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A Guide to Writing Selenium Automation Testing Specs

Selenium is one of the most popular automated, open-source and valuable web application testing tools available in the present market. Almost every web developing company is aware of the importance of this web application testing framework. All the tests performed with the help of Selenium are popularly known as Selenium automated testing processes. However, it would be a great mistake to consider Selenium as a single tool. In reality, it is a collection of different types of tools for performing various automated testing operations. Due to the immense variety of services offered by Selenium, various companies are often confused about its services. So, in this article, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about performing automated testing with Selenium.

Selenium Automation Testing

Learning the Basics of Automated Testing with Selenium

Before we understand how to perform automated testing with Selenium, we need to understand why Selenium Automation Testing was introduced in the web Development Industry. For this process, we need to explore the history of Selenium. During the initial years of software creation, manual testing was one of the most critical processes of software development. However, this critical process had a lot of shortcomings. The major shortcomings were its repetitive and monotonous nature. To overcome this time-consuming issue, an Engineer at ThoughtWorks decided to automate all the testing processes. He achieved this goal by creating a JavaScript program known as the JavaScriptTestRunner. In the year 2004, this program was renamed Selenium.

In case you try to find the shortcomings of Selenium-based automatic web testing, you will discover the major disadvantage of this process is that it can only be implemented on web applications. This means that companies have to look for alternatives while testing desktop and mobile applications. However, there are other tools like Appium that developers can use to test both mobile and software applications. With time, Selenium-based automated web testing began to gain popularity due to its immense features.

Discovering Different Tools for Selenium Automation Testing

Selenium consists of a set of tools that helps developers to perform different types of software testing including automation testing of web applications. Let us Discover all of these tools and learn more about them:

1- Selenium Integrated Development Environment

The Selenium integrated development environment was developed in the year 2006. Typically, it is considered to be one of the easiest to use interfaces. It helps the developers to record the user interaction and built automated test scripts. During the initial years, the Selenium IDE was only available in Mozilla Firefox as a plugin extension. However, with the recent update, Firefox removed the support for all plugins as it became a standard extension protocol. Selenium revived the integrated development environment with the recent update of Selenium 4. Now, the Selenium IDE is available on all major browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox. Many experts consider that the main purpose of Selenium IDE is to speed up the creation process for automation test scripts. The latest version of Selenium IDE has various advancements and new additions. Let us take a quick look at some of the major ones:

  • Now, Selenium IDE has the support for the usability of a major portion of automation test scripts.
  • The developer can debug the automation test scripts and find any critical errors in the core framework.
  • The selenium-side-runner was added as a part of the Selenium integrated development environment.
  • The new version also comes with the provision to add various control flow statements.
  • The locator functionality was massively improved with the latest version of Selenium IDE.

Now, let us understand how the developers can install the Selenium integrated environment:

  • The first step is to launch the Mozilla Firefox browser.
  • Then, the developers have to click on the menu that is available on the top right corner of the window.
  • The next step is to click on the add-ons option that will be available in the drop-down box.
  • You simply have to click on the find more add-ons option and type Selenium IDE in the search bar.
  • After finding it, the last step is to add it to the Firefox browser.

After successfully installing it, the Selenium integrated development environment icon will appear on the top right corner of the Firefox browser. As the developers click on the icon, they will receive a welcome message on the screen.

2- The Selenium Remote Control Tool

Another important topic under Selenium Automation Testing is the Selenium remote control tool. To understand the importance of the Selenium remote control, we need to analyze the reason for its existence. Initially, the Selenium core was a set of JavaScript functions that helped developers to interpret and execute Selenium commands. It uses the browser’s built-in JavaScript interpreter to complete all these different processes. After completing this process, the Selenium core will be automatically injected into the system of the web browser. One of the most important things about Selenium JavaScript is that the elements of one domain cannot access those of another domain. We can call this process the same-origin policy. The primary reason for the introduction of Selenium remote control was to address this limitation.

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So, we can define the Selenium remote control as a service that is created with Java. The Selenium remote control makes provisions for the developers to write various application testing processes in different programming languages like JavaScript, Python, PHP and C#. The Remote-control server accepts various commands from the developer program. After accepting the commands, the Selenium Remote controller will pass it on to the browser in the form of Selenium core JavaScript commands.

3- The Selenium WebDriver

Another important part of the Selenium automation testing framework is the Selenium WebDriver. This was the first cross-platform tool that was available in the market. It has the capabilities to configure and control the browser on the operating system level. Initially, it used to serve as the interface to create and run all the different test cases for the program. One of the major differences between the Selenium WebDriver and Selenium remote control is the requirement for a core engine. Unlike Selenium remote control, the Selenium WebDriver does not require any engine as it can interact natively with the web browser. The Selenium WebDriver also supports various types of programming languages like JavaScript, PHP and Python.

The developers also have the option to integrate Selenium WebDriver with other frameworks like Junit and TestNG. This process will help them to deploy better management for Selenium automation testing. One of the major advantages of this WebDriver is that it is very simple and easy to understand.

4- The Selenium Grid

The primary reason for the development of the Selenium grid was to minimize the execution time of Selenium automation testing. Selenium Grid achieves this goal by allowing the developers to perform parallel testing of web applications. Parallel testing is a process by which developers can verify the functioning of the web application on thousands of different Browsers, devices and OS at the same time. The Selenium grid is very flexible and has integrations with other components of the same suite. This process helps the developers to perform simultaneous testing for the performance of the web application.

The Selenium grid also consists of a hub connected to different nodes. The Selenium grid will receive information about the test. It will also receive information about all the browsers and operating systems on which the test has to be run. It will select a node that meets the requirement and assign it to the testing process.

Use of Various Tools and Platforms for Automation testing

Due to the different types of tools available in Selenium, Automation Testing can become a complex process for some developers, especially for the new ones. However, various tools and platforms can help to simplify this process. In the current Software Development Industry, there are thousands of different automation testing tools and platforms that are operational. This is another reason why a company cannot simply choose any tool and add it to the integrated development environment. Another reason to justify this process is that every tool has a specific purpose and expertise. The developers must perform thorough market research to understand the best tool according to their preferences. During this process, they can also consider their preferences and project requirements. It is also a great idea to have an elaborate knowledge about the current Automation Testing trends.

Understanding the loyalty and trustworthiness of a tool is another important process before introducing it to the test environment. This procedure will help the companies to tackle any unforeseen circumstances that may arise due to third party software. The best way to complete this process is to check for reviews on various online forums. Here, the developers will find the honest and reliable ratings of multiple users who are currently using this tool.

Let us use LambdaTest automation testing as an example to understand the exact role of a test automation platform:

LambdaTest is a cloud platform to test the cross-browser compatibility of different web applications. This platform uses a secure and safe Selenium grid to perform all the testing operations. LambdaTest also enables end to end Data Encryption for the safe testing of sensitive user data. It also allows the developers to perform parallel testing on their web applications. Using this feature, the companies can verify the functioning of the web application on thousands of different browsers, devices, operating systems and browser versions at the same time. LambdaTest can also check the cross-browser compatibility of locally hosted web applications. Using this platform, the developers can also store their final test reports for future references. Currently, thousands of companies globally use Lambdatest to complete their testing needs. The developers can find thousands of positive reviews about this platform on the internet.

The Final Verdict

So, we can easily conclude that Selenium Automation Testing is one of the most important processes to check the proper functioning of web applications. Many experts believe that Selenium Automation Testing will gain even more popularity in the coming years. So, it is a great idea for all companies to introduce it in the test environment as soon as possible. However, the companies must consider the initial investment cost for automation testing before introducing it. This amount may be a bit high for individual creators or small startup companies. Many industry leaders believe that Automation Testing should be considered a long-term investment. This thought pattern will help companies to analyze the massive profits that they can deliver over the years. Lastly, companies should choose the right tool for the test environment to utilize its full potential. Also, you can submit guest post.

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