Technology

10 Things You Might Not Know About Selenium

Test automation framework has become crucial in every software development project as agile business necessitates increasingly speedier development and delivery. Today, Python and Selenium are the third most famous technology as per the current Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2021 report and the highly used frontend automated testing framework. Selenium is a suite of free automated software testing tools that have become the de facto product in the QA arena world.

It is also called “JavaScriptTestRunner” by Jason Huggins at Thought works. With its advent in the year 2004, Selenium has made the automation tester’s life simpler and gained a reputation as an open-source portable test automation framework.

With a set of multiple programming languages and all main OSs and browsers supported, Selenium is presently used in the production section in big-giant companies like Google, Netflix, Fitbit, HubSpot, and more. The whole suite offers a series of solutions for varied testing issues and requirements. Let’s examine why it that made it such a big deal.

Why has Selenium gained importance?

Testing your web apps is crucial to guarantee that the desired quality of the product meets the business requirements. Statista reports state that not allocating sufficient time for testing has led to 32% of the project failure. Mentioned below the graph highlighting the various core reasons that lead to a project failure:

Selenium Tools

Selenium is one of the most popular test automation frameworks that support 6 popular programming languages, counting Python; the latest version of Selenium is Selenium 4. It has four most important tools with a diverse approach to test automation depending upon the testing requirement for the businesses:

  • Selenium RC (Remote Control)

Selenium Core was the first and foremost tool; however, it was occupied with quite a few issues linked to cross-domain tests because of its similar origin policy. To overcome this error, Selenium RC (Selenium Remote Control) was released after Selenium Core. Selenium RC is a crucial part of Selenium. It is a framework that allows developers and testers to create test scripts in various languages to automate frontend User Interface test cases. It has a server and a client library that begins and stops the browser sessions by default.

Remote Control is divided into two parts:

  • Selenium Remote Client
  • Selenium Remote Server
  • Selenium IDE

Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment) was also called Selenium Recorder. IDE is a free web automation test tool under the Selenium Suite used to record, debug, edit, and replay functioning tools. The crucial benefit of Selenium IDE is that it tests recorded, or plugins can be exported in multiple programming languages such as Python, Ruby, Java, etc. It can also implement as the Chrome browser extension and also an add-on in the Firefox browser.

Selenium Grid

Selenium Grid is also part of the Se (Selenium) Suite that specializes in executing multiple testing across multiple browsers, machines, and operating systems, in parallel.  It is developed by Patrick Light’s body and initially called HostedQA. It can be used in combination with Remote Control RC to run testing on remote machines. It has 2 distinct versions – the older Grid 1 & the recent Grid 2.

Selenium WebDriver

It was founded by Simon Stewart in the year 2006. It was the first cross-platform automated test framework that could control the browser from the Operating System level. In comparison to Selenium IDE, it offers a programming interface to generate and run test cases. Selenium WebDriver is faster than other automated test tools as it makes direct calls to the browser.

Diverse WebDriver are:

  • Chrome Driver
  • Firefox Driver (Gecko Driver)
  • Opera Driver
  • Internet Explorer Driver
  • HTM Unit Driver
  • Safari Driver

Ten Special Things You Wish to Know About Selenium

1. Open Special Source/ Free Tool

It is an open-source tool, which means one can make use of it for free. Any enterprise can use Selenium for testing their web app or website and even individual programmers can also learn and practice automation tests using Selenium WebDriver. The problem with other test automation tools is that their functionality isn’t good enough as Selenium or they are mainly licensed tools, IBM’s RFT, HP’s QTP, Ranorex, and TestComplete are all proprietary (licensed) tools. Feature-wise, Selenium is a winning tool in contrast to the others, no second thoughts!

2. Integrated with DevOps, Agile, CD (Continuous Delivery) workflow

Selenium was following the DevOps and Agile narrative before such words were put into practice. The complete nature of Selenium perfectly falls into the major principles behind  DevOps, Agile, or CD (Continuous Delivery). How exactly is this accomplished?

  • Since it is portable across different platforms and often does not require learning fresh languages, this tool allows for supreme flexibility.
  • Selenium integrates with a range of development platforms like Maven, Jenkins, TestNG, etc without difficulty.

3. No Special Browser/ Operating System/ Hardware Demands

This is one of the crucial advantages that you get with Selenium. You do not require a system with a high HDD or 16GB RAM. Neither do you necessitate housing a MacOS or WindowsOS or LinuxOS. The Operating System you use for home purposes is adequate enough for Selenium testing. Most significantly, you can test the site on any browser, be it Firefox or Chrome or Internet Explorer, Opera, or even Safari for that matter of fact. The simplicity required to function with Selenium can be related to how simple it is to plugin USB drives to your system to transfer data.

4. Selenium supports Mobile Tests

With Selenium, you can also test hybrid, native, or web mobile applications, though you will require extra software. There are two key options – Selendroid and Appium. They are both based on Selenium thus; software developers already versed in it could easily apply similar key principles while testing mobile applications.

Both tools are free and have huge community support. The key difference is that Appium supports Windows, Android, and iOS devices, whilst Selendroid is completely focused on Android. Selendroid also bundles with tools like Appium so that when one can test for Android (version 2.3) via 4.3, the program will shift to Selendroid automatically.

It may look as if using Appium is a more logical choice as it does not restrict you to one Operating System. But, it makes extra sense to just use Selendroid if you are planning to test Android exclusively. It also has a few traits like “hot plugging” – one can plug in devices & unplug them without interrupting the testing, increasing the number of hardware devices or emulators that can be tested at an equal time.

There are two additional niche tools you are willing to know about as well:

  • Robotium – a black-box testing framework for Android
  • ios-driver – a Se (Selenium) WebDriver API for iOS test integrated with Se Grid

You can read more about other mobile automation testing tools in our dedicated article.

5. Supports Multiple Programming Language

The flexibility that Selenium offers is almost supreme in the automation testing world. First, we have distinct supported languages, like Ruby, PHP, Java, C#, Python, and JavaScript– all among the recent most used programming languages. Selenium is also the mainstream tool that covers Linux tests. The majority of tools in the market need you to be specialized in a single programming language. In simple words, languages like Java, VBScript, and C # are among the common scripting languages required by several tools. However, with Selenium, you will not face too many limitations. Even if you are expert enough in one of these languages, you can begin your career: With Python or Java or Perl or PHP or C# or Ruby, or .Net.

6. Great Community

Enlyft (previously called iDataLabs), a data-driven research organization, provides an interesting and exciting insight into the QA testing tools market. You can observe that Selenium takes a staggering 27.48 % market share of every software testing tool, with its closer opponent Apache Jmeter taking just over 10 % – remarkable stats.

As a pioneer in modern test automation, Selenium acquired a fan base of software developers in major players such as Google and startups, too. The job lists for software professionals include Selenium proficiency as the requisite expertise. There are substitutes to it, but their pricing ranges from 1000 dollars to $10k. Having an excellent free tool at hand keeps testers devoted to it, and newer ones becoming fans. Hundreds of step-by-step tutorials on YouTube, a trending topic on Quora with more than 48k followers, and more than 84k queries on StackOverflow signal a huge, blossoming community. Besides giving an opportunity to receive practical answers to your queries from your fellow-QA testers, such a community also continuously releases useful product upgrades and updates.

7. Simple Integration with Other Tools

Selenium can be effortlessly integrated with other free test automation tools. As the majority of the tools used in DevOps or otherwise are very helpful and free, those tools have a lot of takers. And when such testing tools are integrated with it, we can achieve test automation (Continuous testing in DevOps). Some of those tools are TestNG, Jenkins, Maven, Sikuli, JUnit, and AutoIT.

8. Parallel as well as Distributed Testing

Manifold Selenium testing cases can be implemented in parallel on a similar machine or remote machine. Se (Selenium) suite like Grid is used to execute the test cases on remote machines. By performing parallel as well as distributed tests, you save precious time executing tests, running the tests on a similar machine, or you can run the tests on web servers.

9. Flexibility to Design Test Cases

To design test cases in Selenium, you have the flexibility through programming logic or by record & playback approach. If you don’t have the technical awareness to script WebDriver code, you can employ IDE for recording your tests & export the programming logic to a similar programming language of your preference. Selenium WebDriver can be used for writing your logic using programming languages or you can use it IDE for recording your tests and exporting them later into a programming language of your preference to implement as a WebDriver test.

10. Large library of Extensions & Plugins

Selenium tool can be extended ahead of its standard functionality with an extensive range of plugins. A few of them are officially endorsed by Selenium (such as Appium and Selendroid) to some extent; however, you can locate more unsupported ones on Github. You can simply search on google “Selenium plugins <tool name>” and you may discover an extension for simple integration with your favorite programming product, like Eclipse or Jenkins. Such plugins exist not just for WebDriver yet also for Grid and IDE. The latter ones are especially wide-ranging, able to reinforce the functionally-weak tool and keep it production-ready.

Benefits of Selenium Testing:

  • Selenium is a free or open-source tool, so it does not necessitate any licensing expense to get the support of automation testing tools.
  • One of the major challenges that a QA tester or developer faces with a test automation tool is the support for multiple languages. This incredible tool supports all major languages like JavaScript, Java, Python, C#, Ruby, .Net, Perl, Groovy, and PHP and makes the life of testers simpler.
  • Selenium Testing Tool also supports several browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, and Microsoft Edge with other distinct operating systems like Mac, Linux, & Windows, which makes it flexible to employ
  • It has an active and huge open community that can assist you to mitigate tricky issues and a query linked to it, makes it the perfect option as a test automation tool.
  • Selenium integrates with various frameworks. For example, it can integrate with the Maven framework or ANT framework for source code compilation. Additionally, it can also integrate with  TestNG to test apps and reporting purposes. It can integrate with Hudson or Jenkins for CI (Continuous Integration) and can even integrate with other free tools to support other traits.
  • Selenium Test Automation can be executed for mobile web app automation on Blackberry, Android, and iPhone. This can assist in forming necessary outcomes and addressing glitches constantly.

Why LambdaTest for Selenium Test Automation?

A reliable, secure, scalable, and highly performing cross-browser testing platform like LambdaTest empowers testing and development teams to speed up their release cycles. They test in parallel and cut down test implementation by more than 10x and also provide an online browser farm of 3000+ browsers and OSs to perform tests at scale. You can easily run Selenium automation testing in parallel on the fastest online Grid and obtain 100 minutes of automation test minutes FREE

Such a cloud test platform comes with an out-of-the-box in-built geolocation test trait that allows you to test on 53+ country regions and locations. You can easily debug every test run with comprehensive test execution logs; additionally get complete execution logs, network logs, video logs, viewport screenshots, and many more. Besides, get integrated analytics and reporting traits to help you scrutinize your test runs and convey reports to stakeholders.

LambdaTest Selenium Grid completely supports major programming languages and all automated testing frameworks. You can test your privately hosted or locally hosted web applications and webpages via the enterprise-ready LambdaTest tunnel feature.

Additional features:

  • Zero Test Flakiness- Highly accurate and reliable infrastructure that has zero flakiness
  • 120+ Integrations- Fits flawlessly into your test stack with excellent integrations.
  • 24/7 Support- Grab access to industry-leading support.
  • 3000+ Environments- Perfect cross-browser coverage amid any cloud grid.

One can effortlessly subscribe to the LambdaTest YouTube Channel and stay up-to-date with the most recent tutorials around testing, automated browser testing, Cypress E2E testing, CI/CD, and many more.

Also Read: Translations &#038; The Biotechnology Industry

Conclusion

In a nutshell, whenever we talk about test automation, It can always comes in the foremost place and finds its way into the conversation. Being one of the perfect tools for test automation, Selenium is well-liked by testers and developers across the globe.

By testing on a real device cloud, like LambdaTest, you can test your application under real-time user conditions that assists in detecting bottlenecks and resolving them for a flawless user experience.

Nayomi Lam

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Nayomi Lam

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