java testing frameworks

11 Useful Java Testing Frameworks for Every Phase of Development

This is a guest article by Hardik Shah, Tech Consultant at Simform.

Software testing is among the most critical phases of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). It helps ensure high quality and robust software performance. With so many test cases to run in each cycle, manual tests don’t do the trick anymore. Think testing frameworks -- a much better way to get the job done.

As per the PYPL Index, Java is the second most popular programming language in the world. Furthermore, there are 45 billion active Java Virtual Machines in the world. These statistics are good enough to show Java’s popularity among the developer community. And since Java testing frameworks have gained a good deal of popularity lately, this article will explore the top ones.

Let’s start by answering the question — what are Java testing frameworks? It’s a pre-defined code used by Java developers to craft customized applications. It allows testers to control the capabilities of the application and set a standard for quality and robustness. Furthermore, it also allows developers to focus on the core business logic without compromising the quality. In this article, we will discuss the 11 useful Java testing frameworks in detail.

Benefits of Java Testing Frameworks

Before getting into the details of top Java testing frameworks for 2022, let us understand the benefits that they bring to the table.

Cost-Effective. Java testing frameworks are budget-friendly. There is an impressive reduction in the maintenance and development cost with the introduction of automation.

Efficient Time Management. Web app development is a complex task, and the Java testing framework provides predefined code. So, it saves your precious time.

Security. Security is among the biggest concerns for developers across the globe, and with Java testing frameworks, you can secure your apps and resolve any safety issues quickly.

Community Support. Java testing frameworks have a vast and knowledgeable community. So, you can query and get resolution as quickly as possible.

Understanding the basics of Java testing frameworks and their benefits. Now, let’s dive deeper into the top frameworks and analyze their features, pros, cons, etc.

1. Serenity

Previously known as Thucydides, Serenity is one of the most popular Java testing frameworks in the recent past. The open-source framework allows you to write cleaner, structured, and more manageable test cases for acceptance criteria. In addition, it makes development reliable and effective.

What to expect from Serenity:
  • Helps you to write cleaner and structured code
  • Allows you to create descriptive reports
  • Business-readable format for every test report
  • Highly suitability for behavior-driven testing
  • Allows you to create detailed reports
  • Easy integration with other testing frameworks
  • Uses Domain-Specific Language (DSL)
  • Requires constant communication
  • Features files take a long time to create
  • Writing automation code is tricky
Cost: Available free of cost

  • A great framework for learning and understanding BDD concepts
  • Allows you to write automation-based acceptance tests
  • A perfect tool for creating detailed reports
Installation Tips:

Step 1: Install Java

Step 2: Configure Environment Variables

Step 3: Install IDE

Step 4: Install Gradle

Step 5: Configure Environment Variables

Step 6: Add Serenity BDD Plugin

Watch Serenity demo here.

2. Selenium

When you talk about automation testing, Selenium is the first name that comes to everyone’s mind. The testing framework has made a name for itself in web browser testing. The frameworks work well on various operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, etc.

What to expect from Selenium:
  • Free and open-source testing framework
  • Employs automation testing for web apps
  • Platform independent Java testing framework
  • Works on all popular operating systems
  • Easy to use, install and understand
  • Bound to get frequent updates
  • Better integration and usability
  • Absence of built-in reporting facility
  • Only supports web application testing
  • Time-consuming tool for test case creation
Cost: Available free of cost

  • A robust framework for testing web applications
  • Allows you to run multiple test cases simultaneously
  • Easy integration with other testing frameworks
Installation Steps:

Step 1: Install Java SDK

Step 2: Install Eclipse IDE

Step 3: Download Selenium Java Client Driver

Step 4: Configure Eclipse IDE with WebDriver

Watch Selenium demo here.

3. JBehave

JBehave is currently one of the most talked-about Java testing frameworks. It supports Behavior-Driven Testing (BDD) and is used along with the Selenium WebDriver for Java Testing. The framework allows beginners to get familiar with BDD concepts very quickly.

What to expect from JBehave:
  • Supports behavior-driven testing
  • Has a very powerful reporting mechanism
  • Uses a very simple language
  • Improves transparency between teams
  • Efficient and very easy to use
  • Impressive documentation for users
  • Out-of-the-box support for JUnit
  • Requires a dedicated team
  • Supports stories only, not features
  • Calls for clear communication
Cost: Contact provider for exact quotation.

  • Helps implementing automated acceptance testing effectively
  • Allows easy implementation of BDD concepts
  • Semiformal language permits easier understandability
Installation Tips:

Step 1: Install Java SDK

Step 2: Install Eclipse IDE

Step 3: In Eclipse, go to Help>Install New Software and Click the Add button

Step 4: In the Add Repository dialog, enter:

Name: JBehave

Location: JBehave –

Step 5: Under the Available Software dialog, click on the JBehave option

Watch JBehave demo here.

4. JUnit

JUnit is an open-source Java testing framework used by software testers across the globe for unit testing. It allows developers to speed up the development process and improve code quality in the Java programming language. Moreover, it helps in implementing repeated test cases.

What to expect from JUnit:
  • Allows you to conduct unit testing with high-efficiency
  • Offers test runners to execute test cases
  • Provides annotations to simplify test case writing procedure
  • Offers assertions for testing expected results
  • Enhances productivity and stability of code
  • Highly suitability for test-driven development
  • Allows retesting of all available scenarios
  • Not suitable for testing GUI codes
  • Not suitable for dependency testing
  • Group testing facility is not available
  • Used for unit testing of Java-based applications
  • Allows you to focus on Test-Driven Development (TDD)
  • Works on assertion mechanism to find errors
Installation Tips:

Step 1: Install Java SDK

Step 2: Install Eclipse

Step 3: Download JUnit

Step 4: Configure Environment in JUnit

Step 5: Install JUnit .jar File in Eclipse

Step 6: Verify the Path of .jar File

Step 7: Verify JUnit Setup

Watch JUnit demo here.

5. Selenide

Selenide is a widely used open-source Java testing framework powered by Selenium WebDriver that focuses on writing precise, communicative, and stable UI test cases. In addition, the framework allows you to expand the WebDriver and JUnit capabilities with ease.

What to expect from Selenide:
  • Easy to use, install, and configure
  • Suitable for beginners and experienced testers
  • Concise, fluent API for tests
  • Ajax support for stable tests
  • Test case writing procedure is short
  • Support app tests developed using AngularJS
  • Allows you to write stable UI test cases
  • Customization can be cumbersome
Cost: Contact provider for exact quotation

  • Used for user interface testing of web applications
  • Eliminates the issues of slow JS loading
  • AJAX support for ensuring test case stability
Installation Tips:

Step 1: Install Java SDK

Step 2: Install Eclipse

Step 3: Download and Install Maven

Step 4: Install Selenide.jar file in Eclipse

Step 5: Manage Selenide Dependencies in Maven

Step 6: Start Writing Test Cases

Watch Selenide demo here.

6. Gauge

Gauge is an open-source and free automation testing framework based on Java that focuses on acceptance testing in a low code environment. When you want to test a mobile website, Gauge is the first name that comes to mind in the software testing community around the world.

What to expect from Gauge:
  • An easy-to-use, flexible syntax
  • Tests created using a business-like language
  • Tons of plugins available for use
  • Support for external data sources
  • Cross-platform and open-source testing framework
  • Supports multiple programming languages
  • Provides supports for parallel testing
  • Hard to find people experienced with this framework
  • Safety and security is still a huge concern
Cost: available for free

  • Highly suitability for cross-browser testing
  • Excellent choice for agile and DevOps implementation
  • Allows nontechnical users to write test cases
Installation Tips:

Step 1: Install JDK in Your Computer

Step 2: Configure Environment Variables

Step 3: Open Command Prompt and Install Chocolatey and Gauge

Step 4: Download Apache Maven

Step 5: Add Maven to Environment Variables

Step 6: Verify Maven and Gauge Installation

Step 7: Install IntelliJ IDEA and Search for Gauge Plugin

Step 8: Now, Install the Plugin and You’re Good to Go

Watch Gauge demo here.

7. JWebUnit

JWebUnit is one of the JUnit extensions and a Java-based testing framework that is preferred for integration, regression, and functional testing. It works with components like HtmlUnit and Selenium to test the accuracy of the app. In addition, the tool follows all test automation best practices.

What to expect from JWebUnit:
  • Allows testing of the accuracy of any web application
  • A very simple and easy-to-adopt test interface
  • Advance level Java interface for web app navigation
  • Counts navigation through links for entrance and exit points
  • Highly suitable for screen navigation testing
  • Test authenticity of an application
  • Ready-to-use assertions for rapid testing
  • Chinese characters encoding can be an issue
  • Very complicated JS utilized for testing
  • Can’t run on a headless server
Cost: Contact provider for exact quotation

  • Provides an app programming interface
  • Appropriate for integration, regression, and functional testing
  • Quickly test the correctness of web applications
Installation Tips:

Step 1: Install Java

Step 2: Download and Install Maven

Step 3: Download the JWebUnit Plugin

Step 4: Manage the Plugin Dependency in Maven

Step 5: Install Eclipse

Step 6: Integrate Maven Dependency in Eclipse

Step 7: Start Writing Test Cases

Watch JWebUnit demo here.

8. HttpUnit

HttpUnit is an open-source Java testing framework used for website testing without any web browser. As the name suggests, the framework is an ideal choice for unit testing. It is written in Java and permits test code to return pages as XML DOM, text, or containers.

What to expect from HttpUnit:
  • Allows implementation of automation scripts for web applications
  • Highly suitable for functional and acceptance testing
  • Supports for various other testing frameworks
  • Support for proxy server
  • A breeze for a newbie to use and understand
  • Can be combined with JUnit for load testing
  • Faster than most automation testing tools
  • Not much support for major browsers
  • A complex test creation can be time-consuming
  • May restrict apps related to a specific browser
Cost: Contact provider for exact quotation.

  • Imitates browser behavior to provide accurate website performance
  • Highly suitable for acceptance and functional testing
  • Test any website without using browsers
Installation Tips:

Step 1: Install Java

Step 2: Install Eclipse IDE

Step 3: Download and Install Latest Release of HttpUnit

Step 4: Install JUnit .jar file in Eclipse

Step 5: Integrate HttpUnit with Eclipse and JUnit

Step 6: Start Writing Test Cases

Watch HttpUnit demo here.

9. Spock

Spock is Groovy's most innovative automation testing framework that allows QA teams to perform data-driven testing. In addition, all the languages that JVM supports are compatible with Spock. As a result, Spock UI is among the best Java-based testing frameworks.

What to expect from Spock:
  • An excellent framework for data-driven testing
  • Highly expressive specification language
  • Compatible with most IDEs and build tools
  • A cinch to adapt
  • Incredible compatibility languages supported by JVM
  • The Spock UI is one of the best in the business
  • Allows you to build enterprise apps in Java
  • A basic idea of Groovy is required
  • The syntax can be weird for people using JUnit
  • Need to have an idea of Spock’s mocking
Cost: Contact provider for exact quotation

  • Best Java framework for Behavior-Driven Testing (BDD)
  • Highly suitable for API testing
  • It can be used for data-driven testing
Installation Tips:

Step 1: Install Java

Step 2: Install Eclipse IDE

Step 3: Download and Install Maven

Step 4: Install Groovy

Step 5: Install Latest Version of Spock

Step 6: Manage All Dependencies in Maven

Step 7: Integrate Maven in Eclipse

Step 8: Start Creating Test Cases

Watch Spock demo here.

10. TestNG

TestNG is a testing framework for Java inspired by JUnit and NUnit. That said, the framework with some extraordinary annotations and superior functionalities will surely help the QA team to improve the software testing process.

What to expect from TestNG:
  • Provides support for parallel testing
  • Inspired by JUnit and NUnit
  • Allows you to extract HTML reports at the end
  • Supports log generation mechanism
  • You can set the priority of your test cases
  • A group testing facility is also provided
  • Next Generation testing framework
  • Setup and installation can be time-consuming
  • Not recommended if you don’t have a priority list for test cases
  • Finding experienced people can be difficult
Cost: Contact provider for exact quotation

  • Covers functional, integration, unit testing, and end-to-end testing
  • Great for checking dependencies in the application
  • Perfect for dealing with a mountain of test cases
Installation Tips:

Step 1: Install Java

Step 2: Install Eclipse IDE

Step 3: Search for TestNG in Eclipse and Install the Plugin

Step 4: Select the Packages You Want to Install

Step 5: Wait for Installation to get Completed

Step 6: Start Creating Test Cases

Watch TestNG demo here.

11. Geb

Geb is a testing framework built on Groovy and the top of Selenium WebDriver for browser testing. Whether it’s automated testing or cross-browser testing, Geb can be an ideal candidate. The framework provides high-quality traits for screen scraping, web testing, and more.

What to expect from Geb:
  • Provides supports for web testing and screen scraping
  • Has multiple options for jQuery scripts
  • Leverages the power of Groovy programming language
  • Uses the benefits of Selenium WebDriver
  • Allows you to perform cross-browser testing with utmost ease
  • Test cases are readable and accurate
  • Supports real-time and real-environment testing
  • Not suitable for small and medium-size projects
  • Only supports test cases written in Groovy
  • Expensive for single page web apps
Cost: Contact provider for exact quotation.

  • Well suited for cross-browser automation testing
  • Integrates well with Cucumber, TestNG, JUnit, and Spock
  • Concise, clear, and understandable test specifications
Installation Tips:

Step 1: Install Java

Step 2: Install Eclipse

Step 3: Download and Install Maven

Step 3: Install Geb-core.jar

Step 4: Manage its Dependencies in Maven

Step 5: Integrate Maven in Eclipse

Step 6: Start Creating Test Cases

Watch Geb demo here.

Conclusion: Which is the Best for You?

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the Java test framework for your project. Each framework is unique and comes with a specific set of pros and cons, as mentioned above. It all comes down to your project requirements and the type of testing you want to conduct for your software.

Here, we have presented the 11 predominant Java testing frameworks for 2022 and beyond with their features, pros, cons, price, suitability, and prerequisites. Based on these parameters and your project requirements, you can choose the one which fits your needs.

What are your thoughts on these frameworks? Which is the one you would prefer? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

hardik shahHardik Shah is a Tech Consultant at Simform, a leading web app development company. He heads large scale mobility programs that cover platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices. Connect with him to discuss the best practices of software methodologies @hsshah_.

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