E2E testing is a significant part of the software development life cycle (SDLC). This is a method for testing whether an application behaves as expected, from start to finish. In a nutshell, E2E testing replicates real-world scenarios and validates the system under various types of conditions. In this blog, we will have a look at how you can develop end-to-end tests using Selenium WebDriver.
So, let’s get started!
What is End-to-End testing? Let’s magnify the details!
E2E testing is the process of testing software from beginning to end from the beginning to end. As a result of E2E testing, all integrated components, dependencies, and other integrated pieces must function as expected, simulating an end user’s application journey.
Although it seems obvious that the end-to-end test should be conducted with all components attached, in practice this is not done very often. In particular, this is true for large applications that contain hundreds of components and thousands of dependencies.
However, there is a limitation with end-to-end testing. With this kind of testing, it is quite difficult to pinpoint exactly where the problem lies, it’s time-consuming, it requires more infrastructure than unit testing, and it requires more infrastructure than integration testing. In spite of this, it is also the most significant testing process because it covers the most accurate end user scenarios.
What is the importance of E2E testing?
If you pick any modern application as of right now, you will find endless moving parts. Hundreds of components and thousands of dependencies make up an enterprise-grade application, which is deployed on a multipart infrastructure ecosystem. Consequently, there are numerous avenues for failure due to all this complexity. The operation of a single isolated system could be smooth and perfect. It is, however, possible to create conflicts and issues between such systems if they are grouped together.
It is, therefore, crucial to simulate how the end user will interact with the final application made up of all components and dependencies in order to ensure final quality assurance of all moving parts. In order to accomplish this, end-to-end testing must be conducted on all workflows, from simple to complex.
A software development framework called Testing Pyramid can foster high-quality code by reducing the amount of time required for developers to determine if changes affect existing code. In addition, it facilitates the development of more robust test suites.
An automated test suite is structured according to the testing pyramid, which provides a framework for the types of tests to be performed. Furthermore, it specifies how often and in what order these assessments will be conducted. Providing rapid feedback ensures that existing functionality is not affected by code changes.
There are three levels in the test automation pyramid:
- Unit Tests
- Integration Tests
- End to end Tests
Test pyramids are built on the foundation of unit tests. In tests, isolated code units are tested to ensure they function as expected without interfering with external dependencies. Developer-triggered tests are executed in this pyramid layer pre- and post-commit.
Software testing is incomplete without integration tests. Integration tests ensure that the software communicates efficiently and retrieves accurate data such that it performs as expected. Unit tests check smaller portions of a codebase, while integration tests check that the codebase performs as expected. Integrated tests check how your software interacts with external components, like APIs and databases. Your software can communicate efficiently with these external components through integration tests that ensure data is retrieved on time.
In comparison with unit tests, integration tests require interaction with external sources, which makes them slower and more complicated. It is also necessary to set up a pre-production environment for them to run. In order to run integration tests effectively, the right balance of virtual and real devices must be maintained.
End to End Testing:
It is the most expensive to maintain end-to-end testing because it examines all code written for an application. In order to simulate real-world functionality, it uses a test environment and data, but its operating speed is the slowest. In addition to checking assembled applications, it is also the most difficult to detect problems.
A testing cycle’s most time-consuming part is end-to-end tests, the most comprehensive form of automated testing. Setup and execution of these tests can take a long time since they often have unreliable external dependencies like integration tests.
What is Selenium WebDriver?
There are several key differences between Selenium WebDriver and Selenium RC, including its architecture. With Selenium WebDriver, you can run tests quickly and headlessly without needing a GUI. Additionally, it is direct-call browser-based, rather than server-dependent like Selenium RC.
A comparison between Selenium RC and Selenium WebDriver reveals that Selenium WebDriver has advantage over Selenium RC when it comes to multi-browser testing, drag-and-drop functionalities, frames-into-frames, and a wide variety of other advanced features.
Selenium Webdriver JS makes it easier to test dynamic components of the DOM by letting you click and access elements within a web page. With Selenium Webdriver JS, you can write tests in multiple programming languages, including C#, Python, Ruby, and Java. An organization that uses APIs only has admin and frontend components. As a result, end-to-end tests ultimately test frontend applications.
A standard tool for performing end-to-end tests is Selenium. This tool allows you to interact with the DOM and talk to the web browser, filling in inputs, clicking buttons, or typing into text fields. Your application can be automated with Selenium just like a real user would do it. You can quickly become productive with Selenium WebDriver API by creating a few convenience functions to alleviate some of its complexities.
Selenium WebDriver is a powerful tool for automating e2e tests, so you need to learn a few concepts about it in order to write them efficiently and effectively. You will have no trouble writing e2e tests once you understand these concepts, and you will also be able to increase your application’s test coverage.
Developing End to End Test With Selenium WebDriver
It is possible to automate testing of dynamic web-based applications with Selenium WebDriver where the content changes according to the user’s actions. By using Selenium WebDriver, we can automate every single user action as if it were a real person.
Using a specific browser, for example, we could click on different buttons within the application and populate some fields with different data. We can then instruct Selenium to simulate keystrokes and other actions.
A very strong and fast automated Regression suite can be built using Selenium WebDriver, Java, JUnit, and BDD (behavior-driven development). The document should be readable from a business perspective as well as from a technical perspective. Additionally, we can automate every single regression test for the user interface.
Taking a closer look at Selenium, let’s consider its pros and cons.
Using Selenium has both advantages and disadvantages
Compared to other automation testing frameworks, Selenium stands out for the following reasons:
- Open-source software is used in this program.
- Multiple operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, can be used with the tool.
- There are a variety of programming languages compatible with it.
- Several tests can be executed simultaneously.
- Maven, Jenkins, and Docker integration is supported.
- Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari are among the most commonly used browsers that Selenium is compatible with.
- Processes more efficiently and consumes fewer resources.
Each tool has its limitations, and that’s natural. Selenium’s are as follows:
- Only web-based applications can be used with the tool; desktop applications are not supported.
- It lacks a built-in reporting system.
- Image testing is limited by it.
- Implementing proper test cases requires higher expertise and more time with Selenium.
- It may not work correctly with some of its features.
End to End Testing Best Practices
During end-to-end testing, the user experience is mimicked as if the application were being used by a real person. To make end-to-end testing as effective as possible, here are a few best practices:
- The following scenarios should be tested repeatedly:
Depending on the application and the use cases, it might not be possible to cover everything. Focus on the most common scenarios instead of testing the edge cases. The exception cases may be better addressed by integration testing or low-level unit testing.
- Determine which aspects need to be prioritized:
It is important to start with testing the features that will impact your organization most, whether it’s the customer experience or ensuring a failure does not affect your revenue. Taking care of the things that affect your organization first is the best course of action.
- Ensure that testing is realistic:
A website is not merely a collection of buttons people click and move on from. Reading, viewing images, and pausing between actions are some of the ways they spend their time. It is important to simulate real-life interaction as much as possible during end-to-end testing.
- Testing APIs:
Developers can use end-to-end tests along with API tests to determine whether a front-end failure is due to an API call error or a functional error.
- Monitoring of errors:
It can be complex to test an end-to-end application because it encompasses the whole system. In order to reduce the number of problems you need to investigate, it’s best to fix the errors as much as possible before doing end-to-end testing.
- Optimising the testing environment:
The testing process can be facilitated by creating an ideal environment for testing. In this manner, minimal setup time is required when it’s time to test, and data can be cleared quickly so the test environment can be used again immediately.
Testing frameworks like Selenium, Cypress, Playwright, Puppeteer, and more can all be used for automation testing with LambdaTest. The LambdaTest cloud-based testing platform allows you to test end-to-end across more than 3000 browser and operating system combinations. This platform provides developers with many features they need for scaling end-to-end tests, including dashboards for monitoring flaky tests. HyperExecute is their new offering that takes test execution speed to the next level.