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Top 10 features of Playwright Automation Framework

With the growing use of test automation, it has taken on significant importance in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). As the scope expands, the market is seeing the emergence of new test automation tools constantly. Selenium and other proprietary tools dominated the market, but new open-source tools are now in charge. Playwright, a new addition to the Test Automation Framework, has many improvements over Puppeteer while still sharing a similar syntax.

The number of testing frameworks is growing as shifting testing to the software development lifecycle (SDLC) becomes more and more popular. Playwright is one of them, and it’s used by developers because it is quick and dependable at enabling the writing and execution of end-to-end tests for a variety of languages, mobile web applications, and platforms. Test automation sees significant challenges, such as the reliability of wait situations, parallel execution, and test execution. Overcoming these issues is not easy with any of the test automation frameworks and tools that are currently offered. These and other such problems are frequently addressed by Playwright, making your test automation effective and dependable.

Playwright: What is it?

An open-source test automation library called Playwright was first created by Microsoft contributors. Java, Python, C#, and NodeJS are just a few of the programming languages it supports. Playwright simplifies test automation for Chromium, Firefox, and Webkit-based browsers using a single API. It was specifically developed to enhance end-to-end testing and web test automation, and can serve as a substitute for Webdriver, the W3C standard currently in use for web automation testing. Here are top features of Playwright test automation framework:

Top 10 features of Playwright automation frameworks

The following list includes just a few of the new features that Playwright contributors have been releasing each month:

  1. Supports Multi-Browser: Browsers from the Chromium family (Chrome, Edge), Webkit (Safari), and Firefox are all supported by Playwright.
  2. Easy to Setup and Configuration: As a Test Automation Framework, Playwright just requires configuration and requires little time to install. The installation procedure may differ according to the language we use with Playwright.
  3. Offers Built-in Reporters: By default, the Playwright framework includes a plethora of useful reporters like as List, Dot, Line, JSON, JUnit, and HTML Reporters. The fascinating element is that Playwright allows you to construct unique reports. Third-party reporter Allure Report is also supported by Playwright.
  4. Support for Debugging Tools: Playwright has several debugging features, making it developer-friendly. Playwright Inspector, VSCode Debugger, Browser Developer Tools, and Trace Viewers Console Logs are some debugging alternatives.
  5. Supports Multi-Testings: Functional, end-to-end, and API testing are all supported by Playwright. Playwright may be connected with Accessibility Testing via a third-party plugin.
  6. Enables Parallel Browser Testing: Playwright also enables simultaneous testing (also known as parallel testing) through Browser Context and can conduct parallel tests with several browsers. This speeds up testing and is useful when numerous web pages must be evaluated at the same time worldkingnews.
  7. Typescript Support: Because it understands your typescript and JavaScript code, no setup is necessary for typescript language compatibility.
  8. Supports Multi-Language: Playwright is a popular choice since it supports Java, C#, Python, and Javascript/Typescript. The majority of recent open-source test automation frameworks lack this functionality.
  9. Support for CI/CD Integration: Playwright is compatible with CI/CD integration. It even has Docker images for some of the language bindings.
  10. Supports Multiple Tab/Browser Window: Playwright supports many tabs and windows. Some test cases need the scenario to be validated by opening a new window and returning to the parent window. Playwright provides a wide range of test scenarios.

Why Playwright Testing Is Beneficial

Playwright was only released in 2020 and doesn’t yet provide as many integrations as some other automation platforms, but it is generally regarded as being just as developer-friendly as more established frameworks like Selenium and Appium. Listed below are a few causes:

  • Playwright’s speed and coverage make it possible to test complicated applications on various platforms, languages, and mobile web applications.
  • Scalability: Using a preconfigured infrastructure or locally on a container, Playwright can run tests at a large scale.
  • Playwright can be integrated with a variety of continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools, such as Jenkins, CircleCI, and GitLab. Other JavaScript testing frameworks, like Jest, Jasmine, and Mocha, also work well with it.
  • Improved test accuracy: Playwright has an auto-wait feature that repeats the pertinent checks on elements and asked-for actions until they are all actionable.
  • Playwright has the ability to run multiple web pages’ tests simultaneously or in parallel. This enables the Playwright to build a browser context for every test, similar to building brand-new, unique browser profiles. Scaling up testing is made possible by the complete test isolation that parallel testing offers for individual web pages.

How to Begin with a Playwright

It’s important to keep in mind that as you prepare to use Playwright, your test automation framework needs to be sufficiently dependable to run each time new code is committed and to provide debugging tools.

A containerized testing solution, like the Sauce Testrunner Toolkit, which has preconfigured virtual machines (VMs) and Docker images for each framework, including Playwright, can accelerate testing and unify results. These can be used to run tests in the cloud or locally at scale. Regardless of the testing method, test assets are uploaded to the Sauce Cloud for quick debugging using screenshots, videos, logs, and historical information.

Playwright for Python

The most popular programming language that isn’t JavaScript is Python. Python is used by the largest percentage of respondents (24.8%) out of 20 programming languages, according to the 2021 State of JavaScript survey of more than 16,000 developers. Python programmers have the option of writing end-to-end tests using the Playwright pytest plugin or manually writing the testing infrastructure using a test runner like Sauce TestRunner.

Some Playwright Supported Capabilities

Let us understand a few Playwright supported capabilities here:

  • Playwright offers the possibility to create scenarios that span multiple pages, domains, and iframes
  • The framework is time-saving.
  • It enables auto-wait for elements to be ready before execution
  • Allows intercepting network activity for stubbing and mocking network requests
  • Also lets users emulate mobile devices, geolocation, permissions
  • Supports web components via shadow-piercing selectors
  • Can be used to upload and download files
  • Offers headless execution and cross browser automation

Added to these, Playwright provides a versatile API with enough features to prevent typical difficulties that create brittleness or flakiness without needing to predict them programmatically ahead of time.

Playwright Supported Languages

Playwright began as a Javascript Node.js package but has now expanded to support a variety of programming languages, including:

  • Playwright for Python
  • Playwright for Java
  • Playwright for .NET C#

Some Playwright Browser Contexts

Browser contexts are separated environments that are constructed on top of a single browser instance. They enable the creation of concurrent tests that are completely independent of one another and run in parallel to the browser environment.  Browser contexts also allow you to simulate altering the device viewport, permissions, or GEO locations across various sites. This assists Playwright in meet the demands of developers and testers when developing end-to-end tests.

Running Playwright Tests in Parallel

When addressing parallelization, browser context is quite important. A browser instance is used for automating a web application. You have the ability to launch and close various browser instances. Browser contexts, which are crucial to the execution mechanism, are introduced by Playwright. As a result, a single browser instance may be utilized to establish several, simultaneous, independent browser contexts. Because these browser contexts are exceedingly fast and inexpensive to generate, you may create hundreds of them and close them down as needed.

In addition, each browser context may host several webpages. For example, if you’re using a single WebKit instance and establishing a browser context on top of it, then you may run your scripts inside that browser context. Because these browser contexts are segregated and concurrent, you can actually run simultaneous tests across numerous contexts with a single instance of WebKit.

Using Microsoft Playwright JS With CI/CD Pipelines

To make things easier, the Playwright team created a slew of recipes that are available via a variety of CI providers. As a result, they provide guidance on how to get started with:

  • GitHub action (no longer recommended)
  • Travis CI
  • CircleCI
  • AppVeyor

Playwright also provides a Docker image to help with your test automation CI/CD operations. So, if you’re not using one of these CI providers, you may get started with cloud deployment of Playwright using that docker image by utilizing a docker container instead. The docker image is preferable because it includes all dependencies and browsers.

Also, with the availability of a GitHub action for Playwright, this is a wonderful choice if you don’t want to go into the settings and want something that just works out of the box. Using GitHub actions and the Playwright GitHub actions added to the YAML of your action, you can easily begin running the Playwright test on CI.

Understanding Playwright Test Recorder

One of the drawbacks of utilizing Playwright and Puppeteer is that you must create tests in code, which takes time and effort to get right. Codeless test automation systems offer rapid recording of user experiences, which may later be set in an editor or code. This avoids many of the dull and repetitive procedures associated with creating tests, and speeds up test generation to keep up with smaller release cycles and helps create the test coverage required to assure quality.

Playwright Vs Selenium and Cypress

In a world dominated by established players such as Cypress and Selenium, Playwright is a rising star. Let’s see how it all compares.

Selenium

There are some parallels between Playwright and Selenium. Both frameworks are simple to set up, open source, and entirely free to use. They both support a variety of programming languages, with Selenium supporting a few more (namely PHP, Ruby, and Perl). Playwright is cross-platform compatible with Chromium, Firefox, and Webkit, whereas Selenium works with any browser under the sun. Furthermore, Playwright’s headless approach enables speedier testing in even the most complicated settings.

When comparing the two frameworks, Playwright is often better suited for sophisticated tests with a narrow area of coverage. Selenium is likely the best option for any tests that require a larger region of coverage. Because Playwright is so young, it is unclear how far it will go into other languages and platforms.

Cypress

Although there are some parallels between Cypress and Playwright, the two frameworks are vastly different. Cypress is another open-source framework that testers may use for free, and both are best installed via npm. Playwright allows you to run a single test on various browsers, including Chrome, Webkit, and Firefox. At the time of writing, Cypress does not enable multi-page or third-party comparisons and does not operate with Webkit browsers such as Safari.

The Cypress framework does feature simple documentation and a large user community. The framework is an all-in-one testing kit, giving it a more plug-and-play feel. Playwright allows you to use your preferred test runner and has less dependencies to manage. When comparing the two frameworks, Cypress provides a superior method for individuals new to testing or programmers seeking for a single package that has all they need to get started. For anyone who has to test in Webkit or cover scenarios that need numerous pages and domains, Playwright is definitely the superior option.

Conclusion

Playwright makes it incredibly easy to write automation tests, and you’ll be able to build up massive suites of tests in a fraction of the time it would take you with other tools. Also, the entrance barrier is maintained low, so introducing it to a new team will not be scary. Added to it, playwright also has other noteworthy features like iframe support, support for page object patterns, built-in reporters, shadow DOM, automatic waiting, support for third-party test runner, videos and screenshot support, browser emulator, test retry, and parameterized project, which make it a wholesome automation package. When you’re ready to test your own application functionality look no further than LambdaTest for Playwright testing. LambdaTest lets you execute your Playwright tests directly on the cloud, on powerful machinery, in a scalable environment. The LambdaTest platform can execute Playwright tests in parallel across 50+ browsers and OS variants, reducing QA feedback time and increasing release velocity. It follows a simple 3-step procedure of integrate, execute, and scale for over 120+ integrations that it offers on its platform.

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