In search of cost-effective acceptance testing

An essential part of the software development lifecycle is testing whether software developed meets the specifications provided by the client. These tests often consist of executing scenarios based on real-life processes at the client’s company and verifying whether the application behaves as intended and meets its goals.

These tests are called acceptance tests and while they can be carried out manually, they are often automated because they can be very time-consuming.

At Base2Build, we insist that software developed meets 100% of the expectations of the client and effortlessly complies with all their specifications. Automated acceptance testing obviously plays a vital role in ensuring that we comply with the requirements we impose on ourselves.

Acceptance testing can be a daunting task in the world of web development as you need to test your application on all major browsers: chrome, IE, Edge, Safari, Firefox, mobile browsers, etc. Each of these browsers has its own quirks and behavior, which means that a feature may work as intended in one browser, but may behave differently in another browser. In addition, modern web applications are quite asynchronous in nature, making acceptance testing even harder.

Luckily an impressive eco-system exists around web UI testing. There are a lot of different web UI testing frameworks that can be used to satisfy all your acceptance testing needs for web development. However, many of these frameworks are oriented around big enterprise software and therefore require considerable hours and manpower to set-up and maintain.

At Base2Build, we do not want these acceptance tests to negatively influence the development cost of an application, which is why we searched for a framework to allow us to set up simple, but effective acceptance tests.

Our search for such a framework led us to Selenium WebDriver, which is one of the more popular Web UI testing suites. Selenium WebDriver is rich in features but can be quite complicated or even complete overkill if you are looking for simple web acceptance tests.

Luckily Selenium has spawned a lot of other frameworks that use Selenium WebDriver as the core technology, but provide a simple and effective DSL exactly for your needs. One of these is Coypu, which wraps the Selenium WebDriver into its own API. This API tries to simplify the Selenium Webdriver, and as a result your acceptance tests can be written with less code and in less time.

Coypu also allows us to run acceptance tests on all major browser and it plays well with web applications written with asynchronous code such as AJAX or frameworks such as Angular.

With Coypu we are able to show that enterprise grade acceptance testing is possible without increasing the development cost of an application. This allows Base2Build to provide battle-tested web applications at an affordable budget.

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