Data-Driven and Keyword-Driven Framework: Differences, Challenges, and Benefits

Data-Driven and Keyword-Driven Framework

In this blog, we have discussed the Data-driven framework and keyword-driven framework, and it is kind of a short but detailed guide about both frameworks. 

We have discussed the difference between data-driven and keyword-driven frameworks for selenium; we then discussed in detail both frameworks and which one is the best for you.

So grab a notebook and pen, jot down the essential points, and I will meet.

Data-Driven Vs. Keyword-Driven Framework For Selenium? 

Data-Driven frameworkkeyword-driven framework 
Test data are separated from test scripts and stored in an external resource such as a text file, excel spreadsheet, CSV file, or database table in data-driven frameworks.

These frameworks enable the execution of the same test script with multiple data sets.

To create a test automation system using a data-driven framework, you’ll need a team of programming experts who can write test scripts in a programming language.

Non-programming product experts don’t have many opportunities to contribute to developing the product’s test automation system. 
On the other hand, the actual product is required to develop test scripts using data-driven frameworks.

You only need to plan for what test data and test scripts are required with data-driven frameworks.

On the other hand, a data-driven test automation system only has abstraction between test data and test scripts.
The test logic in keyword-driven frameworks is divided into keywords and functions. The test scripts are defined by a series of keywords, which are then defined as functions to implement the desired behavior.
Because an external table is typically used to maintain the mapping of keywords and functions, this framework is also referred to as the Table Driven Framework.

Though both frameworks require programming expertise on the team, keyword-driven frameworks can also leverage non-programming expertise on the team, such as manual testers who lack programming expertise but are familiar with the product.
Allows everyone on the team to contribute to developing the product’s test automation system. On the other hand, data-driven frameworks do not allow for such flexibility.
When product development is incomplete, it is easier to develop test scripts using the keyword-driven framework; only keyword implementation depends on the actual Product development.
Keyword-driven frameworks necessitate more extensive planning than data-driven frameworks. Keyword-driven frameworks necessitate planning for keywords and their implementations and test data and test scripts.
A well-planned, keyword-driven test automation system is easier to maintain because of the well-defined layers of abstraction between test data, test scripts, keywords, and their implementation.

What is a Data-Driven Framework?

DDT or Data-Driven Testing is a software testing process that uses conditions such as verified inputs to test computer software. Various methods are used to test software, and each methodology differs from the others to maintain accuracy. 

DDT focuses on a data set in databases for an automated framework where Testing is performed. Essentially, this framework resolves extensive and time-consuming process issues associated with conducting separate tests.

DDT is analogous to searching for a specific student detail in a massive dataset. In that, we only need to enter the student ID. Then, we can get all of the information about that student.

Similarly, when running this test in a large dataset, we only need to enter the verified details to get the correct execution.

Data-Driven Testing uses data in various formats, including Comma Separated Values (CSV) files, Excel Sheets, Database Tables, Script Arrays, and Table Variables.

Need For Data-Driven Framework For Test Automation

Data-Driven Testing is vital as testers often have multiple data sets for a single test, and creating individual tests for each data set takes time. 

Data-driven Testing allows data to be kept separate from test scripts. The same test scripts can be executed for different combinations of input test data, resulting in efficient test results generation.

They lower the cost of creating new tests and updating them as your business rules change. This is accomplished by creating parameters for various scenarios using data sets that the same code can run.

They aid in determining which data is most important for the tested behavior. Breaking first-class scenario data down into parameters makes what is most important to the test clear. 

The data-driven framework makes it easier for developers to remember how something works when they need to change it.

Benefits of a Data-Driven Framework for Test Automation

  • DDT saves individual data from test scripts. Similar test scripts can be used for different sets of input test data to generate results automatically.
  • It provides a detailed scenario for the test scripts.
  • DDT keeps all records very efficiently and quickly accessible.
  • It reduces the likelihood of an error occurring of error.
  • The total number of test scripts required is significantly reduced because the same test scripts can be executed with multiple test data sets.
  • Because test data is stored externally, performing positive and negative Testing with the same test scripts is simplified by simply updating the test data.
  • Data-driven test automation systems are easier to maintain than non-data-driven test automation systems, which are tightly coupled and cannot be updated independently.
  • DDT enhances clarity by allowing for the logical separation of test cases or test scripts from the test data. In other words, they don’t have to repeatedly rewrite their test cases for different sets of test values.

Challenges with Data-Driven Framework for Test Automation

  • To write test scripts, testers must have strong programming skills.
  • Test automation systems must be well-planned regarding test scripts, data, and interactions.
  • Getting started with a data-driven framework takes longer than non-data-driven frameworks, where test scripts can be created using a record and playback method.
  • Improving the test scripts and their associated functionalities takes time.
  • It may act as a constraint for technically skilled testers. This occurs when the keywords prevent the testers from using their technical knowledge and years of experience while doing the testing.
  • Increased documentation: Because DDT approaches Testing in a modular fashion, there will be an increasing need to have everything documented to make it easier for all team members/new hires to understand the structure/workflow. Such documentation would revolve around script management, infrastructure, and the results obtained at various levels of Testing, among other things.
  • Even though DDT keeps separate test scripts and tests data documents, the test code used to read this data is complicated. First, the programmer must remember that the test module must test every data row in the data set before terminating the job. This is not the case with automation tools.
  • Debugging errors may be problematic for a tester, even in a DDT environment, due to a lack of experience with a programming language. They would typically be unable to detect logical errors while a script runs and throws an exception. Sometimes it is necessary to learn a new language from scratch thoroughly! However, automated testing tools do not necessitate extensive programming knowledge. Although, with test automation tools like TestGrid, your job becomes easier than dealing with traditional language.

How to Create a Data-Driven Automation Framework?

  • Sort the Test Case
  • Create test steps for each test case.
  • Create a test script
  • Create an excel/CSV file to input test data
  • Modify the script for different Input Test Data.

What is a Keyword-Driven Framework?

The keyword-driven framework is a functional automation Testing framework that is also known as table-driven Testing or action word-based testing.

The keyword-driven framework works by dividing the test case into four distinct parts. The first is a test step, the second is a test step object, the third is a test object action, and the fourth is data for a test object.

The Keyword-driven testing framework is an extension of the Data-driven Testing Framework. It not only separates the test data from the scripts but also stores a specific set of code (which is basically called library functions) belonging to the test script in an external data file.

The framework is named after this set of codes known as Keywords. Keywords are self-guiding in terms of what actions should be taken on the application.

Because we use the keywords and test data in a tabular format, hence it is also known as the Table Driven Framework.

Test cases can be easier to understand, automate, and maintain if they use keywords to define test steps.

Need for Keyword-Driven Framework For Test Automation

Keyword Driven Testing is a scripting technology that includes keywords related to the testing program. These keywords represent the number of steps required to complete a specific move. 

Keyword-driven Testing in Selenium evaluation includes the high and low-level keywords that characterize the behavior of a test case and keyword arguments. Testing is sometimes referred to as table-driven or action word-based testing.

In software engineering, keyword-driven Testing is used for the following reasons:

  • The standard library handles the common components.
  • Tests could be written more abstractly using this method.
  • A high degree of usability.
  • The script’s details are hidden from the users.
  • Users are not required to use scripting languages.
  • Instead, the test is short, maintainable, and adaptable.

Benefits of Keyword-Driven Framework for Test  Automation

  • Test cases are simple to understand, concise, and change.
  • Keyword-driven testing is possible without programming knowledge.
  • Almost anyone can perform keyword-driven testing because the keywords have already been specified as a set of actions that must be taken.
  • Keyword-driven Testing allows you to automate testing in the early stages of the software development life cycle, even before an application is available for Testing. This not only makes it cheaper and easier to fix bugs in the early stages, but it also saves you time.
  • Less technical expertise: Manual or non-technical testers can quickly write the automatic test scripts once the frame is set up.
  • Simple to Follow: The keywords are kept in Excel sheets. They are simple to read and understand. No code is exposed.
  • Early Start: Before applying, develop Keyword Driven test cases, as it is simple to set up an object repository later. Keyword data tables representing the corresponding manual test protocol can be generated using information from requirements or other documents.
  • Component reusability: Keyword Driven modularization can improve component reusability even further.
  • Test automation and test case design are separated in keyword-driven Testing, allowing for better division of labor and collaboration between test engineers implementing keywords and subject matter experts designing test cases.
  • One advantage of keyword-driven Testing is that it reduces the sensitivity associated with maintenance caused by the System/Software Under Test (SUT).

Challenges with Keyword-Driven Framework for Test Automation

  • Management and planning are critical: If a keyword-driven framework is not planned ahead of time, it may create unusable keywords in the long run or may necessitate too many edits each time a keyword is added. Thus, deciding which keywords to use and how to use them becomes critical in making the framework productive and efficient.
  • Keyword Management: For large projects, creating and managing unique meaningful keywords for various types of actions can be a daunting task. This can sometimes cause scaling issues.

How to Perform Keyword-Driven Testing?

Keyword testing can be carried out manually and automatically; however, it is most commonly associated with automated testing. 

Using the keyword-driven testing approach, you can also create a simple, functional test in earlier stages of development by testing the application piece by piece. 

The simplest way to create keyword-driven tests is to record them. Then, following the recording, the test could be modified and customized as needed.

Each keyword should be associated with at least one command, test script, or function that will carry out the actions associated with that keyword. For example, when test cases are run, keywords are interpreted by a test library known as a test automation framework.

Keyword testing involves significant activities: 

Step 1: Identifying low-level and high-level keywords.

Step 2: Put the executable keywords into action.

Step 3: Write test cases.

Step 4: Write driver scripts.

Step 5: Run automated test scripts.

Read Similar:- How to Achieve Test Optimization with Keyword-Driven Framework

Which Framework is Best for Selenium Webdriver; Data-Driven or Keyword-Driven?

The keyword-driven automation framework is the most complex and time-consuming data-driven approach to implement at first. 

After all, we’re attempting to protect our tests from the numerous flaws of the automation tools and changes to the application itself.

We are essentially writing enhancements to many of the automation tool’s existing component functions, such as error correction, prevention, and enhanced synchronization.

Fortunately, this significant initial investment is mostly a one-time event. Once implemented, keyword-driven automation is arguably the simplest of the data-driven frameworks to maintain and sustain, with the most significant potential for long-term success.

If all of your testing team members are equally skilled at programming, you can use a non-keyword-driven framework.

Suppose your testing team includes members who are not good at programming but have a good understanding of the product to be tested. 

In that case, you can choose a keyword-driven framework so that everyone can contribute to the product’s automation. And with the TestGird automation testing tool, you can automate the keyword-driven framework.

Suppose you know that some product features are expected to behave differently. For example, a keyword-driven framework may be a good choice because you will only need to update the implementations of a few functions in one place rather than changing multiple test scripts.

It’s pointless to keep test data embedded in your test scripts if you know it will change. You’ll need a data-driven framework for this.


Different types of testing frameworks are appropriate for various products and teams.

Before finalizing any framework for building your product’s test automation system, it is vital to assess what you require from a framework and your team’s strengths in working with the framework. 

How this article helped you understand which framework suits best for you? 

With the TestGrid automation testing tool, you get many features like no code automation, AI automation, cloud infrastructure, etc. 

TestGrid is one of the best automation testing tools in the industry and provides the best value for money.

To know more about TestGrid, click here.

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