A Brief Overview Of Different Frameworks:

Customers’ expectations for digital experiences and confidence are shifting, and the web ecosystem is developing to keep up. Browser test automation frameworks are developing and delivering a wider variety of possibilities than ever before to accompany the emergence of current web technologies. Before switching to web applications, programmers used to design programs for specific platforms, employing the platform’s native development environment and user interface features.

Headless Puppeteer is a Node framework that provides a high-level API for managing headless Chrome machines via the DevTools Protocol. A Playwright is a Microsoft-developed and maintained open-source Node.js module for automating browsers that support several computer languages.

Cypress is a native JavaScript test framework that has been under development for quite some time. As their capabilities improve, developers are becoming keener on them. These frameworks are written in JavaScript, which many developers prefer, and the ability to run tests locally rather than remotely, as Selenium does.

On the other hand, you may use Selenium WebDriver with JS, as it is more commonly associated with the Java programming language. Python and Ruby have recently gained popularity with them. Despite the availability of JS-based automation solutions, Selenium WebDriver remains the most widely used test automation framework. It is also the ideal test automation framework for QA testers that execute complete test automation techniques.

This article looks at the most common alternatives. It examines the pluses and minuses of each framework and several automation testing tools for developing an automated framework for functional end-to-end testing.

Browser Automation Tools: What Are They?

They are fast

A browser automation framework can do more than emulate a web browser. For starters, these frameworks may develop whole or headless browsers. A headless browser lacks a graphical user interface (GUI), but it is faster and more efficient than regular browsers, ideal for developer testing.

Consider the following factors while picking a browser automation tool:

1.) Extensibility:

As your web scraping grows, be sure the tool can keep up.

2.) Interoperability between platforms and programming languages:

Any automation program should support all the main languages.

3.) Being flexible with various other OS:

You need to consider whether the product will be able to handle more operating systems as your business grows.

4.) We endorse several browsers and devices:

It is good to check whether the utility is compatible with your favorite browser.

5.) Ease in creating test scripts:

What level of technical knowledge is required to get started, and do they have IDEs, frameworks, libraries, etc.?

6.) Maintenance and pricing:

During Maintenance, how simple is it to identify problems and know whether using an open-source or a licensed version is necessary?

Let’s look at some of the most popular browser automation tools

Selenium

Selenium is the best option if you want to play it safe. Selenium is the most established of the other framework options. It is a WebDriver-based open-source test automation tool that can be used for data scraping. The Selenium Webdriver is part of the larger Selenium ecosystem and is one of its most delicate features. Not only does this give developer bindings for JavaScript, but also Java, Python, C#, PHP, Ruby, and Perl.

It also offers services for several other operating systems. It includes examples such as Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and Linux. Selenium scripts are supported and run on various browsers, including Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. The Selenium Webdriver builder API makes it simple to create and run the browser instance you want.

It also lets you write code that mimics everyday browser actions like typing text into a text field or clicking a button. Unlike Cypress, Selenium’s APIs enable users to create a variety of tests, including performance, security, and unit testing. It also provides extensions and connectors for the framework.

While highlighting any of Selenium’s flaws, the framework opens refreshingly about the platform’s upsides and downsides. It works with all browsers and has many drivers and clients. It contains a debugger for clicking and a lot of grid settings. It may also use any other language outside JavaScript, such as Python or Java. The big drawback that may influence where selection is:

  1. Selenium is not yet bi-directional because it is an HTTP server. It makes gathering network events or console logs extremely difficult.
  2. It is more challenging to set up than alternatives, and also, the API is more verbose.
  3. It is the oldest option. However, the code is impervious to rust.

Despite its breadth, capabilities, and integrations, Selenium Webdriver is losing favor since it is so much slower than its rivals, Puppeteer, Playwright, and Cypress.

Puppeteer

Vulnerability Patching

Puppeteer for Chrome is a super nascent framework and a contemporary headless browser testing tool. It’s a Node.js package created by Google that provides a high-level API for managing the development protocol for devices. It only works with Node.js and doesn’t require a unique IDE. It excellently imitates human browser interaction. Similar to Selenium, it simulates a wide range of browser user interactions.

Selenium lacks several features that Puppeteer has, such as

  • Capture screenshots of specific screens and convert them to PDFs.
  • It is a fantastic feature to utilize for visual testing.
  • When it comes to choosing a testing tool, many developers prioritize speed.
  • The Puppeteer APIs provide quick feedback, debugging capabilities, logs, and other Chrome DevTools features.
  • It can also take screenshots and produce PDFs for UI testing.
  • The characteristic property of the Chrome Performance Analysis Tool may also aid in the estimation of render and load times.
  • Because of these characteristics, Selenium has competed with other scraping solutions on the market.

Another strong selling point is its close integration with Chrome’s debugging and developer tools. Puppeteer, like Chrome, was created and is supported by Google, so this isn’t surprising. It’s a terrific alternative if you solely design and test apps in Chrome. If you develop or test against Firefox, Edge, or Safari, it will not work; so we recommend using Selenium Webdriver. Another strong selling point is its close integration with Chrome’s debugging and developer tools.

Cypress

The Cypress Framework is a front-end automation solution for web app testing that is free and open-source. It’s a comprehensive testing solution, unlike the two prior frameworks. Because its primary focus is doing end-to-end testing of a web application’s user experience, it makes no claims to be a comprehensive test automation solution.

The major attraction of Cypress is its phenomenal speed, which is achieved through browser-based operation. It takes a unique approach to test compared to other programs. When you execute a script from the browser, it goes through the same cycle as your application. The Node.js server is used to run some scenarios outside of the browser.

Unlike Puppeteer and Selenium, which operate separately from the browser process that renders the application code, it works in the same execution loop as your application’s source code. It eliminates the need for Cypress to provide inter-process communication control protocols and any system or network latency that causes stuttering of instructions and responses.

While discussing any of Cypress’s drawbacks, their documentation is refreshingly candid about the product’s pros and cons. The three most significant disadvantages that may impact your selection are related to the way Cypress conducts testing within the browser:

Cypress’ strategy makes interacting with backend servers more complicated, necessitating the installation of additional modules.

  1. It does not allow for simultaneous testing of numerous browser tabs.
  2. At any given moment, it can only control one browser instance.

In summary, because Cypress can comprehend everything within and outside the browser, it can provide more consistent results. You may also directly access each item without dealing with over-the-wire protocols or object encoding.

PlayWright

Potential Risks Associated With Using A Cloud Repository

The PlayWright framework is one of Microsoft’s newest and most popular cross-browser testing tools. The same team that produced Puppeteer built this framework. One of the glaring differences is that one solution works with Chrome, WebKit, and Firefox browsers, whereas Puppeteer only works with Chrome.

A JavaScript-based node framework, PlayWright, works well with Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Jest, Mocha, Jasmine, Azure Pipeline, Circle CI, etc. The playWright has the following extra capabilities among its many features:

  • Create scenarios that span several pages and domains.
  • Intercepts network traffic to stub and mimic network requests.
  • Mobile devices, geolocation, and permissions are all simulated.
  • Before performing actions, auto-wait for items to be ready (like click, fill, download, and upload files).
  •  It allows web automation to work across several browsers.
  • Can access native mouse and keyboard input events.

The Playwright framework uses browser context, which allows for the creation of multiple contexts on a single browser instance. The Browser Context will enable you to construct concurrent tests independent of one another and run them parallel with the browser context. After passing through a series of checks, creating and running a Playwright script verifies that the UI is ready to execute the actions. It is done automatically, with no need for you to code the tests manually.

Cypress provides more comprehensive support than Java due to its well-written documentation and active community. Cypress is an excellent option if you’re new to testing and want something simple to set up and use. If you’re more experienced and want to test Webkit browsers, or if your tests cover multiple domains and sites, the Playwright is the way to go.

Puppeteer may be favored by people who operate solely in JavaScript and are only interested in Chrome or by companies that realize that the problem affects all browsers. Selenium has a lot of functionality, is scalable, adaptable, and has a lot of community support.

Like Selenium, Playwright uses a headless architecture to test complex web applications quickly. Despite its limited reach, the Playwright has an advantage in complicated online applications.

Wrapping Up

You must prioritize functionality while choosing the most exemplary browser automation framework. Based on what we discussed above, you’ll have to choose between the Selenium and Puppeteer frameworks. Cypress is the ideal option if you need a quick, all-in-one solution. The Playwright is the obvious choice if you desire programming language flexibility and third-party service support or if you notice that website issues vary depending on the browser.

It’s important to remember that choosing a web app testing tool is ultimately a function of usage and performance. Choosing the right testing tool can help speed up the entire process. This is where LambadTest can be of great use to you. You can conduct end-to-end automation tests on a secure, stable, and scalable Selenium infrastructure with the LambdaTest Selenium Automation Grid. You can automate cross-browser testing across 3000+ OS and browsers, leading to increased test coverage and significantly reduced build times.

LambdaTest also allows you to perform Puppeteer testing in parallel across 50+ browsers and OS variants to reduce test execution time even further. You can also minimize developer feedback times and confidently deliver your products. In addition to this, with the LambdaTest and Cypress incorporation, you can not only run Cypress tests on an online automation cloud but also scale cross-browser testing.

Lastly, you can execute your Playwright tests directly on the cloud, on powerful hardware, and in a scalable environment with LambdaTest. You can perform Playwright tests in parallel to drastically reduce test running time.

Cross-browser testing is required irrespective of the test automation framework used. It is the only way to ensure that we will be successful. It is the only way to safeguard that the website offers a consistent and pleasant user experience irrespective of the device or browser used to access it.

Author Bio: Vixit Raj is a Product Growth and Communication Specialist in LambdaTest: The Cross Browser Web App Testing Platform. He is an E&C engineering graduate and in the digital marketing domain for the last 5+ years. Staying at top of the things, growth mindset, and curiosity to learn more has a large influence on him.

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