What is Selenium automation testing tool & what are its cool features?
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Selenium Framework For Beginners| Overview & Features of Selenium Automation Testing Tool

Akhil Kumar By Akhil Kumar | August 13, 2021

Testing is a critical need for today’s digital transformation for businesses to compete in the current business market and meet customer expectations. With test automation tools, automation testing has become one of the software testing approaches that has made testing simpler and easier for testing teams.

The word ‘Selenium’ is not just an element you see in a periodic table as it stands as a popular term for software testing in today’s time. When professionals are irked with the traditional techniques of testing their software manually, tools like Selenium empower them to discover easy-peasy ways to automate accustomed QA testing methods for validating their applications. 

If you’re new to Selenium & need some solid reasons to believe that why should companies switch to automation testing, this article covers everything you need to read at this moment. 

With a myriad of options to consider for software testing, you may forget to include Selenium in your checklist of the best-suited mobile app testing tools. 

But the charisma of Selenium will definitely convince you to learn the ins & outs of this intelligent automation testing tool. Before you proceed with the Selenium automation tool, let’s familiarize you with the all-inclusive peculiarities of this immensely admired software by modern QA testers.

Content Inclusions 

What is Selenium? Why is it popular for software testing?

Types of Selenium Framework

Core Selenium Framework components: Let’s Talk About Types & Features

What is the Architecture of Selenium Webdriver?

What are the advantages of the Selenium tool for testing?

What are the disadvantages of Selenium for software testing?

Why Appventurez is the best place to get started with Selenium automation testing?

Frequently Asked Questions

As far as your list of top-rated automation testing tools is concerned, Selenium deserves to appear on the top as more & more QA experts are convinced to try it without giving any second thought. Why? Stay here to get the answer!

The shortest definition of Selenium states that it’s a suite of software testing tools for web apps. It’s an open-source technology that automates the bulk of testing procedures across web browsers.

Selenium automation testing is a series of JavaScript-based tools to validate the performance of modern software products. It may directly run the tests on the goal browser and manually re-run them on the appropriate web page.

Unlike Rational Functional Tester (RFT), Unified Functional Testing (UFT), Tricentis, Watir, & other useful testing tools for mobile & desktop apps, Selenium test automation software is particularly meant for projects based on web app development

Selenium appeared as a ground-breaking automation testing tool when the concepts & battle of DevOps & Agile methodologies were used to be imaginary. It’s been longer than a decade since the technique of Selenium automation testing began gaining popularity as an alternative to manual testing. 

Here is a graph reflecting the industries & companies that adopted the Selenium automation testing tools in the concurrent marketplace. 

distribution of companies using selenium by company size

Types Of Selenium Framework

1-Linear Scripting Framework

Linear scripting framework, in the form of a linear ‘Record and Playback,’ is a basic level test automation framework.

This framework is referred to as the “Record and Playback” framework. This framework is used for testing small-scale applications.

The construction and execution of test scripts are done independently for each test case of this kind. Each test step such as browsing, navigation, user inputs, and imposing checkpoints is recorded by testers. The scripts are then run by the testers to carry out the tests.

Advantages of Linear Scripting Framework

Disadvantages of Linear Scripting Framework

  • Due to auto-generated scripts, there is a lack of reusability.
  • Hard data coding does not enable us to work with several sets of data.
  • Maintenance is high-even little modifications that need a significant amount of effort.

2# Modular Testing Framework

In a modular testing framework, testers split the program into several parts and separately build test scripts. These test scripts may be concatenated to create bigger test scripts with an array of master scripts. Invoking the single modules to execute end-to-end test scenarios with the master script.

The major objective of this framework in software testing is to construct an abstraction layer that will prevent changes in an individual test from taking place on the master module. Testers create libraries of functions to utilize them whenever necessary. 

Advantages of Modular Testing Framework

  • Better scalability and easier to maintain owing to the division into distinct modules of the entire application.
  • Can independently write test scripts.
  • Changes in one module do not affect the other module.

Disadvantages of Modular Testing Framework

  • It takes longer for the analysis of the test case and the identification of reusable flows.
  • It is not feasible to suit various data sets because of hard-coded data in the test scripts.
  • Coding abilities are required to create the framework.

3# Data Driven Framework

The data-driven test automation framework focuses on isolating the logic of the test scripts from the test data. It enables us to write test automation scripts bypassing various test data sets.

By using a test tool the data should be obtained. We were able to simply make the test scripts work for various types of test data by utilizing this framework.

When compared to the module-based architecture, this framework considerably lowers the number of test scripts. 

With reusable tests and flexibility in the execution of tests only when necessary and by altering only the input test data, this framework provides better test coverage.

Advantages of using Data Driven Framework

  • It can handle a variety of data sets.
  • The test data will not be affected if the test scripts are changed.
  • There’s no need to save test data in a database.
  • More tests are run, which saves time.

Disadvantages of using Data Driven Framework

  • Coding skills are required.
  • It takes longer to set up the framework and test data.
  • To develop the framework, we’ll need skilled automation testers.

4# Keyword Driven Testing Framework

This testing is based on word-based testing or table-driven testing. It uses a table structure to specify keywords or actions in keyword-based testing for each function or method used.

It does test scripts for automation depending on the keywords in the excel sheet. Testers with less programming expertise may also work on the test scripts using keywords in order to produce any test automation script.

The main class has located the logic to read and retrieve the necessary action stated in the external excellence sheet. Testing based on keywords is comparable to testing based on data. Although this framework requires little skills in the top programming language, it requires greater knowledge for the initial setup.

Advantages of using Keyword Driven Testing Framework 

  • You don’t have to be a test script expert
  • The code can be reused. We can use the same keyword in several programs.
  • Even if the application changes, there are no modifications to test scripts.
  • Before creating the application, tests may be created.
  • Test scripts operate with minimal adjustments regardless of the application under test.
  • Not depend on the testing tools.

Disadvantages of using Keyword Driven Testing Framework

  • Takes longer to create
  • Initial costs are high
  • Good test automation abilities are required for employees.

5# Hybrid Driven Framework

A hybrid test automation framework is a mix of two or more of the preceding frameworks. It makes an effort to harness the strengths and advantages of other frameworks for the specific test environment that it controls. In the present market, the majority of teams are developing this Hybrid Driven Architecture.

Core Selenium Framework Components: Let’s Talk About Types & Features

With over 55,514 business segments using Selenium, this brilliant automation testing tool holds massive popularity with a wide community of users all around the globe. Unarguably, it was a slow start for Selenium to mark its presence in the beginning but it gradually gained traction to dominate its rivals with around 22.55% of the overall market share. 

There are plentiful reasons behind the favoritism for Selenium automation testing. Most seasoned programmers are fond of this tool as anyone can effortlessly create Selenium Test Scripts on Java, C#, Python, & other popular programming languages.

The Selenium test suite is made up of four primary components:-

  • Selenium IDE
  • Selenium RC
  • Selenium Webdriver
  • Selenium Grid
components of selenium suite

Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

IDE is a common term for developers who’re reliant on time-tested frameworks & tools for Android app development. But it will be interesting for you to find out what is Selenium IDE? 

For your information, it is the only user-friendly component in the Selenium automation testing toolkit. Almost every mobile app testing guide highlights this particular tool to simplify the automation of the software testing process for QA testers. 

IDE is a form of Firefox plug-in that supports easy installation with high efficiency & speed in recording & conducting frequent test cases. These test cases are created using recordings that are derived from user interactions. 

Although Selenium IDE is known for its simplicity, it cannot be used for creating advanced test cases. Consider using Selenium RC & WebDriver to build advanced test cases to perform Selenium automation testing. 

Selenium Remote Control (RC)

Before the arrival of the Selenium Remote Control tool, the Same Origin Policy (SOP) issue used to be a big concern for software testing experts. Selenium RC emerged as a game-changer as it nullified the existing SOP issues in a sophisticated manner. 

Now the question arises that what is the Same Origin Policy (SOP)? SOP issues used to occur when JavaScript code fails to fetch elements from domains that are dissimilar to their parent domains. 

There was a time when testers had to install the copies of the webserver & Selenium to test their web application architecture. Selenium RC brought a big comfort for the dedicated software testing team by eliminating SOP issues that restrict JavaScript programmers to visit other domains of a website or web app.

Paul Hammant is the name behind the creation of this revolutionary Selenium RC that succeeded to resolve SOP issues permanently. But it’s unfortunate that Selenium RC is officially deprecated now & revamped as part of the legacy package with a new name of Selenium HQ. You can either choose WebDriver or Selenium Grid to test your software after full-scale Android & iOS app development

Selenium RC is not a standalone testing tool that supports multiple programming languages. Besides the first flagship Selenium component, Selenium RC 2.25.0 version is compatible with these top programming languages to write test cases:

  • Java
  • C
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Perl
  • Ruby

The role of this power-packed automation testing tool in dissolving SOP issues may drive you to wonder how Selenium RC deals with SOP issues? Continue reading our next sections to know the process. 

Selenium WebDriver

Here comes the next Selenium component i.e WebDriver in the suite of this smart automation testing toolkit. Selenium WebDriver is an aftercomer of Selenium RC that made its first appearance in 2006 & continued to shape new software testing trends with every tech innovation. 

After 2 years of launch in 2008, Selenium WebDriver got merged with Selenium RC to present Selenium 2, a more powerful Selenium automation testing tool powered by the attributes of WebDriver at its core. 

While both IDE & RC lack easier routes to create & execute test cases, Selenium WebDriver comes up with a full interface to let you develop & write test cases to let you identify & perform requisite actions with web page elements. The domination of WebDriver over RC & other frameworks in the Selenium suite underlines its name among eminent tools to choose the right technology stack for your mobile app development & tools. 

As far as speed & performance are concerned, WebDriver is comparatively faster & smarter than RC with perfect consistency for browser automation approach. It directly interacts with browsers while RC depends on a server to communicate with a browser that certainly lags behind in automated software testing processes done to validate mobile app usability

Furthermore, RC tends to rely on JavaScript to support Selenium automation testing for web apps which is a major drawback of using this tool. Being a new normal for software development & testing, Selenium WebDriver is available on these web browsers:

  • Chrome Driver
  • HTM Unit Driver
  • Gecko Driver (Firefox)
  • Safari Driver
  • IE Driver &
  • Opera Driver

As similar to RC, Selenium WebDriver supports C#, Java, Perl, Python, PHP, & Ruby programming languages that are mostly preferred for on-demand app development

Selenium Grid 

To reduce the count of execution times of test cases, Selenium RC & Selenium Grid come together to bring a next-generation software testing tool to use with the best programming language for web development.  

Selenium Grid is a prime component of Selenium testing tools that empower QA testers to get accurate insights into mobile app performance metrics. They can perform automated software testing by executing test cases remotely on this tool. Patrick Lightbody made efforts to introduce Selenium Grid that unfolds Hub-Node design to execute multiple test cases parallelly across maximum machines at a time.

Selenium Grid was formerly named HostedQA & it was placed under the range of Selenium 1. Before we go ahead with the topic, let’s make you familiar with the nitty-gritty of hub-node design patterns integrated with this software automation testing tool.  

Hub-node design comprises a machine that acts as a Hub to run & monitor test cases on different web browsers inspired from the emerging technologies & operating systems including harmony OS development. The remaining machines are marked as Nodes that enable users to write test cases in preferred programming languages. 

With a basic intro of Selenium components, we’ve got a lot more things with a list of unheard rpa facts and figures to discuss on automated software testing. Buckle up to learn the best features of the aforementioned Selenium testing tools!

What Is The Architecture Of Selenium Webdriver? 

The architecture of Selenium WebDriver is about how the tool interacts with the browser and automates the end-to-end Web app. In its architecture, it contains four components:

Architecture of framework

JSON Wire Protocol

JSON is an acronym for JavaScript performance optimization through Object Notation. It is an open standard that provides a transport mechanism for transferring data between client and server on the web. It provides support for various data structures like arrays and objects which make it easier to read and write data from JSON.

Selenium Client Libraries and Language Bindings

It supports many libraries like Ruby, Python, Java, and so forth since Selenium developers built language bindings to enable multiple-language compatibility. Utilize Python Bindings, for example- if you wish to use the Python browser driver. From the official website of Selenium, you may get all available language bindings.

Browser Drivers

In general, distinct and independent browser drivers are available in browsers. And they communicate with their respective browsers by not disclosing the browser’s logic. This means that the command received from these browser drivers will be anticipated from your browsers and the response will be returned in HTTP form.

When a test script is executed with the help of WebDriver, the following tasks are performed in the background:

  • For each Selenium Command, an HTTP request is produced and given to the browser driver.
  • The driver receives the HTTP request from an HTTP server.
  • An HTTP server determines all of the steps/instructions to be performed on the browser.
  • The execution status is then received by the HTTP server, which delivers it back to the automation scripts.

Browsers

Selenium WebDriver works with a variety of browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

What Are The Advantages Of The Selenium Tool For Testing?

In this section, we will outline some peculiar benefits of each Selenium component you can use for automated software testing. Let’s start with Selenium IDE first.

Benefits of Selenium IDE

Selenium IDE will use Selenese language to let you write test scripts. The plugins offered by Selenium IDE are available on Chrome as well as Firefox web browsers. Here are some pros of using Selenium IDE for testing your software:

  • Very easy to download, install, & use 
  • Comes with built-in test results for reporting modules
  • No coding skills are required to run Selenium IDE
  • It’s effortless to develop & execute test cases on Firefox or Chrome. 
  • One can simply record & edit test scripts on this Selenium component.
  • Flawless test suits can be rendered on Selenium IDE.
  • Test scripts can be migrated in formats that can be used in WebDriver & RD. 

Benefits of Selenium RC

Apart from being Selenium’s main version for automated quality testing, RC was favored for software testing till the time it was deprecated. Here are the advantages of Selenium RC:

  • It’s a cross-browser as well as a cross-platform testing tool. 
  • Can conduct both looping and conditional operations. 
  • Comprises highly matured & fully customized APIs.
  • Extends support to data-driven testing with added accuracy 
  • Goes well with new browsers & software testing environments.
  • Much faster test script execution than Selenium IDE.

Benefits of Selenium WebDriver

As clear by its name, Selenium WebDriver is meant for testing web apps built on progressive web apps frameworks

If you are new to PWAs then you must get familiar with the ins & outs of progressive web applications that are high in demand. Let’s get back to the perks of selenium WebDriver as listed below:

  • It leverages an object-oriented API developed to automate the web & mobile app testing process.  
  • It’s stronger, faster, & better than Selenium RC.
  • Selenium WebDriver interacts directly with the browsers & it’s less bulky than Selenium RC.
  • Needs no separate component or integration as required in the RC server.
  • Supports multifarious testing platforms including iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, Max, etc.  
  • The speed of the installation process is comparatively higher than RC

Benefits of Selenium Grid 

Last but not the least, Selenium Grid has numerous benefits to offer for improving the process of automated QA testing for beginners. Just take a look at the perks of using Selenium Grid:

  • Conducts tests simultaneously across different browsers & testing environments. 
  • Hub-node design eliminates time-consuming formalities in the testing process that shorten the mobile app development lifecycle eventually.
  • Delivers screenshots of browsers during the phases of test cases execution. 
  • Comes up with advanced tools & add-ons to diagnose the errors & lags contributing to slow down the app performance. 

What Are The Disadvantages Of Selenium Framework for Software Testing?

Now you know the plus points of Selenium automation testing, right? Step ahead to this next section to note down the shortcomings of using Selenium components to automate the QA testing of your software products. 

Cons of Selenium IDE 

Following are the major drawbacks of using Selenium IDE as a part of an automated software testing toolkit:

  • Can only be accessed on the Firefox web browser. 
  • One can create test prototypes on Selenium IDE
  • Doesn’t support conditional operations & iterations done during the testing stages.
  • Execution of test cases is comparatively slower than other Selenium components like WedDriver & RC. 
  • Incapable of testing dynamic web apps for cross platforms. 
  • It doesn’t use programming logic in writing test scripts. 
  • Doesn’t support data-driven testing procedures. 

Cons of Selenium RC

Considering the challenges of using Selenium RC for automated mobile app testing, QA testers find these disadvantages of implementing this tool:

  • The complicated & multi-step installation process makes it tougher for beginners to use this Selenium component efficiently. 
  • Demands hands-on coding & programming expertise along with Selenium RC server in a running mode. 
  • API commands are too complex & confusing to refine the process of software automation testing.  
  • Yields inconsistent results with JavaScript uses & end-to-end browser interactions.  
  • The execution of test scripts takes more time in comparison to WebDriver.

Cons of Selenium WebDriver

With a truly modern & data-driven testing approach, Selenium WebDriver faces a setback due to these limitations in automated software testing:

  • High intricacy in the installation makes it difficult to learn & use. 
  • One needs to have proficiency in coding & programming to get started with Selenium WebDriver
  • Gives no support to modern web browsers & platforms used for testing. 
  • Lacks built-in mechanism to log run time messages & deliver test results. 

Cons of Selenium Grid 

Selenium Grid can do wonders to automated software testing when combined with Selenium RC. But QA testers report these issues while working with Selenium Grid:

  • The process of code execution is restricted to local machines where test cases are deployed. 
  • The remote machines in Selenium Grid can only achieve browser control commands. 
  • The availability of a large number of node servers brings down the performance. 
  • Takes long hours of effort in conducting initial operations defined for parallel testing. 

When To Use These Selenium Frameworks?

If the web application is testing a huge number of data sets. Then a data-driven framework must be chosen that isolated them from the real code.

For example when the web application has more functions to test. The team suggests a keyword-driven architecture in which the operations are recorded as keywords in a separate table. These keywords are invoked for a functional operation in particular.

When data sets and features are both big in quantity, employ a hybrid controlled frame to prevent complexity.

Why Appventurez Is The Best Place To Get Started With Selenium Automation Testing?

Selenium automation testing imparts a series of experiences with several ups & downs coming on the line. In the presence of numerous smart & mature testing tools, a massive no. of QA testers go ahead with Selenium Framework to automate the testing in our cross-platform development projects. There is no doubt that Selenium components could become great alternatives to traditional methods of manual testing. One can only bank on expert hands to get involved in automated software testing & Appventurez is a great place to locate them. Having learned the basics of Selenium tools, you can get started with this cutting-edge technology to take your software testing efficiency to the next level. 

If you intend to begin with a Selenium Framework- WE ARE HERE to help you. Connect with our experts today.

FAQs

Q- Why is Selenium the most ideal testing tool for web apps?

Wondering why Selenium is a leader among other automated testing tools? Among other popular testing tools like Katalon Studios, Watir, Test Plant, Unified Functional Testing, Test Complete, Robot Framework, & more, Selenium stands ahead in terms of use, performance, cross-language & cross-platform support, efficiency, & many crucial factors.

Q- When you should use Selenium Grid?

The moment you run test scripts on the different web browsers, platforms, OS, & machines parallelly, you may need to choose Selenium Grid to ensure that your web app performs smoothly with optimal compatibility. This testing tool will not only simplify the process but also saves you a lot of time in setting up the whole stages of testing at a faster speed.

Q- What distinguishes Selenium from other automation tools?

Selenium is different from other automation tools that have several advantages over other solutions on the market. To automate testing, you don’t need to be an expert in various programming languages because Selenium supports numerous languages such as Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, and others.

Akhil Kumar
Akhil Kumar

Co-Founder & Managing Director of AppVenturez Mobitech. An entrepreneur who is tech-savvy and aims to build the largest software business through technological innovation, keen business strategist and a passionate technocrat. He firmly believes in learning and earning by planning and performing.

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