Playwright support for network emulation

Playwright support for network emulation: how to use it and why it is important?

Across all modern browsers, Playwright provides testing and automation that is rapid, dependable, and capable. By outlining the key distinctions among the available tools, this guide will assist you in selecting the ideal one for your automated testing.

  • All browsers are supported
  • Speedy and robust execution
  • Strong computerized automation capabilities

All browsers are supported:

  • Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit support for all widely used web browsers should all be tested. All current browsers, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge (when used with Chromium), Apple Safari (when used with WebKit), and Mozilla Firefox, have full API support for Playwright.
  • Testing responsive web apps in mobile web browsers should be done via device emulation.
  • Both the headless mode, in which the browser’s user interface is concealed, and the headed mode, in which the user interface is visible, are supported by Playwright. While headed is better for debugging, headless is quicker and more suited for the cloud and continuous integration runs.

Speedy and robust execution

  • Automatic-waiting APIs:

The interactions in the Playwright wait for the elements to be available automatically. The tests are not only more trustworthy as a result, but they are also simpler to write.

Timeout-free automation:  The Playwright can detect browser signals, including network requests, page load events, and page navigations, and prevent the requirement for sleep timeouts, which are the main cause of flakiness.

Browser context isolation:  Use a single instance of the browser to run a variety of browser contexts in separate execution environments.

Locators for resilient elements: The Playwright may use user-facing strings to locate objects. The text content and accessibility characteristics are two examples of such strings. These locators are more resilient than selectors tightly coupled to the DOM structure.

Strong automation capabilities

  • The Playwright is an out-of-process automation driver that is unrestricted by the limitations of in-page JavaScript execution and can automate scenarios involving many pages.
  • The Playwright uses context-wide network interception to stub and fake network requests.
  • Shadow-piercing locators, geolocation, permissions, web workers, and other modern web APIs are used by Playwright to support web components.
  • Playwright supports file downloads and uploads, native input events, out-of-process iframes, and even a dark mode.

Playwright History

Selenium has primarily been used since its launch in 2004 to create test suites for various websites. However, in cases where websites lack application programming interfaces, programmers have also used it to capture screenshots and automate procedures (APIs).

On the other hand, selenium is known for being unreliable. Selenium-based tests are well-known for being unstable and frequently failing for reasons that are difficult to comprehend. Selenium’s resource-intensive characteristics while rendering entire web pages caused programmers to use headless browsers as an alternative. These browsers behave similarly to regular browsers and perform the same tasks but don’t display any content.

While headless browsers are useful for testing simpler websites, their capacity to test more intricate website features is constrained. The ability of headless browsers to evaluate all of the features of full browsers depends on their ability to mimic full browsers accurately. The sophistication of modern browsers makes this rather challenging to execute.

2017 marked a turning point for significant changes in the browser automation industry. It has been decided that PhantomJS, a well-known framework for headless testing, is no longer supported. This modification resulted from Google’s introduction of headless Chrome, which was made available for the first time in Chrome version 59. As a follow-up, Firefox unveiled a headless mode later in the same year. These developments produced testing and scripts that were more successful, which ultimately culminated in the development of Playwright.

What advantages does Playwright for web automation offer?

Microsoft created the Playwright open-source framework in 2020 and released it publicly. Although it has only recently entered the market, its popularity has grown too much. We can see how popular Playwright has been by comparing the number of downloads for comparable frameworks on the market for longer than Playwright. Microsoft continually improves and updates it in response to customer feedback.

The Playwright is taken into account as a framework because of the following reasons:

Releases:

In addition to offering their release notes as video walkthroughs, the Playwright team also makes them available in their standard format.

Competitors:

You might be weighing the advantages and disadvantages of switching from Selenium to Cypress while also thinking about improving your community’s reputation.

Due to its user-friendly flexibility and syntax in interacting with the browser on various pages and domains, Playwright testing outperforms its competitors and scores higher than other JavaScript libraries. This distinguishes it from the competition. Last but not least, Playwright runs test scripts faster than competing automation frameworks.

Integration:

Native integration is a standard feature of Playwright. The Playwright, for instance, offers Docker images, allowing you to run tests quickly in an isolated and controlled environment. Some of the most well-liked continuous integration and continuous delivery platforms, including GitHub Actions, Azure Pipelines, CircleCI, Jenkins, and GitLab, have native interfaces available. It is advantageous if they support your current JavaScript test runners, such as Jest/Jasmine, Mocha, and AVA and if you are moving your JavaScript tests from the existing code base.

Last but not least, Playwright directly connects to the Selenium grid. This must be done to manage execution through Selenium Grid and run more comprehensive test suites.

The Playwright testing framework has some unique qualities:

  • Chromium, WebKit, and Firefox cross-browser apps can be created using the framework. Browsers, including Edge, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and Safari, can all run these programs.
  • Numerous operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS, are supported for execution.
  • Cross-language testing is possible using Java, Python, TypeScript, JavaScript, and .NET, and choose the environment that suits you best while still testing all formats and domains.
  • You can easily keep track of videos and logs by using auto-wait, intelligent assertions that retry until an element is located, and test data tracing.
  • The application’s modern architecture and lack of restrictions allow you to interact with websites with multiple pages and tabs just like a normal user and easily manage browser events and frames.
  • The limitations of utilizing an in-process test runner are absent in the Playwright framework, which is in line with contemporary browsers.
  • The Playwright offers test isolation without any additional cost. Each test it runs creates a browser environment in a matter of milliseconds.

Playwright supporting Emulation:

With the help of Playwright, the users can test the apps on any browser and emulate the real device, such as a tablet or mobile phone. The user needs to configure the various devices you are trying to emulate and then Playwright the simulation on the browser like “viewport,” “user agent,” and “screen size.” Users can also emulate the “timezone,” “locale, and geolocation” for every test or exclusively for the ones the permission is granted.

Advantages of using Playwright:

The Playwright framework will make it much easier to undertake cross-browser testing on complicated web applications. It provides an excellent range of testing possibilities and offers precise results. Additionally, automating your web testing can offer you several advantages.

Here are a few of them:

  • This functionality enables simultaneous testing of iframes, multiple tabs, and numerous users.
  • It is provided as a Visual Studio Code extension that enables tests to be run with a single click. It also provides tools for investigating selectors, creating new tests, and doing step-by-step debugging.
  • To view the outcomes of the test execution in the browser, create an HTML report. Along with aesthetic inconsistencies, it also contains testing artifacts like screenshots, traces, error logs, and video recordings.
  • The Playwright must be customized; therefore, the installation takes little time. Based on your programming language, the installation process for Playwright to run the tests may differ.
  • It supports several testing techniques, including functional, end-to-end, and API testing.
  • It uses a plugin created by a third party to offer assistance for automated accessibility testing.
  • The many debugging tools included are Browser Developer Tools, Playwright Inspector, VSCode Debugger, and Trace Viewers Console Logs.
  • Reporters like JSON, JUnit, and HTML are already installed on it. With Playwright, you can create customized reporters as well.
  • Run many tests concurrently on your computer or a Selenium grid online. Additionally, by sharing tests across many platforms, you can run multiple tests simultaneously.

The Playwright makes it possible to test quickly and accurately across the browsers:

Today’s web developers ship their work more swiftly. Although every device we use has a different browser engine, web applications are becoming increasingly sophisticated. They can run on all our devices, including our phones, tablets, and desktop PCs. The testing process is under great stress due to the increased targets, making automated testing of functionality across several browsers more important than ever.

End-to-end automated testing has the potential to be very effective because the tests could verify a product’s functionality, usability, and performance by replicating the actions of real users (at least in theory). End-to-end tests may need to be faster, more reliable, and easier to implement in practical use.

Users can test web apps using Playwright on a range of browsers, including those based on the Chromium platform (like Google Chrome and the future Microsoft Edge), the WebKit platform (like Apple Safari), and the Gecko platform (such as Mozilla Firefox).

The Playwright may automate many use cases across several browsers using a single API.

Scalable automation that emphasizes rapid and parallelized execution:

To offer quick and parallelized automation in both on-premises and cloud-based applications, Playwright was created. All the browsers like Chromium, WebKit, and Firefox can produce many separate browser contexts. This leads to a significant increase in efficiency and enables the simulation of independent multi-page situations.

A single browser context can contain many web pages, and that context’s functionality, such as network interception or login credentials, can be defined. Besides emulating geolocation and locale, browser contexts can also emulate mobile viewports. As a result, several device configurations, including desktop, iPhone, and iPad, may execute multi-page scenarios concurrently using a single instance of WebKit.

Increased dependability with timeout-free automation

Web apps today must respond dynamically to user inputs and offer a rich, interesting user experience. This asynchronous behavior makes it more challenging to automate existing apps predictably. A network request might take a little bit longer than usual, in which case the loader would continue to spin.

Writing tests that are dependable to execute and simpler overall is made easier by Playwright’s automatic waiting for the user interface to be accessible. For example, a click on a webpage will automatically wait for the target element to appear and be prepared before taking action. Developers and testers can write scenario-focused tests rather than timing- or UI-state-focused. This will make it much simpler to maintain the test code in the long run.

The engine that drives Playwright is an event-driven architecture with the capacity to pick up on events produced by the browser. Tests written in Playwright may wait for DOM updates, network requests, and even new terminal logs. The protocols used by Playwright are the same ones used by the tools that programmers have come to enjoy for developing browsers.

Timeouts can be avoided if automation scripts have access to actual browser events. Waiting for the program to finish starting up was often the only way to manage asynchronous behavior while performing traditional end-to-end testing.

Wrap-Up!

Playwright is an open-source testing tool developed by Microsoft that allows users to automate end-to-end tests for web applications. It is designed to be easy to use and provides support for a wide range of modern web technologies, such as JavaScript, TypeScript, and WebAssembly.

Like Selenium, Playwright can be used to automate actions on a web page and verify that the expected behavior occurs. However, it is designed to be faster and more reliable than Selenium, and it offers a number of additional features, such as the ability to test web applications across multiple devices and browsers simultaneously.

LambdaTest is a cloud-based platform that allows users to perform cross browser testing of their web applications. It provides a variety of tools, including Playwright, to help users test their applications on different browsers, operating systems, and devices.

Users can use LambdaTest to run their Playwright tests on a variety of different browsers and devices, including both desktop and mobile browsers. This can be especially useful for testing applications that need to work across different platforms and environments. In addition to Playwright, LambdaTest also provides support for other testing tools, such as Selenium, TestNG, JUnit, and Cucumber, and offers integrations with a number of popular development frameworks.

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