Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Sematext Blog, Marcin Warpechowski, Trevor Parsons, Michael Meiner, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: SOA & WOA

SOA & WOA: Blog Feed Post

Web Browser Automation Tools

There are many Web Browser Automation Tools, both paid and free / open source

Web Browser Automation is a process where certain steps in the web browser are performed repetitively to ensure the correct operation of the web application’s functionality. It may be applied for QA testing in the development process and for control over Information System accessibility and performance during implementation. The second becomes more and more important since current market trends indicate that just having a good service is not enough; the service should also be highly accessible and effective. With Web Browser Automation Tools it is possible to check accessibility and performance by periodically running some transaction scenarios for certain services.

There are many Web Browser Automation Tools, both paid and free / open source. The main purpose of these tools is to record a specific transaction scenario for a browser, play it back by injecting JavaScript into web pages and then to provide the corresponding results. The tools vary in many characteristics: OS platform support, supported programming languages, SSL support, whether it uses a real web browser or simulates the real browser’s behavior, etc. Below are presented a relative comparison of some popular free/open source tool’s characteristics.

Tool Simulation Supported Browsers Supported Languages Test Recorder
Selenium No Firefox, IE(partially), Opera (partially), Chrome (partially)[1] C#, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby Yes
Watij No On Windows only IE, On Linux only Firefox,
On Mac only Safari
java No
Windmill No Python and JavaScript Python, JavaScript, Ruby Yes
Watir No On Windows only IE, Watir Web Driver -IE/FF/Chrome/Safari Ruby Yes
Watin No IE, Chrome, Firefox .net platform languages Yes
Sahi No IE, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera Java, Javascript Yes
Canoo WebTest Yes No need Javascript, Python Yes
CasperJS Yes No need Javascript Yes

Selenium’s different products are compatible, at least partially, with a variety of different browsers, but all of them are fully compatible with Firefox.


Aside from their variation in functionality, these tools have another essential difference. Some of them are headless, which means that they simulate browser behavior. For example, the CasperJS tool uses WebKit engine capabilities to simulate certain test cases. On one hand, headless tools are more productive, but on the other hand, the simulation may generate different results than those of the real browser.
Different tools have their specific advantages. Some of them work with different browsers without significant deviation or trouble; others provide higher performance, etc. There are many articles/posts comparing the pros and cons of web automation tools, but it would also be interesting to compare their performance. We have tested 3 different tools: Selenium, Watij and Casperjs on the same host with the following parameters: Windows 7 32 bit, 4 Gb RAM and the Intel i5 CPU. From these 3 tools, Selenium may currently be the most popular and richly featured, and it offers several products such as IDE, API, Remote Control server (to accept HTTP requests for the browser), Grid server (to test different browser instances running on remote machines), etc. Casperjs is a headless Phantomjs based tool and the Watij is Watir’s java version based on JXbrowser (a rich web browser component to integrate to Java).

To test the tools, we used 45 transaction instances with the same scenario of 7 steps (navigation, clicks, login, logout, etc.). A single transaction execution period was 5 minutes and the overall test duration was 20 minutes. Each tool was tested 2 times: first by running with 1 thread and then with 5 threads. The test results are shown below:
Tool Num. of tests Browsers App run duration Num. of threads Test frequency (min) Transaction step count Num. of tests running during 20 mins Avg. exec time for 1 test (sec)
Watij 45 IE 20 min 5 5 7 34 29.7
Watij 45 IE 20 min 1 5 7 32 33.2
Selenium 45 IE 20 min 5 5 7 - -
Selenium 45 IE 20 min 1 5 7 68 17.6
CasperJS 45 NA 20 min 5 5 7 204 17.1
CasperJS 45 NA 20 min 1 5 7 68 17.2

As you can see, the test results for Selenium with IE browser are absent. The problem was that the Selenium couldn’t run several transaction tests at the same time. Instead of opening several browser instances, it mixes all of them in one browser instance. However, it doesn’t have this kind of problem when working with Firefox or Chrome. For example, running the Selenium with the same conditions but on the Firefox browser, the following results were obtained: average execution time of 1 test is 15.1 seconds, the number of tests run during 20 minutes is 50. The average running time of one transaction test for these tools is not greater than that of the others. The other 2 tools spent a substantial amount of overhead time communicating with the server, starting browser instances, etc.

Examining the performance of selected Web Automation Tools shows that they differ not only in terms of functionality, but that they also behave differently in different conditions (depending on OS, browser type, multithread or singlethread). The main limitation we noticed with Selenium is that it’s primarily designed for Firefox. All of its products support Firefox, and as we have already seen it has problems working with IE. On the other hand the Casperjs is headless and is Webkit based, so it will not work on IE only sites, for example. Meanwhile, Watij works with only one unique browser type per OS (IE on Windows, Firefox on Linux and Safari on Mac). Working with different transaction scenarios simultaneously is much more productive with the headless tools since they consume less time.

 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Hovhannes Avoyan

Hovhannes Avoyan is the CEO of Monitis, Inc., a provider of on-demand systems management and monitoring software to 50,000 users spanning small businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to Monitis, he served as General Manager and Director of Development at prominent web portal Lycos Europe, where he grew the Lycos Armenia group from 30 people to over 200, making it the company's largest development center. Prior to Lycos, Avoyan was VP of Technology at Brience, Inc. (based in San Francisco and acquired by Syniverse), which delivered mobile internet content solutions to companies like Cisco, Ingram Micro, Washington Mutual, Wyndham Hotels , T-Mobile , and CNN. Prior to that, he served as the founder and CEO of CEDIT ltd., which was acquired by Brience. A 24 year veteran of the software industry, he also runs Sourcio cjsc, an IT consulting company and startup incubator specializing in web 2.0 products and open-source technologies.

Hovhannes is a senior lecturer at the American Univeristy of Armenia and has been a visiting lecturer at San Francisco State University. He is a graduate of Bertelsmann University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.