Daniel - June 1, 2021
Puppeteer, Playwright, and Selenium are renowned web automation and testing tools. If you have to pick one, which would you go for? In this article, I’ll be comparing Puppeteer vs Playwright vs Selenium to help you pick the best.
Puppeteer is a high-level browser automation tool from Google. The tool is available as an API and was initially launched as an alternative to Selenium. It’s a headless tool and you can use it to automate Chrome and other Chromium browsers. There are lots of things you can do with Puppeteer.
Furthermore, you can use Puppeteer to test chrome extensions before installing them. If you own a website, you can use Puppeteer to track performance issues as the tool can capture a timeline trace.
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The tool is available for free. You can install it on Windows, Mac, and Linux. When you do, it automatically downloads the latest Chromium version for you to work with.
Playwright is a Microsoft product. It was developed as a fork of Puppeteer but it works with more than Chromium. You can also use Playwright to automate Firefox and Webkit-based browsers; it’ll even work with mobile web browsers. The tool was optimized to work with modern web apps and it’s the latest among all three.
It’s a powerful web automation tool as you can automate multiple pages, domains, and frames simultaneously. You can test for file uploads, downloads, input, dark mode, and iframes amongst others. There are built-in debugging tools to ensure that your coding is void of error and you can deploy your tests to different CI/CD providers.
Selenium’s release dates back to 2004 which makes it one of the oldest web automation tools. You can use it to automate browsers, test web applications in most modern browsers. It’ll also work for automating various web tasks. The tool will work on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS computers.
Selenium consists of different components. There’s the WebDriver, IDE, and Grid. With the Selenium WebDriver, you can perform browser automation tests and distribute web scripts across different environments. The Selenium IDE is more for browser interactions while Selenium Grid allows you to test multiple environments from a central point.
The tool also features a client API and remote control server. You can write scripts for Selenium using different programming languages. The tool supports C#, Groovy, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Scala.
Among all three, Selenium is the most popular and the most used. This is mainly because of its vast web testing tools which makes it versatile. However, Selenium is general and not specific to any browser. You’ll have to install different WebDrivers for each browser type you want to automate.
Puppeteer which is specific to Chrome or Chromium is ideal if you want to automate such browsers. You can automate Chrome or Chromium with Selenium too but it’s a lot easier with Puppeteer as you’ll be working with DevTools Protocol. Playwright, however, has the most advantage. While it’s simple to use like Puppeteer, it’s not limited to just Chromium. You can test Firefox and Webkit as well.
Whether you go with Puppeteer, Playwright, or Selenium, one thing is certain – you’re going to need a proxy. Most websites don’t allow these tools hence you could be banned if you try accessing them without a proxy.
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