Benefits of using Selenium for Test Automation in enterprises

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Nov
10
2016
  • Author:
  • Nayab Naseer

Benefits of using Selenium for Test Automation in enterprises

Why is Selenium the most preferred test automation tool by tech giants including Microsoft and Facebook? Read this article to know why you should implement Selenium test automation for testing your web applications.

In a highly competitive environment, there is a pressing need to make web applications robust, with top-notch GUI and all the desired functionality performing without a hitch. However, one of the key drags in the app development process is the testing phase. Pressure to launch the app at the earliest may force developers to cut corners in the time-consuming testing phase. The result is often half-baked products, with end-users impeded by many glitches.

The solution that has caught on to solve the imbroglio is test automation. Test automation, or developing scripts for running automated test commands against a range of browsers works out much more cost-effective, accurate, and faster than the traditional manual-heavy method of extensive regression testing.

The success of test automation is however not given. Automation is only as good as the instructions that propel it. Orchestrating an efficient test automation project requires feeding the system with a complex set of guidelines, coding standards, concepts, processes, and reporting mechanisms. Any shortcomings in these instructions could degrade the testing. Needless to say, many enterprises find summoning such instructions, and feeding it into the system as just daunting as regression testing itself. However, of late, Selenium, an open-source test automation tool, is making life easier for developers caught up in the testing process.

What is Selenium?

Selenium tests the GUI and functionality of websites. An automation script developed using Selenium instructs the browser to navigate on to a page, click on some element, fill up a form, or do anything else that normal web or app users are expected to do.

Once set up, Selenium offers a highly efficient way to generate test scripts, validate its functionality and, reuse such scripts in an automated framework. Selenium executes test cases in three different modes. Selenium IDE, the record-playback mode, logs the test scenarios, and offers a good start to write tests, and group it together, to form a test suite. Selenium RC or remote-control mode launches multiple browsers, one at a time, and executes the pre-recorded test-cases. Selenium Grid records and replays Selenium IDE and RC test cases, to validate the tests.

There are many automation tools that deliver more or less the same results. So, why Selenium?

First of all, Selenium is open source, and open source is today much more than a “fad.” More and more companies now rely on open source automated testing tools, due to their efficiency and cost saving capabilities. Selenium plays into these objectives perfectly.

Selenium is released under the Apache 2.0 license, allowing users to download and use it free of charge. The active developer community for this open source tool makes amends for the lack of dedicated support that comes for granted with licensed tools.

Features of Selenium

Selenium comes loaded with several features that makes the task of developing automated scripts easy. The various components on offer may be picked and selected, depending on the complexity of the web page or app for which the script is being written. An easy-to-use interface for the development process makes it even easier to create unit tests, exploratory tests, one-off bug reproduction scripts, and much more.

Selenium, in fact, offers a choice of options to create scripts. Apart from the easy option of recording and saving actions by using the web application, with the test running in a browser, there is also the option to use web development tools such as Firebug, to create scripts manually. Selenium does not restrict the choice of build systems, reporting tools, or other aspects of existing frameworks, and integrates well with almost all the popular tools in the market, such as SauceLabs, Hudson, Selenium-Grid, QMetry, and others.

Selenium is as resilient as it gets. It works on almost all operating systems and supports all the browsers in vogue – Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, IE, Opera, and Safari. Selenium also supports multiple languages like Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby, Java, and .NET. It is not necessary to use Selenium’s own script language to write test codes.

It is not necessary that the language used for developing the program should be the same used for developing the web application. The unmatched flexibility on offer is another plus, bringing the hitherto technically-loaded testing process palatable to non-technical users. For instance, a framework using Selenium with Cucumber makes it possible to write automation tests in feature files, in a form understandable by any non-technical stakeholder, with Cucumber translating the tests into Java code. Selenium-RC then uses JavaScript to launch the web page and runs the instructions inside the JavaScript sandbox.

Experience high performance with Selenium

Selenium speeds things up at a time when the whole testing process becomes a time consuming affair. It is often noted that developers might even neglect testing due to lack of time. Selenium delivers the capability to execute parallel tests, leveraging multiple browsers across different devices. Selenium’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE) makes it easy to create sample tests, further speeding up things. Selenium IDE also offers a record-playback tool, which allows developing scripts even without learning a test scripting language.

The simplicity of Selenium means the tool does not offer test management facilities, In fact, it does not even offer a comprehensive solution for all testing solutions. However, it easily integrates with third-party applications and language bindings to fill the void, offering some sort of a modular, integrate-what-you-want approach, leaving the basic structure simple for everyone.

Currently, migrating to Selenium from licensed tools needs more caution with the necessity to redevelop the test codes. However, an effective Selenium migration tool, available with any strong development partner, can convert many recorded scripts, functional libraries, and calls to Selenium scripts. In any case, even redeveloping the test scripts in Selenium is worth the effort to attain freedom from ruinous license and maintenance costs.

The many advantages on offer makes Selenium the test automation tool of choice for UI, regression, unit and acceptance testing, and also Agile, Extreme Programming, and other quick-cycle development methodologies.

Suyati has successfully implemented Selenium Test Automation for a leading Australian Property client. Read the success story now.

Contacts us immediately for any Selenium Test Automation enquiries and we would be pleased to help you.

Do read our additional articles on Selenium!

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