Can Selenium Automation really save businesses from an online breakdown?

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There are instances where you try to key in a Web page address and encounter an HTTP error. This could probably be a typo error while entering the website address, but most of the times it is an error with the website. Google has identified the top 5 most common HTTP errors – Error 500, Error 404, Error 403, Error 400, and Error 401. The hit list has been created using Google’s search statistics, where the idea is to find out the most common errors that are searched by users for solutions on the search engine.

Cases like these can take away any prospective customer and create a sorry figure for the brand. It is a universal truth in today’s digital landscape that websites, web applications, or mobile applications with high-performance drive more and relevant traffic, engage better, and bring brand loyalty. Gaining and missing out on a business opportunity just takes fraction of a second.  This mounts the importance of constantly evaluating and optimizing the performance of your Web properties.

Some key parameters for assessing the performance of Web applications are:

  • Average Application Response Time
  • Requests per second
  • Peak Response Time
  • Concurrent users
  • Throughput
  • Error Rate

Functional  Testing comes into play to ensure and test that the website is showing the required results, irrespective of the challenges in the digital space. While the process has been done manually for a long time, the benefits of automated testing are immense. Automated testing and implementing a Test Automation framework helps accelerate the process, brings enhanced accuracy and reduces the test cycle. This holds tremendous benefits commercially, where businesses are able to get products and services faster to the market with assured quality.

The market is flooded with licensed Test Automation tools like HP QTP/UFT, TestComplete, and many more that facilitate faster test cycles. However, these tools come at a cost that additionally requires regular upgrades and regular training costs. As market and technology moves towards Open-Source, even Test Automation is taking the same course.

Industry reports validate that Selenium is coming up as an absolute winner in the domain. Selenium is an open-source test automation tool that enables automated functional testing. Most importantly, it is a freeware that can be customized as per the testing needs.

There are numerous Open-source test automation tools in the market, namely, Serenity (formally Thucydides), Robot Framework, RedwoodHQ, Gauge, etc. However, there are some obvious reasons why Selenium is increasingly gaining popularity over many other Open-source tools and the long-dominating licensed tools.

Capability to operate on every Operating System (OS), support across multiple languages, and compatibility on multiple browsers, almost zero training costs, easy interface, and scalability in the longer run, are some of the major highlights of Selenium that businesses are capitalizing on.

With the current security breaches and modern day hackers prying in the digital ecosystem, enterprises need more and more robust websites and sustain vigorous consumer engagement. How does migrating to Selenium help enterprises to do so?

  • It’s Compatible:

Selenium brings convenience and adaptability, as it provides mechanisms to allow the same tool to run across multiple platforms. As mentioned above, it supports almost all Operating Systems, namely, Windows, Linux, and Mac and operates across popularly used browsers like Firefox, Microsoft, Internet Explorer, and Safari. So, Selenium becomes the tool of choice for cross browser/cross platform validation.

Selenium is JavaScript-based and can run directly on the browser and supports multiple languages. Though it was written in Java, it supports PHP, .Net, Pearl, Ruby, and Python, which means that the developer can create the testing framework in a language that is widely used within the enterprise.

This kind of flexibility is unmatched when compared to established test automation tools like HP QTP/UFT, which predominately operate on Windows and some limited browsers.

  • It’s Flexible:

Selenium is known amongst testers for supporting flexible test architectures, as most testers choose to keep the tests independent to make the process more flexible and sustainable. This gives them the freedom to shift them, erase them, or redesign them as required.

Selenium supports test suite, and runs tests in a recurring and sequential manner. This enables flexibility to play around with the tests as per functionality or any other parameter.

  • It’s easy to implement:

Selenium provides an in-built, user-friendly interface to create and execute test suites. Its open-source features help users write their own extensions, which makes it easy to develop customized actions that enables advanced manipulations.

Most importantly, the tests can run directly in the browsers and the user can actually watch the tests getting executed. The commands executed get highlighted and the testers can evaluate the success ratio, which eases the entire testing process.

  • It reuses the Code & incorporates add-ons:

Selenium’s Test Automation Framework uses simple scripts that can make tests run directly across multiple browsers. At the same time, it is possible to execute numerous tests simultaneously with Selenium. It covers almost all features of functional testing. It brings several add-on tools that widens its scope.

Selenium IDE enables users to port their applications on Firefox and record them. It is increasingly getting popular amongst testers for all functional testing needs. So much so that there is threat that testers could exploit it for even lower-layer of testing needs.

  • It Reports effectively:

Selenium’s reporting capabilities are one of the key highlights for choosing the framework. It allows testers to extract the results and even take follow-up action effectively. It provides comprehensive test execution results along with all-inclusive summary and snapshots of the errors. It further generates HTML reports for sharing with the concerned group.

While Selenium wins on various grounds, its strength dwells in the fact that it is an Open-Source tool and brings in all the required advantages. It has zero licensing costs and almost zero training expenditure. It has an active user community, which keeps sharing key findings and learnings.

It is known to tackle key legacy issues while automating the functional tests and offers a platform that constantly explores and innovates.

The Strategic Planning Assumption from a recent Gartner Report states that by 2020 Selenium WebDriver will become the standard for functional test execution, which will side-line vendors that can’t provide strong, agile and advanced test functionality.


  • Cigniti Technologies

    Cigniti is the world’s leading AI & IP-led Digital Assurance and Digital Engineering services company with offices in India, the USA, Canada, the UK, the UAE, Australia, South Africa, the Czech Republic, and Singapore. We help companies accelerate their digital transformation journey across various stages of digital adoption and help them achieve market leadership.

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Comment (1)

  • Amit Satpathy

    This article I think should have had more infographics and data than making it so long and boring and does not address the primary question asked in the heading.

    January 13, 2017 at 10:45 AM

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