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Magento Test Automation. First Steps

Feb 27, 2013

1082 Vikentsi Kaziuk

Magento Test Automation. First Steps

When it is preferable to use automated tests

There are some points to be considered before starting using automated tests in your company: first of all, think whether your investments will be payed off shortly and whether you are planning to add new functionality to the module or it will be sold in conjunction with other modules. Because this will entail repeating the same tests again and again and increase in regression testing, which will influence the costs of testing and as a result will affect the price of the final product. Automated tests are definitely preferable if you know that your project will evolve, i.e. you are planning to develop and issue new versions that are compatible with new Magento versions. In general, the level of test automation is considered individually for each project, but in most cases the acceptance phase is automatized in the first place. This happens because the main aim of acceptance tests is to quickly run through the major product functionality, without going deep into any specific part. That is why they are easy to modify in case some program part is changed.  The implementation of development standards which would regulate the usage of recursion, the level of nesting agents, the usage of constants, naming conventions etc, can help avoid further test compatibility problems.

What language to use for automated tests writing

My further examples of test development will be based on the Selenium client library in the Java language, which works in conjunction with the Selenium RC server. Selenium RC is sufficient enough to start writing automated tests for Mаgentо,  Why not PHP?  Unfortunately, Selenium has recently stropped the official support for PHP and currently only third-party libraries are available for development.  If you are familiar with any of the programming languages such as Java, C#, Python, Ruby, you can use them to develop your own tests. They are equally supported by Selenium, and detailed description for each class and method can be found on the official website and by selecting the appropriate API.

Language Client

Why not Selenium IDE

It is better to start in automated test development using Selenium IDE. It has quite a simple graphical user interface, visual progress history, description of the applied method and many other options that would be useful for any novice. Selenium IDE is an add-on for Mozilla Firefox, which can be downloaded here.


It also allows exporting your created or written test as Java, C#, Python or Ruby file.  In order to write and export a test you should start Selenium IDE in the browser menu.

Selenium IDE

Then, after you are finished with writing your test steps go to the Selenium menu and select File -> Export test case as … ->.  Next, select the file format – we will use Java /JUnit3/Remote Control – and save the file. Now this file can be opened in any IDE to get an example of Selenium capabilities.

Remote Controle

We will need this feature when writing tests in Selenium RC, and I will refer to it later in the article. Although Selenium IDE can perform most of the functions that are available in Selenium RC, it still lacks many features of a full fledged programming language.  For example, you will not be able to use conditional operators, loops, create classes and apply patterns. Due to this fact, it is impossible to create flexible, scalable and easily supported tests.

Where to begin

Although it is possible to write tests using just Notepad++ functionality, Ide can make the development process much faster due to availability of hot keys, possibility to jump quickly between variables and classes and many other functions that can facilitate the process. It is a matter of taste whether to use Eclipse or Netbeans , their capabilities and interfaces are quite similar. I personally prefer Netbeans, and in this article will describe the settings exactly for this IDE.

So, where to begin?

First, download and install Mozilla Firefox, then install Selenium IDE and Firebug.

Then download and install Netbeans with JDK 7 from this page.

Download selenium-server-standalone-2.30.0.jar file for Selenium RC Server from and Selenium Client & WebDriver Language Bindings – the Java file name is selenium-java-2.30.0.jar.

Selenium Server

Now open Netbeans. Launching the software for the first time and creating the first project may take a bit longer then usual. To create a new project click File -> New Project.

New Project

Choose Java Apliсаtiоn and click Next. Specify the project name, the path to the files, the name of the Main class and click Finish.

Name and Location

Now we need to add client libraries to the project. Right-click the Libraries folder and choose Add jar/folder, then select selenium-java-2.30.0 .jar and selenium-server-standalone-2.30.0 .jar files.


Now your IDE will see all Selenium classes and methods. More detailed information you can find in Javadoc. This document provides detailed overview of Selenium capabilities, therefore, I advise you to study it pretty thoroughly.

But it is not very convenient to consult Javadoc each time you try to recall a method, therefore, lets configure NetBeans to show us some tips when a method or class is called. We need to unzip selenium-java-2.30.0 .jar and add it to the project. Of all the content we are interested only in this file, since it stores the original files with the comments.

selenium java

So, lets unzip this archive. Copy selenium-java-2.30.0 -srcs.jar file into the scr project folder and unzip it as a common archive.  As a result quite a number of packages get added to our project, but this is a small price for the tips we get for methods and classes.

To access a tip use CTRL+Space shortcut after writing a class. For example, you are trying to call a standard Selenium method and there is a dot (.) after operator. Just press the hotkeys and you will see the entire list of available methods with the description.

String coord

In order to run tests it is necessary to launch Selenium Server first. There are several ways to do this.

Windows allows you to launch selenium-server-standalone-2.30.0 .jar just double-clicking the file. In this case, it will run invisibly in background. Also, tests will stop showing errors at the beginning of execution.

Another way is to run the command Java -jar selenium-server-standalone-2.30.0 .jar in Windows command line.


In this case, in the command line window you will see the progress of Selenium Server execution.

And the last method is to launch and stop the server directly from the test.

By default the server can be started as follows:

If you need additional settings, you can use the class RemоteCоntrоlCоnfigurаtiоn. Create object RemоteCоntrоlCоnfigurаtiоn and pass it to the constructor SeleniumServer:

Later I will devote a separate article to how you can use this method in your tests.

The first test

So now we are ready to write our first test. Open Netbeans and choose to create a new class. To do this, right click the package and select New -> Java class.

Java Class

Then we name it, for instance, Test1 and click Finish. Now there are 2 classes in our package: Test1 and Main. Test1 class will contain the test itself, which will be launched from the class Main. So, lets open class Test1 and start creating our test.

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Now open class Main, create a Test1 class object in the method Main and apply methods Setup() and runTest( ) to it.

Once we have saved all the changes we can launch our test. First we launch Selenium Server – we will use the double click method to start the selenium-server-standalone-2.30.0 .jar file.

Now right-click the Main class and select Run File.

Run File

If everything has been properly done, a Selenium window appears. In the window you can observe the command history and the browser window where you can see how the task is being performed in Magento.

Command history

If nothing happens and in NetBeans you see the following error


This means that the selenium-server-standalone-2.30.0.jar file failed to be started via the double-click command. In this case, try to run it via the command line, as stated above.

Our first test is rather simple, it is preferable that you try and write a test of your own. Do not be afraid to experiment with methods, locators, as well as use various capabilities of the Java language. In the upcoming articles I will show how to create locators, how to speed up the search of page elements and how to make your tests flexible and scalable. Also I will show some examples of which class hierarchy we use in our tests in BelVG.

Vlad Yunusov
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