Using the STAF/STAX Test Automation Framework

The Software Testing Automation Framework (STAF) is an open source, multi-platform, multi-language framework designed around the idea of reusable components, called services. STAX is an execution engine which can help you thoroughly automate the distribution, execution, and results analysis of your testcases. In this article, Fabio Negrello provides an introduction to the STAF/STAX test automation framework and explains how you can use it to build a framework for the automation of regression testing and continuous integration.

STAX builds on top of three existing technologies, STAF, XML, and Python, to place great automation power in the hands of testers. STAX also provides a powerful monitoring application which allows you to interact with and monitor the progress of your jobs. Some of the main features of STAX are: support for parallel execution, user-defined granularity of execution control, support for nested testcases, the ability to control the length of execution time, the ability to import modules at run-time, support for existing Python and Java modules and packages, and the ability to extend both the STAX language as well as the STAX monitoring application. Using these capabilities, you can build sophisticated scripts to automate your entire test environment, while ensuring maximum efficiency and control.

The article provides a step by step process on how to use STAF/STAX to automate the execution of tests, including in a continuous integration context. Its conclusion is that “One significant advantage of using STAF/STAX to build both the test cases and the infrastructure for continuous integration is the flexibility to grow the test automation system as needed, by creating new functions and scripts that you can integrate into it. When a project adopts agile development with the capability to automate all tests with STAF/STAX and integrate them in a continuous integration system, you can test new functions or fixes in a timely fashion.”

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