Web Commander

Web Commander Description

The WebCommander performs actions against WebElements. This class also extends the abstract class Commands, which is built to be agnostic of any automation tooling. From this class, functionality such as validations, time-based waits, and log wrappers are available to inheriting classes. This design was intended as a future-proofing measure should Qadenz at some point expand to include other underlying tool sets.

Each method on the WebCommander includes a number of activities beyond simply performing WebElement interactions. The workflow for these methods is as follows:

  1. Log the action taking place and the name of the target element.
  2. Initialize a WebElement using the provided Locator instance.
  3. Perform the WebElement or Actions command.
  4. Catch and log any exceptions that are thrown.
  5. If an exception is caught, capture a screenshot of the UI under test.
  6. Throw the exception to stop execution of the test.

All WebCommander commands include an Explicit Wait during WebElement initialization. Commands that involve a Click action include a wait for the clickability of the target element. All other commands include a wait for the visibility of the target element to be true.

Basic Element Commands

The 4 basic Selenium WebElement Interactions are covered by the WebCommander. These are the click(), sendKeys(), clear(), and select() functions.


The primary click() method includes a fallback intended for flexibility against tricky DOM configurations. On the chance that an element click would be intercepted by another element and an ElementClickInterceptedException Exception is caught, the click() method may reattempt the click using Actions.click(). This behavior is configurable and is enabled by default. To configure, simply add a parameter to the TestNG Suite XML file.

<parameter name="retryInterceptedClicks" value="false" />

It should be noted that the ElementClickInterceptedException can be a symptom of an element selector that needs to be optimized a little further. Before relying on the fallback, it is highly recommended to address the Locator first.

An overloaded click() method is also available that allows point-precision clicks on an element. Two int arguments represent X and Y offsets that allow the click to be placed precisely on an element. Since this method wraps the Actions class, the ElementClickInterceptedException fallback is not included.


The enterText() method retains the flexibility of the underlying WebElement.sendKeys() method to accept both characters (Strings) and enumerated Keys. The logging in this method is configured to accurately represent both in a simple manner on the resulting reports.

The clearAndEnterText() method combines clearing a field and sending input as a convenience wrapper to save a second method call.


As the method name would imply, the select() method wraps the Select API to interact with menus constructed on the DOM as <select> elements. The WebCommander currently selects and deselects options only by visible text as a common use pattern. To gain access to other forms of interaction (by Index or by Value), the best solution is to extend WebCommander and create custom commands as needed. (More on this topic below)

WebDriver Actions

The Actions API is an extremely versatile interface for simulating keyboard, mouse, pen, and wheel actions. The Builder pattern invovled with the Actions API would make wrapping various combinations extremely difficult and extremely limited in actual value in a consuming project. While there are some more common and straightforward action sequences that are provided on the WebCommander, the Actions API is largely intended to build sequences custom to the needs of the UI under test.

The WebCommander currently provides Actions wrapping for a point-precise click() on an element, a doubleClick() on an element, a controlClick() series on multiple elements, and a hover() on an element.

More complex usage of the Actions API can be (and should be) wrapped as custom commands on a Project-level WebCommander sub-class. More on this in the ‘Extensibility’ section below.

Other Functions

In addition to WebElement interactions, the WebCommander provides additional functionality that helps to interact with the rendered DOM.


Switching between frames is one such function. The methods involved simply wrap the WebDriver.switchTo().defaultContent() and WebDriver.switchTo().frame(). To move focus to a child frame, simple invoke the focusOnFrame(Locator locator) method with a Locator instance that maps of the Frame node on the DOM. Invoking the focusOnDefaultContent() method will return focus to the primary frame on the page.


Inevitably, tests will need to work around some timing and synchronization issues. Implementing a time-based wait such as Thread.sleep() can work in a pinch, but best practices suggest something more flexible and performant. The pause(Condition) method was designed to function as an Explicit Wait, but uses Qadenz’s Conditions and Expectations to express the type and criteria of the wait. As with Explicit Waits, the Condition will be evaluated repeatedly until either the Condition is satisfied, or a timeout occurs, at which point the test will be stopped.


While failed assertions and caught exceptions will trigger the capturing of a screenshot, there are other occasions where a team might need visual confirmation of the UI state at a given point in a test. This can also provide some additional insights while troubleshooting a troublesome test.

Invoking the captureScreenshot() method will save an image of the visible UI and embed the image into the final HTML report.

Last modified July 14, 2023