FindBy strategies for Selenium explained

The @FindBy annotation is used in Page Objects in Selenium tests to specify the object location strategy for a WebElement or a list of WebElements. Using the PageFactory, these WebElements are usually initialized when a Page Object is created. In this post, I will demonstrate various ways in which you can use @FindBy annotations to efficiently locate (groups of) WebElements.

The @FindBy annotation is used to locate one or more WebElements using a single criterion. For example, to identify all elements that have the same class attribute, we could use the following identification:

@FindBy(how = How.CLASS_NAME, using = "classname")
private List<WebElement> singlecriterion;

If we are sure there is only a single element that is identified by our location strategy, for example when we use the element ID, we can also directly assign the result to a WebElement variable:

@FindBy(how = How.ID, using = "elementid")
private WebElement element;

To instantiate the elements, we call the initElements method of the PageFactory class:

PageFactory.initElements(driver, this);

@FindBys and @FindAll
In some cases we want (or need) to use more than a single criterion to identify one or more objects, for instance when page elements do not have a unique ID. In this case, there are two possible annotations that can be used:

  • The @FindBys annotation is used in case elements need to match all of the given criteria
  • The @FindAll annotation is used in case elements need to match at least one of the given criteria

Let’s take a look at an example that illustrates the difference between the two.

The Parabank homepage contains two textboxes, one for the username and one for the password. Both elements have a name attribute that we are going to use to identify them within a Page Object.

Using @FindBys:

	@FindBy(how = How.NAME, using = "username"),
	@FindBy(how = How.NAME, using = "password")
private List<WebElement> bothcriteria;

The bothcriteria list should contain 0 elements, as there is no element that has both a name attribute with the value username and a name attribute with the value password.

Using @FindAll:

	@FindBy(how = How.NAME, using = "username"),
	@FindBy(how = How.NAME, using = "password")
private List<WebElement> eithercriterion;

The eithercriterion list should contain 2 elements, as there is one element that has a name attribute with the value username and also one that has a name attribute with the value password.

For validation purposes, if we print the number of results found by all of the above strategies using

System.out.println("Using @FindBy, we found " + singlecriterion.size() + " element(s)");
System.out.println("Using @FindBys, we found " + bothcriteria.size() + " element(s)");
System.out.println("Using @FindAll, we found " + eithercriterion.size() + " element(s)");

we see this:
Results for different FindBy strategiesIt clearly works exactly as expected!

A more verbose FindBy
Finally, if you have a lot of elements within your Page Object, you can also use a more verbose way of specifying your @FindBy strategy. For example

@FindBy(className = "classname")

gives the exact same results as

@FindBy(how = How.CLASS_NAME, using = "classname")

Creating a video capture of your Selenium tests using Monte Screen Recorder

In previous posts, I have shown you how to include screen shots in your HTML test reports to help you in debugging tests and identifying the cause of test failures. However, in certain cases, a video showing exact screen states, screen transitions and input as generated by your tests might come in even more handy. This goes expecially when your tests run unattended. Such a video could also help presenting / demonstrating your work to your peers and other stakeholders.

Last week I stumbled upon Monte Screen Recorder, a Java library that can assist you in creating these video captures of your Selenium tests. In this relatively short post, I will show you how to create such a video capture.

Installation and configuration of the Monte Screen Recorder is easy. Simply download the .jar file from here, add it as a dependency to your project and you’re all set.

However, please note that using Monte Screen Recorder, as well as playing back the screen captures afterwards, requires the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec (TSCC) to be installed.

To create a screen capture, all we need to do create a new instance of the ScreenRecorder object with the settings we would like to use. For example:
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Creating HTML reports for your Selenium tests using ExtentReports

In a comment on a previous post I wrote on creating custom HTML reports for Selenium tests, Anshoo Arora of Relevant Codes pointed me to ExtentReports, his own solution for generating HTML reports. This week, I have been playing around with it for a while and I must say I’m pretty impressed by its ease of use and the way the reports it generates turn out. Let’s have a look.

Note: this post is based on ExtentReports version 1.4 and therefore might not reflect any changes made in more recent versions.

Downloading and installation
Installation of ExtentReports is a breeze. Just download the latest .jar from the website, add it as a dependency to your Java project and you’re all set.

An example test and report
To illustrate the workings of ExtentReports, we’ll use two simple login tests that are executed against the ParaBank demo application on the Parasoft website. Both tests perform a login action, where the first will be successful and the second one will be unsuccessful due to invalid credentials. We’ll have ExtentReports generate a HTML report that contain the appropriate test results.
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