What Is Selenium?
Selenium is a free (open source) test automation framework for automating tests for web application validation. It accepts commands and sends them to a browser and is implemented by a browser-specific driver.
Selenium is composed of three tools:
Selenium IDE is the tool is used for recording and playing backtests. It’s a plugin for Chrome and Firefox where you can easily save your tests. The plug-in logs user actions in the browser using Selenium commands, and you can then use the same plug-in to run the test.
Selenium WebDriver uses browser APIs to control browsers and send them commands to run tests. It works like a real user using and interacting with the browser.
Selenium Grid is a tool that enables test cases to run on different platforms. Allows tests to run on different operating systems and browsers with different combinations.
What Are the Benefits of Selenium?
When choosing a tool, we need to analyze its advantages and compare them with the advantages of other tools. In this section, we will understand the greatest benefits of selenium.
It’s free and open source
The main reason everyone loves Selenium is that it’s completely free and open-source. This allows companies of all sizes to use Selenium in their automated tests for free, and the community is constantly creating new features because it is open source.
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Supports multiple platforms, browsers, and languages
Another great thing about Selenium is the long list of browsers, platforms, and languages it supports. There’s nothing like a tool that lets you automate tests for popular browsers and operating systems. I am not going to understand the greatest benefits of selenium.
CI / CD integration
Another important benefit is that Selenium can fully integrate with CI / CD tools. Such as Jenkins, Azure DevOps, Bamboo, Travis CI, Circle CI, GitLab, and many other tools. This is important because one of the best practices in test automation is to use tools to automate test execution within development pipelines.
Supports mobile testing
By integrating Selenium with tools like Appium, it is possible to test mobile devices. Appium is based on Selenium, so you can use the same functions as if you were automating a website. Selenium with Appium can be used to automate Android, iOS, and Windows Phone apps, even if it’s a native, hybrid, or mobile web app.
With Selenium Grid you can run tests in parallel and control the execution from a central point. This is great because we know that web test execution time increases over time and we can get a very interesting profit if we run it in parallel because our test suite is very large.
As I said, selenium is a common topic when we talk about test automation. Almost 30% of automation tools are based on Selenium (e.g. Test Project’s 100% free test automation platform that bundles Selenium and Appium with many additional features for you!), And more than 50,000 companies use Selenium in their test automation frameworks. Hence, we employ a large number of professionals in Selenium on a daily basis, keeping the community always active through blog posts, courses, questions on forums, and resources created to help each other out.
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What are the disadvantages of selenium?
While Selenium is a powerful tool, there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of to help you make decisions.
Supports web applications only
Selenium only works for web test automation. Although Selenium allows us to do everything in one browser, we can only use Selenium to do things in the browser. For example, it is not possible to automate desktop applications.
Using Selenium is through Selenium WebDriver is the best way. Learning Selenium WebDriver isn’t easy and won’t happen overnight. There is a lot to learn about test automation with Selenium WebDriver. The automation of tests is today a way towards tools without code, that is to say without programming knowledge. Selenium IDE, which could be the alternative for this as it is a simple test automation tool, is only available for Chrome and Firefox.
No integrated image comparison
Selenium does not have a built-in image comparison, it is important to verify that there are images to display in the app and that they are displayed correctly. To do this, third-party libraries must be used to have this functionality. Alternatively, tools such as TestProject are available, which are based on Selenium and equip their native functions with out-of-the-box functions and over 1,500 out-of-the-box automation actions, such as comparison actions. ‘images, which you can explore. here.
No built-in report function
One basic function that Selenium does not have is reporting. All testers or developers should generate reports on the results of test automation for presentation to managers, contractors, customers, and stakeholders. To have this functionality in Selenium, we also need to integrate third-party libraries and frameworks to collect runtime data and generate test reports. Tools like TestProject provide these out-of-the-box Selenium dashboards and reporting functions, free of charge and without the need to integrate third-party tools.
Expensive test maintenance
The difficulty here lies in the locators that we should be using in our test automation scripts. Whenever a locator changes, we always need to update our test code. Solutions with AI tools can better handle this type of situation, reducing the costs of maintaining test scripts.
No technical support
Although there is a large community of professionals working with Selenium, finding solutions is not easy. The lack of a supporting company behind Selenium can be a challenge for startups.