Since ASP.NET Core Applications are continuing to remain popular for enterprises, we need to explain the much-appreciated E2E or end to end testing protocol to ensure optimum quality of such software. If you are interested to update new skills and protocols for your software projects, the end to end testing protocol might interest you. Whether you hire QA specialists or depend on in-house testing teams, knowing the intricacies of this test protocol will pay you in the long run.

Here we are going to explain various aspects of using E2E for ASP.NET Core applications.

What End-to-End (E2E) Tests do? 

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E2E tests roughly represent user interactions with a software product. This is a powerful method to validate the user experience of a software product. Let us have a quick look at the principal characteristics of the E2E test.

  • Since end to end, tests are closely bonded with the user interface of the software, writing such testing programs need increased cost. For the same reason, they need more maintenance costs than regular tests.
  • Since they require running an actual web browser side by side, the testing process is very slow.
  • The ultimate benefit of such tests is that they deliver testing results very close to the actual user experience feedback for the application.

Testing Coverage 

Testing Coverage

End to end tests offer a more expansive coverage of the areas related to the user experience of a software product. They cover each and every aspect ranging from business logic, the interactions with various components, integration of device and platform features, unit test performance, and corner cases.

By carrying out E2E tests we can evaluate all-important user actions and interactions from the perspective of the end-users so that the actual user experience can be evaluated. This is why many testing services these days are showcasing their expertise with this test skill.

Some of the key aspects that we can validate using E2E tests include

  • login and logout
  • Viewing list of articles
  • Being able to open an article
  • Being able to add an article
  • Ability to remove an article

This is actually a testing process to evaluate the basic functions of an app while not being engaged with the business logic or corner cases.

Learn more: Key Principles of Carrying Out User Acceptance Testing (UAT) in 2020

Making the ASP.NET Core Application Ready for E2E Test

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Now we need to explain about preparing the ASP.NET Core application ready for E2E tests. For this, we need to keep in our consideration all the factors that can influence any automation tests. For example, to run the test to evaluate the login function we first need to create an account for the app with login credentials. For different app pages, we also need to create some test data.

Against which environments the test is going to run? Well, this depends on the server-side management to a great extent. Some environments against which E2E tests are run include the following.

  • A newly deployed test environment created for the express purpose of running E2E tests. For this option, you need to manage synchrony with the previous state of the app.
  • A new test environment can also be built from scratch so that we don’t need to worry about keeping sync with previous states.

For our present explanation, it is better to opt for the second option which is much similar to what QA professionals do at the time of integration testing. We have to begin the process by adding a new and fresh ASP.NET Core project.

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Starting Selenium Tests with Nightwatch.js

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We would choose Selenium as the most equipped testing tool besides using Nightwatch.js. The later one is a great JavaScript framework that is used for writing great test scripts through a rich API. Compared to the bland Selenium, it is a good tool for writing the test script. The best thing is Nightwatch can allow access to the Selenium API as well. You can always use other test tools of your preference as long as you can guarantee getting the same testing output and coverage.

We are now fully prepared for starting with the Selenium-based tests.

Here we need to mention the important prerequisites for running Selenium based tests.

  • For running Selenium based tests, you need access to a selenium server which uses Java as the coding language. So, for running the test you have to install Java first on the build environment.
  • Just because you will use the JavaScript based framework Nightwatch.js you also need to install Node.js on those computers as well.
  • After installing these you have to add a package.json file to the E2ETest project.
  • Now add other Node dependencies for Nightwatch.js and Selenium that you may require.
  • Now install the web drivers for browsers where you are going to run the test.
  • Create a separate Selenium driver folder and add all the updated driver versions there.
  • In the end add a configuration file to help Nightwatch know the location of the various test files.

A Few Points About Test Maintainability

Test Maintainability

You might have already seen that tests rely heavily on the HTML attributes and structure. This may create problems as simple refactoring can break code. This is why it is important to keep CSS selectors as vague as possible. This may sometimes require adding class names and IDs to allow tests to detect them easily without messing with the HTML structure of the app.

When you write a lot of tests utilising the extensible capabilities of the Nightwatch and build custom commands, assertions and pages to ensure clean and maintainable test code, you have really mastered the art of writing E2E tests. This is also one of the key reasons why we prefer using the Nightwatch framework instead of using the Web Driver API directly.

Conclusion

App testing involves a lot of complexities and no app development company can turn their eyes from them. Moreover, among the various different tests that are applied by QA professionals and testing experts, End-to-end (E2E) comes with the hardest complexities. But just like the challenges, the reward for carrying E2E tests are also big enough. End to End tests help development companies to have a solid grasp over the issues corresponding to key app functions.