Playwright vs Puppeteer: Which to choose in 2023?
By Shashank, Community Contributor - April 10, 2023
Everyone who is a part of the technology ecosystem must know about the rivalry between Google & Microsoft. They left no stone unturned to compete with their product innovation in the market and recently with comparisons being drawn between Edge vs Chrome. Given this, both have their next-generation browser automation initiatives; Google’s Puppeteer & Microsoft Playwright.
What is Playwright Framework?
Playwright is an open-source Node.js library started by Microsoft that came into existence in 2020. It was developed to automate browsers based on Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit through a single API. Its first public version was released on 31st January to improve automated UI testing. Playwright’s reliable auto-wait feature intercepts network activities and can run multi-page scenarios.
Playwright comes with a set of APIs used to automate major browsers like Firefox, Chromium, and WebKit. With the help of these APIs, one can write code to create new browser pages, interact with on-page elements and navigate to different pages. It allows you to perform end-to-end testing through these APIs, which allows controlling headless browsers.
Also Read: How to start with Playwright Debugging
Playwright is extremely useful in performing cross browser testing on complex applications. It is extremely accurate and offers wide coverage with high speed.
Advantages of Playwright
Listed below are some of the benefits of Playwright:
- It is easy to set up
- It has a stable set of features
- Test on browsers like Firefox, Chromium, and WebKit.
- Auto-wait for elements
- Network interception for mocking and stubbing
- Integrates with Jest
Disadvantages of Playwright
- Doesn’t support Native Mobile Apps
- Fairly new, and the support from the community is limited.
- Since Playwright is new to the market, their user base is still growing.
What is Puppeteer Framework?
Prominent features of Puppeteer include screenshot testing, performance testing, web scraping, and automation.
Also Read: How to start with Puppeteer Debugging
Advantages of the Puppeteer Framework
Listed below are some of the advantages of Puppeteer:
- Easy to configure
- Faster Executions
- Integrates with Mocha, Jest, and Jasmine
- Supports Firefox and Chrome
- Has vast community support
Disadvantages of Puppeteer
- It only supports Chrome and Chromium, with limited Firefox and Microsoft Edge support.
How to Choose a Library?
Now the selection depends upon the goals.
- If someone is looking for more flexibility and support from third-party services, then Playwright is the choice one can make.
Because Playwright and Puppeteer were primarily developed by the same team and have similar APIs, migrating from Puppeteer to Playwright aren’t too difficult.
Playwright vs Puppeteer: Feature Breakdown
Have a glance to get the fundamental differences and similarities between Playwright & Puppeteer:
|Ease of Installation||Easy to Install||Easy to install|
|Test Runner Frameworks Supported||Mocha, Jest, Jasmine||Mocha, Jest, and Jasmine|
|Prerequisites||NodeJS should be installed||Is a Node.js library|
|Architecture||Headless Browser with event-driven architecture||Browser Driven architecture|
|Browsers Supported||Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit||Supports Chrome, Chromium, and limited support to Firefox and Microsoft Edge|
|Support||Limited community help||It has a huge community|
Also Read: Playwright vs Cypress
Playwright vs Puppeteer: Which to Choose?
Undoubtedly, both Playwright & Puppeteer are next-gen libraries for automation. And with the backing of players like Google & Microsoft, they will eventually become more progressive and reliable.
Eventually, the choice someone makes solely depends on its use case. In the case of automating the website or taking screenshots, one might need cross-browser support, for that matter. So, the question begs – Is Playwright better than Puppeteer?
Three key factors help you decide:
- Browser Support
- Long-term Library Support
- The particular use case for browser automation
Playwright comes with first-class support for Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit browsers
- It maintains a set of browser patches and shipping custom binaries
- It works with a unified wire protocol for the internal translation to CDP, Juggler, WDP
- Regarding long-time library support, Playwright still relies on the patched versions of Firefox and WebKit. So it is significant confusion about its future.
On the other hand, Puppeteer was mainly focused on Chromium but added Firefox support later to their core.
- They don’t work with patches like Playwright and work with browser vendors. It paves the way to improve their CDP functionality.
- Their Firefox support is inferior as compared to Playwright
- On the other hand, Puppeteer keeps pace in improving its libraries.
Choosing between Playwright and Puppeteer in 2023 solely depends on the use case to make a choice. Playwright, the most recent browser automation tool, and Puppeteer are simple. One can notice similarities between both as some of the top contributors to Puppeteer moved to work on the Playwright project.
Whether you choose – Playwright or Puppeteer, cross browser testing is essential. It ensures a consistent website experience irrespective of the device or browser it is accessed from.