Web-based applications are more prevalent in today’s world. As a result, one of the key considerations while deploying these web applications is their quality. Automation testing is therefore essential to improving application quality. Application testing seeks to identify flaws as early as feasible.
Depending on the complexity and importance of the application, testing takes up a significant portion of the total life cycle costs. It is also getting more and harder to test large web applications as the cycle of application development gets shorter and shorter. Although manual testing is an important step in the development of an application, it is a laborious, repetitive, and time-consuming procedure that needs human participation. Therefore, organizations are adopting automation testing to avoid these issues and maintain high-quality apps and enhancement releases.
Automation testing refers to the automation of testing processes or tasks, such as the creation and execution of test scripts. It enables increased testing effectiveness, quicker time to market, and seamless user interaction. Automation testing uses efficient tools for automation to enhance testing quality, minimize human involvement, and automate processes that need to be done repeatedly.
Many open-source and paid tools, like Watir, Cypress, Appium, Selenium, QTP, and many others, can be used to support these activities. The most well-known and widely used open-source tool for testing web applications is the Selenium automation tool.
This article will demystify Selenium testing by explaining what Selenium testing is, what its components are, why Selenium is a widely used testing tool, the types of testing that can be automated with Selenium, its limitations, and strategies for successfully running Selenium tests and troubleshooting Selenium Tests.
What is Selenium?
Selenium has without a doubt become the most well-known and dependable framework in the list of web automation tools and automation testing frameworks. It is an open-source web-based testing framework that automates user interactions with web applications across a variety of web browsers. When it comes to cross-browser testing, it is the most frequently utilized testing framework. Its open-source nature is one of the main factors in its popularity. This indicates that it is freely downloadable from the internet and that QAs from all over the world are free to use it to test their web applications.
This framework is used to verify web-based applications across several platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, and multiple browsers, including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and Firefox. To test the functionality of web applications, Selenium also offers compatibility with several programming languages, including Java, PHP, Ruby, Python, C#, etc. Selenium is highly favored because it gives testers the freedom to select the language in which they feel most comfortable for writing scripts or creating test cases.
The term used to describe testing done with Selenium is “Selenium automated testing.” Selenium, however, is a group of tools that each serve a specific purpose for Selenium automated testing. Let’s now discuss the three main components of Selenium.
Components of Selenium
Selenium is not just one framework; it is made up of several automation tools, each of which has certain features that are useful in the design and development of an automation framework. Three primary components make selenium. To reach a level of test automation, all these components can be utilized separately or in combination.
Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE) – Selenium IDE is an environment for creating test scripts. It is a Firefox or Chrome browser extension that enables recording, editing, and debugging of Selenium test cases. Typically, it captures all browser user interactions and produces them as reusable scripts. IDE was developed to make it easier to build automation scripts quickly.
Selenium WebDriver – The Selenium component that is utilized the most frequently is WebDriver. It is a driver for numerous web browsers that is browser-based and facilitates access to them. Improved support for modern web application testing issues is the major objective of the Selenium WebDriver. To interface with browsers, WebDriver operates at the operating system level and makes use of the JSONWireProtocol protocol.
Selenium Grid- Selenium Grid’s main goal is to reduce test execution time. By sending the test commands to numerous devices at once, this was made easier. The Grid, which consists of a hub connected to several nodes, enables the parallel execution of tests on various operating systems and browsers. Thus, testing on multiple machines may be done more quickly and with fewer resources. Grid is extremely flexible and interfaces with other elements of the suite for concurrent execution.
Why is Selenium so popular?
- It has shown accuracy with outcomes, which makes it very reliable.
- It is open-source, so anyone eager to learn testing can get started for free.
- Numerous programming languages, including Java, Python, Perl, PHP, and Ruby, can be used to create Selenium tests.
- Selenium is compatible with several browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
- Selenium is simple to utilize and doesn’t require in-depth knowledge to implement.
- For test management, Selenium may be connected with tools like JUnit and TestNG.
Tips for conducting effective Selenium tests
Testers can automate the application testing more effectively and develop better Selenium scripts with the help of a few suggestions. A few of these ideas include:
- Whenever writing a test case, begin by ensuring that it only checks the functionality of a single component.
- Keep the test code well-maintained and organized so that it may be quickly modified and reused in the future.
- Keep the testing brief and make sure all separate parts function properly when combined.
- Conduct tests on numerous browsers and operating systems.
- Use Selenium WebDriver API commands like “click,” “type,” and “waitForPageToLoad” to perform operations.
- To guarantee that the tests execute without error, make sure to include timeouts in the test code.
- To expedite the testing process, use Selenium Grid for parallel testing.
Types of testing that Selenium can automate
Selenium tests come in different types. The most frequent testing types that are frequently automated with Selenium are:
The task is carried out by QA experts or testers to make sure the web application satisfies performance benchmarks and renders as expected on various operating systems and browser combinations.
The most basic kind of Selenium testing is unit tests. A unit test ensures that a single unit of code functions as expected. Making a test case is the first step in writing a unit test. A test case is a set of guidelines that verifies how well the code performs a specific feature or function. The desired result of the test must be specified when building a test case, and it must be confirmed that the code being tested performs as expected.
End-to-End Tests are used to thoroughly examine every aspect of a web application from the user’s perspective. The goal is to identify web application issues that come from the interaction of various components. Additionally, check that the web app’s touch points work properly after integration.
Integration tests are used to check how well various components of a web application work together. Finding web application defects that result from integrating various components is the aim of integration testing in Selenium.
Selenium can be used to automate this testing as well. This is a series of tests carried out to confirm that recently developed features function with the current system. To make sure it doesn’t affect the rest of the checkout feature, the tester could create cases.
Smoke and Sanity testing using Selenium can also be automated with well-written test suites.
Selenium Testing limitations
Without a doubt, Selenium offers many advantages and is one of the top automated testing solutions for web applications among developers and testers worldwide. Despite all of its benefits, there are certain drawbacks when testing web applications.
One of the downsides of Selenium’s automated testing is that it can only test web-based applications; it cannot test desktop, tablet, or mobile apps. Image testing is only partially supported by Selenium. The capability to provide screenshots for failure test scenarios is not incorporated into it. Additionally, it lacks an internal system for producing test results.
Resolving common issues with Selenium tests
Testers can effectively and quickly locate and address Selenium Tests’ difficulties with the following techniques.
- Make use of Selenium Grid to run tests concurrently across many operating systems and browsers. In this way, performance or compatibility issues that might not be apparent when performing the tests on a single browser or device might be found.
- Utilize all of the Selenium WebDriver’s functionality, including the tools for taking screenshots and capturing videos. These can be incredibly helpful for debugging since they make it simple to record in-depth information about any mistakes or bugs that arise during testing.
- The Selenium Security Testing Framework should be used to test for security flaws, which is another crucial step. By doing so, any potential security flaws in web-based applications can be found and fixed.
Utilizing LambdaTest to conduct automated Selenium testing
The Selenium framework aids in ensuring thorough automated testing. To allow for seamless user access, it’s crucial to test a web application on all major web browsers before release. To get accurate outcomes, this can only be accomplished by running the Selenium tests on real devices, browsers, and user environments. Therefore, it is advised that all organizations must conduct testing on a real device cloud platform like LambdaTest.
LambdaTest is a cloud-based platform for cross-browser compatibility testing that supports Selenium as well as numerous other frameworks, including Appium, Cucumber, and others. It offers a Cloud Selenium Grid to facilitate automation testing across more than 3000 real devices, browsers, and operating system versions for both live and automated purposes. This guarantees that the test results are precise and closely match actual user scenarios.
With LambdaTest, testers can run web and mobile tests in a secure, reliable, scalable cloud environment that also offers speedy parallel executions and prompt feedback via reporting. It also makes it easier to create a cutting-edge test automation approach with the greatest possible coverage.
In conclusion, it can be said that using Selenium tester may quickly and easily write as many automated test scripts and frameworks for any web browser applications as they need. This framework generates a customized test report for the tester to get and evaluate the results. Using this framework, maintaining and fixing the test suite for a new application version is relatively simple. Overall, Selenium greatly simplifies a tester’s job.