WatinN to automate browser and test sophisticated ASP.NET AJAX sites

WatiN is a great .NET library for writing automated browser based tests that uses real browser to go to websites, perform actions and check for browser output. Combined with a unit test library like xUnit, you can use WatiN to perform automated regression tests on your websites and save many hours of manual testing every release. Moreover, WatiN can be used to stress test Javascripts on the page as it can push the browser to perform operations repeatedly and measure how long it takes for Javascripts to run. Thus you can test your Javascripts for performance, rendering speed of your website and ensure the overall presentation is fast and smooth for users.

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I have written some extension methods for WatiN to help facilitate AJAX related tests, especially with ASP.NET UpdatePanel, jQuery and dealing with element positions. I will show you how to use these libraries to test sophisticated AJAX websites, like the one I have built – Dropthings, which is a widget powered ASP.NET AJAX portal using ASP.NET UpdatePanel, jQuery to create a Web 2.0 presentation. You can simulate and test UpdatePanel updates, AJAX calls and UI update and even drag & drop of widgets!

You can see the implementation of automated tests in my open source project codebase.


Tests written using WatiN replaces the need for human driven tests and thus sheds significant time off your regular regression test suite. Moreover, it empowers developers with a way to quickly run regression tests whenever they need to, without waiting for human QA resource’s availability. When you hook it with xUnit like test frameworks and integrate with your continuous build, you can run UI tests automatically to test all the UI scenarios overnight after your nightly build and generate reports without requiring any manual intervention.

3 thoughts on “WatinN to automate browser and test sophisticated ASP.NET AJAX sites”

  1. I’ve used Watin on a previous project, but when starting the testing on our current project we chose not to use it in part because it does not seem to be evolving anymore.

    God, by any other name is still the same, only the namers change.

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