Background: As automation testers in selenium world, we have to work on multiple languages/frameworks(wrappers over selenium) in different projects however there is an one thing which remains common across are locators which are essentially tool/framework/language agnostic object description using Xpath or CSS.

Problem Statement:What is the suggested canonical way to define objects/locators in big enterprise level automation projects where common page objects will be utilized across multiple project teams which might be using different UI automation tools like proprietary(UFT)/open source(Selenium) in fact different flavors of selenium frameworks across languages from geographically distributed remote locations.

  • I am considering maintaining xml or json based object locators and define an interface for setters and getters. Nov 18, 2017 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


It will depend on your circumstances.

Generally I consider categories such as:

  • common identifiers used throughout the application. Examples may include login, logout, help, submit button, etc.

  • identifiers that are used by forms and shared between different workflows

  • identifiers that are specific to the data that a given workflow collects

  • identifier that are specific to one page of one workflow and don't appear in other pages

I store them in a .yml file (so any language could read that) such as

$ cat ~/app/spec/page_objects.yml
search_field: "input[name='q']"

I'm use rubyist so I'ver chosen to create dynamic methods from this in a PageObject class like this:

class PageObject
  def initialize
  def load_page_object_file(file)
    page_object = YAML.load(File.read(file))
    page_object.each do |name, locator|
      self.class.__send__ :define_method, name do locator end 

and then require that file and then instantiate the object with

p = PageObject.new

and then I use the identifiers in this way

fill_in p.search_field, with: 'test'

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