The software development life cycle keeps coming up with new techniques to decrease delivery time and ends in testing to ensure quality product deliverables at reduced cost and effort. Testing the web applications is trickiest as the tester must test applications on different browsers. This is difficult because there are numerous browsers available in the market and it is difficult to know which browser a user might utilize.
The tester must ensure that the web application does not have issues in integration, usability, User Interface(UI), interoperability, and security. Headless browser testing makes the testing of web applications easier.
A headless browser is a web browser or software that accesses web pages to provide results without any identifiable graphical user interface. Users may not see the results, and the content is passed on to other programs to test web pages for quality control or to extract data.
Website development continues to evolve And developers work to find out new ways to build a user interface that engages their customers to deliver an optimal user experience to website visitors.
Developers are concerned themselves with the aesthetics of a web page and incorporate more interactive elements on their websites. Headless browsers access a web page to determine how much space it would occupy when the user views it.
Headless browsers help the tester view other elements that would appear for a user, such as the color, the font size of the text, and the x/y coordinates of an object, which create a seamless browsing experience for the user.
When the search engine requests a web page, the headless browser must access the AJAX website on the server and provide the results with its program.
Headless browsers can understand HTML pages and interpret elements such as colors, fonts, and layouts. Users utilize headless browsers for web page testing to check for automation, layouts, performance, and for data extraction.
Automation tests check for submission forms, mouse clicks, and keyboard inputs while testing automatic elements to save time and effort in any part of the software delivery cycle.
Headless browsers render and interpret HTML and CSS elements like a real browser. They check the layouts to determine the default page width, their elements, and their x and y coordinates.
Headless browsers test web page performance since it does not have a graphic user interface(GUI) and loads much faster. It does not require any User Interface(UI) interaction and you may do the testing from the command line itself.
Data extraction is easy as it does not need to load the webpage and can navigate websites to collect public data.
Tests the webpages for proper navigation until the transaction completes, but if a website fails, it might cause a bad review of the website, hampering its success.
Headless browsers allow you to execute every use case necessary to simulate the actions of target users.
Mozilla Firefox is a headless browser that can connect to different APIs. Selenium framework is mostly used with headless Firefox for performing automated tests. It’s a relief for developers to simulate different browsers to test their websites. They can easily connect to different APIs to run Firefox in headless mode and test different use cases.
PhantomJS may simulate the navigation scenario that reveals the places where a user might encounter errors while browsing.
The majority of the Continuous Integration(CI) systems are Unix-based systems that are Non-UI and require test cases to run in a non-UI mode. Headless browsers help in the execution of the Selenium Headless Browser tests in a non-UI mode.
Selenium is a free, open-source testing tool that performs automation tests. It allows writing scripts in languages like Java, Python, C#, Ruby, Perl, and Scala, supports browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari, and is capable of running on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
Selenium Webdriver supports dynamic web pages where various web elements change without loading the page. The integral part of UI testing is web browser testing. Web automation tools launch the browser and then execute the test cases on it.
When you run the Selenium tests, browsers face some challenges like slow rendering of headless browsers and the interference of other applications running on the system.
Headless browsers do not have a graphical user interface (GUI) and it provides automatic control of a web page. Users execute headless browsers through the command-line interface or through network communication and are useful for testing web pages as they can understand the HTML tags in the same way a regular browser does.
Headless testing is running browser UI tests without the head, which means without any browser UI. This is useful in a continuous integration environment to test the web pages since there is no need to load the extra overhead of the browser GUI.
Though headless browsers are easy to be test, users might encounter bugs when they use them in real-time. The best way to test for user experience is for the developer to mimic a real user and perform a functional test.
The headless browser testing would throw and catch bugs that could not happen in a regular browser.
Due to their speed and agility, headless browsers are best for web page testing because they test the various automation tasks, their performance, and layout on a website.
Headless browsers also work for scraping websites faster as they do not deal with the overhead of loading any UI and can automate the scrapping mechanism to extract data in an optimized manner.