Best 9 PHP Frameworks In 2019 For Test Automation | LambdaTest

Image for post
Image for post

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.

Image for post
Image for post

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

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.

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 .

Image for post
Image for post

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 .

Image for post
Image for post

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. However, if you are only looking at the testing perspective, Selenium is obviously the best choice for testing web applications, because of its ability to support multiple languages as well as its platform and browser compatibility.

Here is a complete document to help you perform .

Image for post
Image for post

Behat is a behavior driven testing tool for applications developed using PHP. The aim of the tool is to aid the nonverbal communication between stakeholders, management, and developers during the software development life cycle. It helps in documenting behavior examples of software when testing is carried out and how it matches the intended behavior.

Prerequisites For Installation

There are 2 ways of installing Behat

  • The easiest way is by downloading the latest version of behat.phar. You have to just place it in the project folder. Run the command $ php behat. phar -V and It will show you whether Behat has been installed correctly.
  • The recommended way is to use Composer, just like other test frameworks.

Why Should You Opt For Behat As PHP Framework?

Let’s list down the advantages first.

Disadvantages Of Behat

In spite of all these advantages, there are certain drawbacks as well.

  • Behat takes quite some time for implementation.
  • You will also have to rethink and restructure the entire development process.
  • Discussion with stakeholders and developers may extend a lot until you come to a mutual understanding of how a feature will be developed.

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

Although behavior driven test scenarios can also be generated using Codeception, however, it does not satisfy all the requirements of software developed using BDD environment. Since Behat is solely dedicated to BDD testing, there is obviously no other replacement for Behat other than PHPspec if you are developing a PHP based application.

Follow our guide for getting started with .

Image for post
Image for post

BDD is a development technique that allows a project to commence at specification and story level. PHPSpec is a popular BDD tool which helps you to write clean code using PHP. The development works by first describing how the object behaves. Once that is approved by the stakeholders, the next phase is to start coding.

Prerequisites for Installation

PHPSpec can be installed via 2 methods

  • Composer method
  • Using the Composer config file

Before starting the installation, make sure you have at least PHP 5.6 installed in your system.

Why Should You Opt For PHPSpec As PHP Framework?

Among the many advantages of PHPSpec, the ones that I found most useful are

Disadvantages of PHPSpec

Apart from the advantages, there are certain disadvantages as well.

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

PHPSpec is mostly meant for designing classes. Without any need to get much involved in the infrastructure, you can design an isolated domain model. However, if you are looking for a tool that validates whether your application satisfies the requirement of the stakeholders, Behat is the first choice for testers and developers. Behat’s code is much easier to understand than PHPSpec, especially for people who are coming from a nontechnical background.

Image for post
Image for post

Atoum is an automated framework meant for unit testing of an application that is developed using PHP language. Although it behaves a bit like PHPUnit, it is much more modern, simple and a standalone framework. Unlike PHPUnit, the test cases written using Atoum are easily readable and much simplified. Also, the asserters of Atoum enables you to write less code and test more functionalities.

Prerequisites For Installation

You can get the latest version of Atoum from their official. There are several ways to install Atoum.

Why Should You Opt For Atoum As PHP Framework?

There are many advantages of Atoum which are not found in other PHP based unit testing frameworks.

  • It has a flexible structure. It allows you to rename directory, test cases or suites and whatever you like.
  • There are 3 engines for executing the test cases. For a single test case, you can define a specific engine apart from the engine provided by default.
  • You can write a test case in multiple ways. Either by using the classic way, by an academic way using empty asserters or a much better and smarter way by using the asserters of Atoum.
  • Test cases are readable and easier to understand since Atoum provides a set of natural assertions.
  • You are no longer required to manipulate real directories. While running the test cases, Atoum allows you to create a virtual file system consisting of fake directories, reducing the risk of mishandling real project files.
  • Class constructors can be mocked. Whenever a method is called, you can control the computational value.
  • The best feature is, Atoum can easily integrate with continuous integration tools like Gitlab, Jenkins, PHPCI, Travis CI, etc. It can also be used with multiple IDEs like Atom, Netbeans, Sublime Text, etc.

Disadvantages Of Atoum

When it comes to disadvantages, I haven’t found any which cannot be resolved or creates a roadblock.

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

The answer to this question is definitely yes. It is much better and flexible than PHPUnit or Codeception. Although it cannot perform functional or acceptance testing like Codeception, still when it comes to only executing unit test cases, Flexibility, multiple platform support and use of smart assertions make Atoum the best unit testing framework.

Image for post
Image for post

Just like Behat or PHPSpec, Kahlan is another behavior driven test framework. What makes it different is that, it takes BDD testing on PHP a step ahead by use of describe-it syntax. Just like Javascript or Ruby, using this framework, without any PECL extensions, you can monkey patch or stub your code directly.

Prerequisites For Installation

You will need a stable and latest version of PHP (at least version 5.5) installed in your system. After that, Kahlan can be installed in 2 ways

  • From a Git Repository. But for that, you need to have Composer and Git installed.
  • As a dev dependency, you can also install Kahlan from the composer package.

Why Should You Opt For Kahlan As PHP Framework?

Among the many advantages of Kahlan, the ones that I found useful are

  • Inclusion of JSpec, RSpec syntax
  • A much better code coverage metrics
  • You can check whether a specific method is called on your class.
  • Stubbing system is much more flexible. Prophecy or Mockery is no longer required.
  • You can replace the core classes and functions easily by monkey patching.
  • Icov and Istanbul are built in reporters that allow easy HTML or terminal reporting.
  • Coveralls, Clobber, Climate are some built in exporters that allow you to easily push the code.

Disadvantages Of Kahlan

The only disadvantage is that, Kahlan does not have the ability of Storytelling or developing scenario based BDD.

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

Kahlan is no doubt a pretty useful BDD tool, but when we compare it with Behat, Behat is much more. A person who is not from a technical background, maybe a stakeholder or a business analyst can easily understand what a code written in Behat means. But for Kahlan, one needs to have basic understanding of PHP. If the project is in Agile, then also, Behat is a better choice.

Image for post
Image for post

Peridot is a highly reliable, extensible PHP framework that supports testing of an application developed under behavior driven environment. The framework is lightweight and faster than PHPSpec or other frameworks. Also, the fact that it is event-driven makes it popular since developing plugins are much easier when you are using Peridot.

Prerequisites for Installation

For installation, you will need the latest version of PHP installed in your system. After that, Peridot can be installed by 3 procedures

  • Manually by downloading the latest Phar
  • Manually using the command prompt.
  • Using the composer like other frameworks.

Why Should You Opt For Peridot As PHP Framework?

Peridot has several advantages.

Disadvantages Of Peridot

I did not find any such disadvantages while using Peridot. The only drawback is that it is not suitable to be used in an Agile application since its features are not vast like Behat.

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

Among the 3 BDD frameworks we discussed here, Behat is obviously the best choice. As mentioned earlier, the features of Behat helps the team during deployment as well as during acceptance testing. Although Peridot is faster and easier to understand, lack of supporting the application in deployment stages is kind of a drawback.

Image for post
Image for post

Selenium is the best automation framework for of a web application. For an application developed using PHP, you can use PHP bindings for developer browser-based automation test cases. The framework is flexible and the latest version of Selenium web driver runs flawlessly across all the major browsers.

Prerequisites For Installation

Selenium does not have any dependencies. However, if you want to use it with PHP, you will need a stable latest version of PHP installed in your system. You will also need a composer for providing the required dependencies.

Why Should You Opt For Selenium As PHP Framework

There are countless advantages of using Selenium to test a PHP framework.

Disadvantages Of Selenium

There are certain disadvantages as well.

Overcoming Limitations Of Selenium With LambdaTest Selenium Grid

LambdaTest went live with an to make automation testing easier for the tester community.

  • With , you can perform Selenium based testing on more than 2000+ real browsers and browser versions.
  • LambdaTest offers to facilitate better bug-logging, continuous integration and continuous deployment pipeline.
  • LambdaTest provides their that would help to generate the desiredcapabilities class based on your selections via click operations.
  • LambdaTest offers 24×7 customer support through chat. You can also drop a mail to for addressing any of your concern.
  • LambdaTest also , so you could extract custom and powerful reports of your Selenium script execution from LambdaTest platform.
  • Parallel testing lets you run numerous tests simultaneously, for trimming down your test execution even further.

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

If you are only thinking about testing a PHP based web application on the browser, Laravel Dusk is much more useful. However, if you are thinking about the bigger picture and want an open source automation framework that can perform cross-browser testing of a web application, there is no better choice than Selenium. Plus doing it on-cloud with LambdaTest you can hasten your test cycles as much as you want.

The frameworks mentioned above are not only for testers but for developers as well. Since, in the current age of DevOps and Agile, the traditional rule no longer prevails that testers will only do testing and developers will only do development. An exceptional tester or developer must have partial knowledge of the other domain as well. If you are a developer, the industry won’t expect you to be an expert in testing but you should have some basic knowledge of writing unit test cases to your code or understanding what the tester is explaining. The 9 tools mentioned above will help you a lot to progress if you are a PHP developer or tester. Even if you are a fresher, learning the popular unit testing or BDD tools among the ones listed above will also propel your career in the industry.

Originally published at


Image for post
Image for post

Written by

Product Growth at @lambdatesting ()

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store