Multi-Browser Support for Test Automation with XLT


In today’s post we will discuss the steps necessary to enhance an XLT-based test suite with multi-browser support. We will show how to tag your test cases to conveniently run them in different environments and execute the test suite in a local or remote fashion.


Xceptance maintains a MIT licensed test suite at GitHub which demonstrates functional testing for large scale projects. With the suite we’ve put an emphasis on clear structures, naming and test case organization. Targeting Demandware’s SiteGenesis storefront at heart, the underlying concepts and mechanisms are valuable for everyone building test suites for comparable web applications with XLT. Next to being a template for test automation and best practices in test suite design, it can be a starting point ready to pick up in your very own projects. We regularly utilize it and want to encourage you to explore, employ and contribute.

A regular challenge in testing ecommerce applications is the variety of different browsers and platforms that are available today. As you probably know XLT, the test automation and load testing framework from Xceptance, is based on Selenium browser automation and the Webdriver API. Supporting multiple browsers therefore comes naturally. This blog post will demonstrate how XLT is able to streamline different testing environments directly in your test suite. You will learn how to execute your tests locally and remotely with the help of Sauce Labs and similar automated testing platforms. Along the way you will pick up some details about XLT as well as Script Developer and quickly find yourself equipped with a ready to use multi-browser test suite example.


To setup your multi-browser testing adventures you will need a few basics first. We will assume that JDK 8 or later is installed on your machine. The latest version of XLT framework is required as well. Furthermore, we recommend some tools, but other alternatives will do nicely as well.

  • Browser(s) of your choice, e.g. Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer
  • Java development environment, e.g. Eclipse
  • Optionally, Apache Ant or Maven as execution frameworks
  • Optionally, a Sauce Labs account (read below for more details)

Project Setup

Once everything from the list is installed and you have downloaded and extracted the XLT framework, it is time to retrieve the example test suite. Clone the project from its GitHub repository into a folder on your local drive.

Next you will need to import the cloned repository as an existing project into Eclipse. Lastly, add the XLT framework to your newly created Eclipse project as a user library.

Select the project's Properties srcset=
Java Build Path > Add Library > User Library and add a library called xlt.” width=”1120″ height=”466″> Add XLT as user library to java build path.

Add all .jar files contained in XLT’s /lib folder to your newly created user library and confirm. This will reference the XLT framework in your test suite project.

Click Add External JARs and add all .jar files from XLT's /lib directory to your newly created user library.
Add all .jar files contained in your XLT /lib directory.

XLT Configuration

If you want to use Ant to execute the test suite, be sure to specify the proper path to where you extracted the XLT framework in the xlt.home.dir property of the file in the multi-browser test suite in Eclipse.

Since the Firefox Webdriver is integrated, its installation is not required. If you want to use the Firefox Webdriver, tell XLT to do so by configuring it in your test suite.

If you would like to use the Chrome Webdriver, be sure to download and extract it to your local drive. Similar to Firefox, you need to instruct XLT to use it. Additionally, you need to specify the path to the locally downloaded Chrome driver.

Another choice of Webdriver can be Internet Explorer, which is available on Microsoft operating systems only. For more information visit this site. A download of IEWebdriver is available here. Unpack the driver and configure it in XLT as follows.

Configuring Test Execution

After setting up our project and configuring XLT regarding choice of web driver, we will turn to specifying different execution environments for our test cases. We want to be able to easily switch between different browsers and test environments later on. Furthermore, we would like to run our test cases either locally or remotely. Creating so called browser profiles allows us to do all of this effortlessly.

XLT allows remote execution of our tests with automated testing platforms like Sauce Labs, Browser Stack or Selenium Grid. Configure access to one of the grid services in file multi-browser-suite/config/ with the help of the following properties template:

The <gridname></gridname> constitutes the name of the service you are using. We will reference it later on. The .url property determines the hub of the testing platform provider. The account details .username and .password will be provided by the service as well.

For Sauce Labs the configuration could look as follows. Please note, the password is your sauce labs access key which can be retrieved here.

Next to configuring a grid service, the also host the profiles of browsers and platforms you want your test cases to execute in. A good number of properties are possible, so be sure to have a look into the respective file existing in the provided example suite. We will explain mandatory browser properties and show some common profiles next.

The <unique profile="" identifier=""></unique> is a string that makes the unique browser profiles accessible. Like the grid name we will reference this identifier. The .name property allows for assigning a detailed name to the browser definition. Property .browser is used to specify the actual browser, like chrome, firefox or internetexplorer. Optionally, you can define the resolution of your browser window with the .browserResolution property.

To execute the profile remotely, we can reference the previously defined grid name with the help of our .testEnvironment property. For local execution XLT reserves the value local.

With Sauce Labs you can choose between different (emulated) platform and device parameters. The following table lists the respective properties you can use:

browserprofile.<unique id="">.version</unique> Determines which version of the browser should be used or defines the version of the OS of an emulated device. By default the version property references the browser version, but in case of saucelabs device emulation, it may be used for the OS version instead.
browserprofile.<unique id="">.platform</unique> Defines on which (possibly emulated) platform the test should execute.
browserprofile.<unique id="">.deviceName</unique> Defines detailed name of the device.
browserprofile.<unique id="">.deviceOrientation</unique> Defines the orientation of the device.

A few examples of common profiles are shown next. You will find most of the properties utilized which were discussed in preceding sections.

Local Chrome

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 run as local Chrome Emulation

Chrome browser resolution to 1280×900 and Test-Environment to Sauce Labs

iPhone 5s on Sauce Labs

Internet Explorer on your own Selenium grid

Test Case Configuration

Test scripts created in XLT Script Developer can be executed in Eclipse or other Java execution environments (e.g. Ant). Enable the Script Developers checkbox shown in the following screenshot and a Java wrapper class for each of your test scripts will be generated. These Java classes can be executed directly in Eclipse (or similar).

Click XLT Script Developer button and tick the checkbox Generate Unit wrapper class for test cases.
Instruct Script Developer to generate Java wrapper classes for test scripts.

By default, automatically generated wrapper classes will inherit from class AbstractScriptTestCase and function as a proxy class during execution. Upon running the classes, the associated test scripts will be instrumented by XLT. Typically you would refrain from editing the generated wrapper classes by hand, because Script Developer may overwrite them at any time.
Now with our multi-browser suite we want to go a step further and execute our test scripts in a number of different execution environments. For this purpose we will link our Java wrapper classes to the browser profiles we did configure earlier. This can be conveniently done with the help of class AbstractAnnotatedScriptTestCase, which is provided by our multi-browser test suite in multi-browser-suite/src/xltutil/.
We copy the existing test script Java wrappers generated by Script Developer to some other location in our suite. Next we will modify the wrapper classes, so they inherit from AbstractAnnotatedScriptTestCase. Now we are in the position to simply use the @TestTarget annotation to tag our test cases with the unique identifiers of our browser profiles. The following example shows an exemplary Search test case annotated with a local Chrome browser profile.

The multi-browser suite which you initially cloned already includes a number of exemplary test cases in folder /src that demonstrate the concept. The also have a number of execution environments preconfigured. Be sure to have a look!

Of course it is possible to specify more than one browser profile in a @TestTarget annotation. XLT will run all different setups that are specified.

Test Case Execution

Finally we are ready to execute our annotated test cases. You can employ the Eclipse JUnit runner or rely on Apache Ant.

Right click your test case and execute it as JUnit test.
Run test case wrapper as JUnit test.

The multi-browser test suite offers some pre-configured Ant targets (e.g. Use the browserdefinition option to run test cases with a specific browser annotation only.


The article described the steps necessary to adapt a test suite created with XLT Script Developer to conveniently support multiple browsers during local or remote execution. The multi-browser test suite accompanying the article backs the demonstrated concepts in more detail and includes all the necessary source code enhancements. Together with the structuring and naming approach demonstrated in our SiteGenesis Community Edition test suite you have a ready to use solution for your own XLT-based test projects at your disposal. Let us know how they went!

One thought on “Multi-Browser Support for Test Automation with XLT”

  1. Hi Markus. Your perspective on Multi-Browser Support for Test Automation with XLT! The article was absolutely compelling. We have recently posted a blog focusing on Accelerating Time to Market through Next-Gen Test Automation.We would like to get your views on the article and our perspective. This is the link for your reference :

Comments are closed.