5 Things You Need To Know When Writing Unit Tests With Selenium WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver

There are many frameworks that can be used for web automation testing. These include Selenium, PlayWright, and Puppeteer. The selection of the test automation framework is based on several parameters, such as type, complexity, and scale. This also depends on the expertise of the team. It’s not surprising that Selenium remains the preferred framework for developers and QAs.

Selenium WebDriver, for starters, is the core of Selenium’s automation framework. This Selenium WebDriver tutorial focuses on the core aspects of Selenium WebDriver and touches upon the Selenium WebDriver architecture.

In this blog, we will come to some important aspects that should be considered while writing unit tests with Selenium WebDriver.

Let’s Talk A Bit About Selenium

Selenium, an open-source Web UI (User Interface) automation testing framework, is widely used. It allows testers to run tests on different browsers, platforms, and languages. Selenium automation framework is the best in terms of features, supported languages, and CI/CD integrations. However, Selenium automation is still the preferred method for web automation testing, according to a survey.

Selenium WebDriver’s support of all programming languages, including Java, JavaScript, and C#, is one of its major advantages over other test automation frameworks. Referring to individual Selenium language tutorials, such as the Selenium Python tutorial, can help you get the most from Selenium and Python in web automation testing.

Let’s Talk A Bit About WebDriver

WebDriver is a component of the Selenium framework. It helps with browser-based automation. WebDriver allows programs to interact with and instruct browsers. It can also manipulate DOM elements within a web page and control the behavior and behavior of the User Agent.

WebDriver is a language-neutral protocol, i.e., WebDriver’s language-neutral protocols are used by the Selenium framework for automating testing steps. WebDriver acts as a bridge between Selenium frameworks and end browsers that execute the test.

Selenium Webdriver and Selenium are often used together and can even be interchangeably used to identify the same framework, Selenium WebDriver. This has not always been true. Selenium and WebDriver started out as separate open-source projects. However, in 2008 both teams joined forces to create a common project that helped solve the inherent problems of the Selenium RC version.

Selenium WebDriver, an enhanced version of Selenium RC, overcomes many of the limitations of Selenium RC. It communicates directly with the browser to control it. It executes faster than RC and IDE.

Our Related Article: JUnit and Selenium

Selenium RC was merged with WebDriver to create Selenium WebDriver 2.0. It has evolved over time to include more functionalities and features. Selenium 3 used the JSON Wire protocol as the primary means of communication between the test code and the web browser. Then Selenium 4 replaces JSON Wire protocol with W3C protocol. This means that test requests can be encoded and decoded in WebDriver W3C protocol. As QA engineers, you can expect fewer flaky tests using W3C Protocol in Selenium4.

5 Things You Should Consider While Writing Unit Tests With Selenium WebDriver

1. Avoid Blocking Sleep Calls

Web applications’ behavior (or websites) is affected by many external factors. These include network speed, device or machine capabilities, access location, and load on the backend server. It is difficult to predict how long it will take to load a particular web element because of these factors. This is where a delay (or timeout) before any actions are performed on the web element will delay execution and allow the specific web element to load.

A blocking sleep call (e.g., Thread.sleep in Java, time.sleep in Python ) delays the test thread for a specified time. It will also block the thread for a single-threaded process. Although blocking sleep calls is an effective way to add delay, the length of the delay will depend on many factors. It is not guaranteed that the delay will work every time. If you add a delay of five seconds, the specified element will not load after 10 seconds.

What are the alternatives to blocking sleep calls? Selenium offers Implicit and Explicit Wait, which are better at handling delays than sleep. The browser is instructed to wait for web elements on the page for a specific time. Execution proceeds to the next line if the element is available sooner than the implicit delay time.

2. Test Cases And Test Suites Should Be Named Properly

Sometimes, your team may need to improve the tests you have written. You might not be able to find the purpose of the test if you revisit it after several months. It should be simple to identify which functionalities have been broken if tests fail during execution. This problem can be fixed easily by naming test cases, so they are easy to understand, and neither you nor your colleagues have to spend too much time scrolling through the implementation.

3. Try To Maximize The Browser Window

A Selenium tester will take a screenshot of the page to begin automation testing. Screenshots are taken during the testing process to assist developers in diagnosing issues and tracking product development progress. Screenshots can also be used to determine if a test fails due to an application problem or a Selenium-related issue in the automation test script.

Selenium defaults to not opening the browser in maximized mode. This can cause Selenium not to take a screenshot (or snap) of the webpage. These are usually attached to test reports. By maximizing the browser window right after loading the test URL, you can capture a complete web page screenshot.

This is one of Selenium’s best practices, regardless of which browser Selenium test automation takes place.

4. Follow Uniform Directory Structure

It is important to pay attention to the maintainability of Selenium framework-based tests. A standard project may contain Src and test folders. Sub-directories of the Src folder may contain Page Objects and Helper functions. File(s) containing web locator information can be found in test scenarios. The actual test implementation can be included in the Test folder.

There is no standard structure when it comes to directory structures for Selenium test automation. Selenium’s best practices suggest that we have a directory structure that separates the test implementation and the test automation framework. This allows for better organization of test code.

5. Avoid Code Duplication

Avoiding unnecessary duplication of code is one of the best Selenium practices for Selenium automation. Different web locators might be used, such as ID or XPath. Access the web elements on the page. To minimize code duplication, code that is often used in the implementation should have its own API.

Duplication can also be reduced and made easier to maintain the code. One of the Selenium best practices is wrapping Selenium calls. This can make a significant impact on maintaining complex test suites (or test codes).

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, by now, you must be aware of the factors that must be kept in mind while writing unit tests with Selenium WebDriver. Selenium is best for automation testing. To understand a lot more about cloud platforms and cloud testing if we consider LambdaTest as an example:

We can introduce LambdaTest to the new developers as a cloud-based platform with multiple modern features to improve the efficiency of the automation testing processes. For instance, it allows the developers to integrate parallel testing of different test configurations.

Since we’re on the topic of Selenium automation testing, it is worth mentioning that LambdaTest can execute the Selenium automation test cases on 3000+ different browser versions. LambdaTest generates highly accurate test results by combining all the reports from not only simulators and emulators but also hundreds of real devices present on cloud servers.

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