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

Software Testing is an ever-evolving space that is cramped up with numerous challenges. Test Automation works as a rescue path for testers who are facing multiple issues with their manual testing strategy. Testing and Development teams have thus been leveraging automation tools and platforms that are both licensed and open source. Choice of automation tool is a sheer strategic decision, and so is the decision behind using Selenium as an automation platform.

Open Source innovation has taken the software industry by storm – Analysts, professionals, experts, all are discussing the impact and witnessing it. Agile development and DevOps is contributing substantially to the continuous evolution of code. In this context, Selenium is being recognized as a powerful open source automation tool for continuous development and delivery. For various apparent strengths, developers and testers are increasingly applying Selenium Automation for web application testing.

Selenium Testing: what makes it popular?

Selenium testing provides a framework that is used for testing web applications, enabling teams to test the software and evaluate if it’s fit for production and ultimately market-ready. The powerful tool can be leveraged effectively by developers and testers. It is used to test web applications and can be leveraged for authoring tests without in depth knowledge of scripting language. With Selenium, tests are mainly executed to ensure that the quality of the application is intact.

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. However, for enterprises, migrating to Selenium involves time, effort, 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.

Selenium migration is estimated to be 15 times faster, and reduces efforts, which makes it cost effective when compared to the manual effort. Nevertheless, for enterprises, it is imperative to understand both the sides of the debate and then take a call.

Browser Compatibility

With Selenium you can effectively and easily test the applications to assess whether they run seamlessly across multiple web browsers, namely, Chrome, 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. It also gives you the option to change languages and customize it as per your requirements.

Testing Frameworks and ease of integration

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

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Constant enhancement & Test Driven Development (TDD)

Another key strength of the tool is its capability to scale 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, the Selenium Web driver framework does not require the standalone Selenium RC server for being functional.

Support of strong community

 An ever growing 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!

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.

What are the risks/challenges involved?

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 Firefox.

No Manual scripts & Recorded scripts

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 is difference in terms of implementation of the tool.

Migrations risks

Risks related to migration continue with Selenium, however, they are temporary if it is planned well. When the issues are handled initially, the risks continue to cease and performance is guaranteed. Planning the migration process is imperative.

Cigniti’s test automation CoE leverages Selenium as a tool of choice for automating web application testing, for performing functional regression automation, and to develop and maintain automated test suites. Cigniti has invested a significant amount of resources to develop a custom test automation framework using Selenium for cross-platform application testing for the web, and mobile applications.

Connect with us to leverage our core expertise and experience for organizations planning to implement Selenium Test Automation.

Cigniti Technologies is a global leader in Independent Software Testing Services with offices in US, UK, India, Australia, and Canada.