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Setup Selenium Web Browser Automation Using ASP.NET Core and Docker

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Setup Selenium Web Browser Automation Using ASP.NET Core and Docker

In this interdisciplinary post, we explore how to use ASP.NET and Docker to set up an automation environment for testing with Selenium.

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There exist many kinds of test: unit tests, integration tests, acceptance test, UI tests, etc.
For this tutorial, we will look at UI tests. This kind of test allows us to validate the IHM by launching the browser, clicking on elements, and verifying the result.

Using UI tests, we can validate the behavior of an application on many browsers: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.

We can also use a specific version of a browser, for example, IE9.

In this tutorial, we will not show you how to write a Selenium test in detail, but we will focus on browser automation in order to execute UI tests on a build environment.

So, let's go ahead and create an ASP.NET Core web project and an xUnit Test Project:

  • install-package Selenium.WebDriver
  • install-package Microsoft.AspNetCore.Hosting
  • install-package Microsoft.AspNetCore.TestHost
  • xunit
  • xunit.runner.visualstudio

Docker File

WebApplication Dockerfile :

Create a Dockerfile inside the web project.

Here, I pull microsoft/aspnetcore:2.0-nanoserver-1709 as a base image.

Set the src as the working directory, copy source, restore packages, build and publish on /app and expose port 80 inside the container.

FROM microsoft/aspnetcore:2.0-nanoserver-1709 AS base

FROM microsoft/aspnetcore-build:2.0-nanoserver-1709 AS build
COPY SetupSeleniumAspNetCoreDocker.sln ./
COPY SetupSeleniumeDocker.UI/SetupSeleniumeDocker.UI.csproj SetupSeleniumeDocker.UI/
RUN dotnet restore -nowarn:msb3202,nu1503
COPY . .
WORKDIR /src/SetupSeleniumeDocker.UI
RUN dotnet build -c Release -o /app

FROM build AS publish
RUN dotnet publish -c Release -o /app

FROM base AS final
COPY --from=publish /app .
ENTRYPOINT ["dotnet", "SetupSeleniumeDocker.UI.dll"]

Database Dockerfile:

FROM microsoft/mssql-server-windows-developer
ADD create-blogs-data.sql /initial-scripts/create-blogs-data.sql
ADD run-scripts.bat /initial-scripts/run-scripts.bat
RUN /initial-scripts/run-scripts.bat

create-blogs-data.sql contains tests data, so I run the sqlcmd command to execute the script. The following will create schemas and insert data.

cd \initial-scripts
sqlcmd -i create-blogs-data.sql -o output.txt

Docker-compose.yml File

Create a docker-compose.yml file.

  • The web app service uses my web application Dockerfile: LogCorner.BlogPost.Core.web\Dockerfile
  • The web app service depends on the db service. So Docker will pull and start the db service container before launching the web app.
  • The db service depends on the base image microsoft/mssql-server-windows-developer, exposes port 1433 inside the container, and use the following credentials: username=sa; password=LogCorner!Docker1#.
version: '3'

    image: setupseleniumedockerui
      - db
      context: .
      dockerfile: SetupSeleniumeDocker.UI\Dockerfile
    image: setupseleniumedockerdb
      - "1433"
      context: ./SetupSeleniumeDocker.DB
      dockerfile: Dockerfile
      SA_PASSWORD: "Password=LogCorner!Docker1#"
      ACCEPT_EULA: "Y"

Docker-compose-override.yml File

Create a docker-compose.override.yml file: this file overrides the contents of the docker-compose.yml file (add and/or updates it).

Here I say that the ASPNETCORE_ENVIRONMENT is Docker so .NET Core will use the appsettings.Docker.json file.

I expose port 8080 outside the container and 80 inside the container.

I also override the db service and expose port 1433 inside and outside the container.

version: '3'

      - "8080:80"
      - "1433:1433"
      name: nat

If everything is pulled, built, and started, I will connect to my web application using the following URL: http://localhost:8080.

The web application will connect to a SQL database using the ConnectionStrings defined here (the SQL database is listening on port 1433).

ASP.NET Core Environment

  "ConnectionStrings": {
    "Value": "Server=db;Database=LogCorner.BlogPost.Core;User=sa;Password=LogCorner!Docker1#"
  "Logging": {
    "IncludeScopes": false,
    "LogLevel": {
      "Default": "Debug",
      "System": "Information",
      "Microsoft": "Information"

Here I configure ConnectionStrings, so my db context will pick the database associated with ASPCORE_ENVIRONMENT.

  public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
            services.AddSingleton<IAppSettings, AppSettings>();
            services.AddScoped((s) => Configuration);
    public class AppSettings : IAppSettings
        private readonly IOptions<ConnectionStrings> _connectionString;

        public AppSettings(IOptions<ConnectionStrings> connectionString)
            _connectionString = connectionString;

        public ConnectionStrings GetConnectionStrings()
            return _connectionString.Value;
    public static class ConfigurationManager
        public static IAppSettings AppSettings { get; set; }
    public class ConnectionStrings
        public string Value { get; set; }

And I use connectionString.Value 

 protected override void OnConfiguring(DbContextOptionsBuilder optionsBuilder)
     if (!optionsBuilder.IsConfigured)
       var connectionString = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings.GetConnectionStrings();

As you can see, I set up the database at runtime using C# code. It is also possible to set up a database from Docker using a SQL Docker file and using it in a Docker-compose file. These two methods are equivalent due to the immutability of the container, which means when the container is stopped, the data is gone.

When I start a new container of a SQL server image, then the container is clean and I cannot find my data saved in it before. The container is like an object of a class (object=container, class=image).

To keep states between multiple instances of a container running, I can set up volume mapping between the host and the container. But I will not set up volume mapping here because I want to have a clean container before running tests.

Start Docker Containers and Setup Database

Finally, I can now :

  • Run the docker-compose build command.
  • Run the docker-compose up command.
public class TestFixture : IDisposable
        public readonly IWebDriver WebDriver;

        public TestFixture()
            //TODO : move to folder where is  docker-compose file
            //TODO run command docker-compose build
            //TODO run command docker-compose up

            WebDriver = new ChromeDriver(@"C:\Selenium\drivers");

        public void Dispose()
            //TODO run command docker-compose down

 public class HomePageTest : IClassFixture<TestFixture>
        private IWebDriver WebDriver { get; }

        public HomePageTest(TestFixture fixture)
            WebDriver = fixture.WebDriver;

        [Fact(DisplayName = "Application loaded successfully")]
        public void WhenNavigatingOnTheHomeUrlThenTheHomePageIsDisplayedCorrectly()
            var title = WebDriver.FindElement(By.ClassName("navbar-brand"));

            Assert.Equal("SetupSeleniumeDocker.UI", title.Text);

See it in Action

Move to the folder where the docker-compose file is located and run the following commands:

  • docker-compose build 
  • docker-compose up 
  • And finaly run tests

Here, I build and run a Docker container manually because, on Build Environment, like TeamCity or VSTS, we have build steps like Docker Build and Docker Compose.

So if I have to use these build steps in the build environment, I don't need to automate docker-compose build  and docker-compose up  locally.

In the next tutorial, I will show how to automate docker-compose build and docker-compose up using PowerShell. In this scenario, I will not need a container registry.

Source Code

The source code will be available soon on https://github.com/logcorner?tab=repositories

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docker ,.net core ,web dev ,selenium ,web browser automation

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