Watir, WatirMaker & FireWatir

I didn’t want to have to work through browser screens while I was debugging my controls, constantly searching for postcodes etc., so I’ve started using Watir (pronounced ‘Water’) to create and run browser automation scripts.


Watir installation is simple. Running a script is even easier:

C:\>ruby myScript.rb

An example script for your project might be:

require 'watir'

include Watir

browser = IE.new

browser.goto( 'http://localhost:3112/' )

browser.text_field( :id, /username$/ ).set( 'memberuser1' )
browser.text_field( :id, /password$/ ).set( 'password1' )
browser.button( :id, /submit$/ ).click

Watir Maker

WatirMaker lets you easily record Watir scripts as you click through a session in the browser:

C:\>ruby WatirMaker.rb > myScript.rb

It provides you with a basic script quickly and easily and then you can modify it (the Watir cheatsheet is handy).


FireWatir is Watir for Firefox. Once you’ve installed the JSSh extension and started Firefox with the -jssh switch you can run your modified scripts. The only changes that should be required to your scripts are at the start:

require 'firewatir'

include FireWatir

browser = Firefox.new

Important tools for development time and you can port the scripts straight into your UAT environment, too.


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