Selenium is a powerful tool that helps testers and developers to write automated tests for web applications. Whereas, the LambdaTest is a AI powered test orchestration and execution platform that helps in Selenium testing on different browsers and operating systems.
Web testing has been made easier and more effective with the powerful combination of these two platforms. The duo provides features like taking screenshots and video logging while you are testing a website. The screenshots will help you figure out what's happening on the screen at different points during the test. You can also record a video of what you're doing on your computer screen.
In this blog, we'll take a closer look at how taking screenshots and recording videos during web testing can be a game-changer. We will also explore different ways through which it helps us understand and fix issues on our website. This will make sure that the website works perfectly for everyone.
First, we will start by discussing the importance of screenshots and video logging. Then we will move on to ways through which screenshots and video logging can be implemented. After that, some of the best practices to make the entire process effortless and effective will be discussed in detail.
So without any further ado, let’s start with the basics.
Before getting into the technicalities of how to implement screenshots and video logging into our website, let’s discuss why we even need these things. What’s the benefit? Will it even improve or enhance our testing journey? If yes, then how? All these questions will be answered in this section.
All of this is done to figure out the state of the application at specific points during the test. Screenshots and Videos provide a broader view of the execution. It helps understand the flow and interactions within the application.
Screenshots will show us exactly what the website looked like at each point in time. It's like taking snapshots to remember what the website was doing during the test. Videos also do the same thing. You can watch the video later to see everything you did during the test. It will help us determine what went wrong and how it can be fixed.
As mentioned above, screenshots and videos are the living proof of what went wrong while testing. They serve as invaluable tools for debugging and troubleshooting. Whenever a test fails, we can access these tools to identify the cause of failure. It will reduce the debugging time and make the entire process smoother than anticipated.
These videos and screenshots contain all the steps that were needed to test a particular website. Other than debugging, this information also serves as documentation, which can further be used to create reports. Due to these reports, it becomes easier to communicate the results and progress of testing to stakeholders.
Cross-browser testing will give us a clear view of how the application behaves on different platforms. We want to create a website that is platform-independent, and screenshots and videos help figure out cross-browser compatibility issues present on the website.
Selenium is one of the most popular open-source platforms that automatically test websites. It creates websites that are efficient and easy to use. Selenium not only automates the entire testing process but allows you to take pictures during your testing process. It will help you see exactly what the website looked like at different points.
Given below are the steps you need to follow in order to implement screenshot logging in your Selenium tests.
First things first, you need to set up the Selenium testing environment. Make sure that everything is working as intended. The proper setup will reduce the possibility of errors. Install Selenium WebDriver in your project using your preferred package manager. You will also need the appropriate browser driver compatible with Selenium WebDriver.
You need to go to the LambdaTest website and create an account. Sign in with your credentials after your account is created. Here, you’ll have a unique set of access credentials to connect Selenium with LambdaTest. LambdaTest provides a hub that acts as a central command for managing your Selenium tests on various browsers and devices.
Now, you need to tell Selenium where to send the snapshots. Configure Selenium to use the LambdaTest as your testing platform and define what you want to test.
Here, you want to capture the most important moments during your test. These are usually points where something significant happens, like when a user clicks a button or submits a form. In Selenium, you'll write a small piece of code that says, "Take a picture now!". Once you've identified these key interaction points, decide which of them you want to capture with screenshots. Whatever interaction point you have chosen to capture, make sure you screenshot both before and after the action.
Arranging your screenshots in a structured manner is crucial for easy access. You need to treat each test case as a different scene in your testing story. Create separate folders for each test case. Give each screenshot a name. Make sure that the names represent the action that the image is performing.
For example, if you're testing a login page, name a screenshot "login_page_before_submit.to png".
You can also add timestamps to understand the sequence of actions during the test.
Implementing video logging in your Selenium tests with LambdaTest provides a dynamic view of your test executions. It makes it easier to find issues and enhance the quality of your web applications. Having a visual recording of the entire test execution can provide invaluable insights. It allows the testers and developers to witness how the application behaves throughout the test.
Given below are the steps you need to follow in order to implement Video logging in your Selenium tests.
The first step is the same as before. You need to install a Selenium WebDriver depending on your programming language. Use a browser compatible with it. After that, create a Selenium project, organize your folders and files, and structure your project according to your testing requirements.
If you don't have an account, sign up on the LambdaTest website. Log in using your credentials. Once you have logged in, get your unique access credentials (username and access key). These will make sure that Selenium is thoroughly integrated with LambdaTest.
Enable video recording once these two platforms are successfully integrated. That can be done by setting a specific capability called “Video” to “True” in the “desired capabilities” section. This tells LambdaTest to record videos of your test executions.
After the test execution, log in to your LambdaTest account and access the recorded videos. Those videos can be used to analyze the test execution and gather all the invaluable insights available. You can also easily identify and troubleshoot issues on the website.
When it comes to taking screenshots, you need to strategically take snapshots at critical points. Also, provide meaningful names for each screenshot you take. It will make the debugging process much easier.
For video logging, you need to create a balance between clarity and resource efficiency. This can be done by focusing on essential test cases and optimizing video settings. Also, the effective organization of recorded videos can maintain a streamlined and efficient testing environment.
These are some of the tips developers and testers need to keep in mind while taking screenshots and recording videos. Given below are a few more practices explained in detail. These best practices will ensure that there are no issues in the testing process.
Have strategic capture points where you can take pictures of both before and after the interaction with the application. This ensures you have a clear view of the application's state at significant stages. You can also automatically take a screenshot whenever an error or exception occurs during the test. This will be the proof of the application's state when an issue was identified.
Here, you need to take screenshots based on specific conditions. It's like saying, "Take a picture, but only if something important or unexpected happens." You only need to focus on important events or unexpected behaviors. This way, you will only capture the right moments while testing.
To easily navigate and retrieve the data, you need to organize screenshots in a structured way. You can also archive or move older screenshots to a separate storage location, especially if they are not immediately needed. Developing tools that automatically clean up outdated screenshots based on when they were created or last accessed will also be very helpful in managing storage.
Give descriptive and meaningful names to screenshots. It will provide a clear understanding of the context in which they were taken. Each screenshot's name becomes a valuable piece of information that helps in efficient debugging during the testing process.
This will make sure that the videos recorded during testing are clear enough for analysis and are not consuming excessive storage space. Lower the frame rate if possible. It will reduce the number of frames per second and the overall file size. Experiment with different resolutions, frame rates, and bitrates to find the best requirement for your project.
Prioritize flows that have a high impact on the application's functionality, security, or performance. For example, payment transactions in an e-commerce application. Record logging in or sign-in process, as these are fundamental steps for users to access the application. You can also record interactions where users provide input or data for verification. This could include capturing the filling of forms or selections made by the user.
You need to define specific durations for recording. It’s a must-do practice to keep your videos concise, focused, and manageable in size. You can also add a buffer time to the video duration to take care of all the unexpected delays that may occur during the test. Keep in mind the average human attention span and set the video duration accordingly to maintain viewer engagement and understanding.
Reviews are crucial for understanding the application's behavior during the test and enhancing the overall testing strategy. Pay special attention to the part of the video where exceptions and unexpected behaviors are captured. Look out for slow response times, or other performance-related issues as well. Doing this will help you identify both strengths and weaknesses of your website.
Using screenshots and video logging in Selenium tests on LambdaTest helps improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the testing process. Screenshots act as visual bookmarks, whereas video recording ensures that the most crucial aspects of the application are documented effectively.
Together, these practices provide a visual understanding of the application's behavior to create seamless web applications. Video logging adds a rich and real-time perspective. On the other hand, screenshots capture crucial moments in the testing journey.
In this digital age, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video even more. They are visual proof of the website's performance. So, let's keep clicking, recording, and exploring. Because every digital journey is worth remembering.