Sailing with Selenium

To quote Bill Gates, ‘The first rule of any technology is that when automation is applied to any efficient operation which magnifies its efficiency.’ So, test automation is a primary method of accomplishing privileged competence and efficacy of testing. Selenium was a gigantic step in the domain of test automation.

Selenium: An Ivory Dome

Selenium is an open source RR GUI Testing Tool. Its RR (record and replay) feature makes it convenient for naïve users designing their tests even without knowledge of Selenium IDE, test scripting language. However,developing Selenium test scripts in Selenium IDE is quite easy. Thanks to the presence of a context menu that allows selection of a UI element from the browser’s presently displayed page at first, followed by a selection from a list of Selenium commands with pre-defined parameters in accordance with the context of the selected UI element, test cases can be created in an efficient way.

Innards of Selenium

Selenium RC:Its latest version being Selenium RC 2.50.1 which is an additional peg to automate multiple browser platforms. This version contains .NET binding for Selenium RC API. Selenium server is the browser driver. Supporting API implementation can be done for existing sturdy languages like Python, Ruby, Perl, PHP, .NET and Java (often operative via Groovy). Sel-RC is usually preferred over Sel-IDE for vigorous test automations. The constraint is with the functionalities, as those required to automate the browser is limited to the ones available in JavaScript Sandbox.

Selenium WebDriver: Its latest version being Selenium WebDriver 2.50.1 which embraces the .NET bindings for the advanced object-based Selenium WebDriver API. It uses indigenous OS-level events to operate the browser, sidestepping the JavaScript Sandbox and Selenium Server to automate it. One cannot traverse the API in order to know the WebDriver supporting functionalities.

Selenium Grid: It is a server allowing test to use remote web browsing instances. Its Central browser version and configuration management system allows parallel tests in multiple machines. Selenium Server comes with built-in Grid functionality.

Selenium IDE: As the name suggests, it’s an IDE and an impelling prototyping tool. It is invoked as Firefox Add-on. It helps to comprehend Selenium Script Syntax. The presence of Breakpoints, Startpoints, Testcase stepper, Locator Assister acts as an icing on the efficient functioning of Test Case development. Unfortunately, Selenium IDE is not very smooth in running conditional statements or iterations in test scripts.

Selenium Synthesis

Tools amalgamating with Selenium to expedite the process:

Jenkins: A java based open source continuous integration tool, to automatically execute Selenium Web Driver after deployment, using integration test phase supplied by surefire plug-in.

Grails: An open source web application framework handpicked because of its transparency in integration of classes traced with Hibernate ORM schema.

Apache Maven: A build automation tool, particularly a POM, which is integrated with Selenium Tool Suite for proper comprehension on dependencies of the software.

Drupal: It is integrated with Selenium because of its effective internal testing framework, which has system of call backs and hooks, usually used for core extension.

SOA Test: Provides reliable support to REST and other web services and meticulously tests composite applications, which is why it’s integrated with Selenium.

Silk Central: Selenium is integrated with Silk Central Management platform for effective execution of Selenium scripts and to perform real time reporting.

Testroid: It is used for real mobile browsers and devices.

Opportunities with Selenium

Following are the regions still to be conquered by Selenium to be perfect in all respects:

– Creation of in-built web-driver repository facility.
– Design of inbuilt framework for completion of various tasks which are presently performed by plugins like APACHE POI API, TestNG, Testing XSLT etc. for making Selenium a standalone package.
– Reduce the time lag while working with multiple windows.
– Design of Selenium for Windows-based application.
– Eradication of the issues often encountered while handling dynamic ID’s.
– Lack of direct support observed during application support troubleshooting, as Selenium is a freeware.
– Mitigating the Bitmap comparison support issues.
– Enabling Selenium support HTTP Basic and Digest Authentication.
– Completion of Selenium emulation.
– Formulation of Remote Selenium Web driver Protocol in JSON.
– Introduction of manual script writing for conditional loops in data driven testing.
– Utility for verification of images and pictorial data.

Selenium Server vs. Selenium Web Driver

Selenium WebDrivers are basically for writing scripts for automation of browsers and can be executed in local systems. Selenium Servers are particularly used to run in remote systems. So, Selenium WebDrivers and Selenium Servers work together to validate automation of any script.

Advantages of Selenium Tool Suite

– Selenium can be used for application testing of almost all mobile-based OS.
– Space consumption of the suite during Script consumption is amazingly less.
– It is usually referred for agile methodology for coding and testing.
– It is ideal tool suite for cross-browser or cross-platform qualifications.
– It has higher adoption capability with no language constraint for the user.

Despite some hitches, Selenium Packages are still robust, advantageous and reliable tool suites. With timely updation, sailing with Selenium will definitely prove to be a pleasant journey.

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