Automation testing is becoming one of the most dominant trends in the modern application development industry. This is because, with the recent testing culture and app nature, it has become almost impossible to verify the proper performance of an application with complete manual test cases. On the other hand, automation test cases can help the developers not only verify the performance of the applications but also to improve the quality of the final app.
When we’re on the topic of automation testing, it is impossible to complete the discussion without the inclusion of Selenium. This is because Selenium is one of the most dominant names in the segment of test automation. However, there are various alternatives to Selenium like Playwright and Cypress. Each of these test automation frameworks is unique and has its advantages.
With this article, we’re going to compare the basic functioning of Selenium and Playwright. We will also try to find the superior option based on the requirements of a developer. Finally, we’ll wrap up our discussion with some of the best tools and platforms that can assist developers to introduce automation testing with both Selenium and Playwright.
The Scope of Test Automation
As we already mentioned earlier, the complexity of modern apps has reached such a state that it has become almost impossible to verify their performance with complete manual test cases. Moreover, manual testing is prone to human error and puts mental stress on the developers. On the other hand, test automation can replace all of these disadvantages very efficiently. Moreover, it is very easy for the developers to store and reuse the test automation files. This means that with the help of this process, the developers can use the same test scripts for future app projects.
The test file of automation testing consists of various data and parameters that help the developers to understand the functioning of the application. With the help of these parameters, the system can interact with the application like a normal user and generate the results. These results will verify the user-interactive nature and smooth execution of the applications.
We would like to state that the app developers can also make significant changes in the test file to make their results accurate and suitable according to their testing requirements. However, the process of automation testing comes with a massive disadvantage. This is because to initially get started with this advanced process, the developers need to make a lot of investment.
These investments will cover the expenses for integrating various tools, plugins, and libraries that are critical for the proper execution of automated test cases. So we would recommend that app-developing companies have a detailed idea about the business perspective and possible returns on investment. This data will help them understand whether test automation is the right choice for them or not.
However, similar to test automation, Selenium also has a massive disadvantage. This is because, with the help of Selenium, the developers can only execute the automation test cases on web applications. Considering that there are various other apps like native apps, cross-platform apps, and hybrid apps that are popular in the market, this restriction can massively cripple the app development practices of the companies. So we would recommend that the app company have access to multiple frameworks to prevent any form of errors. Now let us take a detailed look at all the components present in the Selenium test suite:
The Selenium WebDriver is the most important part of the test suite as it helps the developers not only start the automation test cases but also to assign them to the respective elements of the web application. The Selenium WebDriver has been massively updated with the Selenium 4 update to improve its functioning and simplicity. Many app developers consider the Selenium WebDriver as an updated version of the Selenium remote controller. This is because the Selenium WebDriver can natively interact with all the elements of a web app.
The Selenium Grid is a critical component to improve the efficiency of the test cases. This is because the Selenium grid helps the developers to initiate the automation test cases in a parallel testing format. Parallel testing is often regarded as the process of initiating multiple test configurations at the same time. So it’s a very important feature when the developers are working on complex applications that have thousands of different elements. Parallel testing can also help developers to run these test cases on different systems.
The Selenium IDE, also popularly known as a Selenium integrated development environment, helps the developers easily create the automation test case in real-time. This means that for the test case generation process, the developers simply have to interact with the application like a normal user. Based on these interactions, the system will continue to generate test cases. Since the test cases are generated based on real user interaction, they are very accurate in defining the performance of the application.
Playwright has been developed as a single-page application. One of the major differences between Playwright and Selenium is that Playwright does not provide any native support for real device testing. On the other hand, Selenium natively supports not only real device testing but also remote server testing.
However, the developers can run real device testing with Playwright with the help of various cloud-based platforms that are easily available in the present market. We will understand more about the role of various tools and platforms in Selenium and playwright-based automation testing in the latter part of this article.
Since Playwright is new to the market, it also lacks the community support that is easily available with Selenium. This community of tech developers not only helps improve the framework but also assists new developers. On the other hand, the playwright is a better option for executing complex app testing compared to Selenium.
Best Tools and Platforms for Execution of Test Automation
As we already mentioned earlier, test automation is a complex process for new developers. However, some various tools and platforms can reduce the complexity of automation testing. Moreover, these platforms also help the developers to include additional features for further improving the app quality. A great example is the context of cloud platforms that helps developers to eradicate the need to have a physical device testing lab.
The physical device testing lab helps the developers to understand the role of a device’s physical specifications in the proper execution of the application. However, cloud platforms can help developers receive similar test results while executing all the test cases over the web. Using these platforms, the developers can also initiate test cases from anywhere around the world.
Let us use the context of LambdaTest to further improve our knowledge of cloud platforms and their advantages:
For the primary discussion, we can justify LambdaTest as a modern cloud-based platform for executing cross-browser testing on web apps. The current state of the app development market requires cross-browser testing as a benchmark for ensuring the best end-user experience. This is because, with cross-browser test cases, the developers can provide stable apps despite the user’s change in browser version, operating system, or device specifications. This platform also helps the developers to improve the efficiency of the test case through various advanced features like parallel test execution. LambdaTest can execute the test cases from not only Selenium and Playwright but also from other popular frameworks like Cypress.
While working with Selenium test cases, it can execute it on more than three thousand different browsers side by side. On the other hand, it can execute the Playwright test cases on more than 50 different browsers at the same time. The addition of real device testing along with existing thousands of simulation softwares helps the developers to improve the accuracy of the final Test results. LambdaTest also verifies the proper implementation of internally hosted web apps for the company’s operations.
The primary motive of this article was to spread proper awareness about Selenium and Playwright, two of the most popular names in the field of automation testing. Since automation testing is gaining a lot of popularity in the present time, developers need to have a proper idea about all the popular frameworks. This will help them to choose the correct framework according to their requirements.
Finally, app developers should also keep their knowledge updated about all the innovations and trends in the field of automation testing. It will help them to improve their testing practices and maintain the company’s position in this competitive market. Lastly, app companies can also conduct detailed awareness campaigns to spread the required knowledge. It is also important to choose the correct tool that complements your testing practices. The perfect tool will help the developers to realize the full potential of their automation test bench.