What is Selenium?
Selenium is a free automated test suite (open source) for web applications in different browsers and platforms. It’s quite similar to the HP Quick Test Pro (QTP now UFT) only Selenium focuses on the automation of web-based applications. The test done using the Selenium tool is generally known as a selenium test. Selenium is not just a single tool, but a set of software, each serving different testing needs of an organization.
Components of Selenium:
- Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
- Selenium Remote Control (RC)
- Selenium grid
The Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is the simplest and easiest component and tool to learn in the Selenium automation test suite. The IDE is a Firefox plug-in that can be easily installed to quickly record and execute frequent test cases. The user’s interactions with the web browser are recorded and the test cases are created based on these recordings. You can reproduce these test cases repeatedly. Although the Selenium IDE is simple, it can not be used as a prototype to write advanced test cases.
The RC overcame the problem by involving an HTTP proxy server to “trick” the browser, making it believe that Selenium Core and the web application being tested come from the same domain. So doing RC a two-component tool.
- Selenium RC Server
- Selenium RC Client – Library containing its programming language code The main tool of the Selenium project was Selenium RC.
since it was the first tool of them and could be used to write test cases in different programming languages. But the disadvantage with the RC is that all the communication with the RC server is long and, therefore, the RC is very slow. So slow that sometimes it would take hours to complete unique tests.
The Selenium WebDriver tool is used to automate the testing of web applications to verify that it works as expected. It is compatible with many browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome, IE, and Safari. However, using Selenium WebDriver, we can automate the test only for web applications. It does not qualify for Windows-based applications. In the case that it is a quality management system, it should be taken into account that operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, Apple OS, and Linux. It is one of the components of the selenium family, which also includes the Selenium IDE, the Selenium Client API, the Selenium Remote Control and the Selenium Grid.
The Selenium Grid is based on the architecture of the hub node. With Selenium Grid, you can run parallel test sessions in different browsers. Hub controls Selenium scripts run on different nodes (specific browser within an operating system) and test scripts running on different nodes can be written in any programming language. Selenium Grid was used with the RC to test several tests on remote machines. Nowadays, as people find the Webdriver better than the RC, the Grid works with both the Webdriver and the RC.
Why Selenium for Automation Testing?
Since we are now familiar with the Selenium and its toolset, we will discover the various benefits of Selenium, which make it stand out as a tool for automation testing:
- Open source tool: for being an open source tool, it does not require licensing costs that give it an advantage over other automation testing tools.
- Tool for every need: As mentioned above, Selenium has a set of tools to meet all the needs of users. You can use various tools such as WebDriver, Grid, IDE to meet your different needs.
- Support for browsers and operating systems: Selenium supports different browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Safari, as well as different operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, and Mac. This makes it flexible to use.
- Community Support: Selenium has an active open community that helps solve your problems and queries related to it. This makes the best choice as your automation test tool.
Advantages of Selenium
Now let’s see some of the advantages of selenium
- Selenium is open source, there is no license cost for its use.
- Scripting can be done in most widely used programming languages, such as Java, C #, Ruby and Python.
- It is compatible with most popular browsers such as Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari.
- The Selenium IDE component of the Selenium suite provides a recording and playback function, using those that non-programmers can also write automation scripts.
- The selenium grid helps in the parallel and distributed test.