Understanding Selenium: The Automation Testing Tool
Organizations are investing in the best test automation tools for their business. Read more to see why Selenium is on the top of their list.
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With an increasing demand for test automation services, organizations are looking at investing in the best test automation tools for their business. Selenium is on the top of their list because of its numerous advantages. Research has predicted the growth of the Global Automation testing market to reach US $109.69 billion by 2025, which means that software testing is evolving and growing fast. The impact of Selenium Testing is such that it has turned out to be a game-changer in the Software Testing world. Test automation has become more efficient than ever before, the high levels of accuracy that are achieved are saving a lot of time for the QA team as well. Selenium has contributed a lot in bringing this exponential change in the testing space and continuous development and delivery process.
What Is Selenium?
Selenium does not need any introduction. It is quite popular in the software testing industry and the most liked web-based software test automation tool that has set its benchmark for a long time now. Here is a list of a few of the top features of Selenium:
- It is an open-source tool and does not involve any licensing cost and is easily downloadable. It is also ready-to-use, which is one of the best features of Selenium testing and a key reason as to why it is high in demand.
- It provides strong support to Agile Development and boosts Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery mechanism. It provides maximum test coverage.
- It offers great flexibility, as it allows performing different types of testing including performance, functional, compatibility, integration, system, regression, and end-to-end testing. The best part is that all of these tests can be automated with Selenium.
- Selenium tests can be carried out on multiple browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, IE, etc.
- It offers multilingual support for various programming languages like Java, Ruby, Pearl,
.Net, Python, PHP, C#.
- It integrates well with test management and reporting tools like TestNG and JUnit
- For achieving continuous testing it uses MAVEN, Jenkins, and Docker.
There is a lot more Selenium testing can offer but, for now, this information covers enough basics to understand the impact of Selenium testing in the software industry. We will try to elucidate more on the features of Selenium testing as we move ahead.
What is the future of Selenium testing? What is the impact of Selenium testing on Software Testing?
The software market is ever-evolving, and so is software testing. Testers around the globe understand and express the challenges of testing softwares manually which led to the introduction of Test Automation. Test Automation has revolutionized the way software testing is performed. The open-source tools of software testing have given the testers more freedom to innovate and bring the best out of the testing skill. The concepts of Agile and CI/CD have contributed to this evolution.
Selenium testing has changed the face of automation for many developers and testing teams across the globe. Selenium Testing framework primarily tests web applications and validates if they qualify to reach the production environment and move to the market-ready stage. Although a glimpse of what Selenium can do has already been shared above, we might also want to discuss a bit more about the impact of Selenium Testing on the future of the software testing world.
It is a cost-effective software testing method that cuts down a lot of testing costs. This is also why most beginners prefer to start their journey with Selenium.
Ease of Access:
Since it is an open-source tool, anybody can download it at no cost. Any organization, whether a small startup or to large enterprise, has open access to the tool anytime, anywhere.
Cross-Browser Compatibility and Multilingual Support:
Selenium is highly compatible with almost all the browsers like Firefox, Chrome, IE, Opera, and Safari. Selenium can effectively test the applications across browsers to check the cross-browser compatibility of the web apps. Developers enjoy this feature the most because it lets them develop the code only once before cross-browser testing. One of the features of Selenium Testing is that it allows the interchanging of languages as and when needed. The API can be selected based on the programming language: Java (preferred), Ruby, Pearl, .Net, Python, PHP, and C#.
Frameworks and Integration:
Selenium easily integrates with various testing frameworks, such as:
- JUnit, TestNG based on JAVA
- NUnit based on C#
- PHPUnit based on PHP
- UnitTest, PyTest, PyUnit, Robot based on Python
- RSpec and Test::Unit –Ruby based
Record and Playback:
Selenium IDE allows recording, debugging, and editing the tests. It records the actions to be tested. Also, Selenium automatically saves the recorded test cases, which enables retrieving tests for future use.
Selenium has a strong growing community which is also an official user group where you can find solutions to all your testing issues, tool tips, etc. The community even promotes high-quality information documents to make the most of the automation testing tool. The web community provides enough information and resources that you need not worry about additional training to understand the problem.
Test-Driven Development (TDD):
Another useful feature of Selenium testing is that it can scale up to complex testing like production monitoring and load testing. Code flexibility and ease of updating the code are what the software team enjoys the most. TDD eases software developer’s efforts as the need to write the new code only arises when there is a failed automated test.
Disadvantages of Selenium Testing
Selenium might be the best automation testing tool available today. However, every popular tool has its sets of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at some of these disadvantages.
- Selenium is a great choice for web-based applications; however, it does not support mobile and desktop applications.
- Undoubtedly, it provides cross-browser support, but in order for the scripts to work on multiple browsers, they have to be written using Selenium IDE when using them with RC. Otherwise, the scripts only support Mozilla Firefox.
- Selenium migration risks persist. If handled well, good performance is guaranteed.
- Selenium does not support Data-Driven Tests with manual scripts that have conditions and loops.
- It is not equipped with inbuilt reporting, and relies on third-party reporting systems.
- It does have community support, but doesn’t have a full-fledged technical support team resolving your issues.
- It has limited support for image comparison.
- Setting up a test environment on Selenium is difficult, as it requires configuring several tools and plugins manually to support test automation.
- Since Selenium is an open-source tool, no one is responsible for any morbidity in the new features.
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Selenium Testing
One of the top trends in automation that are responsible for shaping the future of automation testing is the development of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning. Although it is still in the inception phase, once it is established, it will change the game of automation testing.
AI- and ML-based automation cannot function independently without any human intelligence and intervention; both need each other (as of now). Also, as complete 100% automation is not possible, complete 100% AI/ML based automation testing is also not possible. Some of the automation testing platforms are already using AI in some areas like:
- Test Maintenance: to detect changes and update the test flow
- To provide test suggestions to testers after a failed or duplicate test
- To create self-healing Selenium test code.
But, there still is a long way to go!
AI- and ML-based automation testing certainly looks better than Selenium unless the latter integrates the former and evolves with time to transform the future of software Testing. There may be cases where organizations need both for good reasons and both co-exist. Though no one knows what the future holds for us, the landscape surely looks promising and exciting.
What is the future of Selenium testing? Although Software testing is an evolving space, testers across the world still encounter many challenges. To overcome these challenges, the stakeholders look for promising test automation tools that suit their needs. Most of them look for cost-effective automation tools that offer maximum benefits. It is a huge responsibility to select the right automation tool because sometimes, even the best tool might not suit your organization’s needs. It is more of a strategic decision rather than any one-time decision. Selenium fits best in this kind of situation. In addition to a list of benefits, features like being open-source and cost-effective have created a special place among the testers because of the ease of access that it offers. Selenium testing ensures that the quality of the application is maintained and that only the best version goes out in the market. Other range of benefits, such as compatibility and speed, are attracting more and more global enterprises to shift to Selenium in the best interest of their business. Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, if integrated with Selenium, will bring a significant improvement in the current automation scenario. AI and ML integration in the existing Selenium Automation will impact Selenium testing for the better resulting in a progressive future of the Software Industry.
Published at DZone with permission of Priyanka Charak. See the original article here.
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