Selenium is a well renowned automation testing framework used extensively for cross browser testing. The open source testing tool is a smart choice for companies offering software testing services for automation testing of different web applications across browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
Selenium offers extensive competition, compared to different test frameworks like HP Unified Functional Testing and Quick Test Professional. Selenium is a combination of various tools, each playing a vital role in automating web testing.
Components of selenium suite
The crucial components of Selenium Test Suite include Selenium Grid, Selenium WebDriver, Selenium Remote Control and Selenium Integrated Development Environment.
Selenium Integrated Development Environment
Selenium Integrated Development Environment is a free Firefox plugin used for the recording and playback of scripts. Selenium Integrated Development Environment is beneficial for writing scripts to automate test simple use cases.
Selenium Integrated Environment doesn’t provide support for exception handling, conditional statements, screenshot capture, and loops, to name a few. For the automation of more complicated use cases, testers and developers often choose Script testing in place of Record and Replay testing.
Selenium Remote Control
For the testing of complicated scenarios, testers commonly use Selenium Remote Control. It is based on the client-server model making it possible to execute different tests on the browser, controlled by the server. A wide array of libraries are available in various programming languages making it easier for the developers to write effective test cases.
Selenium server is a vital component of selenium Remote Control. Selenium RC is the core selenium framework injected in the browser. The client program sends commands to the Remote Control which are interpreted by the server and sent back to the browser. Once the execution is complete, the tester sends the results back to the client. The server and the client communicate through HTTP GETs as well as POSTs.
Selenium WebDriver is more popular than Selenium RC and Selenium IDE. The framework is implemented via a browser specific driver. Every browser has the corresponding WebDriver application where automation testing is performed. It communicates with the specific browser directly and does not need a separate component such as Selenium Server. It provides prerequisite support for programming languages such as Python, Java, Ruby, C#.
Testers can opt for serial testing when testing code limited to certain operating systems, browsers and devices. This technique might fail if the testing is performed in an environment with a number of combinations. Here, parallel testing can prove to be useful as it can accelerate the testing process.
With parallel testing, you can perform similar test cases across test configurations and execute test cases in similar browser.
Selenium WebDriver Architecture
The crucial blocks of Selenium WebDriver architecture include JSON Wire Protocol, Selenium Client Libraries, Browsers and Browser Drivers.
Selenium Client Libraries
Software developers use Selenium for writing test code in programming languages such as Perl, Python, Java, C#. It is possible to get multi-language support for Selenium Language Bindings or Selenium Client Libraries.
JSON Wire Protocol
Browser Drivers are used on a wide scale to communicate with other browsers. Browser Drivers provide the prerequisite layer of encapsulation for ensuring that the details on the execution level are more abstract. Every browser is known to have a unique corresponding Browser Driver.
The Browser Driver is available for browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge to perform the cross browser testing. You are not able to perform cross browser testing of website on a specific browser whose Browser Driver is not available publicly.
Selenium WebDriver In Action
Before using the simple WebDriver script, you should ensure the programming environment is ready.
Firefox WebDriver Example
As the test code communicates with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and other browsers, make sure the corresponding WebDriver is installed in the machine.
It’s possible to test with the local WebDriver if you test the website with a limited of combinations of devices, operating systems, and browsers. However, this technique might fail if the total number of combinations is much more as you are unable to have any local set up for each combination.
Using Remote WebDriver API on the cloud infrastructure accelerates the complete process of testing. It is a highly scalable approach and reduces the total amount of time spent in automation testing.
How Selenium can help in the CI/CD process with automating deployments?
A wide array of businesses use test automation in their CI/CD environments. A separate layer is present in CI, known to derive changes from the source control server for new development after it is tested for code changes. Every test running along the pipeline plays a vital role in adding robustness to the code, which then enters the brand. Automated Selenium tests play a vital role in adding robustness to the code which enters the branch.
Application Performance Management tools, such as Stackify Retrace offer greater insight into why automated tests cases are failing. For example, say a Selenium user is testing if a cancellation form works and notices that their test did not pass. Using Retrace, they can easily pinpoint an error and trace related to the cancellation form request to see why the test failed. .