Best 9 PHP Frameworks In 2019 For Test Automation

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 of 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.

1. PHPUnit

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.

Prerequisites For Installation

Apart from a proper understanding and development experience using PHP, you will need

  • The latest version of PHP installed in your system.
  • JSON and DOM extensions, which are by default enabled.
  • You will also require spl, reflection and pcre extensions. There are some extensions which are by default enabled.
  • Xdebug and tokenizer are required for code coverage. If you want to generate XML reports, xmlwriter is another extension that you need.

Why Should You Opt For PHPUnit As PHP Framework?

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.

  • It also helps you to identify defects that may arise before the code is pushed to further testing phases.
  • Issues are detected early during development phase since the testing is carried out by developers only.
  • Unit testing helps in detecting issues and fixing the code at a certain fragment of the application, thereby leaving other fragments intact and without any chance of breakage.
  • Debugging process is made simpler. Debugging is required only when a certain unit test fails.

Disadvantages Of PHPUnit

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.

Is PHPUnit The Best PHP Framework In 2019 For Test Automation?

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.

2. Codeception

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.

Prerequisites For Installation

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.

Why Should You Opt For Codeception As PHP Framework?

There are many reasons which will compel you to try codeception.

  • First of all, you will get the best way to write test cases in PHP language. Syntax highlighting also eliminates the chance of mistakes in syntax.
  • Writing the test cases are very simple.
  • You can do not only unit testing but also others like Acceptance or functional testing just by adding suites.
  • Supports multiple frameworks without any need of extension or changing the code. If your project is migrating, your old test cases written using Codeception will work just the same way.
  • The Db module of Codeception helps the tester to fetch whatever you need from the database and clean up the data from your test module. Isolating the tests thus becomes much easier.
  • You can run complex test cases by using XPath locators or CSS selectors. REST and SOAP web services can also be tested simply using Codeception.
  • The tests are simple and readable enough to be clearly understood by a person coming from a nontechnical background.

Disadvantages Of Codeception

The only few disadvantages are

  • Since the framework emulates a browser, chances of getting false-positive result increases.
  • Requires a framework to start testing.
  • Cannot test AJAX and JavaScript.

Is Codeception The Best PHP Framework In 2019 For Test Automation?

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.

3. Laravel Dusk

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.

Prerequisites For Installation

Installation and usage of Laravel Dusk are quite simple when compared to other test automation frameworks.

  • First of all, in the project you are developing, add a composer dependency laravel/dusk
  • After the Dusk package is installed, run the command dusk: install.
  • By default, you can use Dusk only on Chrome. In order to test your application on other browsers, you will need to start a Selenium server.

Why Should You Opt For Laravel Dusk As PHP Framework?

For an application developed using PHP, testing it using Laravel Dusk is highly advantageous.

  • You can develop the best authentication and authorization script.
  • Presentation view like HTML and business logic like SQL queries can be easily separated.
  • The migration feature of Laravel allows you to create database tables of standard format.
  • For developers, Laravel can be used with Angular JS for developing large single page web applications.
  • The tool can also be used to create dynamic HTML elements since it supports vue js as well.
  • Asset compilation can also be done with elixir or gulp that minifies js and CSS files, resulting in the faster performance of the application.

Disadvantages Of Laravel Dusk

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.

Is Laravel Dusk The Best PHP Framework In 2019 For Test Automation?

The most important advantage of Laravel is that, apart from testing, it can also be used to develop web applications following the MVC pattern

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