Friday, 12 April 2013

Using Watir-webdriver and selenium remote control to automate tests on Internet Explorer

So, you're on a Linux machine (like a boss), you have a pretty sweet battery of automated tests that you run against your web application on your CI server (which also runs Linux), but you have a few problems:

  1. Internet Explorer sucks and most defects are open due to it.
  2. You can't automate IE because all your systems are on Linux.
  3. You need to automate on IE, because 13% of your user base are either ignorant or corporate drones who can't change their browsers.
So what you do? You can't just quit and call it a day? Nope, you keep reading.

What you need?
  1. A windows machine (yeah, sorry about that, but you knew it was coming).
  2. Install on it selenium remote grid server on said machine, here's a guide how to set it up.
  3. Our good friend Ruby!
  4. selenium, selenium-webdriver and watir-webdriver gems.
That's great, but you're wondering "How do I make watir-webdriver connect to the remote selenium hub?", that's a great question, for that all you need it's to pass it the arguments you'd use for selenium-webdriver to do that. And to be honest I only know that because I've been digging into watir-webdriver's code on github and I know that all parameters you pass it are passed along to selenium, something that's not quite clear on watir's documentation or any guide you can find on the web.
What I needed was something that would have watir-webdriver connect to Firefox locally, but if I wanted IE it would connect remotely, so, thanks to the param ":desired_capabilities" you can specify which browser you want to open on your remote connection.

I've created a sample for this on github, which you can find here.