maintenance cost.

So Test managers/test Architects should be wise in choosing the right automation framework. Test managers need to identify the following for each scripting technique / framework:

  • Is the approach structured?
  • How much programming/development is required? As scripting approach changes from liner to keyword driven scripts, the development costs are increases.
  • What kind of programming skills needed? Like – In linear less proficiency is required in programming, but in keyword driven more proficiency is required in programming.
  • How much planning and management efforts required for the automation project? Planning required managing the automation project increases as we move from linear to Keyword framework.
  • How much Maintenance is required? Maintenance cost of automation project decreases as we move from linear to Keyword framework.

1. Software Test Automation: Effective use of test execution tools by Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster

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