Optimizing Test Scripts: A Guide to Using Playwright

Optimizing Test

Automation testing has been an integral element of the software development life cycle (SDLC), and this trend is likely to lead to more frameworks related to automation testing. A Playwright is one such automation framework. Playwright is famous for its quick and dependable capacity to write optimized test scripts that can be incorporated into various applications.

The Playwright is an open-source framework designed by Microsoft in 2020 to address the testing requirements for today’s web app. The Playwright automation testing framework is relatively new to the testing market but has quickly become predominant in cross-browser testing.

This blog lets us explore the steps to optimize the test scripts using the Playwright framework.

Playwright Overview

Playwright is an open-source automation testing framework, especially for web apps. It enables the web apps to perform end-to-end testing. The Playwright is cross-platform, which means it can test web applications on multiple platforms, such as  Windows, Linux, and macOS. The frameworks support multiple languages like Python, Java, Javascript, .Net, and Typescript for writing test scripts.

The Playwright framework can be executed in parallel across various platforms. It supports all types of modern rendering engines. It allows capturing videos, screenshots, and other artifacts of failure, making tracking easier while executing the automated test scripts.

The Architecture of Playwright FrameworkUnlocking Web Automation Excellence with Playwright | by Mahrukh Khalid |  Medium

The Playwright automation testing framework architecture aligns with modern-day browser architecture, which runs the test out-of-process. Understanding the Playwright’s architecture is important to know how the automated process works and how the test scripts are executed. The architecture of the Playwright framework consists of 4 parts: client, server, WebSocket protocol, and Client-server communication. Now, let us see how the architecture works.

  1. The client of the framework sends the web socket connection request to the server.
  2. If the client’s configurational parameter is correct, then the server accepts the requested connection.
  3. Then, the server sends an acknowledgment message to the client after establishing the connection.
  4. The execution of the test scripts later begins on the same connection.

Characteristics of Playwright Framework

The Playwright automation testing framework’s characteristics and features stand out. Here are some of the key features of the framework.

  • Multi-browser support: Playwright supports various browsers that allow the framework to test different script environments.
  • Headless and head-full modes: It uses headless code execution for faster processing and head-full code execution visual debugging.
  • Simultaneous execution: The Playwright reduces the testing time, enabling the test scripts to be executed parallelly.
  • In-build emulators: With the help of the Playwright framework, you can test your application in different built-in emulators.
  • Videos and screenshots: It enables screenshots to be captured and video recorded during test script execution, helping testers identify issues in the debugging process.

A step-by-step guide to help you optimize the test scripts using PlaywrightHow Does Playwright Testing Work And How Can You Get Started With It

Let us see how to optimize and execute the test code in multiple web applications.

To begin the process, it is necessary to know what end-to-end testing is because the key functionality of Playwright is to enable reliable end-to-end testing in modern web apps.

What is end-to-end testing?

The end-to-end testing validates the functionality and performance of an app implemented from start to finish. It can be automated by using the Playwright automation testing framework.

Here are the steps involved in creating an optimized test script for the Playwright’s end-to-end testing:

1. Pre-requirements and Installation

Before installing the Playwright framework, satisfy its requirements to run it on the machine. Since the Playwright is a cross-language tool, choose a programming language. In this case, let us use Python to install the framework with the help of the Python IDE.

After satisfying the requirements, we can now install the framework. To install the framework with Python, use the command.

  • pip3 install playwright

Then, set your project and configure the Playwright framework for the browser of your choice, such as Chromium, Firefox, or WebKit.

2. Page Object Model

The page object model is a design pattern used in automation testing to organize the test code by creating maintainable and scalable test suites. In the Playwright, the Page object model creates a class representing an application testing page. This class in the page object model contains all the actions and elements of the page. For example, the login page class should contain elements for the username and password fields and a method for logging in. This makes it easy to interact with the page consistently and reusable during the testing.

3.  Selective Test Execution

In Playwright, tagging test cases helps create a solid organizational framework where cases can be classified according to their functionality or priority into functionalities, priorities, and other categorizations. Using the built-in test filtration support provided by Playwright, it is possible to conduct selective execution of certain subsets of tests while developing or as a response to changes. This approach allows focusing on relevant test scenarios, improving testing endeavors, and saving invaluable time and resources needed for software development workflow.

4. Test Data Management

In Playwright, efficient test data management is essential in creating marks of quality and reliability for the developed test scripts. One of the important strategies is data-driven testing, wherein test data and scripts are split. This separation enables the use of scripts with various datasets, thus greatly improving scalability in the automation suite. Testers can also examine the role of data providers and other outside sources in dynamic data injection, which would make it possible to simulate different real-life situations and events.

5. Parallel Test Execution

One of Playwright’s key advantages is the support for concurrent test execution, which has helped reduce total testing time. Testing teams can achieve this using a test runner and can run Playwright tests at the same time. The deployment of test suite components in pieces over multiple instances or environments and the execution for such units are strategies that ensure optimized allocation of resources. This speeds up the testing and helps detect any possible problems that may be revealed when a parallel testing environment is achieved.

6. Performance Testing with Playwright:

Playwright applies to performance testing by taking functional capabilities into the overall application-resilience. Playwright framework can apply performance testing scenarios within Playwright test scripts to measure how the web application performs in a low, medium, and high server workload scenario. Apply the Playwright built-in metrics and performance logs to get an in-depth knowledge of such important aspects as times of loading error pages, database access time, and memory consumption during test execution.

Testing the scalability of web applications by simulating realistic user interactions and slowly increasing virtual users’ numbers is possible. Playwright’s Performance Log is useful for increasing performance optimization efforts. Emulating various network conditions supported by the framework helps simulate real-world situations, guaranteeing that a web application will work consistently under all bandwidths and latencies.

Playwright’s integration of performance testing verifies functionality and strengthens your web application to withstand the stresses of real-time usage. This method follows industry standards, encouraging developers and testers to create productive web applications that ensure consistency in user satisfaction.

7. Logging and Reporting

Playwright allows you to use logging and reporting mechanisms in your test scripts to capture screenshots, videos, and logs during testing using APIs. The generated report will be beneficial for debugging and validating test failures. It is also recommended that you integrate reporting tools to make it easy for people to read and understand why individual tests failed.

8. Browser Context and Page Isolation

Playwright frameworks allow you to have many browser contexts containing multiple pages. You can use this functionality to enhance the reliability and performance of test scripts. All test cases run in separate browser contexts, and thus, no conflicts occur between them. This ensures that tests are separated and not dependent on the condition of other tests to have stable and manageable test scripts.

9. Handling Asynchronous Operations

Asynchronous operations, such as AJAX requests or animations, are commonly used in Web applications. Playwright automation testing frameworks can handle asynchronous operations, but you need to learn how to synchronize your test scripts with these operations. Use Playwright’s waitFor() functions to await certain conditions before executing further test steps. This makes your test scripts adaptive to the changing environment of web pages.

10. Continuous Integration (CI) Integration

Incorporate Playwright test scripts into your CI/CD workflows for end-to-end testing. This enables automated execution of tests with every code change, ensuring the developers get immediate feedback. You are advised to use popular CI tools, such as Jenkins, Travis CIs, or GitHub Actions, to automate the running process of playwright tests. Set up your CI environment to allow for parallel test runs and produce reports to obtain more traceability.

Best Practices for Playwright Test Scripts

Write Playwright test scripts clean, maintainable, and efficient as best practices. Such measures include structuring test code appropriately, using descriptive names for tests and logical organization on a suite level, and using design patterns such as the Page Object Model (POM). Keep an eye on changes in the application and perform refactoring of test scripts as frequently as possible to ensure their maintainability.

Another best practice is to execute test scripts on the cloud. Cloud testing platforms like LambdaTest help you automate complex or uncertain scenarios with specifications. LambdaTest is an AI-powered test execution and orchestration platform that empowers developers and testers to perform automation testing seamlessly on over 3000+ real browsers and operating system combinations.

Advanced Playwright Features

Check out the advanced features that Playwright brings with it to improve your test scripts. This may involve catching network requests emulating various devices, networking conditions, and browser contexts. Understanding and using these properties of the playwright framework will benefit in more complete test coverage and better optimization of the code for which tests have been created.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Playwright is a powerful automation testing framework that provides cross-platform support, multi-language, and modern browser architectures. The guide underscores using Playwright’s capabilities, for instance, parallel test running and network request interception, to simplify the testing cycle. Following practices such as the Page Object Model and integrating within continuous integration pipelines increases suite organization, scalability, and reliability of scripts. This includes embracing Playwright’s evolution and following the best practices to make testing teams capable of leading in software development and providing solid web applications.