Selenium Automation Framework: A Detailed Guide

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Selenium Automation Testing

Automation testing is one of the modern forms of application development that has helped developers to improve the quality of the application development process. During the contemporary days of app development, the developers used to take several months to complete this process. However, with the introduction of test automation, the developers can complete all of these processes within a few days. Whenever we are on the topic of test automation, Selenium is one of the common names that come into our minds. This is because, with the help of its innovative features and simple approach, Selenium has managed to maintain one of the top positions in the market for over 10 years now.

Since test automation is one of the relatively new additions in the market, a lot is unknown about this advanced testing process. So, with this article, we are going to introduce the new developers and testers to Selenium automation testing. We’ll also understand the role of various platforms and tools in the proper execution of Selenium-based automation test cases.

Basic Idea of Automated Testing

In simple terms, test automation is an efficient effort for eliminating human involvement in the application testing process. Instead, the system will use a text file consisting of all the important parameters and data sets that will allow it to interact with the application like a normal user. Based on these interactions, the system can generate a detailed report showing the usefulness, stability, and usability of the application. The application developers and testers can later analyze this report to understand whether the application is ready to be released to the open world. It is also possible to make significant changes in the data file so that developers can ensure that the test reports are suitable according to their project requirements. Finally, it is also very easy to store, reuse and maintain the automation test files.

However, test automation comes with a significantly high initial investment that covers all the required expenses for integrating various tools, libraries, and plugins that are critical for the proper execution of automation test cases. So, app development companies must have proper investment schemes and business perspectives that can justify this investment.

Understanding Selenium

Selenium is an open-source umbrella project consisting of multiple tools for initiating and executing automation testing on web applications. All of the tools present in the Selenium test suite help the developers at different stages of the application testing process. Since its first appearance in 2004, Selenium has added major new updates and innovations that have added new features and improved the efficiency of the existing ones. For instance, Selenium allows application developers to create test cases in any of the preferred programming languages. Since Selenium is based on the popular programming language JavaScript, at a certain stage, it was also known as the JavaScriptTestRunner.

However, the developers must remember that they can use Selenium to only initiate and execute the automation test cases over web applications. Whenever they’re working with other apps like native apps, cross-platform apps, and hybrid apps, they must look for an alternative. Now let us understand the role of all the tools present under the Selenium test suit:

  • The Selenium WebDriver is probably the most important tool as it not only helps the developers to start the test cases but also targets them to the respective elements of the web application. Many app developers consider the WebDriver as one of the most updated versions of the remote controller. This is because, unlike the Selenium remote controller, the WebDriver can natively interact with all the elements present in a web application. The Selenium WebDriver also helps developers to create automation test cases efficiently while working with modern web apps.
  • The Selenium IDE, also popularly known as the integrated development environment helps the developers to execute the test cases in a codeless format. This is because the system can automatically generate test cases based on user interactions. So, the developers only have to interact with the web application like a normal user and the system will continue to create the test cases. Since all the test operations are based on real user interactions, they are highly accurate in understanding real-world use case scenarios.
  • The Selenium client API improves the flexibility of the test cases. This means that while working with this tool the developers can write automation test cases in popular languages like Java, Python, Ruby, and many others. The contemporary practice before the introduction of this tool was the use of the Selenese language which involved a steep learning curve to understand all of its features and methods.
  • Finally, the Selenium Grid helps developers to improve the efficiency of automation test cases while working with modern web applications. This is because with this tool the developers can conduct the automation test cases in a parallel format. The advantage of a parallel test execution process is that it allows the execution on multiple device configuration settings and machines at the same time. Many market experts believe that parallel test execution improves the test execution speed by almost 15 times.

Creating Selenium Test Cases

It is a very simple process for the developers to create Selenium-based automation test cases. The testers just have to mimic the steps given below:

  • The first step is to go to the official website of Selenium and download all the required files. The developers must ensure that they’re getting the updated version of all the important plugins and dependencies.
  • The next step in this process is to install Selenium and create a new project. The developers must remember that this project will store all the test cases that will be conducted on the web application.
  • Application developers need to name all the test cases according to their target elements. It is a very important process that will help the application developers to keep track of all the processes that are currently being executed in the application development process.
  • Now it is time for the app developers to write their first automated test script with Selenium. For beginners, it is very important to target a specific element on a web application for writing the test files. Simple and easy unit test cases will help the developers to avoid any errors that can arise due to complex test execution processes.
  • After the application developers have finished writing the test case, they can proceed to the execution process. Selenium will conduct the test cases and display the output in the integrated terminal window. This output will show the status of the application and also display the error if any.
  • The final step in this process is for the application developers to generate the test report and proceed to the debugging process. The debugging process will remove any application bugs and errors to ensure that the app is ready to be forwarded to the production phase. While using Selenium-based automation testing, app developers need to introduce agile methodologies in the application test bench. With the help of agile methodologies, it is possible to improve the coordination between the application testing, development, and production teams. This means that the development and testing process can be conducted side-by-side in a short time.

Integrating Tools and Platforms with Selenium

Since Selenium is relatively new to the market, a lot is unknown about this automation testing suit, however, there are various tools and platforms easily available in the market that helps the developers to improve their knowledge regarding Selenium-based automation testing. However, multiple such tools often fail to stand up to the expectations of modern developers. So, to prevent any unwanted surprises in the execution of Selenium-based automation testing, we have gone ahead and created a list of the most promising tools in this segment. According to our understanding, cloud-based platforms benefit the most when the developers are working with modern applications that depend on physical device testing. This is because, with these platforms, developers can achieve similar test results while executing the test cases over remote servers.

These remote servers also provide access to certain old devices that are impossible to find in the present market. Moreover, while working with remote application testing, the developers do not have to depend on any location barriers as they can execute the test cases from anywhere in the world. We can improve our knowledge about the influence of modern cloud platforms in the current app development market by bringing in LambdaTest as our benchmark point:

For the general introduction, we can define LambdaTest as a modern cloud-based automated cross-browser platform for web apps. According to the standards of the latest application development, the market considers cross-browser testing as a new benchmark for ensuring the highest end-user satisfaction for customers. This is because, with the help of efficient cross-browser test cases, the developers can guarantee the stability of the application irrespective of the user’s change in the operating system, device status, or any other physical parameters. LambdaTest also has modern features like parallel test execution to improve the efficiency of automation test cases. With the help of LambdaTest, the developers can not only work with Selenium-based test files but also with other popular frameworks like Playwright and Cypress. We would like to proudly mention that LambdaTest can execute the Selenium-based automation test cases on more than 3000 simultaneous modern browsers.

LambdaTest will also be an excellent choice when the application developers are working with web pages that have local host servers. These pages are usually used by a company for its internal operations and other functions. Finally, the combination of multiple real devices with thousands of existing simulation software helps the application developers ensure the dependability and accuracy of the Selenium-based test reports.

The Conclusion

With this article, we aimed at spreading the proper awareness regarding the execution of Selenium-based automation test cases. Since automation testing is continuing to gain more attention in the coming years, app developers need to keep their knowledge updated regarding all the modern trends, innovations, and additions in the segment of test automation. In this context, the app developers also have a critical role to spread the proper awareness through various campaigns and seminars. This is one of the most important factors that will help companies to maintain their position in this competitive segment of the industry. Lastly, the developers and testers need to choose the correct tool that can complement their development requirements. It is also important to conduct frequent market surveys to have a clear knowledge of the requirements of the target audience. 

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