Using C# to automate Web application testing in Edge with WebDriver

More and more applications are being built on Web technologies, from familiar Web apps and services, to Electron-hosted JavaScript, to a new generation of stand-alone progressive Web applications. The underlying family of HTML 5 technologies, including JavaScript and CSS along with transpiled languages such as TypeScript, have matured and are delivering far more than we expected in the early days of the Web.

The modern Web has almost all the tools we need to deliver reliable, enterprise-grade applications. We can build code in familiar IDEs; we can debug it using browser-based tools such as those waiting behind F12. There are even linters to guide us to writing better code. But one area still lags: testing.

Introducing WebDriver and Selenium

Automated Web testing tools have been around for a couple of decades now, initially co-opting browser engines to give us headless tools that used the page document object model to automate form filing and parsing results. Early tools were able to simulate user interactions at scale, giving us a tool that not only helped show whether pages and applications performed as expected, but showed how sites performed under load, an essential part of Web testing that was hard to do without automation.

Modern Web application testing builds on those tried and tested techniques, though instead of simulating browsers and users, they now build on the Selenium project’s original WebDriver specification to test out interactions with production browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome, and both the old EdgeHTML and the new Chromium-based Edge. Microsoft announced support for WebDriver in the new Edge last year at Ignite.

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