IoC in test automation

What is IoC in test automation?

Inversion of Control (IoC in test automation) is a design pattern used in software development to simplify the overall code structure and make it more maintainable, scalable, and testable. In the context of test automation, IoC can help make the test framework more modular and easier to manage.

IoC in test automation refers to the principle of inverting the control of an application’s flow from the application code to a framework or container. In the context of test automation, this means that the test automation framework is responsible for controlling the test flow, instead of the test code itself.

IoC in test automation

The Ioc is responsible for the test objects and their dependencies. The objects are all the necessary components needed to create the tests. This way the IoC manages all of this at runtime rather than having the objects hardcoded within the tests.

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There are several ways to implement the IoC design pattern in test automation.

Dependency injection

A popular technique where one object receives another object on which it depends. Done through the constructor, property, or method injection. In terms of test automation, this pattern can be used to manage the relations between the test code and the framework.

Service Locator

Another interesting technique for creating IoC in test automation. It contains a registry of various different services that can be used in the test code. This pattern provides a way for the code to locate the specific services and use them without creating them directly.


Inversion of control container (also known as IoC containers) is a specialized framework designed to manage dependencies and control the flow of an application. In the context of test automation, a container can be used to create and manage the objects used in the test code, for example, the page object.

Pros and Cons

Implementing IoC in test automation has several benefits, including:

  1. Modularity
    • Implementing IoC in test automation can help make the test framework more modular. By separating the test code from the test framework, it becomes easier to add, remove or modify test cases without affecting the overall structure of the test framework.
  2. Maintainability
    • IoC in test automation can make the code more maintainable. By separating the test code from the test framework, it becomes easier to manage and update the code.
  3. Scalability
    • IoC in test automation can help make the test frameworks more scalable. By allowing test cases to be modular and reusable, it becomes easier to add new tests and manage a large number of tests.
  4. Testability
    • Finally, IoC in test automation can help make the test code more testable by separating the test code from the test framework, it becomes easier to write automated tests that verify the behavior of the code.

Of course, any approach/pattern you want to apply in your test framework doesn’t come with disadvantages.

  1. Increased complexity
    • IoC can be complex to set up and configure, which can add to the learning curve for test automation developers.
  2. Debugging can be challenging
    • Because IoC can involve multiple layers of abstraction, debugging can be more challenging than with simpler test automation frameworks.
  3. Performance overhead
    • IoC can introduce some performance overhead, which may be a concern for performance-critical applications.
  4. Risk of over-engineering
    • It’s possible to over-engineer an IoC-based test automation framework, which can lead to unnecessary complexity and reduced maintainability.

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Let’s write a TS-based Selenium-Webdriver example using the InversifyJS library that implements the IoC in test automation.

import { injectable, inject, Container } from "inversify";
import "reflect-metadata";
import { WebDriver, By } from "selenium-webdriver";

// Define an interface for the WebDriver that will be injected
interface IWebDriver {
    findElement(locator: By): Promise<WebElement>;

// Define an interface for the Page Object that will be injected
interface ILoginPage {
    login(username: string, password: string): Promise<void>;

// Define the LoginPage class that implements the ILoginPage interface
class LoginPage implements ILoginPage {
    private readonly driver: IWebDriver;

    constructor(@inject("IWebDriver") driver: IWebDriver) {
        this.driver = driver;

    public async login(username: string, password: string): Promise<void> {
        const usernameField = await this.driver.findElement("username"));
        await usernameField.sendKeys(username);
        const passwordField = await this.driver.findElement("password"));
        await passwordField.sendKeys(password);
        const loginButton = await this.driver.findElement("login-button"));

// Create a new InversifyJS container
const container = new Container();

// Bind the IWebDriver interface to the Selenium WebDriver instance
container.bind<IWebDriver>("IWebDriver").toConstantValue(new WebDriver());

// Bind the ILoginPage interface to the LoginPage class

// Resolve an instance of the LoginPage with the injected WebDriver
const loginPage = container.resolve<ILoginPage>(LoginPage);

// Call the login method on the LoginPage to perform the login test
await loginPage.login("myusername", "mypassword");

As you can see from the example above, we define an interface for the web driver and for the Login Page. We implement the Login Page interface with its class implementation that consists of a constructor which accepts an instance of the web driver interface and a simple login method.

Then, we create a new InversifyJS container instance and we bind the web driver interface to a new instance of the web driver class. The same thing is done for the Login Page interface and its class. Finally, we resolve the instance of the Login Page with the injected web driver interface so that we can access the page object methods and at the end, we simply call the login method.

Final Words

I hope that by now you have at least a basic idea of how implementing IoC in test automation can be beneficial to your test framework and your overall test strategy.

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