Introduction to Playwright and its Installation Guide

intro to playwright and installation Guide

Playwright is an advanced test automation framework which is an open source Node.Js Library, It is used for end-to-end automation and Browser automation. Playwright is developed by Microsoft and it comes with High -level API for automating web browser interactions including browsers such as Firebox, Chromium and Webkit. Playwright is a powerful framework for web automation, it comes with a unified API across multiple browser engines. It is easy to use and install, provides an amazing environment for performing web UI automation with continued interaction with API. Below we will be discussing multiple benefits of playwright and its installation process.

Benefits of playwright:

There are various benefits of working with a playwright as the primary framework of test automation in a testing project.

  1. Single API: As we need to perform automation for multiple browsers, Playwright helps in achieving this by providing a single API for major browser engines, it simplifies the process of writing and maintaining test automation scripts.
  1. Fast and Reliable: Playwright is competitively faster than all the available frameworks in the market, because of the predefined library it uses. This behaviour of the playwright makes it more suitable for automated testing and web scraping tasks
  1. Headless and Headful Modes: Playwright allows automaters to run scripts in both headless and headful mode to see the behaviour of application. It supports automation of complex tasks such as handling network requests and interacting with iframes. We can emulate devices to check applications and its behaviour on different devices.
  1. Cross-Platform: Another important feature of playwright is its ability to get executed across cross-platform,it works seamlessly over macOS, Linux and Windows.
  1. Built-in wait mechanism & reporting: Playwright comes with built-in wait mechanism for particular conditions, such as an element appearing or disappearing on the webpage. It helps in making scripts to handle dynamic webelements.
    For reporting purposes, Playwright gives multiple options such as taking screenshots and recording videos of the execution, which makes it easy to understand what went wrong.
  1. Languages: Playwright supports multiple programming languages such as Java script, Type script, C# and Python. With this flexibility, it becomes user-friendly for all the users coming from different backgrounds.

Playwright Installation Guide:

Below are the steps for performing Playwright installation on windows machine:

mobile app automation

Step 1: Installation of Node.JS

Playwright is code is based on node.js, so we need node.js installed in our system, we can do this using the official website and download the latest version (https://nodejs.org/), after installing it be can validate the installation status using command on terminal.

node -v
npm -v
// These commands will display installed Node.js and npm versions

Step 2: Create a New Node.js Project:

In this step we will be creating a new directory for the playwright project and navigate to it using the terminal.

mkdir my-playwright-project
cd my-playwright-project
npm init -y

Above commands will create  a new Node.js project with a `package.json` file.

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Step 3: Playwright Installation:

Below are the commands for playwright installation depending upon the usage, if a user wants to install it for using chrome they can use the commands for chromium, and similarly others can be used.

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For Chromium (recommended for most use cases):
npm install playwright

For Firefox:
npm install playwright-firefox

For WebKit:
npm install playwright-webkit

Step 4: Writing first Playwright Script

For writing the first script, we first need to create a javascript or typescript file.

And we will write the below code using which we can access the browser and open a web URL.

Here first we are invoking the browser API and then passing the web URL that we want to open, and finally closing the browser.

const { chromium } = require('playwright');

(async () => {
  const browser = await chromium.launch();
  const page = await browser.newPage();
  await page.goto('https://example.com');
  await browser.close();
})();

Step 5: Running Playwright Script:

Using the below command we can execute the script which we wrote to open a web URL on a web browser and finally close the same.

node your-script.js

Which one to choose between Playwright & Cypress?

This is one of the most common questions which comes into the picture while selecting a framework for creating a test automation framework. we will try to answer this in brief in this article.

Users should use Playwright when they want to perform cross-browser testing, interaction with multiple pages, if they are trying to accommodate network interaction and if they want to use multiple programming languages across the test automation. For performing comprehensive test automation playwright is the best choice.

Whereas Cypress should be used when a user wants to work primarily with chrome browser and the preferred scripting language is java script. Cypress is more suitable for end-to-end automation and real-time reloading and debugging.

Integration of Playwright with CI/CD tools:

Integration of Playwright project with CI/CD tool is very important, it ensures that automated tests will start executing automatically whenever there is a change in the codebase, which overall helps in improving the quality of the product as we will get continued feedback.

To perform this first we need to choose a good CI/CD tool such as Jenkins or Github, then we will set up the environment and install the required dependencies. Then we will have version-controlling tools such as Github, which will help in having an updated codebase, then we will be creating test configurations and finally test execution will happen from the updated branch.

Is Playwright the Future of Browser Automation?

We always try to find an answer to the question that- Is Playwright Future of Browser Automation? The absolute answer is that it depends on the growth of Automation testing in the industry. For a very long time, WebDriver Tools have been present in the market to solve all the problems related to it. 

Choosing between Playwright and Cypress is subjective to the situation or problem they will be used for as both have their own advantages and limitations associated.

As Playwright is fairly new to the market, support related to the issues which are arising while writing automation is very less, support pages, websites and groups are not that active as compared to other test automation communities.

However, each of the automation frameworks supports CI/CD for a software project with due accuracy. Playwright has an advantage for automating complex web applications but has limited coverage. On the contrary, Selenium offers wide scalability, coverage along with strong community support for test automation issues.

Limitations of Playwright:

Playwright test automation framework is a very powerful test automation framework but it has few limitations which are listed below.

1. Limited browser support.

2. Limited community and documentation.

3. Performance limitations with large-scale applications.

4. Integration limitations with some existing tools.

We should understand the fact that these limitations don’t make a playwright a bad choice for test automation. Instead, these are just observations that the user should consider while finalizing the framework for test automation requirements specific to the project and web application.

Also Read: Key Factors To Consider While Designing A Test Automation Framework

Conclusion:

Playwright is a powerful and versatile end-to-end testing framework that can be used to automate web applications across all major browsers. It is easy to install and use, and it provides a rich API for interacting with web pages. Playwright is a valuable tool for any developer who needs to write automated tests for their web applications.

Although Playwright has not yet captured the market on a larger scale, its features and capabilities make it a strong contender in the web automation landscape. As it continues to gain traction and popularity, it is expected to become a more widely used tool for developers seeking a robust solution for automating web testing and interaction.

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