Complete guide how to use design patterns in automation

Last Updated on by

Post summary: Complete code example of how design patterns can be used in real life test automation.

With series of posts I’ve described 5 design patterns that each automation test engineer should know and use. I’ve started with brief description of the patterns. Then I’ve explained in details with code snippets following patterns: Page objects, Facade, Factory, Singleton, Null object. Code examples are located in GitHub for C# and Java.

Overview

This post is intended to bond all together in a complete guide how to do write better automation code. Generally automation project consists of two parts. Automation framework project and tests project. Current guide is intended to describe how to build your automation testing framework. How to structure your tests is different topic. Remember once having correctly designed framework then tests will be much more clean, maintainable and easy to write. To keep post shorter some of the code that is not essential for representing the idea is removed. Whole code is in GitHub.

Page objects

Everything start by defining proper page objects. There is no fixed recipe for this. It all depends on the structure of application under test. General rule is that repeating elements (header, footer, menu, widget, etc) are extracted as separate objects. The whole idea is to have one element defined in only one place (stay DRY)! Bellow is our HomePage object. What you can do generally is make search and clear search terms. Note that clearing is done with jQuery code. This is because of a bug I’ve described with workaround in Selenium WebDriver cannot click UTF-8 icons post.

using OpenQA.Selenium;

namespace AutomationRhapsody.DesignPatterns
{
	class HomePageObject
	{
		private WebDriverFacade webDriver;
		public HomePageObject(WebDriverFacade webDriver)
		{
			this.webDriver = webDriver;
		}

		private IWebElement SearchField
		{
			get { return webDriver.FindElement(By.Id("search")); }
		}

		public void SearchFor(string text)
		{
			SearchField.SendKeys(text);
		}

		public void ClearSearch()
		{
			webDriver.ExecuteJavaScript("$('span.cancel').click()");
		}
	}
}

WebDriver factory

WebDriver factory will be responsible for instantiating the WebDriver based on condition which browser we want to run our tests with.

using OpenQA.Selenium;
using OpenQA.Selenium.Chrome;
using OpenQA.Selenium.Firefox;
using OpenQA.Selenium.IE;

namespace AutomationRhapsody.DesignPatterns
{
	public class WebDriverFactory
	{
		public IWebDriver CreateInstance(Browsers browser)
		{
			if (Browsers.Chrome == browser)
			{
				return new ChromeDriver();
			}
			else if (Browsers.IE == browser)
			{
				return new InternetExplorerDriver();
			}
			else
			{
				return new FirefoxDriver();
			}
		}
	}
}

Constructor take an argument browser type. Browser type is defined as enumeration. This is very important. Avoid passing back and forth strings. Always stick to enums or special purpose classes. This will save you time investigating bugs in your automation.

public enum Browsers
{
	Chrome, IE, Firefox
}

NullWebElement

This is null object pattern and implements IWebElement. There is a NULL property that is used to compare is given element is not found or no.

using OpenQA.Selenium;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Collections.ObjectModel;
using System.Drawing;

namespace AutomationRhapsody.DesignPatterns
{
	public class NullWebElement : IWebElement
	{
		private const string nullWebElement = "NullWebElement";
		public bool Displayed { get { return false; } }
		public bool Enabled { get { return false; } }
		public Point Location { get { return new Point(0, 0); } }
		public bool Selected { get { return false; } }
		public Size Size { get { return new Size(0, 0); } }
		public string TagName { get { return nullWebElement; } }
		public string Text { get { return nullWebElement; } }
		public void Clear() { }
		public void Click() { }
		public string GetAttribute(string attributeName) { return nullWebElement; }
		public string GetCssValue(string propertyName) { return nullWebElement; }
		public void SendKeys(string text) { }
		public void Submit() { }
		public IWebElement FindElement(By by) { return this; }
		public ReadOnlyCollection<IWebElement> FindElements(By by)
		{
			return new ReadOnlyCollection<IWebElement>(new List<IWebElement>());
		}

		private NullWebElement() { }

		private static NullWebElement instance;
		public static NullWebElement NULL
		{
			get
			{
				if (instance == null)
				{
					instance = new NullWebElement();
				}
				return instance;
			}
		}
	}
}

WebDriver facade

WebDriver facade main responsibility is to define custom behaviour on elements location. This gives you centralised control over elements location. Constructor takes browser type and uses the factory to create WebDriver instance which is used internally in the facade. FindElement method defines explicit wait. If element is not found then NullWebElement which is actually implementation of Null object pattern. The idea is to safely locate elements with try/catch and then just use them skipping checks for null.

using OpenQA.Selenium;
using OpenQA.Selenium.Support.UI;
using System;
using System.Collections.ObjectModel;

namespace AutomationRhapsody.DesignPatterns
{
	public class WebDriverFacade
	{
		private IWebDriver webDriver = null;
		private TimeSpan waitForElement = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(5);

		public WebDriverFacade(Browsers browser)
		{
			WebDriverFactory factory = new WebDriverFactory();
			webDriver = factory.CreateInstance(browser);
		}

		public void Start(string url)
		{
			webDriver.Url = url;
			webDriver.Navigate();
		}

		public void Stop()
		{
			webDriver.Quit();
		}

		public object ExecuteJavaScript(string script)
		{
			return ((IJavaScriptExecutor)webDriver).
				ExecuteScript("return " + script);
		}

		public IWebElement FindElement(By by)
		{
			try
			{
				WebDriverWait wait = new WebDriverWait(webDriver, waitForElement);
				return wait.Until(ExpectedConditions.ElementIsVisible(by));
			}
			catch
			{
				return NullWebElement.NULL;
			}
		}
	}
}

Tests

As I mention initially this post is about using efficiently design patterns in your framework automation project. Tests design are not being discussed here. Once you have designed the framework one simple test (without asserts) that makes search will look like code bellow.

Browsers browser = Browsers.Chrome;
WebDriverFacade webDriver = new WebDriverFacade(browser);
webDriver.Start("http://automationrhapsody.com/examples/utf8icons.html");

HomePageObject homePage = new HomePageObject(webDriver);
homePage.ClearSearch();
homePage.SearchFor("automation");

webDriver.Stop();

Conclusion

Design patterns are enabling you to write maintainable code. They increase value of your code. As shown in this series of posts they are not so complicated and you can easily adopt them in your automation. Most important is design patterns increase your value as a professional. So make the time to learn them!

If you find this post useful, please share it to reach more people. Sharing is caring!
Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone