Applies to CrossBrowserTesting SaaS, last modified on January 10, 2023

Watir is an open-source web application testing framework that is designed to make writing Selenium tests simple and efficient. Built on Selenium’s Ruby language bindings, Watir is able to drive the browser in the same way humans do. With all of the awesome features Selenium has to offer, the sky’s the limit as far as what you can do. Here, we explain how to incorporate the Watir testing framework with CrossBrowserTesting’s cloud automation platform. Let us get started.

Get set up

If you are new to Watir, and you would like to start from scratch, you have come to the right place.

  • Install Selenium

    First, we will need a couple of necessary Selenium libraries. Getting them is easy with Gem:

    gem install selenium-webdriver
  • Install Watir

    Then let us get Watir installed:

    gem install watir-webdriver
  • Install Rest-Client

    We will also be using Rest-Client to make RESTful API calls with CrossBrowserTesting’s API:

    gem install rest-client
  • Install Test-Unit

    Lastly, let us use test-unit to perform functional unit tests on our platform:

    gem install test-unit

Write tests

Alright, we should be ready to get started.

If you are already familiar with Watir, and you have written tests, making them work with our tool is easy.


browser = Watir::Browser.new


browser = Watir::Browser.new(
    :url => "http://#{username}:#{authkey}@hub.crossbrowsertesting.com:80/wd/hub",
    :desired_capabilities => caps)

Username here is the email address associated with your account, and authkey is the authorization key that can be found on the ‘Manage Account’ section of our site. Caps is the capabilities object that contains our api names for selecting OS/Browser and other options. Your capabilities should look something like this:

caps = Selenium::WebDriver::Remote::Capabilities.new

caps["name"] = "Selenium Test Example"
caps["build"] = "1.0"
caps["browserName"] = "Internet Explorer"
caps["version"] = "10"
caps["platform"] = "Windows 7 64-bit"
caps["screen_resolution"] = "1024x768"
caps["record_video"] = "true"
caps["record_network"] = "false"

Let us build a class called CBT_API that will make working with our API easy:


require "watir-webdriver"
require "selenium-webdriver"
require "rest-client"
require "test-unit"

class CBT_API
    @@username = 'you%40yourcompany.com'
    @@authkey = '12345'
    @@BaseUrl = "https://#{@@username}:#{@@authkey}@crossbrowsertesting.com/api/v3"
    def getSnapshot(sessionId)
        # this returns the the snapshot's "hash" which is used in the
        # setDescription function
        response = RestClient.post(@@BaseUrl + "/selenium/#{sessionId}/snapshots",
        snapshotHash = /(?<="hash": ")((\w|\d)*)/.match(response)[0]
        return snapshotHash

    def setDescription(sessionId, snapshotHash, description)
        response = RestClient.put(@@BaseUrl + "/selenium/#{sessionId}/snapshots/#{snapshotHash}",

    def setScore(sessionId, score)
        # valid scores are 'pass', 'fail', and 'unset'
        response = RestClient.put(@@BaseUrl + "/selenium/#{sessionId}",

Now that we have our API object setup, we can set the score of our test to pass/fail, take snapshots whenever we need to, or even set the description so we can easily search for results later. We can now build our unit test. In this test, we will navigate to an example To-Do app, we will use some of the functionality of the app, then we will assert that the changes we made had the desired effect.


class CBT_Example < Test::Unit::TestCase
    def test_todos
            username = 'you%40yourcompany.com'
            authkey = '12345'
            caps = Selenium::WebDriver::Remote::Capabilities.new

            caps["name"] = "Selenium Test Example"
            caps["build"] = "1.0"
            caps["browserName"] = "Internet Explorer"
                        caps["version"] = "10"
                        caps["platform"] = "Windows 7 64-bit"
            caps["screen_resolution"] = "1024x768"
            caps["record_video"] = "true"
            caps["record_network"] = "false"

            browser = Watir::Browser.new(
                :url => "http://#{username}:#{authkey}@hub.crossbrowsertesting.com:80/wd/hub",
                :desired_capabilities => caps)

            session_id = browser.driver.session_id

            score = "pass"
            cbt_api = CBT_API.new
            # maximize the window - DESKTOPS ONLY
            # driver.manage.window.maximize
            puts "Loading URL"
            browser.goto ("http://crossbrowsertesting.github.io/todo-app.html")

            puts "Clicking Checkbox"
            # driver.find_element(:name, "todo-4").click
            browser.checkbox(:name, "todo-4").set
            puts "Clicking Checkbox"
            # driver.find_element(:name, "todo-5").click
            browser.checkbox(:name, "todo-5").set

            # elems = driver.find_elements(:class, "done-true")
            elems = browser.elements(:class, "done-true")
            assert_equal(2, elems.length)

            puts "Entering Text"
            browser.text_field(:id => 'todotext').set("run your first selenium test")
            # driver.find_element(:id, "todotext").send_keys("run your first selenium test")
            browser.element(:id, 'addbutton').click
            # driver.find_element(:id, "addbutton").click

            # spanText = driver.find_element(:xpath, "/html/body/div/div/div/ul/li[6]/span").text
            spanText = browser.element(:xpath, "/html/body/div/div/div/ul/li[6]/span").text
            assert_equal("run your first selenium test", spanText, "Problem adding to-do")

            "Archiving old to-dos"
            # driver.find_element(:link_text, "archive").click
            browser.element(:link_text, "archive").click
            # elems = driver.find_elements(:class, "done-false")
            elems = browser.elements(:class, "done-false")
            assert_equal(4, elems.length, "Problem archiving to-dos")

            puts "Taking Snapshot"
            cbt_api.setScore(session_id, "pass")
        rescue Exception => ex
            puts ("#{ex.class}: #{ex.message}")
            cbt_api.setScore(session_id, "fail")
            # driver.quit

As you can see from our test, we interact with the app, and then we assert that those changes were made. Rather than having to test this manually against each configuration, we can now easily run our test against any configuration and simply focus on the tests that failed. Thanks to Watir’s webdriver writing and extending these tests are easy and efficient.

For examples and source code to this tutorial, check out our  Watir GitHub Repository

If you have any trouble, feel free to get in touch. We are always happy to help!

See Also

Test Frameworks and Tools
About Selenium Testing
Selenium and Ruby
Cucumber Ruby

Highlight search results