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Test Automation with Playwright: Definition and Benefits of this Testing Framework – 2024

The needs of modern QA teams are constantly growing due to the emergence of new approaches to web application development. They require a reliable testing automation environment that ensures fast and effective test execution. These priorities are causing more testers to abandon familiar frameworks in favor of new, progressive tools. This article will focus on one of them – Playwright.

For many years, the well-established Selenium framework has been used for end-to-end testing of web apps. However, many software testing professionals consider it somewhat outdated. It lags behind modern tools in terms of speed, efficiency, and performance, lacks support for some necessary features (such as automatic waiting), requires the involvement of third-party services to generate reports, and has several other shortcomings. As a result, automation engineers prefer the last ones.

Playwright is one of the popular frameworks that has already gained immense popularity despite its recent entry into the market. You can see it with the statistic on top.

What Is Playwright? Key Features Of The Tool

Playwright is an open-source Node.js library that enables efficient E2E testing of web apps.

Playwright was created by Microsoft in 2020 but has already found its enthusiasts: when preparing this article, the framework had 54.7k stars and 3k forks on GitHub. You can find detailed documentation on the same platform that will make it easier to start with the tool.

Playwright Meets Most Of The Needs Of Modern Agile Teams Thanks To Its Key Features:

  • Cross-browser Compatibility. With Playwright, automation is possible for all modern browsers, including the Chromium family (Chrome and Edge), Firefox, and Webkit (Safari).
  • Cross-platform Capability. The framework allows tests to be run locally, on CI, and on different platforms: Windows, Linux, and macOS.
  • Multilingual Support. The tool eliminates the need for the automation engineer to be tied to a specific programming language. It lets you write tests in TypeScript, JavaScript, Python, .NET, C#, and Java. All about supported Playwright languages in Docs

This framework guarantees high testing efficiency for web applications by modeling real user scenarios and other progressive features. We will discuss them further.

Why Choose Playwright As The Primary Framework For Your Project?

The framework’s creators have made every effort to make it as versatile as possible, allowing teams to use it regardless of project specifics. With Playwright, you’ll gain a range of advantages:

  • Variety of Devices for Testing: The framework supports testing in different browsers and running tests on emulators. You can emulate any real device, including phones or tablets; in this case, it refers to emulating Google Chrome for Android and Mobile Safari.
  • Extensive Integration Capabilities: The framework enables test execution on CI/CD thanks to its integration support with top tools, including GitHub Actions, Azure Pipelines, CircleCI, Jenkins, and GitLab. Its capabilities go beyond this, as Playwright supports working with popular test runners like AVA, Jest, Jasmine, and Mocha, as well as integration with Online Selenium Grid for parallel execution of large test suites.
  • Support for Various Types of Testing: With this framework, you can run functional, end-to-end tests and perform API testing.
  • Ability to Handle Different Test Scenarios: Some test scenarios involve opening new browser windows or tabs. Playwright supports this capability, allowing interaction with multi-page websites just like a real user.

Despite being a relatively new framework with room for further development, Playwright outperforms many familiar but outdated tools, and its shortcomings are relative. For instance, its lack of a large community is compensated for Playwright by comprehensive documentation.

While it may not be possible to use real mobile devices for testing within the framework, it can create highly realistic emulators. Therefore, consider this framework if you’re dealing with end-to-end web application testing.

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