Page Objects – My friend is not insane

Hello reader,

I am writing this as I am thinking of a work colleague who tries to propose the page objects notion. To get a grip of his effort versus the general acceptance of it imagine Don Quijote versus the windmills.
As in any other post we shall start by understanding the problem at hand.

Baseline:

When we write automated tests, in almost any keyword driven framework, we must implement an action for a selector/locator. This set of key:value will be under a name. This name is specific for an area of a page of the application. If it is a website it will be a webpage, if it is a software program it will be the state of a window. From now on, this will be called a “screen”.

This screen contains multiple key:values, one for each specific action. Please note the “specific” word and think about it. So far we have screens with multiple specific key:values.

On the web, it is very likely that a screen will feature more pages at once. Let’s look at this image:

websiteLayout

From this image it is obvious that most of the screens will have the “Header”,”Categories” and the “Footer” more or less present. Some slight changes will occur for the logged/anonymous areas, except that it is always the same. The “Dynamic content” is the actual driver of the screen. This area is the reason why the users are receiving the info.

Another problem is related to the duplicated code. Every time we write something twice there is a 50% chance that on update we forget about the other piece. Also there is a 100% chance of having to work twice to maintain.

The last problem refers to tests versioning. We like to complain that xxx and yyy changed the locators; however we do little to avoid it. If the project is aiming for a difficult release it is very likely that an older backup of the codebase will be kept. This is why our test should be aware of the version required to be run.

Problem:

How do we keep the functionalities grouped in such a way that we do not have duplicated code and we maintain a versioning system?

My answer:

1) We look around in the project and draw a map, similar to the one I made earlier. Don’t fall into the trap of going too deep with the granularization. I bet that it will take an amount of time unjustifiable to the product manager. This will give us an idea of what is fixed.

2) We create a sketch of the screens and write in that sketch the name of the areas discovered earlier together with their particularities for this step. Those will be our page objects.

3) We add to the sketch the specific actions and validations.

4) In the runner class we receive as many variables as page objects and areas there are. Those variables should start from 1. They represent the version of the scripts.

5) We code each piece of the areas and take into consideration the flags that will cover the states and the version.

6) We code each of the page objects taking into consideration the input data and the version.

7) We go out and drink

This method of automation can be applied under any type of framework and has a very good return of investment. It allows the team to maintain the tests as fast as possible.

Bonus:

It allows the tester, or the PM in case of BDD, to ask questions if the requirements skip areas that used to exist before.

For instance, in the mockups a list can hold 3 products without a scroll bar.  After we look at the tests we can point out the fact that the scroll bar is not present anymore on more than 3 products. This will raise a question that will get clarified into a red scroll bar.

Have fun,
Gabi

 

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