Automate Tests with Selenium WebDriver
Source: dontpaniclabs.com

Automation Testing has become almost compulsory for developing modern applications because certain parameters in a modern app, like its complexity, need to be properly evaluated with manual test cases. Automation Testing uses predetermined automated test scripts to execute test cases on multiple configurations. While using automation testing, the developers can use various modern features like parallel test cases to further increase the efficiency of the testing process.

There are several tools like Selenium that help developers to initiate automated test cases. Selenium is a test suite consisting of various tools like Selenium WebDriver to perform different automation testing processes. Due to the recent rise in automation testing practices, many new developers are transitioning to this technology.

In this article, we’re going to discuss everything that you need to know about performing automation testing with Selenium. We will also discuss some important points to justify how the Selenium WebDriver helps automate testing processes.

Introduction to Selenium

Selenium is an open-source umbrella project that can be accessed without any license fee. This test suite is suitable for initiating automation test cases on modern web applications. Selenium is mainly used for conducting cross-browser test cases on web apps.

The open-source nature of Selenium is highly beneficial for individual developers and small companies. The first version of Selenium was released in 2004 and is currently in its fourth edition. Back in 2004, it was initially known as the JavaScriptTestRunner. The reason for this name was that it was developed with a JavaScript programming language. With this tool, developers can use many popular programming languages like Ruby, Python, and JavaScript.

With its consistent performance and massive community of app developers, Selenium has maintained the top position in automation testing industry for almost a decade. However, developers need to realize that one of the significant drawbacks of Selenium automation testing is that it can only be used to verify web application performance. Considering the diversity of the modern application market, this limitation can highly limit the innovative capabilities of your company.

Components of Selenium Test Suite

As discussed in this article, Selenium is a test suite consisting of multiple tools. All these tools serve different purposes during execution of automation technology on web applications. Let us take a detailed look at all the components of Selenium test suite:

1. Selenium IDE

Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is an essential component of the test suite as it helps developers to generate test cases. It is a unique tool as it can analyze user actions and create test cases accordingly. For this process, developers have to use applications like a normal user, and the system will continue to generate test cases based on this interaction. Since all the test case generation processes take place in real time, developers can witness the creation of test file as they continue to use the application. Other alternatives to Selenium IDE are Katalon Studio and Kantu. These are most noteworthy examples as Selenium itself supports them.

2. Selenium WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver is the core component of Selenium test suite because it is responsible for initiating automation test cases and executing them on the respective elements of a web application. With the Selenium 4.0 update, the features and functions of Selenium WebDriver were further enriched to improve its role in automation testing process.

Selenium WebDriver is very effective compared to Selenium RC, which currently has been deprecated because, unlike the Selenium RC, web driver does not require a core engine to function. It can natively interact and communicate with a web browser to execute test cases.

3. Selenium Grid

Selenium Grid is a tool that helps developers to initiate parallel testing on automation test cases. Parallel test execution is a process of creating multiple testing instances at the same time. Using this process, developers can verify the proper functioning of multiple elements present in an application simultaneously. This process is essential for modern applications as it requires testing thousands of different elements.

So, with the help of parallel test execution, developers can complete all these testing processes within a few days. For parallel testing, Selenium Grid will act as a hub connected to several other nodes represented by the elements of a web application. On receiving a test case, the hub will forward the text file to the respective hub for its execution.

Role of Selenium WebDriver in Automating Test Cases

Selenium WebDriver has a critical role in automating Selenium test cases. Before understanding the role of the Selenium WebDriver in automating test cases, developers need to note that WebDriver cannot handle window components. So, developers have to use other tools like Auto IT to overcome this obstacle.

Let us consider some major points that will help us to justify how Selenium WebDriver helps to automate Selenium test cases:

  • The design of Selenium WebDriver is concise and programmer-friendly. Automation testers can use Selenium WebDriver without extensive technical knowledge.
  • The compact object-oriented API of Selenium WebDriver is highly efficient for conducting test cases on multiple modern browsers. This API also helps developers to eliminate the long learning curve that comes with almost every new software.
  • Selenium WebDriver can drive browsers effectively for a smooth testing experience. It also has various dedicated browser drivers to ensure that the application testers do not face any unwanted scenarios during testing phase. So, developers need to install the respective target browser drivers before initiating test cases.
  • Selenium web browser can control the language binding and the individual browser-controlling code. This integration helps developers to have complete control over all the testing processes on the elements of a web application. It also helps to maintain a proper activity log of testing progress.

How do Tools and Platforms influence Automation Testing Processes?

All the automation testing processes can be highly overwhelming for developers who are new to this industry because they have to learn various components simultaneously. However, there are multiple tools and frameworks in current market that can help to simplify this process. Moreover, these tools and platforms also help introduce new features to elevate testing standards further.

For instance, certain cloud platforms allow developers to test their web applications on real devices stored on multiple cloud servers. These platforms also help developers to initiate the testing processes from anywhere worldwide. Let us learn more about the importance of cloud platforms by considering LambdaTest as a central point:

LambdaTest is a cloud platform for new developers to initiate modern cross-browser compatibility test cases on a secure grid. Cross-browser compatibility test cases are an industry standard for ensuring that the application does not lose its performance when the user shifts to different operating systems and browser versions. It is one of the most important steps to ensure optimal end-user satisfaction.

Lambdatest also helps developers to increase test execution speeds by almost 15% with parallel testing. Parallel test execution allows app testers to initiate multiple testing configurations simultaneously. While using Selenium test cases, LambdaTest can execute it on more than 3000+ different browsers. Lambdatest improves the accuracy of testing processes by combining multiple reports from simulators, emulators, and hundreds of real devices.

Conclusion

So, Selenium WebDriver is an important tool of Selenium test suite. Using this tool, developers can initiate and execute test cases on web applications. It is worth mentioning that app developers need to understand the importance of manual testing, even with the massive advantages of automated test cases. This is because certain important testing processes, like visual testing and exploratory testing, are only possible to execute with the involvement of an experienced human developer.

The wisest decision is maintaining a proper balance between manual and automation testing. Developers should also realize that tools are vital for improving the efficiency of modern automation test cases. Therefore, we recommend that application development companies spread proper awareness of the importance of all these factors.