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A Complete Guide To Automated Browser Testing 

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Automated browser testing is the process of using software to test websites or web applications in a web browser environment. It involves using tools for automation testing to simulate user actions and verify the expected behavior of the web application. This method is beneficial because it helps reduce manual testing time and costs while improving coverage and accuracy. Automate enables agile teams to conduct quality testing on a large scale.

Let’s begin by defining browser automation. While we could simply state that it refers to the automation of web browser usage, such a definition would be both technically accurate and insufficient without first defining the term “automation.” Often, we tend to assume the meaning of this word, so it would be beneficial to take a moment to provide a clear definition.

Automation

Automation refers to the use of technology and software to perform tasks or processes that would otherwise require human intervention. The aim of automation is to increase efficiency, productivity, and accuracy while reducing errors and costs. Automation can range from simple tasks like setting up an email autoresponder to complex processes like manufacturing automation. In software development, automation can refer to the use of tools and scripts to automate tasks such as testing, building, and deployment.

Browser Automation

Automated browser testing involves the automatic execution of operations on a web browser, which enables developers to achieve levels of speed and efficiency that are not achievable through human intervention.

Starting with browser automation may seem overwhelming, as it’s a vast topic with a lot to learn. However, learning browser automation is similar to learning a new programming language or framework, and the best way to approach it is by actually doing it.

Build a minimum viable example of browser automation to establish a foundation. Even if it’s a simple solution, accomplishing a working example is a significant milestone. It will give you a starting point to build more advanced and sophisticated solutions.

Importance of Automation Testing

Automated software testing holds great significance for software businesses due to several key reasons. 

  • It allows for the storage and documentation of all usable test data in a single location, thereby saving time and effort that would otherwise be spent creating different test cases with varied data. 
  • Implementing an automated process that uses this data to run multiple times without manual intervention can provide the perfect solution.
  • Cost-effective in the long term, as executing the same test cases repeatedly or saving effort through automation can help reduce the cost of manually testing applications.
  • Enhances productivity by reducing the time developers and testers spend on testing, allowing them to focus on performing critical tasks or creating new features. 
  • It also helps expand test coverage, ensuring the quality and performance of the application and thereby enhancing its quality.

Automated Browser Testing Tools

Tools for automated browser testing, such as Selenium, have the ability to support multiple browsers, enabling web developers to perform compatibility testing on widely-used browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and more. Additionally, these tools offer the significant benefit of being open-source, allowing for testing in multiple languages and frameworks.

Automated Browser Testing’s programming languages

Automated browser testing can be accomplished through the use of various programming languages, with JavaScript, Python, and Java being among the most popular, as per Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developer Survey. Selenium, a popular automation framework, supports these languages and allows them to be used in conjunction with their respective test frameworks for automated browser testing. Selecting the appropriate test framework that suits the project’s needs is vital, as it can have a significant impact on delivery timelines.

Frameworks for automated browser testing

Automated browser testing requires the right test framework to create and execute test cases efficiently. The choice of the framework should depend on the team’s available skills and be evaluated based on script quality, ease of use, scalability, and the ability to execute complex test cases. Here are some of the top test frameworks for the popular programming languages used in automated browser testing.

JavaScript is a popular programming language in automated browser testing tools like Selenium. Here are the popular test automation frameworks with JavaScript for browser compatibility testing:

The listed frameworks are test automation frameworks for JavaScript applications.

  • Jest, developed by Facebook, is the most popular choice for testing applications developed using ReactJS. 
  • Jasmine is a feature-rich automation framework mainly used for asynchronous testing that also supports snapshot testing.
  • WebdriverIO is a test automation framework with integrated support for visual regression testing. 
  • Protractor is used for testing Angular applications, and it supports other frameworks like Mocha, Jasmine, and Cucumber.
  • Cypress is a JavaScript-based end-to-end testing framework that supports complex testing scenarios
  • Mocha is an open-source framework used with Selenium for testing Node.js applications.

Each of these frameworks has its advantages, and the right one should be chosen based on project requirements and team skills.

There are several popular test automation frameworks for Python and Java used for cross-browser testing. For Python, PyUnit, Pytest, Robot, Behave, and Lettuce are some widely used frameworks. For Java, JUnit, TestNG, Selenium, Spock, and Selenide are popular choices. Selenium is widely used for cross-browser testing in both Python and Java, and Selenide is a test automation framework that uses the Selenium WebDriver.

Local automated browser testing using JavaScript

To showcase how to perform browser compatibility testing using Selenium and JavaScript on a local machine, we will be utilizing the WebdriverIO framework. This framework supports both Behavior Driven Development (BDD) and Test Driven Development (TDD), and the latest version available is WebdriverIO v7. Before installing WebdriverIO, it is necessary to have Node.js installed on your machine.

Local automated browser testing using Python

To perform local automated browser testing using Python, we can use the PyTest framework. PyTest is a popular testing framework in the Python community, and it supports various types of testing, including unit testing, functional testing, and integration testing.

To get started with local automated browser testing using PyTest and Selenium WebDriver, we first need to install Python on our local machine. Once Python is installed, we can install the PyTest framework using the pip package manager. We can then install the Selenium WebDriver for the specific web browser we want to test.

To write test cases in PyTest, we can use the built-in assert statement in Python to check whether certain conditions are true or false. We can also use various PyTest plugins to enhance our test cases and generate reports.

Local automated testing using Java

When it comes to local automated browser testing using Java, Selenium is a popular choice. Selenium WebDriver, a tool for automating web browsers, supports a variety of programming languages, including Java. To perform automated browser testing using Java and Selenium WebDriver, you need to install the Java Development Kit (JDK) on your machine.

Once you have installed the JDK, you can proceed to download and set up Selenium WebDriver. The latest version of Selenium WebDriver can be downloaded from the official Selenium website. You will also need to download the driver executable for the specific web browser you plan to test with.

To use Selenium WebDriver in Java, you need to import the appropriate Selenium libraries into your Java project. Once you have imported the libraries, you can write Java code to automate browser actions and perform tests.

The local Selenium WebDriver utilizes the local Selenium infrastructure/grid for cross-browser testing, while the remote Selenium WebDriver enables browser compatibility testing on different combinations of web browsers, devices, and operating systems. 

For beginners in browser compatibility testing

Automated browser testing through the local Selenium grid is a suitable option. However, depending on the project’s scope and complexity, it may or may not provide sufficient test coverage.

LambdaTest is a popular cloud-based digital experience testing platform that offers a range of features to help developers and testers perform efficient and effective browser and device compatibility testing. One of the most significant benefits of using LambdaTest is its support for the Selenium framework, which allows for seamless test automation and cross browser testing.

By using LambdaTest with Selenium, you can test your website or web application on a range of popular web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge, and more. Additionally, LambdaTest provides a range of other features that help make cross browser testing more efficient, such as real-time testing, screenshot comparisons, and video recordings of your test runs.

Remote automated browser testing using JavaScript involves using the remote Selenium WebDriver and WebdriverIO framework to execute tests on multiple combinations of web browsers, operating systems, and devices.

Remote automated browser testing using JavaScript

It involves using the remote Selenium WebDriver and WebdriverIO framework to execute tests on multiple combinations of web browsers, operating systems, and devices.

Parallel test execution is often used to speed up the test execution process and improve the coverage of browsers and operating systems. In this case, LambdaTest provides the ability to execute up to five parallel threads. The maxInstances property in WebdriverIO is used to enable parallel browser execution.

Once the necessary capabilities have been defined, we can write our test script using WebdriverIO and execute it remotely using LambdaTest. The script will be executed on multiple combinations of web browsers, operating systems, and devices, allowing us to identify any compatibility issues that may arise.

Remote automated browser testing using Python 

can be achieved using Selenium WebDriver and Pytest, a testing framework in Python. To demonstrate this, we can use Parameterization in Python, which allows us to run the same test with different input data.

First, we need to install the Selenium WebDriver and Pytest packages. We can use pip, the package installer for Python, to install these packages.

Next, we need to install the Selenium Grid client for Python, which allows us to connect to the remote Selenium WebDriver. 

To achieve modularity, we can use command-line arguments in Pytest. We can pass the browser, browser version, and operating system as input arguments to the test. The test script can read these arguments and use them to create a desired capabilities object that specifies the browser, browser version, and operating system to be used for the test.

Remote automated browser testing using Java

To demonstrate browser compatibility testing using Java and the TestNG framework with a remote Selenium WebDriver, we will use the Selenium Grid on LambdaTest.

First, we need to set up the TestNG framework and add the necessary dependencies to the pom.xml file. We also need to add the Selenium and LambdaTest dependencies to the same file.

Next, we need to set up the testng.xml file, where we define the parameters that will be passed to our test methods. We can specify the browsers, browser versions, and operating systems that we want to test.

Conclusion

Cloud-based cross-browser testing platforms like LambdaTest can accelerate the automated cross-browser testing process and enhance test coverage. By leveraging such platforms, the website or web application’s functionalities and overall design can be thoroughly tested against various combinations of browsers and operating systems, thus enhancing the product’s overall quality.

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