Selenium Framework Creation and Accessing Test Data from Excel – Selenium Tutorial #21

In the last tutorial, we familiarized you with the basics of test automation Frameworks, its components and types. The frameworks illustrated in the previous tutorial were a few amongst the most popular frameworks used by the testing fraternity.

We briefly discussed about Module based Frameworks, Library Architecture based framework, Keyword driven framework, Data driven Framework and Hybrid Framework. There are various other frameworks also in the place.

Please take a note that we would be adopting Data Driven Test Automation Framework for the rest of our tutorials.

In the current tutorial in this series, we would make you acquainted with a sample framework, the Excels which would store the test data and their Excel manipulations. On the same lines, we would move forward and introduce new strategies and resources to mature our framework.

So let’s learn:

  • Framework creation strategy using a sample project
  • Access the test data stored in the external data source

Moving ahead, we would start with the description of the project hierarchy that we would be creating in order to segregate the various project components.

Refer the below image for the project hierarchy created for the sample project. The below java project can be easily created within the eclipse the way we have created the projects in the earlier tutorials.

Selenium Framework

Selenium Project Folder Structure – Walkthrough

#1) src – The folder contains all the test scripts, generics, readers and utilities. All these resources are nothing but the simple java classes. Under the source (src) folder, we have created a hierarchy of folders.

a) test – The “test” folder is constituted of majorly two ingredients – testsuite and the folders representing the various modules of the application under test. Thus, each of these folders contains the test scripts specific to the module to which it is associated. Testsuite is a logical combination of more than one test scripts. Thus, the user can mark an entry of any of the test script within the testsuite that he/she desires to execute in the subsequent runs.

b) utilities – The “utilities” folder is constituted of various generics, constants, Readers and classes for implementing user defined exceptions. Each of the folders under utilities has got its own significance.

  • Excel Reader – A generic and common class has been created to read the test data (input parameters and expected results) from the Excel sheets
  • EnvironmentConstants – The folder are integration of the java classes that stores the static variables referencing to the paths and other environmental details. These details can be Application URL, URL to the Databases, Credentials for Databases, and URL to any third party tool being used. The disparate application URLs can be set for different environments (dev, prod, test, master, slave etc).
  • DataSetters – The folder incorporates the classes that implement the getters and setters of the test data fetched from the Excels. To lode multiple sets of Test data, we create ArrayLists.
  • UserRoles – The folder accommodates the classes that take care of the Role based access criteria if any for instinct users.
  • FunctionLibrary – The folder is constituted of the classes which contain functions and methods that can be shared and used amongst the multiple classes. Very often, we are suppose to perform certain procedures prior and aftermath to the actual test execution like login to the application, setting up environments, activities related to rolls, data manipulations, writing results, methods those generate pre/post-conditions to other methods. Since we tend to perform these activities for all or most of the test script. Thus it is always recommended to create a separate class for such activities instead of coding them repeatedly in each of the test script.
    • PreConditionalMethods
    • PostConditionalMethods

Very often, we are suppose to perform certain procedures prior and aftermath to the actual test execution like login to the application, setting up environments, activities related to user rolls, data manipulations, writing results, methods those generate pre/post-conditions to other methods. Since we tend to perform these activities for all or most of the test script, thus it is always recommended to create a separate class for such activities instead of coding them repeatedly in each of the test script.


Like Pre and post conditions, there may be methods and functions those can be used by more than one test script. Thus, these methods are grouped together in a class. The testscript can access these methods using the object of the common class.

#2) excelFiles – The excel files are considered to be the data source/data providers for test script execution. These files store the test data into key value pairs. Make a note that we create a separate excel sheet for each of the test script i.e. each test script has its own test data file. The name of the test script and the corresponding test data files/ excel sheet has been kept same for the traceability perspective. Check out the sample test data format below:

Test Data Format

Selenium Framework 2

Each of the columns represents a key and each of the rows represents a test data/value. Specify the multiple rows in order to execute the same test script with multiple data sets.

Mark that the test data formats are solely user defined. Thus based on your requirements, you can customize the test data files.

#3) library – The folder acts as a repository/artifactory for all the required jar files, libraries, drivers etc to successfully build the test environment and to execute the test scripts. Refer the following figure to check out the libraries we would be employing within our project.

Selenium Framework 3

#4) logs – The folder contains a .txt file that stores the logging information upon each execution.

#5) testMaterial – The folder contains the actual test data that needs to be uploaded if any. This folder would come into picture when we come across test scenarios where the user is required to upload files, documents, pictures, reports etc.

#6) build.xml – The xml file is used by the “Ant Server” to automate the entire build process.

#7) log4j.xml – This xml file is used by a Java based utility named as “Log4j” to generate the execution logs.

Note: We would study more about the logs, user defined exceptions and Ant in detail in the upcoming tutorials. So don’t panic if you get confused between the notions.

Now, as we move forward let us understand the phenomenon where we access the excel files and populate the test data into our test scripts.

In order to comprehend the process easily, we would break down the process into the following steps.

Test Data Creation

Step 1: The first and the foremost step is to create the test data with which we would be executing the test scripts. Considering the aforementioned test data format, let us create an excel file named as “TestScript1”. Furnish the values in the elements.

Selenium Framework 2

Step 2: The next step is to download a standard java based API/Library named as “Java excel Library” (jxl) to be able to access the already created generic methods for Excel Manipulation.

Step 3: Create a generic excel reader class named as “”. Copy the below code in the


package Utilities;
import java.util.Hashtable;
import jxl.Sheet;
import jxl.Workbook;

 * This is a utility class created to read the excel test data file before performing the test steps.
 * This class loads the excel file and
 * reads its column entries.

public class ExcelReader {
                 * The worksheet to read in Excel file

                public static Sheet wrksheet;
                 * The Excel file to read

                public static Workbook wrkbook = null;
                 * Store the column data

                public static Hashtable<String, Integer> dict = new Hashtable<String, Integer>();
                 * Create a Constructor
                 * @param ExcelSheetPath
                 * @throws BiffException
                 * @throws WeblivException

                public ExcelReader(String ExcelSheetPath) throws IOException, BiffException {

                            // Initialize
                                try {
                                               wrkbook = Workbook.getWorkbook(new File(ExcelSheetPath));
                                               wrksheet = wrkbook.getSheet("Sheet1");
                                } catch (IOException e) {
                                                throw new IOException();
                 * Returns the Number of Rows
                 * @return Rows

                public static int RowCount() {
                                return wrksheet.getRows();
                 * Returns the Cell value by taking row and Column values as argument
                 * @param column
                 * @param row
                 * @return Cell contents

                public static String ReadCell(int column, int row) {
                                return wrksheet.getCell(column, row).getContents();
                * Create Column Dictionary to hold all the Column Names
                public static void ColumnDictionary() {
                                // Iterate through all the columns in the Excel sheet and store the
                                // value in Hashtable
                                for (int col = 0; col < wrksheet.getColumns(); col++) {
                                                dict.put(ReadCell(col, 0), col);
                 * Read Column Names
                 * @param colName
                 * @return value

                public static int GetCell(String colName) {
                                try {
                                                int value;
                                                value = ((Integer) dict.get(colName)).intValue();
                                                return value;
                                } catch (NullPointerException e) {
                                                return (0);

Step 4: Create a generic class –“”. Create a common method within the class that would read the cells from the excel sheet using the methods implemented in

* Read the test data from excel file
* @param data The TestData data object

public void readExcelData (TestData data) {
       ArrayList<String> browser = new ArrayList<String>();
       ArrayList<String> username = new ArrayList<String>();
       ArrayList<String> password = new ArrayList<String>();
       ArrayList<String> element1 = new ArrayList<String>();
       ArrayList<String> element2 = new ArrayList<String>();
       ArrayList<String> element3 = new ArrayList<String>();

       // Get the data from excel file
       for (int rowCnt = 1; rowCnt < ExcelReader.RowCount(); rowCnt++) {
       browser.add(ExcelReader.ReadCell(ExcelReader.GetCell("Browser"), rowCnt));
       username.add(ExcelReader.ReadCell(ExcelReader.GetCell("User ID"), rowCnt));
                     password.add(ExcelReader.ReadCell(ExcelReader.GetCell("Password"), rowCnt));
                     element1.add(ExcelReader.ReadCell(ExcelReader.GetCell("Element1"), rowCnt));
                     element2.add(ExcelReader.ReadCell(ExcelReader.GetCell("Element2"), rowCnt));
       element3.add(ExcelReader.ReadCell(ExcelReader.GetCell("Element3"), rowCnt));

Step 5: Create a new java class named as “”. This class would act as a getter and setter for excel data. Copy and paste the following code in the class.

package Utilities.dataSetters;
import java.util.ArrayList;
public class TestData {
       private ArrayList<String> loginUser = null;
       private ArrayList<String> password = null;
       private ArrayList<String> browser = null;
       private ArrayList<String> element1 = null;
       private ArrayList<String> element2 = null;
       private ArrayList<String> element3 = null;
        * @return loginUser
       public ArrayList<String> getLoginUser() {
              return loginUser;
        * @param loginUser
       public void setLoginUser(ArrayList<String> loginUser) {
              this.loginUser = loginUser;
        * @return password
       public ArrayList<String> getPassword() {
              return password;
        * @param password
       public void setPassword(ArrayList<String> password) {
              this.password = password;
        * @return browser
       public ArrayList<String> getBrowser() {
              return browser;
        * @param browser
       public void setBrowser(ArrayList<String> browser) {
              this.browser = browser;
        * @return element1
       public ArrayList<String> getElement1() {
              return element1;
        * @param element1
       public void setElement1(ArrayList<String> element1) {
              this.element1 = element1;
        * @return element2
       public ArrayList<String> getElement2() {
              return element2;
        * @param element2
       public void setElement2(ArrayList<String> element2) {
              this.element2 = element2;
        * @return element3
       public ArrayList<String> getElement3() {
              return element3;
        * @param element3
       public void setElement3(ArrayList<String> element3) {
              this.element3 = element3;

Step 6: The next step is to create instances of “” and “” java classes within the test script in order to access and populate the test data. Refer the below code snippet for object initialization, reading excel data and populating the values wherever required.

// Create Objects
public ExcelReader excelReaderObj;
CommonMethods commonMethodobj = new CommonMethods();
TestData td = new TestData();

// Load the excel file for testing
excelReaderObj = new ExcelReader(Path of the excel);

// Load the Excel Sheet Col in to Dictionary for use in test cases

// Get the data from excel file
commonMethodobj.readExcelData (td);

// Populate the username

Therefore using the instance of class in conjunction with getters, any test data value can be populated within the script.


The tutorial mainly revolved around the notions like Framework Creation and Accessing test data from the excels. We made you acquainted with the Framework creation strategy using a sample project. We briefly laid light on the various components and aspects of our framework.

In order to access the test data stored in the external data source, we used a java based API – jxl. We also created the sample code for reading and populating the excel data into the testscripts.

Next Tutorial #22: In the next tutorial, we would base our tutorial on the concepts of generics and their accessibility mechanism. We would create a few sample generic methods and then access them within the test scripts. We would also introduce you with the concept of Testsuite and the sample code development.


#1 Katie Surman

Nice explanation of selenium framework

#2 Shruti Shrivastava


Thank you for your kind words.

#3 Fola

Thanks so much for the efforts in putting these wonderful tutorials together.Very easy to follow and self explanatory.Please, for the purpose of some us who are new to java, could you please shed more light on this particular tutorial(21).If you can explain some of the code as you have done for previous tutorials.


Shruthi your time and patience is appreciated.

#5 Sandeep

Hi Shruti,
Thanks a lot for your efforts! Can you please mail me the sample code or share the location to get it…

#6 Anand

Thank you very much shruti
Nice Explanation This site is very useful to gain much knowledge on selenium and better to serve in interview process.

Note : I have two questions on selenium.

1. How to write bulk of names in excel sheet in a perticular column?
2. Difference between FileInputStream concept and BufferReadered Concept?

#7 Kiran

Where from I can down load this project? Could you please help me, I need to run this project.

#8 hemanth

hi, where we get id which is “idofElement” and string which we have passed using the method data.getLoginUser().get(0) in the line driver.findElement(“idofElement”)).sendKeys(data.getLoginUser().get(0)); ??.. sorry ididn’t get this.

#9 Jayrajsinh Jethva

Hi Shruti,

From where i can download the Java excel Library ?
Any official site or to download any particular library or version ?

Thanks in advance…. :)

#10 Jayrajsinh Jethva

Hi shruti,

One more question – If we use Apache Poi java libraries then what should be the changes in the code of read and write Excel file ?

– JJ

#11 Sarguna

Thank you for this POST.

#12 Gerald

Hi, I have gone through all the tutorials and I must commend you for the effort you put in preparing this.

However, amongst all the tutorials, I found myself struggling with understanding no #21. It isn’t as self-explanatory as other tutorials.

Because it is really an important topic for test automation, is it possible to be a little bit more clearer with the explanations you provided in that section.

Thanks again for putting this tutorial together which happens to be the best amongst other online tutorials I have stumbled into.

#13 Bhaskar Patil

Hi Shruti,
I have implemented same code but still facing some error.
pls help

#14 raj

i have implented code for facebook login very useful guide from u ,without understanding the concept i can not dot ……thanks for explainig about selenium.

#15 minnu

Is it necessary one should learn framework in selenium?

#16 Amaal

if anybody know sites like beta sites that new testers can create framework for them in order to help new testers to learn automation with selenium deeply please let me know

#17 Krishna

Very good and brief review of the framework is worth taking before any interview which will cover most of the automation interview questions and will give us big structure behind the framework.
Very well presented..
Thanks for sharing.

#18 John P.

Thank you very much for taking the time to create this tutorial. Absolutely enlightening and useful. Much appreciated.

#19 Alok

Hi, I have some doubt. Please clearify it.

Suppose, in our excel sheet, we have 10 combinations of username and password. In the script, we are entering username and password for one username and password. To run for other username and password, we need to change the data.setLloginUser(1) and data.getPassword().get(1) in send keys .
Is there any efficient way by which it will run automatically for all the username and password.

#20 gautham

Hi sruthi,

Can we give URL as one more column in test data to execute script in different url at same time using testng.



Great effort.. Could you please mail me the code zip pls

#22 Rashmi

Thanks shruti.

#23 Gaurav Khurana

Thanks a lot for including this. But please please please could you please have a full-length example especially for this tutorial which will help many for creating their framework as people struggle a lot for the creation of Framework.

It’s a request if this tutorial can be covered in detail. So we will start implementing our programs with framework going forward.

Again a heartful thanks to Shruti and STH

#24 Wesam

Hi Shruti,

Any chance that you can share the code for this tutorial. if possible please send it via mail.


#25 Tushar Gawde

Best Explanation. Very Much Understandable

#26 Ashok

Hi Shruti,

Could you help me please from where I can get the sample projects to practice on the selenium Framework

#27 cito

Thanks for putting all this up, but this particular tutorial is really not very learner-friendly as there are few explantions.
The code itself seems to be all out of alignment, which makes it difficult to understand for novices like me.

#28 Benhur L

Can any one able to send me a data driven framwork in selenium for a signup process in any website using excel with testNg.

#29 Devasheesh Srivastava

i am a diehard fan of this website because of the lucid expalantion of each and every point.

#30 Mukta

Nice explanation of selenium framework


One of the best explanation

#32 Vignesh

I used ODBC connection with excel to create data pool using Array list and avoided the usage of excel functions, hashtable

public static void readExcelDataContact (TestData data)
Connection c = null;
Statement stmnt = null;
ArrayList Name = new ArrayList();
ArrayList Email = new ArrayList();
ArrayList Phone = new ArrayList();
ArrayList City = new ArrayList();
c = java.sql.DriverManager.getConnection(“jdbc:odbc:Driver={Driver do Microsoft Excel(*.xls)};DBQ=D:\\TestData.xlsx;ReadOnly=0”);
stmnt = c.createStatement();
String query = “select * from [Contact$]”;
ResultSet rs = stmnt.executeQuery( query );
catch( Exception e )
System.err.println( e );
catch( Exception e )
System.err.println( e );



#33 babu

Super Explanation… sir please share this code to my mail…please sir….

#34 Skolopendromort

Hello, could you kindly send code to my email?

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