The era of digital technology is moving away from generic manual testing and approaching automation testing. This is happening because of new automation tools. Selenium is one of the most popular automation tools for many organizations. Let’s understand the fundamentals of the most desirable automation tool- Selenium.
Selenium IDE tool is the open-source automated testing suite to test web applications over multiple browsers and platforms. It provides you option to playback tool authoring functional tests. So, the testing team won’t require putting too much effort into learning a test scripting language.
There are different programming languages such as Java, Python, C#, PHP, Ruby, Perl & .Net which can be used to create scripts for the Selenium automation tool. Also, it supports all popular platforms like Windows, Mac. Moreover, it supports all popularly used web browsers like Chrome, Mozilla, Safari, IE, etc.
In a nutshell, it offers the following features:
Actual implementations of WebDriver that interact with the browser or a Remote WebDriver server use a common wire protocol. The WIRE protocol defines a RESTful web service using JSON over HTTP.
So, every WebDriver command is mapped to an HTTP method via the WebDriver service and then passed on to the HTTP Command Processor to communicate with the browser. The Command responses are returned as HTTP/1.1 response messages via the WebDriver service.
Various browser drivers, such as Chrome, Firefox, IE Driver, have different implementations to accomplish it.
The internal working mechanism of Selenium can be defined as the architecture of the Selenium automation tool. Selenium is particularly a browser automation tool that connects with different browsers and automates test cases related to web applications. It covers end to end flow of tests.
Selenium is a package of multiple tools. It consists of Selenium IDE, Selenium Web-driver, Selenium RC and Selenium Grid.
Following diagram gives basic idea of internal working of Selenium:
Functional Architecture of Selenium.
Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is a plugin for browsers like Chrome, Firefox, etc. It is a commonly used tool in the Selenium Suite. It gives you the option to record the script and then playback it. This is mostly used to record issues and reproduce at the developer end. Though we create scripts quickly using Selenium IDE we have to Selenium WebDriver to implement more functionally useful test cases for web applications.
Main screen of Selenium IDE with few test steps looks like below:
Selenium IDE is divided into various components; each component is having its own features and functionalities, which are described as below:
Following image shows options available while export.
You can select any language to export the test into that language and choose additional options given below as per your need.
To know more about exporting tests Click here.
Please find below URL for more functions of Selenium IDE which can be used commonly Click here
Selenium WebDriver is the browser automation framework that takes the different commands and sends them to a browser after processing. It has been implemented for browser-specific drivers. It communicates with a given browser and controls it to execute commands to run tests.
Selenium webdriver provides great support for following:
Selenium Grid is the tool mostly used along with Selenium RC to run different tests on multiple machines against multiple browsers in parallel. It means, running a number of tests at the same time against different machines running different browsers and operating systems.
Cross-browser testing is very crucial for every organization to make sure that web application developed by them works fine with all web browsers expected to be supported.
Web applications are completely different than native windows applications. Web applications can be accessed in any browser by users. For instance, few users prefer to open Salesforce.com in Chrome and others can open it with Firefox or Safari browser. Every browser has different architecture and features, so it opens web applications differently. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the web application works per requirement in each browser so that the user can access it and use it properly. And this can only be achieved by cross-browser testing done before launching it.
There are a few more reasons that require cross-browser verification of web applications, such as:
Selenium WebDriver is a mostly used tool that is specially used for cross-browser automation testing. Selenium WebDriver supports multiple web browsers. For each web browser to be used, there are different WebDriver classes available like FirefoxDriver, ChromeDriver, InternetExplorerDriver, etc. You need to download these drivers to your local and then perform cross-browser testing in different browsers.
Selenium comes with default Mozilla Firefox driver support, so there is no setup required for Firefox driver. However, if you are planning to use other browsers than Firefox then you will have to set up system property for it.
The sample code snippet below will give you an idea of how to handle various browser versions on different operating systems.
Similarly, Selenium can be used to perform cross-browser testing and make sure the application works perfectly across different browsers.
Generally, from the client perspective, Selenium offers functional testing to be easier and more convenient for clients to get ROI much earlier by reducing the number of runs involved in testing. Selenium is commonly identified most powerful open source automation tool known for its efficient delivery.
In the current COVID-19 pandemic, global businesses are facing multiple challenges to sustain with multiple processes. Selenium is helpful to improve performance and solve critical issues in the era of most interactive and responsive software processes. In a fast-changing world, in order to meet the criteria, most organizations have started the implementation of Agile methodologies.
The following diagram shows types of testing can covered via Selenium automation tool.
There are endless benefits of Selenium automation. However, there are some unique benefits that make it the preferred choice of organizations for web application testing. Let`s go through a few important benefits below:
As mentioned earlier, Selenium is an open-source automation testing framework, which makes it a freeware and portable testing tool. As it is an open-source framework, it doesn’t involve any licensing cost, which is a significant advantage over other tools for any organization to save the cost while implementation.
With Selenium, you can perform cross-browser testing across Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari and you can do that with only one test script which you can use on almost every platform like Windows, Mac, and Linux. Users can use different devices and platforms to access the web application; selenium allows the testing team to enhance their test coverage with just one test script which can be used over all the devices and platforms.
As a testing team member, you might aware of the importance of early defect detection which leads to cost-effective code rework. Selenium not only helps you to find defects earlier, but also it helps in maintaining the overall velocity of code development while ensuring that the functionality of the website is not compromised.
Normally, automation testing takes very little time to set up as compared to its manual testing. However, selenium automation is much faster than other automation testing techniques. The time required to complete set up the selenium framework is much less than other tools, which make it the most efficient tool for web application testing
The user-friendly interface of selenium makes it easy for the testing team and developers to execute test cases across different platforms. The open-source features allow testing team members to write the script with their own proficiency so that it becomes easy to develop customized tests. Also, the test run report generation capability of selenium is one of the main reasons to choose it because it helps testers extract test results and take necessary action for improvements.
As mentioned earlier, selenium is not a single entity. It consists of multiple testing tools, and that’s why it is referred to as a suite. Each of the selenium testing tools is specifically designed for different testing requirements. For example, selenium has the capability to support Selenium IDE, Selenium Grid, Selenium Webdriver, and Selenium RC.
Selenium follows its own set of standards which allow it to use with popular software development and testing tools easily. For example, it easily integrates SC compilers such as Maven and ANT, cloud-grids like LambdaTest, CI systems like TeamCity and Jenkins, and many other test management tools.
These benefits show how Selenium is performing the best as an automation testing tool. These benefits awaken the need of wanting to know more about Selenium automation performance with multiple languages for your web application.
The test suite created using Selenium can be used by the Development Team for Sanity Testing; Business Analysts, Functional Tester, and Developer use MS Excel to create automated keyword scripts to perform testing at different levels. Testing teams improve it to test it on all platforms for regression testing across the browsers. The project testing team can expand testing reach of functional tests such as system, sanity, smoke, integration, and acceptance testing using Selenium.
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