Automated Test Framework basic concepts

Learn the basics of how the Automated Test Framework works.

When you create an automated test, you create a record in the Tests table. Each test record contains a related list of steps and each step defines an action for the test to execute (for example, Open a form for a new record on the incident table).

When you run a test, the framework creates a Test Results record that you can inspect to learn what happened.


The Automated Test Framework stores information about individual tests in the Tests table, with each record corresponding to a single test. Each test record has a related list of the steps that the test attempts to execute when you run it.
Figure 1. Example of a test record in the Automated Test Framework

Screenshot of a simple test record

When you run a test, the framework creates a Test Results record. The Test Results records from a given test are available through a related list on the Test record.

For reference information about test records, see Test record form.

Test Step

The test steps related list defines the individual steps and the order in which the test should execute them. In an individual test step record, the Step config field defines the action to take and the Field values define the data needed to take that action. The Automated Test Framework comes with a default set of step types (or step configs), but advanced users can also define their own custom types.

Input variables

A step's field values are also known as input variables because they provide the input data the step needs to execute.

Test runners

If a test includes steps that involve a form or any other user-interface (UI) element, it runs those steps in a browser tab or window called a test runner or client test runner. If no test runner is available when you run a test, the system prompts you to open one. For details about working with test runners, see Working with client test runners.

What to do next

Now that you know a little about the Automated Test Framework, strengthen your understanding by trying a hands-on example. For step-by-step instructions, see Build and run your first automated test.