Tech & Innovation

Top 10 Features of Selenium for Automation Testing

Top 10 Features of Selenium for Automation Testing
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The current market requirements demand effective implementation of automation testing practices. This is because the complexity of modern applications has made it almost impossible to implement complete manual test cases. Moreover, end users have become so busy in their lives that they cannot wait several months to produce an app.

Moreover, while using complete manual test cases, there will always be possibilities of errors that arise due to human intervention. Multiple frameworks can help developers to initiate and execute automation testing on various types of applications.

For instance, Selenium is one of the most popular names in this industry. It has maintained one of the top positions in the automation testing segment for almost 10 years now.

With this article, we will discuss some of the best features that make Selenium suitable for conducting automated test cases in the present generation. We will also take a look at some of the efficient platforms and tools that can help developers to conduct Selenium-based automation test cases. Let us begin our discussion with the basics of Selenium-based automation testing practices.

Understanding Test Automation

While using manual test cases, the developers had to initiate and execute the testing processes by completely depending on human developers. Therefore, there are various possibilities when the test cases can be limited due to human errors and other factors related to human efficiency.

However, as the name suggests, with automation testing, the developers can easily complete this process by entirely relying on the system without any form of human inclusion. For this purpose, the system will use a text file containing all the necessary documents and parameters.

The test file will also consist of multiple datasets the system will use to understand how the application handles various user interactions. It is worth noting that developers can change all the data in these text files to suit their test requirements.

Automated testing also makes it possible to reuse huge sections of automation test codes. This means that testers can store and reuse the repetitive sections of the code in future development projects for the company. The maintenance cost of automation test code files is also minimal.

However, development companies have to invest a lot of money to get started with automation testing. This is because the setup process is quite complex and requires a lot of training. The developers must also go through a learning curve before getting accustomed to all the automation testing practices.

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Understanding Selenium

As mentioned, Selenium is one of the most dominant names in the automation testing world. It was initially introduced in 2004 with the name JavaScriptTestRunner. The justification behind this unique name was that this test automation framework is based on this popular programming language.

Over time, Selenium has gone through four major updates and is currently running on the 4th version. The fourth version of Selenium has brought various improvements in major areas like Selenium WebDriver to improve the testing satisfaction of the developers.

Moreover, the open-source nature of Selenium ensures that all developers can access its features without any payment restrictions. Selenium also has a huge community of developers who are always ready to help and assist newcomers.

The developers and testers must remember that Selenium isn’t a standalone tool; it is instead a combination of multiple different tools. All of the tools specialize in helping the developers in different stages of the application development process.

The major components of the Selenium test suite are as follows:

1. Selenium WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver is often considered to be the most important component of the entire test suite. This is because the WebDriver is not only responsible for initiating the test cases but also for executing them on the target elements of the web application.

It is a superior version of the Selenium remote controller. This is because the Selenium WebDriver can directly interact with all the elements of a web application and does not require any native engine inclusion.

2. Selenium Grid

It is responsible for initiating parallel testing on all the automation test cases of Selenium. The major benefit of parallel testing is that it helps the developers to initiate and execute the test cases in a side-by-side format.

This is a major benefit, as with the help of parallel test cases, the developers can complete all the testing processes in only a few days. 

3. Selenium IDE

The term IDE stands for an integrated development environment. This is responsible for creating all the automation test cases with the help of the Selenium test suite. The most interactive feature of this tool is that it can analyze user interactions and generate automated test cases.

In simple terms, we can say that while using this tool, the developers have to use the application like a normal user, and the system will continue to generate the test cases.

So, we can easily understand that all of these tools play a critical role in ensuring the proper functioning of the entire Selenium test suite. However, the major drawback of Selenium is that while using this test, the developers can only introduce automation test cases in web applications.

This means that while working with other forms of applications like native apps, hybrid apps, and web apps, the developers will have to look for some other alternatives.

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Top 10 Features of Selenium for Automation Testing

Various reasons can justify using Selenium in the modern automation test page. However, the new developers and testers must have a clear idea about all the features of Selenium to realize its full potential. So, we have gone ahead and created a list of some of the top features of Selenium that makes it one of the top contenders for automation testing practices. They are as follows:

1. Support for Multiple Web Browsers

The multiple browser support of Selenium is highly beneficial for developers when they’re working on cross-platform applications. This is because cross-platform support is required for the proper functioning of the application or multiple browser types and browser versions.

Later in this article, we will delve into cross-browser testing and cross-platform apps. Additionally, Selenium allows developers to ensure the stable performance of their applications on specific browser versions that may no longer be available on the market. This can be a valuable tool for maintaining compatibility with older software and hardware configurations, making it easier to reach a wider audience with your application.

2. Compatibility with Multiple Programming Languages

While using Selenium, the developers can write their test cases in their preferred programming language. This is because Selenium has native support for all the popular programming languages like Java, Python, Ruby, and many others.

This is one of the most important features, as the restriction of programming languages can massively cripple the development capabilities of modern creators.

3. Effortless Identification and Utilization of Website Components

Selenium has various features to help developers quickly identify all the features of web elements. This is very important to ensure that the test cases can properly verify the functioning of these elements. Selenium can also run individual test cases for all the interactive segments of a user interface.

4. Improved Performance and Speed with Selenium 4 Update

With the latest Selenium 4 updates, the creators have paid special attention to improving the performance and speed of the overall automation test cases. This means that while using Selenium for introducing automation testing on web applications, the developers can massively improve the efficiency of the testing process and quickly forward the application to the production phase.

5. Expanding Test Suite Reach

As we already discussed earlier, the open-source nature of Selenium has a massive role in improving the reach of the test suite. This is because there is no restriction on the web app features, and it is accessible to all creators.

6. Has a Supportive Tech Community of Contributors

The open-source nature is also responsible for developing a community of tech lovers who are always working hard to improve the overall experience of Selenium. The community of tech developers is also ready to assist their new developers whenever they require assistance.

7. Portability for Cross-Platform Testing

Selenium is also known for its portability feature. In this context, the term portability means the ability to work with multiple operating systems at the same time. Currently, the most popular programming languages in the desktop segment include Windows, Linux, and the Mac operating system. Therefore, while working with Selenium, the developers can ensure that their web application provides native support for all of these operating systems.

8. Real Device Testing with Selenium and Cloud-Based Platforms

Selenium allows developers to test the performance of their applications on real devices. If the developers cannot afford an expensive physical test bench, they can replace it with a cloud-based platform. We can understand the working mechanism of cloud testing by shifting our focus towards LambdaTest as a center point:

  • For the introductory process, LambdaTest is a platform to introduce and execute cross-browser testing on modern web apps. It helps the developers test the web apps’ functioning on real devices through the web. LambdaTest can import automation test cases from multiple popular frameworks like Selenium, Cypress, and Playwright.
  • One of the unique features of this platform is that it can initiate Selenium test cases on more than 3000 unique browsers. LambdaTest uses parallel testing to improve the efficiency of test cases by almost fifteen times.

9. Conduct Data-Driven Test Cases Effectively

Selenium’s data-driven testing approach allows developers to use a single test case to execute tests for different data sets. With data-driven testing, developers can easily test a wide range of scenarios and inputs to ensure that their application works as intended in various circumstances.

Data-driven testing is especially useful when dealing with large datasets or complex test cases, as it can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort required to create and execute test cases.

By using Selenium’s data-driven testing capabilities, developers can effectively identify bugs and defects in their application, and ensure that it performs optimally for all intended use cases.

10. Maintain a Detailed Log of the Testing Process

Selenium provides native features that allow developers to maintain a detailed log of the testing process. This activity log includes a record of all test cases executed, along with their results, providing developers with valuable insight into the performance and behavior of their applications.

With this log, developers can quickly and easily identify any issues or errors that arise during the testing process, making it easier to troubleshoot and resolve any problems. Additionally, the activity log can be used to monitor the progress of testing over time, allowing developers to track the evolution of their application and ensure that it continues to perform as expected.

Selenium’s activity log feature is a valuable tool for maintaining the quality and reliability of software applications, making it a popular choice for developers and quality assurance professionals alike.

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Considering all the points discussed in this article, we can easily say that Selenium is one of the most important components of the modern application development and testing industry. With the help of Selenium, developers can efficiently verify the functioning of all modern web applications.

However, the developers must remember that while developing other applications, they must use a proper alternative to Selenium, like Cypress or Playwright. To improve their automation testing practices, the developer should also try to keep themselves updated with all the modern trends.

App companies also have a critical role in spreading the required knowledge and expertise in this segment. Lastly, it is very important to choose the correct automation platform or tool that can complement your testing habits.

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