Test Automation gets invariably considered in the testing process for various reasons, namely, eliminating manual errors, speeding up the process, making the tests repeatable, and building an overall cost-effective approach. In a challenging business scenario, it is imperative to build web applications that are robust, resilient, with excellent GUI, and required functionalities that can make the application user friendly and engaging.
For instance, consider any financial application that has to connect with multiple vendor sites, make payments, enable shopping, and much more. What if this interface is not seamless and creates security issues while the transaction happens? The entire credibility of the application will go for a toss and the user might not land up on the site again. This calls for rigorous and repeated testing, which test automation enables.
Software Testing ensures coverage of all these aspects and gets the application in the desired mode for the users. Test Automation paces up the process with the required efficiency to get the application faster to the market. Considering time is a critical aspect, automation ensures that the application is not half-baked. Both proprietary as well as open source tools are leveraged for automation, keeping the testing/automation objective into focus.
Proprietary testing tools such as HP Unified Functional Testing (UFT), TestComplete, Ranorex, are names of some established test automation tools. At the same time, Open Source Innovation and Open Source Innovation platforms have been creating buzz lately. Likewise, Open Source Test Automation tools such as Selenium, Watir, Sahi, Serenity, and Robot Framework have gained their own market share amongst enterprises and experts in the industry.
Now, the question pops up, why has Selenium emerged as the most sought-after test automation tool by world-acclaimed enterprises such as Microsoft and Facebook?
Selenium, an open source test automation framework for testing Web applications comes with a suite of tools that support the development of automated testing for web applications.
- Selenium IDE: It’s a feature specifically for Mozilla Firefox that is normally used for recording, debugging, and editing selenium scripts.
- Selenium RC:Also known as Selenium Remote Control,it is used to execute tests on various systems and browsers.
- Selenium Grid: It helps in executing and running diverse Selenium RC test cases concurrently, and enables segregation of tests across browsers/devices for simultaneous execution.
- Selenium Webdriver: The latest version of Selenium that comprises multiple Selenium APIs.
The reason to put together these features is to basically establish the benefits of Selenium. Reusable, maintainable, and stable are some key characteristics that Selenium brings to the Test Automation world. Enterprises have been considering Selenium adoption over and above established tools for its intrinsic benefits that go beyond mere cost-effectiveness.
We weigh some key reasons that testify that Selenium is a great tool endorsed by industry connoisseurs for Web application testing.
- Compatibility across Operating Systems
This is one of the greatest features of Selenium and the key reason why the tool has been considered for testing web applications. The need to gauge the efficiency and compatibility of the applications across various Operating Systems is intensifying as the commercial scenario gets more and more tricky.
- Supports multiple scripting languages
Selenium is known for supporting multiple scripting languages such as Pearl, PHP, Ruby, .Net (C#), and Java. So, even if the team has specialization in a single language, the show can go on!
- Test Scripts can be developed in any language
This could be one of the highlighted features of Selenium, as the framework enables you to build the program independent of the language used for building the website/web application.
- Supports running tests across multiple browsers
Testing for compatibility and UI across multiple browsers is critical today. This will determine end-user experience and success of the application. Selenium supports testing across key browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari.
- Open community for support
Being an Open Source platform, Selenium is supported by a strong community that keeps on upgrading and sharing the learnings. This is a key strength; as no specific training is required, the training and learning happens on the go.
- Easy to use interface
Selenium is loaded with multiple features that can enable the overall development of automated scripts. The idea is to pick and choose various components, based on the complexity of the website/web application. The strength is that Selenium offers an easy-to-use interface in the development process, which makes it easier to develop unit tests, exploratory tests, and so on.
Selenium also enables the team to easily record and save actions while the tests run on the browser.
- The cost factor
While cost is a factor to consider and is being considered by enterprises, still it cannot be the only factor to consider open source over proprietary tools. Selenium definitely can be leveraged for being free. Selenium is released under the Apache 2.0 license and enables users to download and use it free of charge. However, it is clear that there will be no dedicated support offered by the tool, as it is supported by an active developer community.
Moreover, while using Selenium it gets easy to implement frameworks that are built around Object oriented programming such as Keyword Driven, Data driven, and Hybrid. Selenium also supports integration of open source frameworks such as JUnit, NUnit, and more.
Selenium Automation has been considered by enterprises for multiple benefits, and most importantly to meet the objectives of Test Automation. The framework helps make the software testing process robust, cost-effective, and helps pace up the market.
It helps cut down the time to execute tests, specially, when the project is large and in progress. It can get as resilient as possible, as it gets compatible across almost all operating systems, supports multiple browsers, and can support multiple current day languages such as Python, Ruby, Perl, and more.
This makes Selenium the tool of choice for the testing and the development community.
Author Bio: Hemanth Kumar
Hemanth has 8+ years of experience in IT Services, predominantly Marketing & Sales, Branding, specializing in Digital. Currently he is part of the marketing for Cigniti Technologies with functions such as Analyst & Advisory Relations, Events & Conference Management & Branding, in addition to leveraging digital marketing channels for lead generation and promotion.