What is Protractor?

Most importantly Protractor has been abandoned by its maintainers and is end of life Summer 2023. Given its 8.8k stars on Github and its heavy usage by certain parts of the Angular community, it is still worth understanding. Protractor is an opensource end to end testing automation tool built by Google, for Angular and AngularJS applications. Although it might be expected that the tool can only be used for Angular applications, it can also be used for non-Angular applications. The testing is automated on an actual browser.

An Automated Testing Tool for Angular

Angular is by its nature famously strongly opinionated. It is one of the more powerful, but also more complicated frontend framework to code with. Having a test tool written by the same team really does make a lot of sense, and integrating Protractor based tests into Angular is generally both quick and powerful.

Protractor is used for End to End tests and can work with frameworks like Jasmine. Protractor runs its tests directly in the browser.

Advantages of Protractor:

This testing automation tool has various advantages to offer:

  • As with most other testing automation tools, Protractor also has an easy installation and setup process.
  • It works seamlessly with Jasmine framework to create the test scenario.
  • Protractor supports test driven development (a process relying on software requirements being changed to test cases before the software is fully developed.)
  • It has automatic waits, and the tester does not need to add waits and sleeps to the test
  • Protractor supports parallel testing through multiple browsers. If a tester needs to use a lot of browsers for testing, it allows this; hence there is no need to go ‘to and fro’ with the testing.
  • The testing speed is commendable, and the added advantage of auto synchronization makes Protractor one of the most sought for testing framework.

Is Protractor Better Than Selenium?

Protractor is specially designed for Angular applications, so within the community it is preferred and generally much faster to work with.

How Does Protractor Work?

Like most other testing frameworks, Protractor helps test Angular applications that run on varied browsers. It works in combination with Selenium, to provide the test interface simulation as required by the user.

Below are a few simple steps to help understand the working of a Protractor:

  • The first step is to install the test automation framework, which is self-explanatory.
  • Next, the tester should write the tests, which can be done with the help of open-source testing frameworks like Jasmine, Mocha or Cucumber.
  • After the test code is written, the test can be run with the help of a Protractor, also known as the test runner.
  • To manage the browsers during the test automation, the Selenium server is used.
  • Lastly, the browser APIs are invoked with the help of Selenium WebDriver.

Comparison Between Protractor and WebDriverIO:

End of Life Summer 2023Well maintained
End to end web automation testing End to end web as well as mobile device automation testing
Opensource testing frameworkOpensource testing framework, so user need not spend anything
Previously it had large community supportCompared to Protractor, the support is less for this tool, but it is accelerating

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