In this article, we will compare the best 9 PHP frameworks in 2019 for test automation that eases the job of a tester and ensures faster deployment of your application.
PHP is one of the most popular scripting languages used for server-side web development. It is used by multiple organizations, especially for content management sites like WordPress. If you are thinking about developing a web application using PHP, you will also need one of the best PHP frameworks in 2019 for testing your application. You can perform visual and usability testing manually but for functionality, acceptance and unit testing, cross browser testing, an automated PHP framework will help pace the test cycles drastically. In this article, we will compare the best 9 PHP frameworks in 2019 for test automation that eases the job of a tester and ensures faster deployment of your application.
PHPUnit is considered one of the best PHP frameworks in 2019 for test automation, meant for unit testing of an application developed using PHP language. Just like JUnit, it is an instance of xUnit and works almost in a similar manner. Sebastian Bergmann created the framework with the aim of assisting developers to detect mistakes in their coding.
Apart from a proper understanding and development experience using PHP, you will need
Just like other test automation frameworks meant for unit testing, PHPUnit helps you in developing a code that performs well and is easy to maintain.
The only disadvantage of PHPUnit is that, for testing multiple functions, the developer is required to add cover annotations. By any chance, if you change the name of the method or function without updating the @covers annotation , testing is skipped for that certain method or function.
In the earlier days when test automation frameworks were not so much in use, PHPUnit, being the only player in the field was obviously the best and only choice for automated unit testing in PHP. But after the introduction of Codeception, opinions have changed. Codeception does unit testing in a relatively faster manner and using fewer resources.
Want to run your first automation script for PHPUnit? Here is a step-by-step guide for running an automation script on PHPUnit with Selenium.
Codeception is an automation testing framework having multiple features apart from only Unit testing. The framework is derived from PHPUnit and has the ability to manage Functional, Unit as well as Acceptance testing of a web application. All these 3 are the main suites of Codeception and for additional testing, like API Testing, you can add API suite as well.
You will need all the requirements for installing PHPUnit. Apart from that, you will be required to install a Composer to the root of your project.
There are many reasons which will compel you to try codeception.
The only few disadvantages are
As discussed in the previous section, when it comes to comparing unit testing framework, Codeception is much better than PHPUnit since it offers the option to perform acceptance testing as well as functional testing. However, if you look for acceptance testing only, then Behat is a much preferred option than Codeception.
Wish to get started with Codeception? Here is a guide to help you run your first Selenium script on Codeception.
Laravel task is a browser-based test automation tool for testing PHP based web applications. This tool also helps you to automate tasks that are repetitive. Using this framework, you can either test the applications you developed or any other published website using Google Chrome.
Installation and usage of Laravel Dusk are quite simple when compared to other test automation frameworks.
For an application developed using PHP, testing it using Laravel Dusk is highly advantageous.
The only disadvantage of Laravel is that it cannot be used on other browsers except Chrome. Nowadays when customers demand a website that is cross-browser compatible, this is certainly a drawback.
The most important advantage of Laravel is that, apart from testing, it can also be used to develop web applications following the MVC pattern. However, if you are only looking at the testing perspective, Selenium is obviously the best choice for testing web applications, because of its ability to support multiple languages as well as its platform and browser compatibility.
Here is a complete document to help you perform automation testing with Laravel and Selenium.
Behat is a behavior driven testing tool for applications developed using PHP. The aim of the tool is to aid the nonverbal communication between stakeholders, management, and developers during the software development life cycle. It helps in documenting behavior examples of software when testing is carried out and how it matches the intended behavior.
There are 2 ways of installing Behat
Let’s list down the advantages first.
In spite of all these advantages, there are certain drawbacks as well.
Although behavior driven test scenarios can also be generated using Codeception, however, it does not satisfy all the requirements of software developed using BDD environment. Since Behat is solely dedicated to BDD testing, there is obviously no other replacement for Behat other than PHPspec if you are developing a PHP based application.
Follow our guide for getting started with automation testing using Behat and Selenium.
BDD is a development technique that allows a project to commence at specification and story level. PHPSpec is a popular BDD tool which helps you to write clean code using PHP. The development works by first describing how the object behaves. Once that is approved by the stakeholders, the next phase is to start coding.
PHPSpec can be installed via 2 methods
Before starting the installation, make sure you have at least PHP 5.6 installed in your system.
Among the many advantages of PHPSpec, the ones that I found most useful are
Apart from the advantages, there are certain disadvantages as well.
PHPSpec is mostly meant for designing classes. Without any need to get much involved in the infrastructure, you can design an isolated domain model. However, if you are looking for a tool that validates whether your application satisfies the requirement of the stakeholders, Behat is the first choice for testers and developers. Behat’s code is much easier to understand than PHPSpec, especially for people who are coming from a nontechnical background.
Atoum is an automated framework meant for unit testing of an application that is developed using PHP language. Although it behaves a bit like PHPUnit, it is much more modern, simple and a standalone framework. Unlike PHPUnit, the test cases written using Atoum are easily readable and much simplified. Also, the asserters of Atoum enables you to write less code and test more functionalities.
You can get the latest version of Atoum from their officialwebsite. There are several ways to install Atoum.
There are many advantages of Atoum which are not found in other PHP based unit testing frameworks.
When it comes to disadvantages, I haven’t found any which cannot be resolved or creates a roadblock.
The answer to this question is definitely yes. It is much better and flexible than PHPUnit or Codeception. Although it cannot perform functional or acceptance testing like Codeception, still when it comes to only executing unit test cases, Flexibility, multiple platform support and use of smart assertions make Atoum the best unit testing framework.
Just like Behat or PHPSpec, Kahlan is another behavior driven test framework. What makes it different is that, it takes BDD testing on PHP a step ahead by use of
You will need a stable and latest version of PHP (at least version 5.5) installed in your system. After that, Kahlan can be installed in 2 ways
Among the many advantages of Kahlan, the ones that I found useful are
The only disadvantage is that, Kahlan does not have the ability of Storytelling or developing scenario based BDD.
Kahlan is no doubt a pretty useful BDD tool, but when we compare it with Behat, Behat is much more. A person who is not from a technical background, maybe a stakeholder or a business analyst can easily understand what a code written in Behat means. But for Kahlan, one needs to have basic understanding of PHP. If the project is in Agile, then also, Behat is a better choice.
Peridot is a highly reliable, extensible PHP framework that supports testing of an application developed under behavior driven environment. The framework is lightweight and faster than PHPSpec or other frameworks. Also, the fact that it is event-driven makes it popular since developing plugins are much easier when you are using Peridot.
For installation, you will need the latest version of PHP installed in your system. After that, Peridot can be installed by 3 procedures
Peridot has several advantages.
I did not find any such disadvantages while using Peridot. The only drawback is that it is not suitable to be used in an Agile application since its features are not vast like Behat.
Among the 3 BDD frameworks we discussed here, Behat is obviously the best choice. As mentioned earlier, the features of Behat helps the team during deployment as well as during acceptance testing. Although Peridot is faster and easier to understand, lack of supporting the application in deployment stages is kind of a drawback.
Selenium is the best automation framework for automated cross browser testing of a web application. For an application developed using PHP, you can use PHP bindings for developer browser-based automation test cases. The framework is flexible and the latest version of Selenium web driver runs flawlessly across all the major browsers.
Selenium does not have any dependencies. However, if you want to use it with PHP, you will need a stable latest version of PHP installed in your system. You will also need a composer for providing the required dependencies.
There are countless advantages of using Selenium to test a PHP framework.
There are certain disadvantages as well.
LambdaTest went live with an on-cloud Selenium Grid to make automation testing easier for the tester community.
If you are only thinking about testing a PHP based web application on the browser, Laravel Dusk is much more useful. However, if you are thinking about the bigger picture and want an open source automation framework that can perform cross-browser testing of a web application, there is no better choice than Selenium. Plus doing it on-cloud with LambdaTest you can hasten your test cycles as much as you want.
The frameworks mentioned above are not only for testers but for developers as well. Since, in the current age of DevOps and Agile, the traditional rule no longer prevails that testers will only do testing and developers will only do development. An exceptional tester or developer must have partial knowledge of the other domain as well. If you are a developer, the industry won’t expect you to be an expert in testing but you should have some basic knowledge of writing unit test cases to your code or understanding what the tester is explaining. The 9 tools mentioned above will help you a lot to progress if you are a PHP developer or tester. Even if you are a fresher, learning the popular unit testing or BDD tools among the ones listed above will also propel your career in the industry.
Originally published by arnabroychowdhury at https://dev.to/arnabroychowdhury/best-9-php-frameworks-in-2019-for-test-automation-5cia
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