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Robotframework library that implements the Page Object pattern

Project description

# PageObjectLibrary

## Overview

PageObjectLibrary is a lightweight
[robot framework](http://www.robotframework.org) keyword library that
makes it possible to use the page object pattern when testing web
pages with the keyword based approach of robot framework.

## Installing

$ pip install --upgrade robotframework-pageobjectlibrary

## Source code

The source code is hosted on github at the following url:

[https://github.com/boakley/robotframework-pageobjectlibrary.git]

## Running the demo

In the github repository is a small demonstration suite that includes
a self-contained webserver and web site.

For the demo to run you must have robotframework 2.9+ and Selenium2Library
installed. You must also have cloned the github repository to have access
to the demo files.

To run the demo, clone the github repository, cd to the folder that
contains this file, and then run the following command:

$ robot -d demo/results demo


## How it works

The page object library is quite simple. Page object classes are
implemented as standard robot keyword libraries, and relies on robot
frameworks built-in [Set library search order keyword]
(http://robotframework.org/robotframework/latest/libraries/BuiltIn.html#Set%20Library%20Search%20Order).

The core concept is that when you use PageObjectLibrary keywords to go
to a page or assert you are on a specific page, the keyword will
automatically load the library for that page and put it at the front
of the library search order, guaranteeing that the page object keywords
are available to your test case.

## Why page objects makes writing tests easier

The purpose of the page object pattern is to encapsulate the knowledge of how
a web page is constructed into an object. Your test uses the object
as an interface to the application, isolating your test cases from
the details of the implementation of a page.

With page objects, developers are free to modify web pages as much as
they want, and the only thing they need to do to keep existing tests
from failing is to update the page object class. Because test cases aren't
directly tied to the implementation, they become more stable and more
resistent to change as the website matures.

## A typical test without page objects

With traditional testing using Selenium, a simple login test might look
something like the following: (using the pipe-separated format for clarity):

*** Test Cases ***
| Login with valid credentials
| | Go to | ${ROOT}/Login.html
| | Wait for page to contain | id=id_username
| | Input text | id=id_username | ${USERNAME}
| | Input text | id=id_password | ${PASSWORD}
| | Click button | id=id_form_submit
| | Wait for page to contain | Your Dashboard
| | Location should be | ${ROOT}/dashboard.html

Notice how this test is tightly coupled to the implementation of the
page. It has to know that the input field has an id of "id_username",
and the password field has an id of "id_password". It also has to know
the URL of the page being tested.

Of course, you can put those hard-coded values into variables and
import them from a resource file or environment variables, which
makes it easier to update tests when locators change. However, there's
still the overhead of additional keywords that are often required to
make a test robust, such as waiting for a page to be reloaded. The
provided PageObject superclass handles some of those details for you.

## The same test, using page objects

Using page objects, the same test could be written like this:

*** Test Cases ***
| Login with valid credentials
| | Go to page | LoginPage
| | Login as a normal user
| | The current page should be | DashboardPage

Notice how there are no URLs or element locators in the test
whatsoever, and that we've been able to eliminate some keywords that
typically are necessary for selenium to work but which aren't
part of the test logic _per se_. What we end up with is test case
that is nearly indistinguishable from typical acceptance criteria of
an agile story.

# Writing a Page Object class

Page objects are simple python classes that inherit from
`PageObjectLibrary.PageObject`. There are only a couple of requirements
for the class:

* The class should define a variable named PAGE_TITLE
* The class should define a variable named PAGE_URL which
is a URI relative to the site root.

By inheriting from `PageObjectLibrary.PageObject`, methods have access
to the folloing special object attributes:

* `self.se2lib` - a reference to an instance of Selenium2Library. With
this you can call any of the Selenium2Library keywords via their
python method names (eg: self.se2lib.input_text)
* `self.browser` - a reference to the webdriver object created when a
browser was opened by Selenium2Library. With this you can bypass
Selenium2Library and directly call all of the functions provided by
the core selenium library.
* `self.locator` - a wrapper around the `_locators` dictionary of the
page. This dictionary can contain all of the locators used by the page
object keywords. `self.locators` adds the ability to access the locators
with dot notation rather than the slightly more verbose dictionary syntax
(eg: `self.locator.username` vs `self._locators["username"]`.

## An example page object

A page object representing a login page might look like this:

from PageObjectLibrary import PageObject

class LoginPage(PageObject):
PAGE_TITLE = "Login - PageObjectLibrary Demo"
PAGE_URL = "/login.html"

_locators = {
"username": "id=id_username",
"password": "id=id_password",
"submit_button": "id=id_submit",
}

def enter_username(self, username):
"""Enter the given string into the username field"""
self.se2lib.input_text(self.locator.username, username)

def enter_password(self,password):
"""Enter the given string into the password field"""
self.se2lib.input_text(self.locator.password, password)

def click_the_submit_button(self):
"""Click the submit button, and wait for the page to reload"""
with self._wait_for_page_refresh():
self.se2lib.click_button(self.locator.submit_button)

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