CasperJS vs PhantomJS vs Serverless Chrome

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CasperJS vs PhantomJS vs Serverless Chrome: What are the differences?

In web development, tools like CasperJS, PhantomJS, and Serverless Chrome are often used for testing and automation. Here, we will discuss the key differences between these tools.

  1. Execution Environment: CasperJS is built on top of PhantomJS, providing a higher-level API for easier testing and automation. PhantomJS, on the other hand, is a standalone headless browser, which can be used independently for a variety of tasks. Serverless Chrome is a version of headless Chrome that can be deployed in a serverless environment, allowing for efficient scaling and cost-effective usage.

  2. Language Support: CasperJS supports JavaScript and CoffeeScript for writing test scripts. PhantomJS also works with JavaScript but has broader compatibility with various scripting languages. Serverless Chrome supports JavaScript as well but emphasizes compatibility with Chrome DevTools Protocol for debugging and interaction.

  3. Maintenance and Support: CasperJS and PhantomJS have been largely static in terms of updates and maintenance due to the development halt. Serverless Chrome, being based on the actively maintained headless Chrome project, receives regular updates and improvements, ensuring compatibility with the latest web technologies.

  4. Performance and Scalability: CasperJS and PhantomJS may face performance limitations when handling a large number of concurrent tasks due to their architecture. Serverless Chrome, being able to scale automatically in a cloud environment, offers better performance and scalability for tasks requiring dynamic resource allocation.

  5. Integration with CI/CD: While CasperJS and PhantomJS can be integrated with continuous integration and continuous deployment tools, Serverless Chrome provides seamless integration with serverless architectures, making it more suitable for automated testing and deployment pipelines.

  6. Resource Management: CasperJS and PhantomJS may require manual configuration and optimization for efficient resource management. Serverless Chrome, being designed for dynamic resource allocation in a serverless environment, streamlines resource management and reduces the need for manual intervention.

In Summary, CasperJS offers a high-level API for testing and automation, PhantomJS is a standalone headless browser with broader language support, and Serverless Chrome excels in scalability and resource management in a serverless environment.

Advice on CasperJS, PhantomJS, and Serverless Chrome
Ankur Loriya
Needs advice

I am using Node 12 for server scripting and have a function to generate PDF and send it to a browser. Currently, we are using PhantomJS to generate a PDF. Some web post shows that we can achieve PDF generation using Puppeteer. I was a bit confused. Should we move to puppeteerJS? Which one is better with NodeJS for generating PDF?

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Replies (2)

You better go with puppeteer. It is basically chrome automation tool, written in nodejs. So what you get is PDF, generated by chrome itself. I guess there is hardly better PDF generation tool for the web. Phantomjs is already more or less outdated as technology. It uses some old webkit port that's quite behind in terms of standards and features. It can be replaced with puppeteer for every single task.

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I suggest puppeteer to go for. It is simple and easy to set up. Only limitaiton is it can be used only for chrome browser and currently they are looking into expanding into FF. The next thing is Playwright which is just a scale up of Puppeteer. It supports cross browsers.

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Pros of CasperJS
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      Scriptable web browser
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      What is CasperJS?

      CasperJS is a browser navigation scripting & testing utility written in Javascript for PhantomJS or SlimerJS.

      What is PhantomJS?

      PhantomJS is a headless WebKit scriptable with JavaScript. It is used by hundreds of developers and dozens of organizations for web-related development workflow.

      What is Serverless Chrome?

      The aim of this project is to provide the scaffolding for using Headless Chrome during a serverless function invocation. Serverless Chrome takes care of building and bundling the Chrome binaries and making sure Chrome is running when your serverless function executes. In addition, this project also provides a few "example" handlers for common patterns (e.g. taking a screenshot of a page, printing to PDF, some scraping, etc.)

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        What are some alternatives to CasperJS, PhantomJS, and Serverless Chrome?
        Selenium automates browsers. That's it! What you do with that power is entirely up to you. Primarily, it is for automating web applications for testing purposes, but is certainly not limited to just that. Boring web-based administration tasks can (and should!) also be automated as well.
        Puppeteer is a Node library which provides a high-level API to control headless Chrome over the DevTools Protocol. It can also be configured to use full (non-headless) Chrome.
        Cypress is a front end automated testing application created for the modern web. Cypress is built on a new architecture and runs in the same run-loop as the application being tested. As a result Cypress provides better, faster, and more reliable testing for anything that runs in a browser. Cypress works on any front-end framework or website.
        It allows you to manipulate a web page with an external Javascript script: opening a webpage, clicking on links, modifying the content... It is useful to do functional tests, page automation, network monitoring, screen capture etc.
        Protractor is an end-to-end test framework for Angular and AngularJS applications. Protractor runs tests against your application running in a real browser, interacting with it as a user would.
        See all alternatives