Playwright Browser Testing: Laying the Foundation for a Proper Web Experience

Table of Contents hide 1 What is Playwright Browser Testing? 2 Can Playwright be used for Web Testing? 3 Features of Playwright...

Written by Niel Patel · 7 min read >
Playwright Browser Testing

For companies with a product or a web-based service or is made for several browsers, it is necessary to have cross-browser testing. Hence, companies need to employ proficient and professional web compatibility testers who can check the same and make sure that the customers’ experience is optimized and uniform across all browsers and devices. And for making the testing easy, Playwright browser testing has been the revolution in this domain.

 It is paramount in today’s very competitive marketplace where businesses are striving hard to win the loyalty and attention of new customers through their digital presence. Playwright Browser Testing is a proven practice. One of the main goals of it is to reduce repetitive tasks by using a combination of technologies to identify and launch test cases, manage test execution and compare actual results with expected outcomes.

To get this done, it is important to provide them a seamless experience across all the devices and browsers they might use to access the services and products your business provides. This can only be accomplished on thorough browser testing; a critical step that ensures optimum user experience. Browser testing is essential in today’s world where the figures of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices outnumber desktop users. Almost all applications are designed and developed keeping these devices in mind. 

The rise in popularity of mobile apps has made this form of testing more crucial than ever before. Browser testing helps us judge how your website or application will look on different browsers, operating systems and modes. It also helps you to figure out whether your designs would be compatible with all the browsers, or if any changes would be required to accommodate specific browsers.

What is Playwright Browser Testing?

A new version of the open-source test automation library is now available for download. Playwright is an open source TypeScript-based software born out of the Chrome team at Google. You can easily use Playwright in automated testing for web applications. 

  • It supports tools like WebDriver, Puppeteer, and Protractor as well as browsers like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and PhantomJS. There is compatibility with other UI automation frameworks like Selenium ES. Escape key functionality is also handled in the library. 
  • Playwright was built based on the idea that cross-browser testing should be measured in terms of how much time you save, not your ability to configure and maintain a complex system. 
  • This eliminates a great deal of stress for both QA engineers and development teams during different parts of the software development process. Playwright is a testing framework designed specifically to give you a kick in the ass to build automated tests whenever you’ve got the urge to open up a browser and start poking around. 
  • It’s amazing how fast you can forget that some behavior changes between page loads, or that your custom JavaScript adds those menus on page load. It’s equally amazing how much easier it is to convince your team to make sure things are working properly if they’re not tied up in actual browsers all day.

Because Playwright is aimed primarily at professional developers and QA engineers, its simple yet powerful interface helps ensure that it will be compatible with just about all major languages and frameworks used today.

Can Playwright be used for Web Testing?

Playwright is a test automation tool for bots and apps. It’s an operating system-like environment where you write your tests, and it records your steps while also providing intelligence defaults that make things easier. These defaults allow you to create tests more quickly, but they also provide additional safety nets to ensure that the test works correctly. Moreover, Playwright Browser Testing makes it easy to get web testing done as

  • The Playwright scripting language lets you quickly generate scenarios and checks, but it also allows you to develop more complex verifications and scenarios using the script library. 
  • One of the main features of Playwright is that it approaches the problem from a usage perspective. The lessons learned from testing show that test designers often forget about how users actually use applications in real life. 
  • When creating automation scripts, an often-overlooked factor is the GUI – the visuals that appear on the screen. This can be tricky to test, and the differences between operating systems and browsers can make it even trickier. Playwright is designed to eliminate some of this difficulty by allowing you to write your scripts in a ‘behavior driven’ fashion, while it figures out how to interact with the application under test.

Furthermore, It also incorporates additional capabilities that enable you to incorporate more advanced test scenarios into your tests, such as taking screenshots at each step of the process and also including custom code snippets.

You can perform cross browser testing at scale with cloud testing platforms such as LambdaTest. Using Playwright, you can run your first script on a variety of browsers, including Chrome, Chromium, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and even Webkit.  LambdaTest is a continuous quality cloud platform that lets you perform manual and automated testing for websites and web applications across 3000+ real browsers, devices and OSes. With LambdaTest, you can use Playwright framework for testing web apps across 50+ browser versions on a scalable cloud.

Features of Playwright Browser Testing

Playwright is a cross-platform test automation framework that provides quality of experience (QoE) improvement and cost reduction features by allowing you to do more tests and do them faster. It’s self-configuring and comes with default data sets and test steps—making it possible for almost anyone on the team to easily write, run, debug, and maintain automated tests.

  1. Can be used for cross browsers and platforms

Playwright works particularly well in node.js and other javascript environments, but it also works well with C++, and even Java. Apart from it, Playwrights also supports multiple browsers, making the browser testing process easy and simple for testers looking to test the features on it.

  1. Dynamic Controls

With Playwright you can simulate your users’ interaction with your site’s interface controls, the way they would use it right in your browser. You can easily select and copy xpaths where Hover elements are located. It helps you design human-centric applications, by detecting hover elements, events, and showing dynamic controls that fit into your application.

  1. Simple Browser Contexts

Playwright’s secret sauce is in careful optimization of its core technology. Playwright does not rely on browser built-in test isolation, plugins, or external processes. This avoids the pitfalls of each of those systems. Trapped iframe hacks are a headache for developers. They break unexpectedly and can cause intermittent test failures. 

  1. Quick Inspection and Tracing

Recording and later playing back load tests is key to quickly identify, capture, and understand load test results. The more you record, the better you understand your users’ experience and the interaction between your application under test (AUT) and the test infrastructure executing it. This is where Playwright Browser Testing comes into the play.

  1. Auto-Wait and assertions

By leveraging events, Playwright needs neither assertions nor timeouts. It decouples the test logic from the outcome, which is helpful in complex cases. Playwright verifies that all critical checks have had a chance to run at least once. Playwright tests are deterministic and reliable in ways not possible with other test methodologies.

Setting up Playwright for Browser Testing

For setting up Playwright for the Browser Testing, the tester needs to install VS code, which will be done with NodeJS and the tests will run on it. Once VS Code is downloaded, follow these steps to run the Playwright tests.

  1. The first step that a tester needs to follow is to create a new directory in the VS Code.
  2. Once it is done, open the new directory in the VS code and then opt for the new terminal option present in it.
  3. Now, run the command “npm init playwright@latest” and once it is done, it will create files and folders such as tests folders, package.json and package-lock.json and many more.
  • Node Folders: There are a variety of additional libraries we can install in our projects. These are available by default in the bundle, but we might want to install them. Some of those libraries are Swift, a CSS combinator library, and Playwright, which allows us to create components and connect them with each other easily.
  • package-lock.json/package.json: NPM uses a file called package.json as its primary mechanism for specifying project and package configuration. The package.json file is created by the npm init command, which you use to create (or re-use) your project’s initial package.json file.
  • tests/example.spec.js: The most important file or folder that gets generated while performing this function is tests/example.spec.js. Here almost everything gets covered with the help of the tests present in it.
  • Playwright.config.js: The playwright gem provides a library to handle the testing of APIs easily. It will allow you to simulate requests, receive responses, verify them, and save your results. It is a fully functioning test suite, minus some boilerplate code. This is the perfect starting point before you create your own test suite with the Playwright library.
  1. Once all these files are created, the next step is to install the browsers that will be helpful in the testing process. All the browsers can be downloaded through the npx playwright install command.
  2. After this, create and run all the tests and hence view the report to see how the particular website is running and what else is needed to make sure it runs smoothly. 

Playwright is one of the best approaches to achieve efficiency in software testing. In today’s competitive environment, enterprises incorporate automation in their testing to reduce costs and deliver quality results quickly. 

Running Playwrights Tests in Parallel 

Playwright introduces a new concept called browser contexts. Browser contexts are the unit of parallelization within the Playwright runtime. The creation and destruction of browser contexts is extremely fast and inexpensive, and it’s something you can do yourself, without waiting for the 

  • Playwright runtime to step in and start busy-waiting as you requested more browser context. Because each browser context can host multiple tabs, you can have hundreds of browser contexts running at once; each one executes thousands of web requests per second, theoretically. 
  • The browser context concept is a great approach to building automation, because it enables you to launch multiple parallel tasks in a safe manner, and it also allows you to manage the lifecycle of those browser contexts easily. Also, since browsers are so cheap, it’s possible to create hundreds or even thousands of browser contexts, so you can really leverage your effort.
  • Playwright provides you with a toolkit of functions you can use to launch many browser instances, one after the other, inside of a single application. It also provides you with commands that manage the lifecycle of these browser contexts: launch, load web pages inside them, close the browser instances.

The Playwright library makes it easier to build parallel web scraping applications. When there’s a need to execute several disconnected blocks of code simultaneously, we use browser contexts. In fact, strategies based on browser contexts can be used to solve problems.

Final Thoughts

Testing is a necessary and crucial part of the development process. Many tools are available for testing an application’s functionality on different browsers, operating systems, and devices. Through testing we can ensure that the application’s functionality across this entire range of devices and browsers is working properly. Also, checking in multiple browsers, or across multiple operating systems can check if there are any issues with coding that might be specific to a given browser or operating system and therefore can be exploited by hackers. 

This is where Playwright Browser Testing has been on the top. Playwright earns its high reputation among the front-end developers for offering a stable and reliable framework for end-to-end testing which is capable of creating reusable and easily maintained test suites. It is equipped with many features, such as auto wait check, capturing test traces automatically, and can be used in both legacy and modern frameworks. Besides, it is supported with BrowserStack, providing a more convenient way to test end-to-end across multiple browsers.

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