Using Selenium with PHPUnit

Testing is a really wide subject, whether it be unit testing, functional testing, acceptance testing, etc. In this article, we’re going to see how you can do acceptance testing using Selenium. I will use a practical example to illustrate a real use case. I will assume that you already know how to do unit testing using PHPUnit, or that you at least have a grasp of what it’s all about. Let’s get started.

Image of some checkboxes being checked

What Is Acceptance Testing?

Acceptance testing is the process of telling user stories through tests, and I love this quote to describe it:

A formal test conducted to determine whether or not a system satisfies its acceptance criteria and to enable the customer to determine whether or not to accept the system.

What Is Selenium?

Selenium is a tool to automate user interface testing. It helps with testing your application against the browser. The process could be described like so:

  • Go to the page
  • Assert the page contains a list of 20 videos.
  • Click number two on the pagination.
  • Assert the page contains a list of 20 videos.
  • Quit the browser.

You may be wondering: “How does it manipulate the web page using the described tests?”

The answer is “it depends”. If you’re using Selenium RC (previously named Selenium 1), it will inject auto generated JavaScript code to the page to perform the desired actions. Selenium RC is deprecated and is only supported in maintenance mode; you should be using Selenium WebDriver.

When using Selenium WebDriver (Selenium 2), the tests are translated into commands and passed to the Selenium server (more about that in a moment), then passed to the browser using the web browser native API.

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