State management in automation test scenario

The post will give a hint to manage state efficiently and well-organized


3 min read

Along with well-organized code in a scenario, it is necessary to manage values, especially in End-2-End scenarios. Thus, this post will suggest a flow of those values inside an automation test case. State-Management

There are 2 main levels:

  • Test level includes all steps related to behavior and verification. The values will be referred to as entities or DAOs.
  • Page Objects level, as defined in Martin Fowler's post, includes methods inside a page or fragment/layout of a page.


The term state is related to the status of an application during execution. It can be represented by individual values or combined properties to form object(s). In a test case, it is usually created, transferred, updated for business actions, and checked for verification.

Example 01

Let's take a simple example:

public void happyCase(){
  // Arrange 
  System.setProperty("", "chromedriver.exe");
  WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver();
  CalculationPage page = new CalculationPage(driver);
  int result;
  int a = 4;
  int b = 6;
  int expected = 10;

  // Actions
  page.sum(a, b);
  result = page.getResult();

  // Assert 
  Assert.assertEquals(result, expected)

As can be seen from above code, the variables a, b and result are considered as states.

  • a and b are created and initialized in Arrange stage.
  • Then these variables are passed to the sum() method of CalculationPage
  • After method consumes variables, it will return result.
  • The returned value is compared with the expected value.

Example 02

Let's create a more complicated example. Assume that we have to design a test case to test the payment flow. So let's create some classes below:

// using lombok annotation
public class TransactionInfo {
    private String name;
    private String id;
    private double amount;
    private String note;
    private String currency;

Then we have test like this:

public void transactionTest() {
    // Arrange
    TransactionInfo txn = new TransactionInfo();
    txn.setNote("testing transaction");

    WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver();
    TransactionPage txnPage = new TransactionPage(driver);
    TransactionResultPage txnResultPage = new TransactionResultPage(driver); // this page will fully display all transaction info

    // Act
    String txnId = txnPage.make(txn);

    TransactionInfo actualTxn = txtResultPage.getTransaction();

    // Assert
    Assert.assertEquals(txn, actualTxn);

Now state contains properties of TransactionInfo object. As you can see:

  • Some properties of txn are defined first, in Arrange stage.
  • Then txn variable are passed to method make() to get back transaction id and set to the id.
  • Next is getting a new instance of transaction info in txtResultPage.getTransaction().
  • Finally, compare state txn with actualTxn. Because putting assert command in page object is not good practice, so we will get transaction from page object level to test level.


Hopefully, after observing the 2 examples above, you now have a clear view of state management in automation testing. There are some principles that you can follow:

  • State values should live within only 1 test case, because all test cases should be independent of each other.
  • State can be created at the beginning of a test case, and added or edited during the test steps.
  • State can be shared between steps in a scenario, but should not be shared between pages directly. If you want to transfer state from page 1 (of step 1) to page 2 (of step 2), page 1 should return to step 1, and then step 2 will take state and pass it to page 2.
- Don't: page 1 -> page 2
- Do: page 1 -> step 1 -> step 2 > page 2
  • Stage is normally provided by steps and consumed by pages. Sometimes, the state comes from returned values of page object like Example 2 getTransaction().