Will Selenium Impact The Future of Software Testing? Evaluating The Pros and Cons

After Google and Uber, Oxford’s self-driving car company Oxbotica in a recent report announced that the localisation and mapping software applied in its prototype vehicles is ready for public use. The company is using Selenium OS for autonomous cars, where the firm applied its Dub4 software tool in the GATEway pods operating in Greenwich and within its own prototype.

Open Source innovation has taken the software industry by a storm – Analysts, professionals, experts, all are discussing the impact and witnessing it. Though analysts have not explicitly spoken about Selenium as an automation and web testing tool yet, still everyone has certainly developed an opinion about it. What makes it so remarkable?

Agile development and DevOps is contributing substantially to the continuous evolution of code. Selenium is being recognized as a powerful open source automation tool for continuous development and delivery. For its various apparent strengths, developers and testers are increasingly applying Selenium Automation for web application testing.

Selenium provides a suite of tools that help automate the browsers. The tool is powerful and can be leveraged effectively by developers and testers. It is used to test web applications and can be leveraged to authorize without much knowledge of scripting language. With Selenium, tests are mainly executed to ensure that the quality of the application is intact.

Transparency Market Research (TMR) estimates that the Test Automation market in North America is expected to grow up to US$29.78 Bn by 2024 from $5.7 Bn in 2015. Test Automation skills, particularly Selenium will be one of the most sought after skills in 2017 and beyond. While the number of commercial test automation tools are on the rise, job trends reveal that 60% of employment in Test Automation have a specific demand for Selenium skills.

Global enterprises are increasingly shifting towards adoption of Selenium, thanks to some compelling benefits offered by the tool – Cost-effectiveness, compatibility, speed, and much more. In a recent survey by a research firm, over 73% of organizations were considering Selenium as tool of choice. As these numbers continue to increase, creating a robust test automation strategy and migrating from commercial test tools to Selenium gets important.

For enterprises, migrating to Selenium involves time, effort and costs, and challenges. It is critical to leverage the right resources, tools, and best practices to ensure a seamless migration. Thus, it becomes imperative to migrate test assets from commercial test tools to Selenium right from the beginning. It can be done by pooling in industry best practices and accelerating the process of migration.

Tool-led Selenium migration is growing and is proving to be cost effective. It is estimated to be 15 times faster, reduces efforts, which makes it cost effective when compared to the manual effort. Though there are other options available in open source frameworks, Selenium is by far the most popular and proven one in the market.

Selenium has been replacing the established commercial and licensed tools across enterprises. There are doubts of disruptions in the process and whether the entire migration process is worth the pain. For enterprises, it is imperative to understand both the sides of the debate and then take a call.

These are some quick points to consider while moving away from what your organization was comfortable with, to something that needs training and is open for experimentation.

Before we go further, following are a few strong reasons why Selenium has taken the hot seat in the open source test automation market.

  • Adoption is rising
  • Enterprises are increasingly following the trend
  • Speed of migration with Quality Assurance is essential
  • Early identification of migration risks and challenges is becoming critical
Related:  10 Benefits Selenium Test Automation Brings for the Publishing Industry

It’s almost free!

Maybe not the main and only reason to consider, but Selenium can be considered for the cost-effectiveness that it provides. It is conveniently downloadable and the developers can apply the set of tools to automate web applications testing for any given language. It doesn’t require specific training, as upgrade happens across an open platform.

Browser Compatibility

With Selenium you can effectively and easily test the application to assess whether the run seamlessly across web browsers, namely, Mozilla, IE, Safari, and Firefox. This works in the favor of developers, as they have to create the scripts only once and then test across browsers.

Choose amongst languages

Selenium client libraries can be smoothly imported into popular languages, namely, Net beans, Eclipse, Visual Studio, and some others as well.

Testing Frameworks and ease of integration

Selenium supports various testing frameworks, namely, JUnit, PHPUnit, TestNg, etc. It also seamlessly integrates within the testing ecosystem, which is the key strength of the tool. Selenium integrates easily with various suite tools – Selenium grid, Hudson, OMetry, and Saucelabs.

Constant enhancement & Test Driven Development (TDD)

Another key strength of the tool is its capability to expand for complex testing – production monitoring and load testing. The code is flexible and can be upgraded constantly as per the requirements. Nevertheless, the feasibility of the code modifications has yet to be gauged and validated.

In terms of being Test driven, Agile methodology and Extreme programming (XP) communities are two key areas where Selenium is widely applied by developers.

Additionally, Selenium framework does not require the standalone Selenium RC server for being functional.

Support of strong community

Open and strong community is one of the crucial reasons for considering the shift. Dedicated expenditure on training is not required. High quality documents and web community are important aspects why you should be considering Selenium. However, with a lot of ifs and buts.

It could be rewarding!

While we say so, let’s look at the darker side of Selenium automation as well.

Issues in the testing process

Once you are ready with the code and decide to run it within the HTML source for an application or website for testing, the problem starts. There are chances of it showing some unpredictable behaviour. Testers and developers are facing some glitches on this front.

Browser support

Selenium ideally supports across browsers, but for you to get the scripts to work on multiple browsers, you need to get it written using Selenium IDE and use it with Selenium core or RC. If not done, the scripts can only work on Mozilla.

No Manual scripts & Recorded scripts

Moreover, Selenium does not support data driven tests with manual scripts such as conditions and loops.  When scripts are converted to Java, C# or Ruby, the software is unable to run and results in disruptions with the application.

Additionally, there are instances of slow performance, when there are difference in terms of implementation of the tool.

Our team at Cigniti has been constantly working with large-medium-small enterprises for migrating to Selenium and inform them on the tool’s feasibility with reference their requirements.

With our extensive experience in Selenium Testing, we are excited to invite you for our first TweetChat on the engaging topic Migrate to Selenium. Join the buzz and get all your queries and knowledge on the deck with our experts!

Let’s catch up on February 1, 2017 at 11 AM EST on #Migrate2Selenium.

Register here!

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