Summary: The Selenium testing platform is arguably the best open source platform to write test automation cases. Improving the testing strategy would include a slew of steps.
The effective implementation of digital transformation calls for rigorous testing of builds to enhance the quality, accelerate the time to market and achieve customer satisfaction. The testing approach is crucial in achieving the objectives of digital transformation. The traditional manual way of testing has been found to be ineffective to meet the challenges of the day. These challenges include testing a build on a number of platforms, devices, operating systems and networks. Moreover, the build can contain many dependencies, which should be tested individually against the desired test outcomes. Since manual testing has been found to be inadequate to achieve the test objectives, testing experts have embraced test automation in a big way.
The ease with which the test automation platforms are able to conduct repetitive tests for dependencies has led to their adoption by businesses on a large scale. These platforms, be it open source or licensed, help in improving the accuracy of tests as well as expanding the test coverage area. Additionally, these platforms have led to cost reduction in the medium and long term owing to a number of reasons. These include cutting down the SDLC, quicker delivery of products, and prevention of test reruns.
Amongst the many test automation tools, the open source ones such as Selenium, Robotium, JMeter, JUnit and others have been adopted by enterprises in greater numbers. This is primarily due to the cost advantage these tools offer among other benefits. Selenium is arguably the numero uno platform when it comes to the open source test automation platforms.
Why Selenium Testing?
This open source test automation platform provides a user friendly interface to write test cases in virtually all the programming languages. The test cases built on Selenium can effectively run across browsers, operating systems, and IDEs. Besides, the Selenium testing framework comes with easy to use features. These include flexibility, scalability, support for OOPs based languages such as .NET, Perl, PHP, Ruby, C# and Java among others. In addition to these, the Selenium testing framework contains a number of IDEs as well.
Notwithstanding the above mentioned advantages, the Selenium testing specialists face a few issues with the test platform as well. These are as follows:
- Tests can often be bitingly slow, which can impact the testing process significantly.
- Support provided by the user community may not always be robust and glitch free.
- Does not provide support for image based testing unless integrated with a software aka Sikuli.
In order to address the above mentioned inadequacies and leverage the test platform to its optimum level, the following steps should be taken.
Prioritize tasks: Post identifying the tests to be automated, the ones to be prioritized should be chosen. Delegate the tests to respective team members with the expected turnaround time. The tests should be delegated as per the requisite skillset and experience of the testers. In other words, if a complex test is allotted to a relatively inexperienced tester, the lead time for the test can increase thereby causing an overall delay.
Keep test resources ready: Before commencing specific tests, the resources needed for the tests should be identified and kept ready. Also, make sure the potential risks associated with each test and the applicable actions are identified beforehand. The test team should choose the best possible method to carry out a test for achieving better efficiency and efficacy.
Effective training on Selenium: The test team should be well-versed with each and every feature and nuance of the Selenium test automation process. Since one of the basic objectives of undertaking test automation is to reduce the test time, the team should not be found wanting when it comes to writing test scripts in quick time. Moreover, the open source Selenium tool enables sharing of test cases, which can help to bring people up the learning curve quickly.
Look for alternatives in lieu of GUI automation: The complexity of GUI automation can slow down the test automation process. It is recommended to look for better alternatives such as command line inputs. The reliability and quick application of alternatives can go a long way in enhancing the test speed without compromising the quality.
Use Quality test data: The test data should be relevant and must comprise updated information about the application. The attributes of a quality data sets ought to be valid and invalid data, boundary condition, etc.
Selenium test automation, if executed properly, can help in better identification of glitches in a time bound manner. Given the tool’s multiple features, IDEs and compatibility with all browsers and operating systems, it is arguably the best test framework to enhance the quality of a build.
Author : Komal Lopez
She works with Cigniti Technologies and is instrumental in helping enterprises take better decisions related to Quality Assurance products, tools and services by leveraging research and content. She specializes in writing about technology trends, testing trends and has been in the Marketing and Communications industry for over a decade. Connect with her at [email protected] https://twitter.com/savkomal