Writing integration tests for ASP .NET with Selenium 2.0 – Part 1

This is the first in a series of posts on writing integration tests for ASP .NET using the Selenium 2.0 web application testing system.

UPDATE: This post was updated on April 15, 2012 to explain how to setup and configure Selenium 2.0.

In this post, I explain what Selenium is, why use it and how to setup and configure it. In the next subsequent posts, I’ll do a code walk-thru and also share some advanced scenarios.

What is Selenium?
The best description of Selenium is probably the one mentioned on their website:

“Selenium automates browsers. That’s it. What you do with that power is entirely up to you. Primarily it is for automating web applications for testing purposes, but is certainly not limited to just that. Boring web-based administration tasks can (and should!) also be automated as well.”

Why use Selenium?
There are other integration testing web frameworks out there such as WaitN or the Lightweight Test Automation Framework for testing ASP .NET web apps. So, why use Selenium? Here are the main reasons why picked it:

  1. Selenium allows you to record test scenarios manually (by browsing to specific pages and clicking buttons, etc.) as well as programmatically (by coding up a test case). Thus the tool can be used by both developers and QA’s. You can even use a combination of recorded test scenarios and C# test cases to integration test your application.
  2. One feature that I really liked is that you can export a recorded test scenario as a C# test-case! This technique can be used to drastically speed up the Selenium learning curve since it spits out code that you can use inside C# test-case. For instance, when you’re unsure how to code up a specific scenario you can manually record it and then export it to see what the code needs to look like.
  3. The recorded scripts can be used as a tool to speed up manual testing. For example, I never manually login into the web application that I am currently implementing anymore. Instead I run a test scenario that I had previously recorded, conveniently named Login, that logs me in. No more manually typing in username/password! You can use this technique to directly land on specific pages and/or fill-in and submit forms as well. This adds up to save you boat loads of time during your manual testing.
  4. Finally, the test recorder is a small Firefox plugin and integrates real nice with Firefox.

Convinced? Awesome! Let’s move on to setting up Selenium…

Initial Setup
There are two parts to setting up Selenium:

  1. Installing the Selenium IDE: A Firefox plugin that allows you to manually record test scenarios. Find and download the Selenium IDE plugin from the Selenium Downloads section. After it downloads, fire up the Firefox browser -> Go to Add Ons from the Main Menu -> Click the Settings icon -> Select the Install Add-On From File option -> Click Install Add-On.
  2. Installing the Selenium 2.0 WebDriver for .NET: Accepts commands from your C# test cases and automates the browser. Using the NuGet Package Manager Console, run the below commands to install the Selenium packages. Make sure you select your test project as the “Default project” inside the Package Manager Console before running the commands. This way the DLLs will get added to the correct project.

    Install-Package Selenium.WebDriver
    Install-Package Selenium.Support

    Okay, at this point, we should be all set with Selenium. Verify the following:

    - You are able to record a test scenario: Fire up Firefox. On the Main Menu, under Web Developer, you should now see a Selenium IDE option. Or you can use the Ctrl+Alt+S shortcut key to bring it up. Click the record button on the top right, browse to goggle.com, and search for something. Click the record button again to stop the recording. Now try running the script by clicking the play button and see what happens. Make sure you are already on the google.com page when you click the Play button. Hopefully, it worked. If not, call me. I’ll help you out and I only charge a $150/hr. Just kidding. If it doesn’t work then try re-installing the plugin, I guess. :)

    - You are able to write and run C# integration test-cases using Selenium – This is what I go over in my next post on Selenium.

2 thoughts on “Writing integration tests for ASP .NET with Selenium 2.0 – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Interesting .NET Links - April 13 , 2012 | TechBlog

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