Playwright Technology Preview#

Since its inception, CumulusCI has relied on Selenium to provide the foundation of our browser automation keywords.

In 2020, Microsoft introduced a new browser automation tool named Playwright. Playwright is a ground-up reinvention of a browser automation library that aims to address several shortcomings of Selenium. For example, Playwright has built-in support for waiting for elements to appear, for working with the shadow DOM, video capture of a testing session, and so on.

In 2021 the Robot Framework project introduced the Browser library which adds keywords that use the Playwright API.

Starting with CumulusCI version 3.59.0, we are providing experimental support for Playwright and the Browser library in CumulusCI.

In CumulusCI 3.60, we’ve reorganized our keywords so that a test can import the API and performance keywords without importing Selenium keywords. To use Playwright-based keywords, import the resource file SalesforcePlaywright.robot, which imports the non-Selenium keywords along with the keywords in the SalesforcePlaywright library.

Installation#

We have not yet bundled Playwright and the Browser library with CumulusCI. However, we have provided a script to make it easy to install or uninstall Playwright and the Browser library while we continue to work on fully supporting it.

Step 1: Install Node.js#

Playwright is based on Node.js. If you don’t already have Node.js installed, you can find a Node.js installer for your platform on the Node.js downloads page.

Warning

You must have Node.js installed before continuing with these instructions.

Step 2: Run the Playwright installation command#

Installing the browser library requires a couple of manual steps, which we’ve automated in a single script. This script does three things:

  • it verifies that Node.js has been installed

  • it downloads and installs the Browser keyword library

  • it downloads and installs the Node.js modules and drivers for playwright.

Note

The installation of Playwright contains drivers for all supported browsers, so there’s no need to manually install drivers such as ChromeDriver. It works right out of the box!

Before you run the script, make sure your working directory is at the root of your repository. You can then run the script with the following command:

$ cci robot install_playwright

Tip

You can use the --dry_run (or -n) option to see what the command will do without actually installing anything.

Running an example test#

As mentioned earlier, this is an experimental release of Playwright integration, so any CumulusCI keywords that rely on Selenium won’t work. However, the following example shows how easy it can be to write Playwright-based tests with off-the-shelf keywords provided by the Browser library

To initialize Playwright support in a test suite, import the SalesforcePlaywright.robot resource file as shown in the following example. It imports the Browser library and defines the keywords Open Test Browser and Delete records and close browser.

*** Settings ***
Resource     cumulusci/robotframework/SalesforcePlaywright.robot

Suite Setup      Open test browser
Suite Teardown   Delete records and close browser

*** Test Cases ***

Go to user profile
    Click    button:has-text("View profile")
    Click    .profile-card-name .profile-link-label

    Wait until network is idle
    Take screenshot

Go to contacts home
    Click            button:has-text("App Launcher")
    Fill text        input[placeholder='Search apps and items...']  Contacts
    Click            one-app-launcher-menu-item:has-text("Contacts")

    Wait until network is idle
    Take screenshot

To run the test, save the above code in a .robot file (e.g. example.robot) and then run it with the standard robot task:

$ cci task run robot --suites example.robot

Things to Notice#

This example test is unable to use any of the existing Selenium-based keywords, except for two. We’ve created a new library based on Playwright and the Browser library with two keywords that are similar to existing keywords: Open Test Browser and Delete Records and Close Browser

This test also uses the Browser keyword Wait until network is idle before taking a screenshot. This is a keyword that waits for there to be at least one instance of 500ms of no network traffic on the page after it starts to load. This seems to be more reliable and easier to use method than waiting for a page-specific element to appear.

This test has no explicit waits for the buttons and links that it clicks on. The underlying Playwright engine automatically waits for elements, so there should almost never be a need for keywords such as Wait until page contains element or Wait until element is enabled.

Finally, notice how easy it is to interact with both the app menu and the user profile. Playwright locators are often much easier to write than Selenium locators, which translates to tests and keywords that don’t have to be tweaked when the page markup changes.

Summary#

This is just a preview of things to come. The CumulusCI team will be spending more time evaluating Playwright, with an eye toward making it a viable and more robust replacement for Selenium.