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TestComplete vs Selenium – Top 15 Key Differences

June 6, 2024Priyanka
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TestComplete vs Selenium - Top 15 Key Differences
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Automation testing fits well into the modern Agile and DevOps framework. Automation testing can be integrated directly into the CI/CD pipeline and testing can be done without manual intervention. 

Automation testing helps to release faster by saving cost and time. When it comes to automation tools there are many players in the market – Testcomplete and Selenium are one of the popular ones. Comparing TestComplete vs Selenium helps to choose the right automation tool for your organization.

 What Is TestComplete?

TestComplete is a commercial automated software testing tool developed and maintained by SmartBear Software. TestComplete supports a wide range of applications made for desktop, web, and mobile. It is an enterprise application that can support both large-scale and small-scale organization testing needs.

Pros and Cons of TestComplete

TestComplete was initially released in 1999, and since then it has upgraded with many versions and made considerable improvements. Let’s understand the features and cons of TestComplete.

Pros of TestComplete

  • Support for different types of applications: It supports desktop, web, and mobile applications. Hence, organizations don’t need to rely on other tools for their different testing needs.
  • Ease of Use: TestComplete comes with a feature-rich IDE. It supports object mapping, debugging, and many other features with just a few clicks. Helps beginners start with automation testing with ease.
  • Multi-Language Support: TestComplete supports multiple languages such as VBScript, JavaScript, and C# Script. Testers can choose the programming language of their choice.
  • AI-driven object recognition engine: Recently TestComplete launched AI-powered visual object recognition technology, which helps to accurately identify the objects or elements on the web.
  • Data-driven testing: TestComplete is shipped data-driven testing ready, hence it makes data-driven testing easier.
  • Keyword-driven testing: It also supports keyword-driven testing. If you need to develop a framework with a keyword-driven approach, it saves a lot of your time.
  • Test reporting and analysis: TestComplete comes with rich reporting and it also provides real-time progress on its dashboard.
  • CI/CD integration: It can be easily integrated with CI/CD tools such as Jenkins, and AzureDevOps. Which helps to run your automation testing part of the DevOps ecosystem.
  • Dedicated technical support: As TestComplete is a commercial tool, it provides dedicated technical support. If you are struggling to cover any use cases, you can easily reach out to their support team and get it resolved.

Cons of TestComplete

  • Costly: TestComplete is not a free tool. Its license price is costly. Small-scale organizations may not find TestComplete budget-friendly.
  • Supports only Windows platform: It supports only the Windows operating system. If your organization is using the Mac or Linux environment, you will not be able to use the TestComplete tool.
  • Performance issues: TestComplete bundled a lot of features into its IDE so it has become a resource-heavy tool. Users who are using the lower configuration systems may find TestComplete laggy at times.
  • High learning curve: TestComplete is not a generic tool, you need to learn both the usage of tools and the way it works. Though it comes with IDE, as it has many options it takes a considerable amount of time to get familiar with TestComplete.
  • Difficult to customize: TestComplete limits customization, you may not be able to customize the framework beyond a certain level. 
  • A limitation with Cloud-based testing: It supports limited cloud-based testing capability and it cannot be directly hooked into cloud-based testing providers.

What is Selenium?

Selenium is an open-source test automation framework. It was released in 2004. It supports automating web applications with ease. Selenium is the most popular automation tool because of its extensibility and large community support. Selenium as a suite has many different tools such as Selenium IDE, Selenium Webdriver, and Selenium Grid.

Pros and cons of Selenium

Selenium is widely used across organizations due to its simplicity and extensibility. It supports all major browsers. Though it is the most powerful automation tool it has many disadvantages. Let’s understand the pros and cons of Selenium.

Pros of Selenium

  • Cost-effective: As it is open source and free, there is no need to pay for a license hence, it is more cost effective.
  • Support for multiple languages: Selenium supports many programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, C#, Ruby, Python, etc. So, it reduces time to learn new languages to use Selenium.
  • Lots of customization: Selenium supports many languages, and there are many third-party plugins available for free. Selenium framework can be easily extended to support additional features, and you can customize it as per the organization’s needs.
  • Platform independent: Unlike TestComplete, you can use Selenium on any platform. It supports all major operating systems, such as Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
  • Large community support: It is used by millions of users so that you can get answers and suggestions on community groups and discussions. 
  • Documentation and resources: The Internet is filled with a lot of resources that can aid in learning and integrating Selenium. You can use the resource of your choice such as text-based tutorials, documentation, video tutorials, free training, etc.

Cons of Selenium

  • Requirement of good technical skills: Selenium is a purely code-based testing tool, though it supports record and playback via SeleniumIDE you can’t rely on this if you are building large-scale automation scripts. It may save a lot of cost in licensing, but organizations may need to spend on hiring technical resources to use Selenium
  • Complexity in building the framework: Building a Selenium framework is not an easy task. Apart from the Selenium library to execute the test, you may need to research and integrate the assertion libraries, reporting capabilities, third-party integrations, etc. All these require time and effort and increase the complexity
  • No in-built reporting: It doesn’t support any in-built reporting. You need to rely on Extent reports or TestNG reporters to integrate the reporting feature. Furthermore, it creates a dependency on third-party apps and increases maintenance.
  • No support for mobile: There is no in-built capability to execute the native mobile applications. Appium integration is required to support mobile applications.
  • Maintenance: As there are many plugin integrations and all require coding knowledge, it also increases the maintenance. The tests may become flaky if Framework is not maintained timely
  • Doesn’t support desktop applications: It supports only web applications and doesn’t support desktop applications. If your organization is using hybrid applications such as web and desktop Selenium may not be able to handle them.

TestComplete and Selenium are popularly used, both require a good amount of technical knowledge to build and automate the test scripts. The organization needs to spend a lot on technical resources to adopt the automation. 

In recent days no-code automation is catching attention as it doesn’t require any programming knowledge to automate the test cases. Additionally, it saves a lot of time, as anyone on the team can contribute to the automation. Manual testers are finding it very helpful as they can easily switch to automation. Testsigma is one such no-code automation tool powered by AI and used by many organizations across different domains.

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Selenium vs. TestComplete: Comparison

We have discussed the pros and cons of Selenium and Testcomplete. While choosing the right automation tool, you may still be confused about which one to choose. Understanding the key differences may help to choose the right one. Let’s compare Selenium vs TestComplete side by side.

FeatureSeleniumTestComplete
PricingOpen source and FreeCommercial: Need to pay license fee.
Operating system supportWindows, Linux, and macOSWindows only
Application supportWeb applications onlySupports web, desktop, and mobile
Types of testing supportFunctional testingFunctional testing, API testing, Visual testing
Programming language supportJava, Kotlin, C#, Python, Ruby, JavaScriptJavaScript, C#Script, VBScript, Python
IDE supportNo in-built IDE. But can be integrated with popular IDEs such as Eclipse, IntelliJComes with in-built IDE
Supported browsersChrome, Edge, Firefox and SafariChrome, Edge, and Firefox
Object/Element Recognition featureManually needs to write element locatorsShipped with AI-powered object recognition engine
Record and Playback featureSupported via Selenium IDERecord and Playback are supported
Test reportNo in-built test reportingComes with rich reporting
Third-party integrationSelenium is supported by numerous tools such as CI/CD tools, bug tracking tools, versioning tools, IDEs, reporting tools, etc.Supports limited integration
No code automationDoesn’t support no code automationDoesn’t support no code automation
SupportCommunity-driven, no dedicated support team.Provides a dedicated support team. Also provides community support
Cloud testing provider supportSupported by all major cloud testing providers such as Saucelabs, Browserstack, LambdaTest, etc.Limited support to cloud testing providers
Framework TemplateNo ready framework template. Need to rely on the community for framework examples.Testcomplete has a few ready framework examples to refer to.

Which should you choose: TestComplete or Selenium?

Both TestComplete and Selenium are built to serve similar needs, and both of them are used by many organizations. Tool-specific requirements may differ from organization to organization. There may be several organization-specific factors that can impact when choosing the righ tool. While choosing between TestComplete and Selenium you need to evaluate different factors. Below are some key factors to consider.

  • Budget constraints: TestComplete is not a free tool, Selenium is an open-source tool.
  • Technical Knowledge: Both TestComplete and Selenium require coding knowledge. Selenium may require high technical knowledge while TestComplete may not require in-depth technical knowledge
  • Type of application: You need to decide tool, based on application type support such as Desktop, Web, and Mobile. Selenium supports only Web-based applications.
  • Operating system: Testcomplete works on only Windows, and Selenium works on all major OS.
  • Reporting: TestComplete comes with rich reporting while Selenium doesn’t have any inbuilt reporting.
  • Technical Support: TestComplete provides dedicated technical support while Selenium provides community-driven support.

Along with the above factors, many organization-specific factors need to be evaluated. Remember, while choosing the right automation framework never choose them in a hurry, as you know once you choose it’s difficult to migrate to another. If you find code-based tools are not a right fit, evaluate no code tools like Testsigma.

Alternatives for the tools TestComplete and Selenium

As we discussed earlier, both Selenium and TestComplete have many cons. One of the major disadvantages of both tools is they both require good programming knowledge. The demand for technical skills by the tool limits the organization to efficiently utilize the resources and also decreases collaboration. Because of this organizations are shifting towards no-code automation tools. Testsigma is one such tool that has rapidly become popular in the market due to its no-code architecture. 

Testsigma is an AI-based no-automation platform, that provides everything you need for automation, out of the box. Interestingly, all these things can be done just with simple clicks. Some of the interesting features of Testsigma are given below:

  • All different tests end to end, functional, API, visual regression tests, and responsive tests are supported under one umbrella.
  • No need to maintain infrastructure
  • No installation or setup up required
  • Highly customizable and easy-to-share report
  • In-depth analytics on test cases help to showcase automation progress
  • Tester-friendly no prior coding knowledge required
  • All test artifacts can be accessed from anywhere using the browser
  • A dedicated support team to answer all your queries
  • All features can be accessed by paying small subscription fees

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As Testsigma provides many features, it’s a win-win for both testers and organizations. Testers do need to spend days to months learning new skills, manual testers can switch to automation easily and fulfill their dreams of automation. For an organization, the tool is very budget-friendly, and the automation framework can be up and running from day one. Additionally, if there is a shortage of resources they can easily share across the projects.

Automation testing is evolving a lot, and the scope of automation is increasing day by day. Automation testers need to learn DevOps skills, development skills, and integration skills. As the demand for automation testing is increasing, new tools are also emerging in the market. Organizations are making smart decisions while choosing the right tool for the organization. 

Though Selenium and TestComplete are the popular tools in the market, organizations are also spending time evaluating the new AI driving tools like Testsigma and adopting them gradually. However, every organization will have specific requirements based on the application architecture, skill sets, application types, budget, etc., so careful evaluation is required to make the right choice. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does TestComplete use Selenium?

TestComplete supports many different types of applications such as Desktop, Web, and mobile applications. Considering this for a web application, Testcomplete utilizes Selenium capability.

Is Cucumber and Selenium the same?

Cucumber and Selenium are two different tools. Cucumber is a BDD tool that helps to bring the BDD approach to automation. Whereas Selenium is an automation tool, it simulates the user actions on the browser.

Suggested Reading

Specflow Vs Selenium

Selenium Vs Cucumber

Selenium Vs QTP

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