Automation testing involves leveraging tools and software to perform test cases by repeating pre-defined actions. The goal of test automation is to replace manual human activity with systems or devices. When it comes to automation testing, there are several tools that can be used. However, one tool that can’t be overlooked is selenium.
What is selenium?
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This is an open-source tool for web automation testing that is widely used to cater to the needs of an organization. It is an excellent QA automation tool that can automate across multiple Operating Systems like Windows, Mac, and Linux. Selenium offers 4 different tools namely;
- Selenium RC– this now lags behind because of poor browser compatibility across multiple devices
- Selenium IDE (integrated development environment)
- There’s also Selenium grid and Selenium WebDriver- both are actually combined into one and used for easy automation of browser testing across different browsers.
Now, what is the advantage of selenium as an automation testing tool? PCriver has compiled a list of some of its key advantages below
It is a free and open-source tool
Although there are several automation testing tools available, one key advantage of selenium is that it is the only free automation tool that can compete with paid products. Its open-source availability means that its automation framework is publicly accessible, making it a great choice for startups and independent developers.
Even big companies are saving thousands of dollars in maintenance by using selenium instead of other paid options. Another advantage of selenium is that as an open-source tool, it can help you customize codes for better code management and enhance the functionality of pre-defined functions and classes. It is a very reliable web automation tool that easily generates test scripts to validate functionality.
Wide range of supported languages and frameworks
You also don’t have to worry about framework support, as all selenium-supported languages have specialized frameworks designed to help you write test scripts.
Mobile testing support
Selenium can also be used in testing native, hybrid, and web mobile apps, though additional software will be needed. This additional software can be Appium or Selendroid. Both are based on selenium; that way, developers already versed in them can apply the same principle when testing mobile apps.
Appium and Selendroid are also open-source, with Appium supporting IOS, Android and Windows while Selendroid supports only Androids.
Multiple browser support
Another advantage of selenium is that its script is compatible with most of the commonly used web browsers worldwide, such as Firefox, StatCounter, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, Edge Safari browsers. One test script is used for all browsers, so there is no need to re-write scripts every time you change a browser.
A large library of plug-ins and extensions
A wide range of plug-ins can be used to extend selenium beyond its standard functionality in order to integrate with other programming products. Some of these plug-ins like Appium and Selendroid are officially endorsed by Selenium (exists for Selenium IDE, WebDriver, and Grid).
Supports Various OS (Operating Systems)
A good automation tool is one that supports different operating systems. Selenium is one of those tools that can support and work with different OS such as; Linux, Windows, UNIX, and Mac OS. A Selenium test suite created over a platform such as Windows can also be executed on a different platform like Linux.
Selenium features like regrouping and refactoring of test cases make test management easier and more efficient. This can help software testers or developers to change codes faster, reduce duplication, minimize complications and improve maintainability. Thus, making selenium a more flexible option compared to other automation testing tools.
According to a research done by Enlyft into the software testing tools market, selenium takes a 27.48% market share of all software testing tools. This comes as no surprise since selenium is one of the pioneers of modern automated testing.
Selenium has acquired a very large fan-base of developers in startups and even big companies like Google. There is also a high demand for selenium proficiency as a required skill for QA Professionals. This is why online learning platforms like Udemy and Coursera provide several options for learning selenium.
Because of the large community supporting selenium, updates and upgrades are constantly released and readily available. These upgrades are easy to learn and don’t require any specific training.
Selecting the right automation testing tool is necessary to build a successful enterprise. However, it can be hard to choose from the several available tools in the market. So if your goal is to find an effective tool that doesn’t cost you thousands of dollars, Selenium would be the best choice.