WebDriverIO: A User-Friendly Approach to Test Automation

Are you a software tester looking for a user-friendly way to automate your web app test cases? The integration of WebDriverIO will help you achieve these goals while improving the quality of the app that are currently working on.

WebDriverIO basically stands for WebDriver for node.JS and is one of the most popular options that are currently available in the market. With this article, we will dive deep into the world of WebDriverIO testing. During our exploration, we will discuss its major features and how it can facilitate test automation in a user-friendly manner.

Introducing WebDriverIO

Coming to the basics of WebDriverIO, we can say it is a next-generation WebDriver-based test automation framework for Node. JS. With this framework, the testers will have a set of API libraries and utilities that will enable them to automate web apps efficiently.

This framework runs on the WebDriver protocol. This integration allows it to seamlessly interact with web browsers in a programmatic way. Moreover, due to the backend access to WebDriver, the testers do not require a dedicated test engine for executing the test instances on the native environment of the web browser.

Major Features of WebDriverIO

While using WebDriverIO for executing the web automation test cases, the following features will massively influence the outcome and quality of the test instances:

  • Support for Multiple Frameworks

While using WebDriverIO, the testers can integrate multiple third-party frameworks like Jasmine, Mocha, and others. Using these frameworks, the testers can be flexible to perform the test cases in their preferred format. Using these frameworks, the app testers can also simplify the test case creation process to eliminate the learning curve for any new languages.

  • Async/Await Support

While using WebDriverIO, the testers can use JavaScript await/async syntax, making test scripts more readable and maintainable. The testers can achieve this process by handling asynchronous operations effectively during the entire test case implementation process.

  • Rich Plugin Ecosystem

While using WebDriverIO for executing automation testing, the testers will have access to a rich ecosystem of plugins which will extend its functionality. These plugins will cover various aspects, including integration, reporting, and CI/CD tools.

The plugin ecosystem will also help elevate the overall browser handling instances during the test case execution process. Moreover, the plugin ecosystem of WebDriverIO is constantly updated to add new plugins or fix the existing ones.

  • Native Test Runner

If we go through the main features of WebDriverIO, we will realize that it comes with a built-in test runner. This inclusion massively simplifies test execution and reporting. The proper implementation of the test runner also ensures the testers can massively streamline the overall app development and testing life cycle.

  •  Cross-Browser and Cross-Platform Testing

While using WebDriverIO, the testers can natively verify the app’s functioning on multiple browser instances, including Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and many others. It is also possible for the testers to execute these test cases on various popular operating systems, including Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.

The massive advantage of this process is that using these processes, the app developing companies can provide a stable end-user experience to the customers irrespective of their devices.

Cross-browser testing also guarantees compatibility with outdated browser versions that are no longer available in the market. This is a very important factor that the testers must consider because various market studies have revealed that more than 80% of the end-users never update their browser versions. So, incompatibility with outdated versions will force the app companies to lose out on a huge audience share.

Getting Started with WebDriverIO

Now that we have developed a basic understanding of all the features and purposes of WebDriverIO, it is time to dive deep into how you can get started with WebDriverIO and create your test scripts. To further simplify this process, we have mentioned all the steps that the developers have to follow in the given order:

1. Installation

The testers must begin this process by installing WebDriverIO into their testing machine. To perform this process, you need Node.JS and npm package installer already present on your machine. After downloading all the prerequisites, the testers simply have to enter the following command to initialize a new WebDriverIO project using npm:

“npm install webdriverio”

Regarding the download processes, we would like to caution the testers to download all the required files and dependencies from the official websites. This will ensure an extra layer of security to prevent any possibilities of data breaches or forced data access due to malicious software.

2. Configuration

After performing the initial installation process, the testers have to use the configuration file for setting up test environments and defining the test suites. WebDriverIO uses a dedicated configuration file, wdio.conf.js.

By entering the following command in the terminal window, the testers can generate a default configuration file while using the WebDriverIO:

“npx wdio config”

The above command will prompt the testers to choose various required options for setting up the testing environment. Some of the most important options include a reporter, a testing framework, and the required browser capabilities.

 3. Writing Tests

Now that we have finished all the initial setup processes, it is time to design our first automation test script using WebDriverIO. All the automation test scripts in WebDriverIO are developed using the popular JavaScript programming language.

However, the testers will have the option to choose their preferred testing framework for the test execution process. To further simplify this process, we have mentioned the code snippet for writing a simple test script with WebDriverIO:

The above example intends the system to navigate to a given URL and verify the page title. This title is already mentioned within the test script, which the system will use during the verification process.

4. Running Tests

Now that we have created our first Test script using WebDriverIO, it is time to execute it using the native test runner. As we already mentioned earlier, WebDriverIO comes with a native test runner for performing the execution processes. To use WebDriverIO’s native test runner for the test execution process, the testers simply have to enter the following command in the terminal window:

“npx wdio wdio.conf.js” 

The above command will execute all the tests specified within the configuration file. After the system has completed executing the test instances, it will automatically generate a test report regarding the status of the test instances. 

User-Friendly Test Automation with WebDriverIO

As we mentioned towards the beginning of this article, WebDriversIO’s user-friendly approach rises from its flexibility, simplicity, and powerful features. To further justify this point, we have chosen a few ways in which WebDriver makes test automation easier for modern testers:

1. Simplified Syntax

WebDriverIO comes with a concise and clean syntax allowing testers to easily write the test scripts. It also provides native support for async/await. So, using these features, the testers can create the test cases in such a way that they closely resemble the natural language. It also makes the test cases easier to read and understand.

To further improve our understanding of this process, we have mentioned a sample test case design with WebDriverIO.

In the above example, we designed the test case to navigate to the login page, enter the required login credentials, and verify whether the dashboard page is visible after the successful login.

2. Abstraction Through Page Objects

While using WebDriverIO, the testers will be encouraged to implement page objects. These objects help the testers to abstract the user interface elements and actions of a webpage. The implementation of element abstraction improves test maintainability and also reduces the possibilities of test duplication.

We have mentioned a sample test case that will elaborate on the implementation of page objects for achieving these goals:

In the above example, the system will use page objects to ensure the test cases become more readable and focused on high-level actions. It will also help eliminate the possibilities of DOM manipulation.

3. Powerful Plugins

The plugin ecosystem of WebDriverIO has a huge role in extending its capabilities beyond basic automation testing processes. So, whether you are searching for enhanced reporting possibilities, integration with cloud testing platforms, or custom browser handling, there is always a dedicated plugin that will help meet your requirements. 

We can consider the example of ‘@wdio/selenium-standalone-service.’ This plugin will allow the tests to easily run the Selenium test cases locally to enable the inclusion of offline test execution processes. 

4. Easy Integration with CI/CD Pipelines

The earlier testers preferred executing all the stages of the app development process namely the development, testing, and deployment processes, separately. The major drawback of this process was that it massively slowed down the app deployment process, as the developers had to roll back to the previous version whenever any error was detected. 

With the inclusion of continuous integration and continuous deployment, the app developing companies can conduct the development and testing processes simultaneously. This helps to massively streamline the testing process and protects errors at the earliest phases of the development cycle.  

There are various popular CI and CD platforms like Travis CI, Jenkins, and CircleCI, which natively support the integration of WebDriverIO test cases. Testers can also use various modern cloud platforms like LambdaTest to streamline the WebDriver IO test cases. 

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that lets you run manual and automated tests at scale with over 3000+ real devices, browsers, and OS combinations. This platform boosts the test efficiency with parallel testing and real-time test reporting.  

The Bottom Line 

Keeping in mind all the features of WebDriverIO that we elaborated on in this article, we can safely conclude that this framework provides a user-friendly approach to test automation. It also helps to empower the testers to write maintainable and reliable test instances for modern web apps. 

All the features that we discussed in this article make WebDriver one of the most accessible test automation suites both for beginners and experienced testers. Moreover, by using the features of WebDriverIO, the testing teams can streamline the testing processes, improve software quality, and deliver better end-user experiences.

Finally, if you haven’t already explored WebDriverIO, we highly recommend you dive in and experience the benefits it brings to your testing efforts. We can assure you that this automation framework will play a pivotal role in elevating your software testing standards while creating a positive brand image.

Jason Holder

My name is Jason Holder and I am the owner of Mini School. I am 26 years old. I live in USA. I am currently completing my studies at Texas University. On this website of mine, you will always find value-based content.

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