10 Facts About Selenium That You Need to Know

by Lily White
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In this fast-moving world, the use of applications is increasing at a very fast rate and with the ease of internet access, it has become easier. The credit goes to the application development sectors. There is no doubt saying that tasks once performed manually are now performed through these web-based applications, and comparatively they are taking the lead in the world. This makes the life of people more accessible and innovative. Another leading reason is the increasing number of internet users.

Something which matters with such wide internet users is the accuracy of the web application performing user concerned tasks.

As we all know that testing is an important part of the application development process for an application to be successful in the market. Sometimes application testing involves a lot of repetitive tasks, and test scenarios to test over and over again which require a lot of time and effort. Now to reduce this effort testers need some automation testing tools which can ease their repetitive tasks with increased test efficiency.

When we talk about automation, Selenium always comes into the conversation. It is one of the best automation testing tools.  Selenium has rapidly gained popularity and has attracted many developers and testers across the world, and it has contributed a lot to web application testing organizations. To know more about Selenium, refer to the article what is Selenium.

Being one of the great suites of automation testing, It has made the life of automation testers very much easier. Selenium has the potential to automate user actions on a web application. It is an open-source automation testing framework where web applications can be tested in different web browsers (like Chrome, Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, and IE). Also, Selenium test scripts can be created easily as it supports multiple languages like Ruby,  Java, C#, Python, NodeJS, etc.

I think the above knowledge about Selenium is very limited and there is much more to tell you about this wonderful ever-advancing tool. Let us move with the need for Selenium in the modern web developmental process.

Selenium automates frequent functional, performance, and compatibility testing. This makes it easy for the developers to get instant feedback for faster debugging and gives them more time to code for newer versions or features.

Some of the features that make it demanding in modern web development are-

  • Essential to agile development.
  • Independent from manual testing resources.
  • Reliable, and catches bugs that manual testers might miss.
  • Repeatedly automates smaller components of a larger codebase.
  • End-to-end test scripts can be reused whenever a new feature gets deployed.
  • Precise in error reporting.

Selenium has three major components that facilitate the testing process. Depending on the testing requirement of the organization each comes with a different approach to automation testing.  The components are

Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

It is a tool used for recording, editing, debugging, and replaying functioning tools. It can be implemented as an extension to the chrome and Firefox browser that can log natural interaction in the browser and generate code in programming languages like C#, Java, Python, and Ruby, as well as Selenese (Selenium’s own scripting language). Another essential feature is that it records the interaction and later can replay those interactions and highlight errors that occurred (during replay).

Selenium Grid

It is a server that routes test command browsers instances on remote devices. Selenium Grid helps the user in executing multiple test scripts on various remote devices simultaneously. This enables minimizing test run time and resources of testing on several machines. Other than the test scripts from the client-side/tester there are two main components needed for this and they are, The ‘Hub’ (server) and ’Node’ (remote device).

Selenium WebDriver

It is the most commonly used component of Selenium. WebDrivers enables the users to write codes in their choice of language and interact with their choice of browsers through browser-specific drivers. It consists of API (Application Programming Interface), Library, Driver, and Framework.

The features of WebDrivers are getting constantly updated and always coming up with its latest versions. The latest new member of the Selenium family is Selenium 4 with its latest updated version.

Selenium Apart from the above-mentioned capabilities, Selenium carries much more than whatever has been explained. The benefits of Selenium are immense and never-ending. Below are some facts about the Selenium that I will be discussing, and that you must know if you are going to choose this technology. Let’s get started.

1. Open-source/ free tool

By open-source, it means that Selenium can be used by anyone without any cost.

and this gives it an upper hand over other automation testing tools. Selenium is used by many organizations to test their websites or web applications. Other similar testing tools are either licensed or are not up to the mark as compared to Selenium. There is no second thought for choosing Selenium over other automation testing tools.

2. Multiple language support

There are multiple tools available in the market for automation testing and every tool requires a particular programming language. But this is not the case with Selenium. And this is also one of the important factors that let the tester choose this framework for automation testing. The most popular scripting language are Java, Python, JavaScript, C#, Ruby, etc and Selenium supports all of these.  The user will not face any restriction using this framework if he/she is not skilled in all of these programming languages, being skilled in just one they can carry their job.

3. Can easily be combined with other tools

To broaden the scope of testing Selenium needs third-party frameworks and add-ons. Many valuable and open source tools are used in DevOps, and otherwise, and have a lot of users. By integrating Selenium with these tools you can achieve continuous testing. It is compatible with almost all management tools, for example, to perform cross-browser automation testing with cloud grids, by integrating it with cloud-based tools like LambdaTest, you can perform Selenium automation testing easily and at scale.

4. Framework Support

As it is known that Selenium supports all major programming languages, and all the supported languages have dedicated frameworks that can be used in writing test scripts for Selenium test automation. Frameworks allow the users to make slight changes to the code rather than changing the entire application because of requirements for different conditions. So when you are choosing Selenium for performing automation testing you don’t have to worry about frameworks as Selenium does that for you.

5. Parallel test execution

The need for doing automated testing is to save time and effort and faster go to market.  Using Selenium Grid you can execute multiple Selenium test cases in parallel on the same machine or remote machines. By doing so you will be able to execute the tests quickly and efficiently.

You can also perform Selenium automated testing by using Selenium Grid on a platform like LambdaTest.

6. Supports multi browsers and various operating systems

Different people use different browsers and different operating systems and an automation tool must support all of them. Selenium being a highly demanding tool supports all the most widely used browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Edge, and works across different operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac OS, UNIX, etc. This means that you don’t have to create test suites for every browser and all the different OS, you can just use the same test suite. This makes it easy for the developers to write test automation scripts easily without paying much emphasis on which platform it is going to be run on.

7. Flexibility in designing test cases

Selenium features like regrouping and refactoring of test cases make it more flexible and usable among other automation testing tools and keep itself at an edge. This enables the testers to quickly change the code, reduce duplication and complication, and improve maintainability. Selenium also enables its user to design test cases using either programming logic or playback and record method, and in case they don’t have the technical knowledge to script WebDriver code then they can record and export their test into a programming language of their choice by using Selenium IDE  and execute later as a WebDriver test.

8. Constant updates

An active organization does not like to stay still, and the active nature of Selenium makes it more resourceful as compared to other tools. Selenium is constantly coming up with updates and upgraded features. The best part is that the updates are easily available and are easily understandable which means you don’t require any specific training for that.

9. Strong presence DevOps lifecycle

Most of the organizations are moving with the DevOps approach and replacing the Agile and Waterfall approach. All the testing tools do not qualify for the DevOps approach. But this is not the case with Selenium; it perfectly fits in because DevOps focus on using open source tools.

10. No dependency on GUI based system

Selenium tests can be executed on web servers without depending on Graphical User Interface (GUI). Selenium test automation can be achieved by scheduling its execution by integrating with other tools. No dependency results in improved performance of your machine.

By now I’m sure that the above knowledge about Selenium is enough for you to perform automation testing using Selenium. Selenium is the leading testing tool for web applications and it is the foundation for many frameworks. You need to use it with the right testing platform like LambdaTest to get the most out of it. Many organizations are already using this reliable platform to perform automation testing along with Selenium.

LambdaTest is an online automation testing platform for both mobile and web applications. LambdaTest is seamlessly integrated with Selenium. Where Selenium will give you the frameworks and LambdaTest will provide you with a combination of more than 3000 devices, browsers, and operating systems with their respective versions to run your Selenium test scripts. In the end, you will be able to get faster test execution and analyze the results with maximum test coverage and faster feedback to prevent and escape defects.

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