Top 11 Selenium Testing Misconceptions You Should Know
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
What Is Selenium?
Selenium is an open-source, free, distributed automated test tool used to verify web apps through platforms and browsers. You can use demanded programming languages for generating Selenium Test Scripts. Software tests executed using the Selenium tool is generally referred to as Selenium Tests. Selenium Software is a suite of automated tools, every element appealing to the company’s multiple testing requirements.
There are 4 distinct components or categories of Selenium Suite:
• Selenium RC (Selenium Integrated Development Environment)
• Selenium integrated development environment (IDE)
• Selenium Grid
• Selenium WebDriver
Selenium Webdriver and grid technologies are combined and called Selenium 2 and later updated to Selenium 3 to incorporate advanced new technologies.
Software Test Types that can be Automated with Selenium Tool
Selenium is the widely-used and most popular browser automated testing tool and various testing teams use it. Wondering what testing forms is supported and can be done using a tool like Selenium. Let’s get into it. The kinds of tests that can be automated using Selenium are:
• User Interface Testing
• Cross-Browser Testing
• Sanity Testing
• Database Testing
• Regression Testing
• Smoke Testing
While the Selenium test is likely to have a place in software developer’s toolkits for a few times to come, there are various things that make it less practical for today’s complicated test requirements:
1. It’s complicated with a steep learning curve
2. It takes heavy manual coding to build the test solution you desire
3. It takes a great deal of training to get the maximum out of it
4. Requires additional software to perform things like test native, web, and hybrid mobile applications
5. No support apart from customer forums
6. No built-in reporting capacities
7. It’s a lot of effort to evolve tests as the applications you build up evolve
Selenium undeniably has to turned out to be the most reliable and prominent framework for automation testing. One of the core reasons for its fame is the fact that Selenium is launched under the Apache 2.0 free license. This means that it is accessible at no cost to download on the internet, and QAs around the world can leverage it for testing their web apps without any restrictions.
11 Myths about Selenium Testing- Let's Explore!!
1. Selenium Compromises with Security; it is Open-Source
The incidence of cyber-attacks and data breaches has mounted drastically over the past years. It is no surprise given the number of classy hackers who continuously discover security vulnerabilities in everything from web apps to IoT (the Internet of Things) devices. Obviously, no free or open-source proprietary framework or software can guarantee better security. However, for something such as Selenium, which is sponsored by the trustworthy Apache Software Foundation, this doesn’t apply. This tool is an integrated suite of frameworks and tools, which enables teams to perform manual and automated tests, guaranteeing the security of all the critical systems, crucial information, and the data in transit.
However, the main misconception among QA testers is that Selenium testing is slow and tremendously flaky. To dismiss these notions and efficiently harness the power of Selenium, QA teams should comprehend how they can enhance their effectiveness and develop best-quality software. QA teams can use the Selenium tool to execute automated tests professionally and smartly without worrying about any security vulnerabilities. It is hence, crucial that QA teams rid themselves of unjustified stereotypes and misconceptions related to Selenium. By doing so, they can make use of an effective, open-source framework for automated tests by harnessing its full potential. This translates to better outcomes, lower costs, and ultimately, superior software development. Selenium, as a framework, is robust. This condition is a vital factor to ensure comprehensive automated testing. Another significant element for this purpose is testing on actual devices and diverse platform and browser settings for improving test coverage. In short, Selenium is known for being equipped with highly adequate safety protocols.
2. Selenium Testing is Costly
There is a most popular saying: “Pay a handsome amount later to mitigate the issues found or pay less for testing software during the development procedure.” One thing is factual — tests in the wrong phase of the development procedure (or not doing it at all) can affect the complete financial budget if they have to rebuild part of the product after its finishing stage. Enterprises must design a strategy to tackle this complication, and the better way to do it is by starting tests from the beginning stages.
This will not merely help to cut costs but also minimize the time of growth. Take into account that minimizing the budget by not doing a QA test will affect and decrease the final product’s worth thus greatly increasing costs in the closing stages.
3. Developers Should Not Care about Selenium Tests
It is one of the most common myths that software developers have nothing to do with software tests. But, developers can give insights on automated tests as they have rich know-how of the app functionality and the effect of any modifications they are making. Even though the automated test team generally has some knowledge about programming and coding, they cannot have the same deep insights about the app design as well as the development procedure. Mostly, they carry out the automated tests without having an understanding of the code.
In this sense, the partnership between both teams is a vital factor in the success of the development as software developers can access end-user requirements because of their comprehensive knowledge. They can give essential details to the software testers, which eventually assists to improve their performance and outcomes. Both software development and testing teams deal with the tests phase from their standpoint, which means they both are an essential part of the testing stage.
4. Being a Free Tool, Selenium has Abundant Limitations
Free software is a significant model to ensure accountability and transparency. Sadly, there are several QA engineers and software developers who see paid tools as being better than open-source software as there is a myth that better product features come at a high cost. This can be attributed to the fact that the majority of the folk consider free or open-source solutions to be incomplete, less intuitive, or an optional solution to paid software solutions. But, this discussion doesn’t hold good for the Selenium tool.
Selenium is a free automation testing framework has a big community of contributors who keep projects upgraded and it is trouble-free for any software engineer to find solutions around Selenium from forums such as Selenium Slack Community, Stack Overflow, amongst others. When it comes to software frameworks or tools, QAs or software developers tend to believe that proprietary paid tools give the best facilities and features as compared to their open-source/ free counterparts. But, this isn’t factual in most cases. Selenium has the support of the firm community from contributors sharing their job from around the world. QAs can find all requisite features and aid from these communities. Hence, software testers must not pay attention to this stereotype linked with open-source frameworks.
5. Selenium is Unsuited for Big Giants or Big Enterprises
Over the past decade, various automated tools such as Cypress framework have been launched as there are umpteen advantages of automated testing. Even though enterprises and individual developers have been trying out the newest automated testing tools, Selenium is still the favorite framework for web automated tests. There is the majority of QA engineers have the myth that Selenium is not enterprise-worthy simply because it is a free tool. But, this myth is utterly false, as Selenium is a product of ASF (the Apache Software Foundation).
Selenium has to turn out to be a powerful solution as it can be used to automate business-critical apps such as government websites, large-scale e-commerce sites, and more. It is integrated into even the most stringent automated projects at some of the world’s premier cloud computing, e-commerce, and SaaS companies, comprising Bloomberg, Netflix, Twitter, The New York Times, Yahoo!, eBay, LambdaTest, PayPal, WordPress.com, and more.
Companies seeking to leverage the Selenium framework for realizing higher-scale website automated tests have the flexibility to select a cloud-based Selenium Grid such as LambdaTest. Such a resolution decreases the overhead cost to maintain in-house infrastructure and assists improve product quality by allowing you to run automation testing across a series of Operating Systems and browser combinations.
6. Selenium Framework can be Used for Testing APIs
You might have gone through the following question when you work with Selenium – How can I test APIs through Selenium? This incredible tool gives the flexibility to integrate with the components in the DOM by locating the Component and using suitable Selenium techniques to interact with the stated element. You need to access them programmatically for testing APIs, which can be done using an Application Programming Interface testing tool such as JMeter or REST Assured.
So, to answer the query, “Can I make use of Selenium for Application Programming Interface tests?” the short answer is no, yet you can employ JMeter or REST Assured. But, tools such as LambdaTest offers REST APIs for Selenium test automation for accessing relevant details about the testing being run on the cloud grid.
7. Selenium doesn’t have a Proper Release Cycle
There are several misconceptions about free software, yet the pervasive one is that free software lacks the resources to put forth updates. But, this isn’t true. Community expertise is the major factor behind any open-source software growth & the similar principle also holds good for the Selenium tool. Open-source development has access to a myriad of resources provided by fellow free hackers who are always willing to assist with updates or bug fixes. With access to the whole community of testers and developers, open-source is the highly effective and cost-effective method to develop and advance the newest technologies for long-term and instant implementation. A big tech community collaborates as well as work together to leverage great ideas. Open-source projects also bring forth together specialists who work on these projects to make creative changes & updates.
Selenium, in addition, has firm community support from contributors around the globe. As it was released, Selenium WebDriver has continued to grow against its objective of being an all-inclusive browser automation tool. It is the better way to nurture an open-source community!
8. Selenium Updates break the Active Work Execution
Updating to an advanced version of Selenium WebDriver necessitates you to update your browser driver too. But, updating the version will bring together with its access to advanced functionalities, while guaranteeing backward compatibility with the earlier release. You simply need to ensure that the version of the browser driver and the Selenium jar are in sync. For instance, Selenium 4 is a major upgrade over the earlier stable version of Se (Selenium i.e., 3.141.59).
Additionally, Selenium 4 relative locators enable you to access nearby WebElements simply, thus eradicating the need to use Selenium Web locators for locating required components on the web page. The crowd of Selenium enthusiasts is working uninterrupted to make sure a stable Selenium version is launched to the end-users. Reliability, security, and stability are a few major things taken care of when the community launches any major Selenium update.
9. Selenium can Automate Desktop Automation Testing
As discussed earlier, Selenium is an open-source and free tool that enables you to automate dealings with the WebElements on the Application under Test (AUT). But, to manage anything exterior of the browser’s scope (e.g., download within the windows dialog box or file upload), you require using other tools such as ROBOT and incorporating them with Se (selenium). Overall, the capacities of Se can be best extracted if the framework is utilized for website automation.
10. Selenium can be Used for Performance Tests
Selenium is the most crucial tool for test automation; however several persons think that testing app (or website) performance can be enhanced with the Selenium Grid. In fact, the usage of Selenium Grid is simply a justification for the poor performance of testing. It aids to perform tests in parallel, thus allowing you to decrease the time spent on test execution & product launch. Parallel tests in Selenium Python, as well as distinct Se-supported languages, are the core reason why companies (and software developers) prefer this framework. Standalone Selenium can’t be used for performance tests; however, when incorporated with JMeter can be used for load tests. Even though JMeter and Selenium can be utilized for some level of performance tests, they can just be used for small-scale projects or apps.
11. As Selenium is Open-Source, Updates and Bug Fixes are Exceptional
This is another extensively existing misconception amongst the QA and testers community and is not simply limited to Selenium, but to most free resources or software existing. Software experts tend to preach that free software lacks updates or bug fixes when contrast with software premium versions. Again, this isn’t true as any free software is made accessible to expert communities globally. This boosts remote collaboration amongst software developer communities. It results in persons contributing by suggesting bug fixes, improvements, and offering critical upgradations.
Large technical-driven communities collaborate to leverage great ideas. Such extensive exposure aids open-source frameworks to deliver cut-throat features. Open-source or free resources, actually, give prospects for professional individuals to translate creative ideas into realism. Such innovations are generally significant features or updates for the precise framework or software. Selenium, too, has firm community assistance from contributors around the globe. Even nowadays, Selenium WebDriver continues to growh constantly towards being the wide-ranging browser automation tool.
In the software development business, software test is a relatively newest action, and there are still several myths and false beliefs related to the testing framework surrounding it. Testing is a crucial action in any growth project and should be planned and projected from the commencement of the software development life cycle. It would enable us not simply to progress our product quality, however, also to enhance our overall procedure providing a solid product to our final users.
One of the products, Selenium is the global leader in browser automation. It is open-source, powerful, and extremely simple to use. However, these facts have resulted in a few testers astray–they believe Selenium is restricted as it is open-source. So, better invest in a paid tool when Selenium does the whole lot you require? In fact, there is a distinct tool in the marketplace that provides the most advanced features such as Selenium do while managing its small footprint and reasonable price; and all testers need to debunk these Selenium testing misconceptions. Overall, Selenium as a framework is therefore robust and aids make sure comprehensive automated tests. Another crucial thing is that it executes these tests on actual gadgets and user conditions.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.