It is a natural tendency globally that all development groups test their build before deploying, and employ testers to identify all the bugs ahead of the release. Manual testing was proving to be the least effective tactic, owing to human errors and the limitations in testing everything manually. As a solution to this situation, certain repeated tests were automated to increase testing efficiency.
Automation testing has become critical as it improves accuracy, provides test coverage in a short amount of time, and at a low cost. The latest research statistics add more weight to the increasing need of automation testing. As per Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global test automation market, which in 2015 had a valuation of US $12.91 billion, is expected to reach US $85.84 billion by the end of 2024. As per TMR, the market for test automation in North America, which stood at US $5.70 bn in 2015, is expected to be worth US $29.78 bn by 2024. The region is thus likely to exhibit a CAGR of 20.3% during the forecast period. The region also held approximately 44% in the overall market in 2014. It is also expected to report lucrative prospects for security testing. The rapid deployment of mobile applications and Software as a Service (SaaS) will be dominant in driving the market for test automation tools in North America.
There are multiple options available for automation testing to choose from based on the requirements, size of the project, turnaround time, and so on. Licensed automation tools such as QTP, WinRunner, TestComplete, Ranorex, QA Wizard Pro, Silk Test, QA Test, and Rational Robot are available to perform functional, regression, and performance tests. Open source automation tools such as Selenium, SOAP UI, Robotium, WebDriver, JMeter, JUnit, and so on are also available to perform functional, regression, and performance test.
As per TMR report, sales from the functional testing segment are expected to be highest during the forecast period (2015 to 2024), followed by mobile testing and QA process design. The functional testing segment accounted for the dominant share of 23.2% in the market in 2015. It is expected to significantly increase from continuously growing agile development practices, and open source tools will have a dominant role to play. Normally, companies and testers prefer open source tools to perform functional testing, and Selenium's functional testing tool is considered the best open source tool available to test web applications at no cost.
The main reason for the success of Selenium is that the tests can be coded in any number of programming languages, they can be run directly in web browsers, and they work across operating systems.
The second reason for the success of Selenium as the most powerful automation tool are its features that are simple to use — its capable user interfaces help meet 90% of the needs of web application testers, Document Object Model (DOM) level testing, great extensibility and flexibility, support for multiple browsers, accommodation for object oriented programming languages like JAVA, .NET, Ruby, Perl, PHP, etc.; provides the option of using a wide range of IDEs based on the choice of development languages, and more make it a preferred choice for many testers.
Based on Gallop’s experience of leveraging Selenium for test automation, we recommend the following practices: