A guide to regression testing and automation via Selenium

The key success factors of automated testing with Selenium testing, and the most widely used frameworks in Selenium, is it still the best solution?


What is Selenium Testing ?

Selenium is an open source web based automation testing framework which is used to automate tests performed on various web browsers. Testing of only web based applications is possible through Selenium there is no desktop or tablet & mobile application can be tested with Selenium framework.

This framework is used to validate web based applications on multi browser as well as multi platform. Selenium supports various programming language like Java, Python, C# etc. for script writing.

There are four categories of Selenium Suite:

  • Selenium IDE

  • WebDriver

  • Selenium RC

  • Selenium Grid

Currently, Webdriver and Selenium Grid features merged together and became known as Selenium 2 and then with the addition of new features it’s upgraded to Selenium 3.

Why are organisations using Selenium testing services?

Selenium is adopted by many organizations because it’s an open source framework which provides testing across multiple different browsers. Below are the few reasons listed about why organizations using the Selenium testing services:

  • It’s open source hence cost effective for the organization to adopt

  • Saving of massive amount of time, cost and resources

  • Higher test coverage

  • Multi Browser Support

  • Reusability and easily Integration with other CI / CD tools like Jenkins

  • Faster Feedback with automation implementation in Agile

  • Test Running Efficiency increased

  • Multi Language and Multi platform support capability

  • Easy to use framework with largest developers community

  • Parallel and fast test cases execution

Key success factors of Selenium testing

  • Open source

  • Multi Browser Support

  • Reusability and easily Integration with other CI / CD tools like jenkins

  • Multi Language and Multi platform support capability

  • Easy to use framework with largest developers community

  • Parallel and fast test cases execution

What is Selenium test automation?

Selenium test automation is a web based automation testing framework which provides facility to automate any type of browser based application. It is only used to automate the web based applications and not used for desktop or mobile based application testing.

Selenium is an open source framework which is integrated with various other third party tools to perform test automation like for framework implementation we can use TestNG for Reporting we can use ReportNG etc.

Why use Selenium test automation?

Selenium is an open source framework hence very cost effective for the organization to adopt. Below are the few usage of Selenium test automation:

  • Faster Feedback with automation implementation in Agile

  • Test Running Efficiency increased

  • Multi Language and Multi platform support capability

  • Easy to use framework with largest developers community

  • Parallel and fast test cases execution

  • Saving of massive amount of time, cost and resources

  • Higher test coverage

  • Multi Browser Support

  • Reusability and easily Integration with other CI / CD tools like jenkins

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Automating Functional Tests Using Selenium

Functional testing is nothing but testing a software application to ensure that it meets all the business requirements. It checks whether the software is giving the expected end-user results by testing the functioning of all the features.

Functional Testing involves black box testing where the main focus of the testers is on the functionality and behavior of modules of the application rather than its internal code structure. Functionality testing ensures that the software application is fully ready for the market release.

Selenium is a testing tool which runs tests directly in a browser by using simple test scripts. It is a free, open-source testing tool having unlimited test automation capabilities. As there is no license fees involved in using the tool, it saves the cost which generally adds up for using automation testing tools. In today’s era, every software organization wants to reduce their manual testing efforts as much as possible in order to save time and money. Selenium can easily be used to perform repetitive functional and regression tests.

Automating functional tests with Selenium helps avoid repetitive manual work, reduce cost and time spent on manual testing, help get feedback faster and make sure that the tests are executed continuously as per the required expectations.

Key Success Factors of Selenium Testing

Generally, testers and software organizations prefer open source tools for performing functional testing. Organizations adopt Selenium because of it’s open source feature which provides facility of multi browser, multi platform and multi language support. It saves a lot of time, cost and resources as well.

Here are some of the key success factors of Selenium testing:

  • Choosing the right test automation framework based on the application and technology involved, testing requirements, and skill sets required for performing the automated tests.

  • Following the best practices while using Selenium for test automation such as making use of right locators, data-driven testing and choosing the selector order.

  • Maintaining Selenium tests is the same as production code as it helps both testers and the developers to make modifications. It can be used for both system functional testing and browser compatibility testing.Clearly reporting failures in the test results. Though Selenium has inbuilt reporting features using frameworks such as JUnit and TestNG, testers prefer Extent reports.

  • Complicated tests require a lot of planning and preparation. Having a bunch of highly skilled Selenium testers is one of the most crucial key success factors of Selenium testing.

  • Making use of proven test automation processes in order to avoid common pitfalls which lead to automation failures.

Selenium Testing Services

As Selenium is the most widely used open source automation tool for automated application testing, there are a number of organizations across the globe which offers Selenium web application testing services to software organizations which can’t invest a lot of time on testing each and every feature/functionality in order to maintain their release deadlines. As organizations face a lot of pressure related to quality, time-to-market and budget, the professional testing service providers can help save operational-costs, increase test coverage and improve customer satisfaction.

Selenium Testing Services Provider Selection Checklist:

Things to keep in mind before choosing a Selenium Regression Testing service provider for your organization:

  • The services are backed by a certified team of Selenium experts which are trusted by clients or have past credentials of providing strategic consulting services in implementing test automation using Selenium.

  • Fast automation scripts which facilitates bug reproduction using Selenium IDE.

  • Service for regression test automation on multiple platforms.

  • Services mob320 selenium_margin automated test suite development and maintenance along with framework development, integration, customization and analysis reports.

  • Selenium testing automation is based on the programming language and testing frameworks of the client’s choice.

  • Option of implementation of Selenium Grid testing such that Selenium test suite could be optimized and enabled to cover more number of test cases in less time.

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Why Selenium Test Automation?

When there were no tools for automation and only manual testing was done, web application tests were performed manually in different environments using different data sets with different success/failure rates. The manual verification and recording of every transaction led to fatigue, boredom, work delays, and errors. But where there is a problem, there is a scope for relevant solutions. This led to the inception of Selenium, an automation testing tool in 2004. Selenium is a free open source automated testing suite which focuses on automating web-based applications.

Selenium has four components:

  • Selenium Integrated Development Environment or Selenium IDE

  • Selenium WebDriver

  • Selenium Remote Control or Selenium RC.

  • Selenium Grid

Selenium testing beats manual testing by a big margin as it is faster, error-free, requires less human resource investment, supports, regression testing, functional testing, and lights out execution. Selenium allows more frequent execution of tests which is quite difficult in case of manual testing. With Selenium, you can create as many automated test scripts and frameworks for any web browser applications as you want. All you need to do is just download Selenium and install its WebDriver apart from certain prerequisites which you need to take care of and you are done. Testers can easily generate test execution reports to get the results and analyze them. All in all, Selenium makes the life of a tester very simple.

Selenium as an automation tool: Pros and cons

Here we have explained the pros and cons of Selenium as an automation tool.

Pros of Selenium as an automation tool

  • The main benefit of the Selenium tool is that the tests can be coded in any programming language as per the requirements including Java, C#, PHP, Python, Ruby, Perl etc

  • Selenium supports different operating systems such as MS Windows, Linux and Macintosh.

  • Selenium supports parallel test execution which helps reduce the test execution time.

  • In Selenium, the tests can be run directly in web browsers and it supports various browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer. Opera, Safari etc. Selenium’s IDE tool only supports Mozilla Firefox browser.

  • Selenium is simple to use, its user interfaces are capable to meet 90% of the needs of the software testers, is highly flexible, support multiple browsers and programming languages.

Cons of Selenium as an automation tool

  • Selenium only supports computer web-based applications and mobile web applications and doesn't support computer desktop applications, mobile native or hybrid applications.

  • It is difficult to setup test environment in Selenium as compared to Vendor tools such as UFT, RFT, SkillTest etc.

  • Since Selenium is an open-source tool, the new features might not work properly as there is no one to take responsibility for the new features.

  • Since Selenium is an open source tool, you won’t get reliable technical support for it.

  • Selenium does not have an in-built reporting feature for test results.

  • For implementing Selenium, skill resources need to be hired who know the supported languages or the manual testers need to learn the languages.

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When to use Selenium frameworks?

Selenium framework is a code structure that helps in maintaining the code easily and improving the code readability. Without frameworks, neither the code nor the data is readable or re-usable. Using Selenium frameworks comes with numerous benefits such as higher portability, enhanced code re-usage, low script maintenance cost, and higher code readability. With the help of a Selenium framework, testers can optimize the code structure easily.

  • Higher portability

  • Low script maintenance cost

  • Testers can optimize the code structure easily

  • Enhanced code re-usage

  • higher code readability

As a lot of QA teams don’t bother to spend much time and effort on learning to build a good testing framework, they struggle to maintain and scale their tests in the longer run. It has been observed that a good framework can help the testers in many ways to get things on track.

You can create three types of test frameworks using Selenium WebDriver which mob320 selenium_margins Data Driven Framework, Keyword Driven Framework and Hybrid Framework. If you do not have a framework in place, you might have a single test case comprising the entire test functionality and this single test case can lead up to million lines of code which would be really tough to read. It would be very difficult to change any functionality later as you have to make modifications in the huge code.

  • Data Driven Framework

  • Hybrid Framework.

  • Keyword Driven Framework

If you do not have a framework in place, you might have a single test case comprising the entire test functionality and this single test case can lead up to million lines of code which would be really tough to read. It would be very difficult to change any functionality later as you have to make modifications in a huge code.

Why Should Selenium be selected as test automation tool?

There is no doubt Selenium regression testing and Selenium functional testing is being loved by testers and developers all across the world and is considered as one of the best tools for automation testing.

Here are some of the most important reasons why you should select Selenium as your test automation tool:

  • Open Source Availability: Being an open source tool, Selenium can be easily accessible with no upfront cost. Organizations can save a lot of money with Selenium which can be used in the marketing of the application in the later stages.

  • Supports Multiple Operating Systems: It is important for your test automation tool to support all the operating systems as different people use different operating systems. Selenium supports various operating systems including Windows, Linux, UNIX, Mac OS etc.

  • Parallel Test Execution and Faster Go-to-Market: Selenium Grid helps execute multiple tests across hundreds of browsers at the same time which reduces the test execution time. Faster test execution means faster go-to-market.

  • Supports Multiple Browsers: Selenium supports a variety of browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera etc. With this ability, you don’t have to worry about re-writing scripts for each and every browser.

  • Easily Implementable: Selenium is an easy-to-use tool which comes with a user-friendly interface. Creating and executing test scripts is very easy with Selenium testing automation tool.

  • Active Community and Constant Updates: As Selenium is an open source tool, it is supported by a large active community. The community releases updates and upgrades regularly which are readily available for use.

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What are the types of Selenium Framework?

A framework breaks the entire code into smaller pieces of code which can be used to test specific functionalities.

The most commonly used Selenium Frameworks are:

  • Data Driven Framework: It is a technique in which data set is separated from the actual test case. Data driven framework depends upon the input test data and is fed from the external sources such as .CSV, Excel etc. In this framework, you can control the amount of data to be tested easily and the number of test parameters can be increased easily. With this technique, you can modify the test case of a particular functionality by changing the data being tested, without having to make any significant change in your code.

  • Hybrid Framework: It is a technique which makes the best use of both data driven framework and keyword driven framework. It is permutations and combinations of both the above-mentioned frameworks.

  • Keyword Driven Framework: It is a technique wherein all the operations or instructions to be executed are separate from the actual test case. Like data driven framework, in this technique also the input data is stored in external files such as .CSV and excel. You can easily control the functionalities you want to test with the keyword driven framework by specifying them in the excel file

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Best Practices to use Selenium for Test Automation

Here are some of the best practices to use that will bring out the best out of Selenium for test automation:

Here are some of the disadvantages of Selenium testing tool:

  • Understanding the Application: It is critical to assess the application effectively as the selection of a tool depends on the application. Understanding the application helps in finalizing the testing strategy, easing out the automation process and enabling effective implementation of the

  • Choose the Selector Order: It is important to select the selector order as selectors such as CSS and Xpath are based on the location.

  • Circulate Generated Test Reports: As Selenium helps generate test reports in various formats, these test reports can be circulated among the team members which helps in taking the required action on time.

  • Making Use or Right Locators: Making the use of right locators is important. Class and ID locators can be used when you want to change the code without the knowledge of developers and testers. Link Text can be used for a dynamic situation while running a test by a marketing team. XPath can be used in navigation of the webdriver.

  • Divide the Testing Efforts: Divide the automation effort based on the level of skills and experience of each team member of the QA team. Collective testing becomes much more effective in finding the issues and speeding up the process.

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Which is the most common Framework used in Selenium and why?

A test automation framework provides an execution environment for test automation scripts. In simple terms, test automation framework is a process through which an automation tool executes test cases. There are many frameworks that have been developed by various test automation communities in the past decade. Each test automation framework provides unique guidelines, protocols, rules, procedures for the test creation and implementation.

Data-Driven framework is the most commonly used Selenium framework as it is easy to make changes in the test script and a variety of test cases can be executed with several external database resources. In this framework, each test case is observed as a function call wherein data is fed from an external source such as Excel, .CSV etc. In this framework, running the same test case with different sets of test data is very easy.

TestNG framework is one of the most popular frameworks for Selenium web driver which is commonly used in the financial and supply chain industry where data is a key aspect of operations.

What makes data driven framework most popular is that under the framework, it is easy to make modifications in the test script as the test data is maintained separately. The main issue with Data-Driven framework is that it is time-consuming to prepare both test scripts and test data.

Selenium Test Automation Services?

Software organizations can leverage Selenium as a tool for automating web application testing, developing automated test suites, and performing functional regression automation. There are many companies which offer Selenium test automation services. They have invested significant time and resources in developing custom test automation frameworks by making use of Selenium for web and mobile application testing.

The core service offerings provided by these test automation service providers may mob320 selenium_margin:

  • Test Framework development, customization and integration

  • Automated Test suite development and maintenance

  • Automated Selenium migration services

  • Test automation assessment, review and analysis

  • Return on investment (ROI) analysis

Before choosing an automation service provider for your organization, make sure that it has past experience and excellence in providing strategic consulting services to clients in implementing test automation using Selenium, have delivered proven test automation framework in the past, and have built enterprise quality framework with on the ground experience.

Investing in Selenium test automation services can help a software organization in following ways:

  • Accelerate time to market

  • Reduce operational costs significantly

  • Minimize test execution time

  • Increase test coverage

  • Get comprehensive testing solution for web/mobile applications

  • Make a good first impression on the customers without compromising on the quality of the application

Scope Of Test Automation With Selenium

In the past decade, test automation has gone through multiple changes. The trend of automation is changing exponentially and Selenium is making way at the initial development stages with more functional testing. Today, Selenium is considered as one of the best software automation testing tools available for software testers. The flexibility and expandability of the tool makes it eligible to provide a result-driven approach.

As far as automation is concerned, Selenium automation testing is ahead of all other automation testing tools in the marketplace as of now. Talking about the scope of the tool, Selenium has a wide scope and a sharp future with its tools emerging to support a variety of operating systems including Linux, Windows and Mac. In fact, many courses available in the market which explain professionally about the Selenium web driver scripts and its frameworks are in huge demand.

Selenium makes it easier for the software organizations to get high ROI much faster by reducing the number of cycles involved in the testing process. With Selenium, the demand of automation tools in web applications among the software companies has gone very high. Hence, in the current scenario, Selenium is perfectly placed for automated website testing and is continuously getting more popular with time among testers with its rising use in the market.

Are There Any Disadvantages to the Selenium Testing Tool ?

Though Selenium is widely used for unit testing, regression testing and acceptance testing, it has some limitations as well.

Here are some of the disadvantages of Selenium testing tool:

  • Selenium requires third party frameworks to fully automate the testing of web applications.

  • Selenium has technical issues on browsers other than Firefox.

  • Selenium test scripts are difficult to modify as they are not user-friendly in terms of readability.

  • Selenium needs third party support for generating reports like TestNG.

  • Selenium script creation is a time-taking process and the tools do not support file upload facility.

  • Selenium demands high level technical and programming skills from the testers.

  • Selenium is not able to find locators without the help of additional tools such as Firebug.

  • Selenium does not have test management facilities as test scripts are saved as simple files.

  • It is difficult to test image-based applications on Selenium.

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Check Selenium alternatives and what benefits they offer.

What types of reports are generated using Selenium & it’s framework?

A good test report is considered as the health certificate of the project as a lot of further planning and decisions depends on these test reports. A good quality report should be short and concise, easily trackable, traceable, shareable, and highlight the test coverage of the module and the application under test. Though Selenium does not have a built-in test reporting feature,but it can be done with the help of some plugins including TestNG and JUnit.

Here are a few techniques which can be used to generate reports in Selenium Webdriver:

  • Generating Reports Using TestNG: After the tests are executed, TestNG can generate two kinds of reports including Detailed Report having detailed information on errors, test groups, execution time and step-by-step logs, and Summary Report having information on the number of passed, failed, and skipped cases.

  • Generating Reports Using Extent Library: With this technique, you can generate stylish reports using the library. It has the ability to generate reports with the help of pie charts, test case summaries.

  • Generating Reports Using JUnit: You can generate HTML reports using JUnit’s class.

So these were some modern-day report generation techniques which can be very useful for the testers and project managers.

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How Testsigma Brings Out the Best in Selenium Testing?

Though Selenium is a good tool for regression testing, it can become a little complex for a beginner as you need to have good programming skills and experience to be able to use the tool more effectively and efficiently. Due to this reason, only large software organizations are capable of relying on Selenium for test automation. Testsigma Automated Testing tool addresses all the testing needs of testers such as cross-browser testing, data-driven testing, manual exploratory testing with ability to automate Web, Android, iOS and API testing, all in a single platform.

Testsigma offers an easy to use interface which makes data-driven testing really easy to incorporate. There is zero time and effort required on the initial setup as everything is pre-configured on the cloud and you can start writing and executing your tests from Day 1. With Testsigma, you can create test steps using simple English statements. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create reliable tests in quick time and make your maintenance of automated tests superfast.

Testsigma provides a complete test automation ecosystem where you get personalized dashboard with key business indicators regarding your project, dynamic reports to help you understand the test results more effectively, analytics to take proactive actions towards increased productivity, plugins to help you integrate Testsigma with other key tools in order to achieve continuous regression testing and many others.

Here’s how Testsigma compares with Selenium. Check out what's right for you.