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Selenium – An Open Source Automation Test Tool

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The popularity of each web application now depends on its compatibility with major web browsers. As the developers or testers can never decide what web browser will be used by the end-user to access the application, they put both time and effort to ensure that the application is running seamlessly on major web browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera. Therefore, companies look for the best web application testing tool that behaves just like the end-users.


Selenium is an open source toolset that enables effective and efficient Graphical User Interface (GUI) test automation of Web applications. Many companies use Selenium as a powerful and portable software testing framework to test a variety of web applications. A testing professional can write tests by choosing from a variety of programming languages like Java, C#, PHP, Perl, Ruby, Python and Groovy. At the same time, a tester can also use the record/playback tool provided by Selenium to test applications without learning a new test scripting language. Also, the Selenium web testing scripts can be run against the most popular and widely-used web browsers. Based on the nature of your project, you can further deploy Selenium on Linux, Macintosh and Windows platforms.


Features that Make Selenium the Best Option for Automation Testing


A Package of Test Components: As a test component package, Selenium consists of several tools. You can use one or more of the major tools to customize your web application test automation. You can use Selenium RC to run tests on several web browsers and operating system, whereas Selenium Grid enables you to simultaneously run multiple instances of Selenium RC. At the same time, you can also use Selenium IDE as a Firefox extension to record a number of test cases and suites. The Selenium engine can also be wrapped using Qualitia and Tellurium. So you can easily pick the appropriate tool to test the web application without writing lengthy testing scripts.


Multiple Modes to Execute Your Test Cases: Based on your choice of component, Selenium allows you to choose the right mode to execute test suites and test cases. For instance, you can use Selenium IDE to record test scenarios by targeting Firefox. These tests can be written and grouped together to form a customized test suite. Also, you have option to make the test suites more powerful by exporting the recorded test to various programming languages.


At the same time, you can use the Selenium remote control mode to run your recorded test cases by targeting multiple web browsers. The RC mode further makes it easier for you to cover all checks and test scenarios by incorporating looping and other programming techniques. The test runner mode enables you to test your cases by recording and replaying those as HTML tables. You can consider using test runner mode to generate and evaluate test results reports.


Option to Record and Create Test Scripts: The Selenium IDE is designed as a simple and easy-to-use add-on for Firefox. The IDE even makes it easier for nonprogrammers to record and create test scripts to test web pages developed with AJAX technology. Further, the automated test scripts can also be used in the remote control mode by choosing the programming language code of your choice.


Along with recording and updating individual test cases, the feature also enable you to easily debug the cases by executing commands. Also, you can group the test cases under specific groups, and create test suites that can be used repeatedly. The test cases and suites can be further optimized by exporting the supported language, and saving these for Selenium RC.


Command Generation for Selenium IDE: AJAX technology is used, nowadays, to develop all web pages. So Selenium IDE, while recording the page elements, uses DOM, CSS, or XPath to identify specific objects and elements. However, the testers are sometimes required to manually update elements in XPath by modifying the page source. So each command can be executed with two arguments. The first argument will identify individual elements by its name, ID, DOM, CSS, XPath or link, whereas the second argument will check the value assigned to each element.


You also have option to save the IDE commands in a programming language for future use. Some of the common commands are used for checking and verifying the elements and their respective values. If a specific command fails, the test case will also fail. But the testing will continue for other test cases and suites. The flow of test execution can be synchronized by using specific commands that end with “AndWait”. The command will pause the testing, and the commands will be executed only after the page is loaded, or any other action is performed.


We provide automation testing services. If you would like to automate browser-based tests or you would like to discuss with our selenium testers, please drop us a note at Mindfire Solutions.

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