How to Automate a Web Browser

15 Min Read

Don’t you want to save lots of your valuable time, money, and sanity? Software is the technology of automation. Automating yourself through web browsing involves running pre-configured scripts on your browser that can be termed web testing. The script basically lets you perform more than one action within a single timeframe, which means you save time by doing the same thing more than once. Automation can be done in so many ways. One of these is to automate every event in your Web browser by recording browser automation scripts. Automated tests are a valuable tool in improving software quality. When well-written, they can help to ensure that a program works as intended. The process of separating the program’s logic from the internal structure makes it easier to modify and extend the system. When not automated, debugging will be more time-consuming and the code will be harder to read and understand.

Automated testing is a way to test your code without having to run it manually. The tests are written to interact with the application as a real user does. There are various types of automated tests, but the most widely used are unit tests, which test individual components of the application separately. Web Automation is a web-based software that will improve your working efficiency by automating processes and actions you would normally perform manually on your computer or web. In other words, it’s about simplifying tasks for humans to complete with minimal effort and turning them into a fully automated process that can be achieved the same way every time.

Brief Introduction to Browser Automation

Browser automation, is a process wherein computer programs are run inside a web browser, something which a human user typically does. Web drivers automate the process of clicking links and filling out forms on web pages and web testing is done accordingly. Unlike other software automation, which can be used to test applications that are already developed, browser automation is mainly used to develop new applications or websites.

  • And due to its ability to speed up and simplify many processes routinely carried out by humans, browser automation is proving indispensable in today’s fast-paced development world. Users have gotten more sophisticated. They demand witty, interactive, and above all relevant content.
  • They are not afraid of online forms anymore; they want to complete them quickly and efficiently. With the help of web browser automation, you will be able to increase your site’s usability and load performance by reducing the amount of tedious work performed by test users on data-bound sites.
  • With the help of automated testing tools, you can test web and desktop applications under realistic circumstances. You can use automated desktop tools for creating complete or partial virtual desktops and browsers, performing recorded or manual workflows, and generating test reports.

In addition, automation also has tremendously affected the IT industry. Automating specific functionalities and processes can help organizations handle monotonous tasks without wasting precious time by employing human resources who are capable of more advanced calculations and more logical reasoning and decision-making than computers.

Actions that can be Automated from the Web

Many tests are valuable only if they can be completed quickly and smoothly. A slow or unusually configured browser could cause web testing to fail, wasting time, money, and resources. Automation simplifies most testing and gives testers the time they need. They no longer have to wade through loads of data to create reports or fill out web forms repeatedly. Furthermore, the website actions that are available for automation have been listed below.

Speeding up the Process of Page Loading

The best practice for modern web application assessments is to use automation to check website performance metrics by capturing load times and performance thresholds. An assessment of this type looks for performance issues such as slow application start, slow page load, and long wait times. These performance metrics provide insight into how well the application meets the SLA requirements that were set during the initial design.

The results of these types of assessments can be used as explanations if there are performance issues or delays relating to planned changes to the infrastructure or code. A modern web application assessment usually uses a combination of monitoring and automation. The page load monitoring process involves several steps and differs from other automation tasks such as page navigation. It may also require that multiple tests be completed and measurements are taken to ensure the process is running smoothly.

Extracting Data from the Page

As web pages have evolved and become more complex, finding the right values on a page has also become more complex. Whatever solution you use to grab your data, you know that having an expert around is always better than just trying to figure it out yourself. With our experience and expertise in grabbing data from pages as well as other automated processes, we are your ultimate resource for test data and test scripts.

Each expert has their own comprehensive experience and domain knowledge that allows us to help with any web automation or web testing software you may use and help write custom programs for any new processes or platforms we may encounter in the future. Furthermore, working according to the data values acts as a major feature of browser automation.

Easy Login to the Website

Automation is a great way to streamline business processes and increase consistency. But in order for automation to work effectively, it must be able to log into all of the most commonly used business applications. This includes all of those programs whose usernames and passwords are not known upfront. It is the process of automatically navigating a password-protected website and processing transactions that can only be done manually.

By automating these manual tasks, companies can quickly realize large cost savings even while compliance regulations are closely followed. Automatic logins and navigation are two ways to increase the efficiency of a repetitive process. Whether you are automating a single transaction or building a more expansive library of stable workflows, there is no doubt that robotic process automation improves the speed and reliability of any process.

Filling the Forms

Probably the easiest way to automate data entry is to use a website action. Use website actions to automatically populate an online form or for automating text completion and suppression fields. Rather than manually entering data into an online form, you can have it transferred at a specific time. If you need to enter more than one field for an item, this can be achieved by using multiple web action features.

This option is best when there are no stages in which you wish to set a delay before the web action is executed. You can set up data to be entered multiple times, control timing, and run automated tests. It’s fast, reliable, and very easy to use; now your time can be spent on more important things. Furthermore, it allows the users to easily fill up the forms that are time-consuming and makes the process monotonous.

Clicks through Automation

The button-click action is useful in plenty of programming applications. It’s ideal for any situation where you need to navigate a website by clicking on buttons or links. However, it is not always easy to automate a button or link action for all web browsers in a consistent manner. Each different browser may react differently to the same form submit event command, or the same element selector syntax.

Another peculiarity is that not every solution you find online works for every browser and operating system flavor you want to support. In fact, sometimes it seems as if there are many poorly written articles that don’t work very well, each purporting to solve this one simple problem. With a few simple techniques and a little practice, you can automate even the most unpredictable website navigation and consistently click on almost any button or link on any web page!

Opening or Closing a New Window

When you use a browser automation tool you need to know that most actions with the browser can only be done on the local machine as opposed to remote systems. Browsers are designed to work locally, when they run on remote systems they are limited. This task runs when a browser automation test case is started to execute. It stores all open tabs in the execution context so that they can be monitored for web elements for which we want to make decisions about what gets displayed.

The task does this by polling each open URL in the execution context and extracting any unique IDs from those pages. Then it compares that IS against the IDs from all other open URLs in the execution context. All ID matches are considered candidates for display on the page. The idea is to prevent bugs from ever reaching QA or end users, but there is a big misconception about unit tests in teams that don’t have the discipline of writing them.

Enabling Browser Automation on a Website

User interface automation actions enable you to automate interactions with web applications, web pages, or individual components on a web page. Through these actions, you can execute any steps you would perform manually when interacting with a web application, whether it be filling out a form, clicking on a button, or browsing through the available options of an online catalog.

  1. In the first step, the user has to select the option of Add UI element. With the help of this, the user gets the option of getting the browser automation.
  2. CSS uses a rigorous structure to make all its elements very accessible with simple and intuitive syntax. Most of the CSS selectors consist of two or more hierarchical classes; some are built from several elements, numeric values, and/or properties.
  3. Dynamism is one of the most valuable features of dynamic languages. It encourages rapid development, where the programmer can easily make sweeping changes to a program’s structure. Changes to some codes don’t require changing another code, and even make it easy to avoid doing so.
  4. While web interactions have been traditionally done via scripting, automation provides a simpler and more efficient way to handle web interactions. It allows users to execute tasks without knowing the programming language or script. With a few clicks in Friendly UI, users can create a task that calls any open URL and can retrieve a specific button/link on the target page.

Moreover, automation automatically adjusts the web page size and frame to fit your preferred screen resolution, eliminating the extra steps of highlighting, right-clicking, resizing, and clicking the target button.

Browser Automation With LambdaTest

LambdaTest offers a test orchestration and execution platform, providing instant on-demand access to 3000+ desktop and mobile environments for browser compatibility testing. The platform integrates with popular CI/CD tools such as Jira, Jenkins, TeamCity, Travis CI, etc., and integrates with Selenium, Cypress, Playwright, Puppeteer, and more testing frameworks.  The inbuilt debugging tools enable testers to identify and resolve bugs quickly.

Final Thoughts

Not very long ago, automation testing was the least used word. Routine and repetitive tasks were often left to small armies of low-paid workers to handle. Computers were not good at these tasks, and neither were these widely available for businesses. Today, technology has made and continues to make automation a reality for even the smallest companies. In the big picture, RPA can integrate with other applications you’re using to streamline your business processes. It can work with both legacy enterprise software and new tools like cloud-based applications. The nice thing about RPA is that it works with your existing infrastructure and for web testing.

You don’t have to upgrade any software or hardware if you use RPA to automate a website.

Bots running on a combination of RPA tools and automation software deliver a number of benefits to the enterprise. When bots can route information more effectively, for example, it is easier for decision-makers to make decisions in real time. That’s because the data that was once buried in spreadsheets and emails is now readily accessible from a single location.

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