Skip to main content

Automated browser testing in 2018

Every now and then I do some research on browser testing. More specifically I try to find and evaluate what kind of ready to use solutions or libraries have emerged since my previous research or if some of the previously tested solutions has come up with something new.

Back in September 2017 I had some extra time on my hands and I used a couple of days to see what are the new and interesting solutions at that time. I came across some tools that I have used in the past and found two new interesting options in which one stood out.

Say hello to TestCafe


The most interesting solution that I found was called TestCafe. It's a open source Node.js library from a company called Developer Express Inc. They also have a commercial product called TestCafe (confusing) which I haven't tried as the open source library provided everything I was interested in and it seemed to be under active development.

The thing that caught my interest at first was that this library doesn't depend on WebDriver i.e. the API used by Selenium. All the browser testing tools that use real browsers and I have tried before have been dependent on WebDriver API meaning that even if the tool itself is e.g. a Node.js library it still needed to run the WebDriver Java API in the background.

Another thing where TestCafe excels compared to it's rivals is it's browser support. Basically all major browsers and operating systems are supported.

Writing tests with TestCafe


As TestCafe is a Node.js library the tests can be written in JavaScript and the library also provides TypeScript support. I've written a example with three test cases that can be found from my github repository, the last one fails on purpose to demonstrate failure reporting.

TestCafe uses a concept called Selectors for selecting DOM elements to test or to execute a action on. In addition it provides a concept of client functions that adds the ability to read data from client side e.g. the current URL of the browser window.

Running tests


Given that TestCafe is a Node.js library the tests can be executed with node as simply as running command npm test. Another option is to execute the tests in a docker container which is a great option for CI servers. I have created examples and instructions of both in my github repository.

Real life experiences


I have been using TestCafe in a work project since November 2017 to run browser tests locally with Node.js and in CI within docker. So far I have been very impressed on how good the performance and stability have been compared to previously used solutions. I'm still going to keep my eyes open for old and new rivals but for now I consider TestCafe to be the solution that I'll be using and comparing others to.

Other solutions to consider


Commercial tool from the same company Developer Express Inc. also called TestCafe. I haven't tried this one so I can't really say anything about it.

Cypress.io is another new tool that runs without WebDriver. This one supports only Chromium based browsers and I couldn't get anything but their own examples to run so my experience with this one wasn't so great.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the review! Here is an explanation of TestCafe version history:

    https://testcafe-discuss.devexpress.com/t/what-is-the-difference-between-the-open-source-version-and-the-paid-version-of-the-testcafe/253/2

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous25/9/18 13:35

    I liked your article and its very interesting and thought that you might be interested in LambdaTest. LambdaTest is a newly launched cross-browser testing tool gaining popularity among testers community.

    Since you've already written a post on it, so I thought to introduce you to it. You can give it a look here: www.lambdatest.com. Please include this in your post if you think it deserves to be here.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Simple code: Immutability

Immutability is a special thing that in my mind deserves a short explanation and praise. If you're familiar with functional programming you surely recognice the concept of immutability because it's a key ingredient of the paradigm. In the world of object oriented programming it's not as used and as easy to use approach but there are ways to incorporate immutability to parts of the code and I strongly suggest you to do so. Quick intro to immutablity The basic idea of immutability is unchangeable data.  Lets take a example. We have a need to modify a object's property but because the object is immutable we can't just change value but instead we make a copy of the object and while making the copy we provide the new value for the copy. In code it looks something like this. val pencil = Product(name = "Pencil", category = "Office supply") val blackMarker = pencil.copy(name = "Black marker") The same idea can be applied in functions and metho

Simple code: Readability

Readability, understandability, two key incredients of great code. Easier said than done, right? What one person finds easy to read and understand another one finds incomprehensible. This is especially true when programmers have different levels of understanding on various subjects e.g. object oriented vs. functional or Node.js vs. Java. Even though there are obvious differences between paradigms and programming ecosystems there are some common conventions and ways to lower the barrier. Different approaches It's natural that in programming things happen sequentally e.g. you can have a list of objects and you need to do various things to the list like filter some values out and count a sum of the remaining objects based on some property. With the given list const stories = [   {name: "authentication", points: 43},   {name: "profile page", points: 11},   {name: "shopping cart", points: 24},   {name: "shopping history", points: 15},   {name: &qu

Simple code: Unit tests

Unit tests are the developers number one safety net. Let that sink in. This is the number one reason for writing unit tests. Unit tests are written by developers for developers to ensure that the code works as expected and handles happy and sad paths correctly. With enough unit test coverage the tests enable a safe environment for refactoring and rewriting code. Unit test scope Unit test should test a single thing, a method or function call and it should test only one use case within. In other words a unit test should test a function with a single input. This is a important guideline to understand. When a unit test tests a function with single input it makes the test isolated, repeatable and predictable. Example of good tests: @Test fun findsAddress() {   val address = findAddress("Stevens street 35", "Southport", "Australia")   assertThat(address).isNotNull() } @Test fun doesNotFindAddress() {   val address = findAddress("Stevens street 697", &q