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Best Automation Frameworks for Java

Automated Java testing frameworks help automate the test process. Developers can use these tools and libraries to write and run tests for their code and analyse the results.

Java testing frameworks define the basic structure of the tests and the strategy for the entire testing cycle. Not only does it serve as a framework for testing the software, but it also provides a blueprint for how the whole process will be carried out. Java testing frameworks can include guidelines regarding test data, scripting, test results, and repositories.

Best Automation Frameworks for Java


Selenium is an open-source framework used for web application testing across numerous browsers, browser versions, and operating systems.

It provides support for multiple programming languages, including Java. Selenium allows you to automate web interactions, such as form submissions and page navigation, and is highly extensible with various third-party libraries and tools.

Using Selenium, testers can expedite release cycles by automating repetitive test cases. It's easy to integrate Selenium with CI/CD pipeline that speeds up and streamlines software deployments. Selenium provides a suite of tools for web browser automation, including Selenium IDE, Selenium WebDriver, and Selenium Grid for creating efficient automation tests.


  • Cloud-based Selenium automation grid lets you perform Selenium testing at scale. It helps reduce the investment required to create an in-house Selenium Grid infrastructure.
  • Selenium can seamlessly integrate with popular test automation frameworks like JUnit, TestNG, and more.
  • Supports parallel test execution, increasing efficiency and reducing test execution time.
  • Selenium Integrated Development Environment gives a record and playback trait for authoring tests and creating Selenium scripts for future reference.


  • Absence of built-in reporting facility.
  • Only supports web application testing.
  • Time-consuming tool for test case creation.


JUnit is one of the best Java testing frameworks. It plays a vital role in test-driven development. It is a part of the collective unit test framework called xUnit. It allows developers to test small units of code to ensure they work correctly before integrating them into a larger system. It can also be used for automated integration and end-to-end testing when combined with other tools or libraries, such as Selenium.


  • JUnit offers test runners to execute tests.
  • Offers assertions to test expected outcomes.
  • With the latest version of JUnit 5, exceptions are identified quickly. You can even execute test cases written in the old version of JUnit.


  • The framework is unable to execute dependency tests


It is amongst the most popular and powerful Java testing frameworks used for Integration, Functional, and Unit testing. It was created by Cedric Beust in 2004 and has now been updated to version 7. It is a tough competitor of frameworks like the JUnit framework. TestNG is similar to JUnit, yet it is configured with extraordinary annotations and superior functionalities (not supported by Junit).

The NG in TestNG denotes the 'next generation.' TestNG can cover almost every type of software testing, counting end-to-end, unit, integration, and functional testing. Both TestNG and JUnit are Java-based frameworks that allow you to write tests and scrutinize end results. If testing gets succeeded, you will see a green bar, otherwise, a red bar.


  • Easy to understand annotations
  • Easy to group test cases
  • Parallel testing is possible
  • Supports parameterized and dependency tests


  • Setup of TestNG is time-consuming.
  • If your project does not require test case prioritization that case TestNG is of no use.


Mockito is a Java mocking framework that is used to create mock objects for testing. Mocking is a common technique in unit testing, as it simulates the behavior of dependencies to isolate the test to a specific unit. Mock objects are simulated objects that can be used to replace real objects in our tests. This allows us to test our code in isolation without having to rely on external dependencies.


  • Better void method handling compared to other frameworks like EasyMock
  • Annotation report for mock generation
  • Safe refactoring as mock artifacts are formed during runtime.


  • Does not support final and static methods


Cucumber is a behavior-driven development (BDD) testing framework for automated tests. BDD testing framework allows you to create test cases in plain English. Cucumber uses Gherkin, an ordinary language parser that permits writing plain-text functional scripts for the sake of easy understanding.

To use Cucumber for automation testing in Java, we will need to install the following dependencies:

  • Cucumber for Java: This library provides the core Cucumber functionality for Java.
  • Gherkin: This library provides support for the Gherkin language, which is used to write Cucumber tests.
  • A test runner: Cucumber can be used with a variety of test runners, such as JUnit and TestNG.

The framework is also popular for its specification capability. It merges the documentation and specifications into a single report and keeps them updated automatically


  • Provides an intuitive way to describe requirements in natural language
  • Code reusability for faster development time
  • User-friendly interface to reduce the technical entry barrier


  • Complexity arising from the combination with Gherkin
  • The given-when-then format can cause unnecessary elaborations

Robot Framework

The Robot Framework is counted among the best test automation frameworks that are open-source and used for robotic process automation and test automation. Released first in 2008, Robot framework's community and customer base have grown significantly. The framework is written in Python and can be used with other tools to create a powerful test automation solution.


  • The Robot framework supports libraries written in Python or Java. Both of these languages are extremely popular in the community.
  • The browser testing framework uses English words or human-readable keywords that make the test writing process easy.
  • The framework follows a clear hierarchy of test suites and nested tests. Data is defined in files that contain test suites, and a directory containing files creates a nested test suite.
  • The reports in the Robot framework are detailed and provide logs to analyze what went wrong.


  • Limited support for non-UI testing.Steep learning curve.
  • Lack of advanced features.
  • Lack of community support.


One of the best frameworks for automation testing is Appium. It is open-source and can be used with favourite tools and frameworks. It is an extremely popular framework that can be used to test native, hybrid, and mobile web applications. The official page of Appium is embellished with the following philosophy, Appium is built on the idea that testing native apps shouldn't require including an SDK or recompiling your app.


  • Appium's aim, as they quote, is to test any mobile application in any programming language and any test framework with full access to the back-end APIs.
  • Appium is a cross-platform automation framework which means the same API can be used to run tests on multiple platforms/operating systems. Hence, it enhances code reusability.
  • A tester must not recompile the mobile application every time they run the automation tests.


Serenity or Serenity BDD is an open-source library used for writing regression tests and acceptance tests. Serenity's USP is its reports as they are very detailed and extremely informative. Serenity BDD reports also tell what requirements have been satisfied with the written automation tests in addition to what tests have passed or failed. Serenity is Java-based but also has a JS version called SerenityJS for front-end developers, which makes it among the best test automation frameworks.


  • As I mentioned in the introduction, Serenity has always been known for its in-depth reports.
  • Serenity leverages existing frameworks' capabilities to make testing easier than ever. It comes with built-in support for web testing in Selenium.
  • RestAssured support for REST API testing and Screenplay pattern supports for writing maintainable tests.
  • Serenity comes with support for parallel testing.
  • Serenity comes with a lot of in-built integrations.


  • It can be complex to learn and use, especially for beginners.
  • It can be difficult to integrate with other test frameworks and tools.
  • It can be slow to run, especially on large projects.
  • It can be difficult to debug, especially if tests fail.


Citrus stands out as an automation framework, among the best automation testing frameworks discussed far. While other tools excel in UI, integration or end to end testing they often fall short when it comes to testing APIs or other communication channels. In any project communication is crucial through protocols like HTTP, REST or JMS and the Citrus automation framework proves to be helpful in this aspect. The great thing, about Citrus is its versatility as it can seamlessly integrate with messaging protocols and data formats.


  • Integration tests that can be repeated.
  • Citrus offers the capability to perform integration tests that can be repeated as part of the projects build process.
  • Efficient connectivity, with message protocols excels in establishing connections with various messaging protocols such, as HTTP, JMS, TCP/IP, REST, SOAP, XML, JSON and more.
  • The tester can write customized function and test actions in a citrus automation framework to support more protocols


  • Citrus includes many features and dependencies that you might not need for your project.
  • Citrus loads a large number of libraries, which can be problematic if you don't need all of the features it provides.
  • It can be difficult to incorporate Citrus for integration testing.
  • It can be difficult to build samples with Citrus.

Golen framework

The best way to introduce the Galen framework is to quote its landing page's first line, "Automated testing of look and feel of your responsive website." This sentence offers three USPs of the Galen framework - it uses automated testing to work, look and feel, which means layout and UI, responsive website, which means that it is perfect for responsive websites. The Galen framework is open-source, has its special language, and is based on Selenium.


  • The Galen, one of the best test automation frameworks available today can precisely test the location of various elements on the web page's layout.
  • This automation framework is an expert in performing responsive testing of the designed websites.
  • The framework uses the Galen Specs language, a human-readable, easy-to-write, and easy-to-analyze language.
  • The framework is Selenium Grid compatible, and therefore, you can run your tests on the cloud with LambdaTest and leverage both the cloud's and Selenium's powerful capabilities.
  • If the tester is using JavaScript tests, they can create their custom complex tests for better testing. Galen also provides additional features for JavaScript tests.


Carina automation framework is one of the Java-based frameworks that can be used for mobile app testing (native, web, and hybrid), web app testing, API testing, and database testing. Carina uses the page object pattern to define the tests and run them on any platform with multiple threads. Carina is open-source and is free forever.


  • Carina supports all the platforms for testing and is, therefore, an efficient method for app/web automation testing.
  • Carina states that up to 80% of its testing code can be reused between iOS and Android applications.
  • Carina leverages the popular frameworks to reduce the dependency on a single technology for automation testing. These stacks include Selenium, Appium, and TestNG.
  • It is not a surprise that Carina is a cross-platform automation framework because it writes tests in Java, which is portable.
  • The browser testing framework supports many databases such as SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL.


  • Test cases are difficult to read.
  • Changes in the UI can break multiple tests.
  • Selectors are duplicated inside and across tests, making reuse impossible.
  • Creating scenarios and maintaining files is time-consuming.
  • Data validation is time-consuming when testing large amounts of data.


All the tools listed above do not exhibit the same working principle. Some dominate in API testing, while some lookout for layout anomalies. Some are business language based while some use hardcore programming. Some are end-to-end, while some are acceptance and the variety is intense.

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