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Selenium Test Automation Framework

What is a Test Automation Framework:


A Test Automation Framework is a set of rules or guidelines like coding standards, which are used to create and design test cases during automation scripting. A framework is made up of a combination of good practices and tools designed to help QA professionals to perform efficiently. While these are not mandatory to follow, still using them helps manage a strategy, develop and document processes and provide many additional benefits along with reducing risks.


Advantages of using a Test Automation Framework:

  • Code reusability

  • Higher portability

  • Reduces maintenance cost

  • Reduces risks

  • Improved test efficiency

  • Minimizes manual intervention

  • Maximum test coverage


What is Selenium Framework:


Selenium Framework is a popular automation testing suite based on JavaScript framework. It is used to automate desktop and mobile web browser interactions. You can run automated tests directly on the target browser, manage interactions on the target web page and return them without any manual input. You can write code in any preferred language supported by Selenium(such as Python, Java, Ruby, etc.). It minimizes the time and effort by eliminating the use of repetitive manual testing. It also follows the principle of Agile, DevOps narrative of continuous delivery workflow. Selenium suite consists of four components:

  1. Selenium RC

  2. Selenium WebDriver

  3. Selenium IDE

  4. Selenium Grid



Selenium WebDriver


Selenium WebDriver is a browser-specific driver which helps in accessing and launching the different browsers (desktop and mobile browsers). It provides an interface to write and run automation scripts. Every browser has different drivers to run tests.

Chrome has ChromeDriver, Safari has SafariDriver, etc. WebDriver can test dynamic websites where the content changes dynamically. It works by interacting with browsers in the same way as a real user would.


The Selenium WebDriver architecture works in the following way. The browser responds back to its browser driver with the output and the browser driver in return sends the response received through JSON format via http protocol to the client. Hence it does not matter what language you use. This is how Selenium WebDriver works internally but Selenium 4 has migrated from JSON wire protocol to W3C WebDriver protocol.


Selenium Grid


Selenium Grid allows parallel test sessions by running many servers at the same time with a Hub and Node Architecture. Simply put it is a smart proxy server that makes it easy to run tests in parallel on multiple machines.It enables cross platform testing and also allows testing on different browser versions.


Selenium IDE


Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is one of the simplest frameworks in the Selenium Suite. It is designed to record your interactions with websites to help generate and maintain site automation, tests, and remove the need to manually go through repetitive takes and playback tests in the browser.

The features include:

  • Recording and playing back tests on FireFox and Chrome.

  • Organizing tests into suites for easy management.

  • Saving and loading scripts, for later playback.

  • Support for Selenium 3.


Selenium RC


Selenium RC is a client/server system that allows you to control web browsers locally or on other computers, using almost any programming language and testing framework. Selenium RC was a main Selenium project for a long time, before it got merged with Selenium WebDriver making Selenium 2, a more powerful tool. It is to be noted that Selenium 1 is not supported anymore. Therefore Selenium WebDriver is a successor to Selenium RC.


Why is the Selenium Framework preferred for Automation?


Selenium is the most popularly used open source automation tool and freeware. The benefits of Selenium for Test Automation are immense. It has not only increased the testing scale by several folds but also provides customers with fulfilling experience. It enables record playback for testing web applications and can run multiple scripts across various browsers.

Selenium is the most significant open-source automation testing suite used for testing among various companies from big to small. Statistically, it is used by over 57000 companies worldwide, enjoying a 24.63% market share among other software testing tools. Although it is mainly used by computer software and IT companies, it also serves other industries like Staffing & Recruiting, Healthcare, Financial services, etc.

The primary reason behind such overwhelming popularity of Selenium is that it is open source. This helps keep the cost in check and ensures that companies are using a tool that keeps continually updated. Its multi-dimensional flexibility in scripting languages, OS, browsers, and integrations widens the test coverage, enabling enterprises to deliver a web application that is highly reliable and functional. Selenium test scripts can be written in many languages like Java, Python, C#, PHP, Ruby, Perl and .Net. This allows many testers to use it without any language barriers. It can be carried out on Windows, Linux, and macOS, using Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, and Opera browsers. This enables cross-browser compatibility testing with strong environment support. The benefits of Selenium Test Automation hold relevance across diverse business segments making it so popular.


Advantages of using Selenium Test Automation:

  • It is open-source

  • It supports multiple languages

  • Supports various operating systems

  • Support across browsers

  • Ease of implementation

  • Reusability and Add-ons

  • Support for programming languages and framework

  • Tests across devices

  • Constant updates

  • Loaded Selenium suites

Conclusion


Given the demands of fast and reliable testing that spans various browsers and devices to ensure compatibility, automation testing using Selenium is the best. It is preferred throughout the industry, the Selenium Framework offers flexibility, feasibility and cost-friendliness over other similar options. Thus, making it an ideal way to deliver a consistent end-user experience that conforms with the continuous delivery approach.


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