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Selenium Automation Tool – Advantages & Disadvantages of using this tool

Hi,

What is Selenium Automation tool? What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of using this tool?

Could you reply to my questions?

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Selenium is at present the most powerful Open Source Automation tool available. It is based on java scripting to a large extent. It is more suited for the agile methodology of coding and testing. I mean Open Source because, the code if Selenium tool itself is available for an User to customize as per requirement.

Selenium tests run directly in a browsers, just as real users do. And they run in Internet Explorer, Mozilla and Firefox on Windows, Linux and Macintosh. No other test tool covers such a wide array of platforms.

Browser compatibility testing. : Test your application to see if it works correctly on different
browsers and operating systems. The same script can run on any Selenium platform.

System functional testing. : Create regression tests to verify application functionality and user
acceptance.

Selenium uses a unique mechanism which allows it to run on so multiple platforms. Installed with your application webserver, Selenium automatically deploys it’s JavaScript automation engine — the Browser Bot — to your browser when you point it at the Selenium install point on your webserver. Thus, you must have write access to the machine your web application server is running on to install Selenium.

How does Selenium work?

Selenium uses JavaScript and Iframes to embed a test automation engine in your browser. This technique should work with any JavaScript-enabled browser. Because different browsers handle JavaScript somewhat differently, we usually have to tweak the engine to support new browsers.

The biggest advantage is that since it is an Open Source tool, there are no Licensing costs associated with it and it can be customized as per user request.

Disadvantage would be we cannot be assured of any add-ins which would be required if Selenium fails to recognize objects. Also Support provided for Selenium would be very less ( In case of QTP, Mercury provides standard solutions and supports to issues). And script recorded by the Selenium is not so reliable...
Selenium is at present the most powerful Open Source Automation tool available. It is based on java scripting to a large extent. It is more suited for the agile methodology of coding and testing.

I mean Open Source because, the code if Selenium tool itself is available for an User to customize as per requirement.

The biggest advantage is that since it is an OpenSource tool, there are no Licensing costs associated with it and it can be customized as per user request.

Disadvantage would beb we cannot be assured of any add-ins which would be required if Selenium fails to recognize objects. Also Support provided for Selenuim would be very less ( Incase of QTP, Mercury provides standard solutions and supports to issues).

As regards POC using Selenium, you would have to download the tool and try to play around with a test application. Sending across Selenium scripts cannot be possible.
Hi All,

I would like to add some more points to the above mentioned context

Advantages:
1. It has support for all of the popular browsers like IE, Firefox, Mozilla, Safari etc. It also supports several Operating Systems and that makes it a tool of choice for cross browser/ cross platform certification.
2. Selenium was first written in Java but it also supports .Net, Ruby, Perl, PHP and Python. This is a big plus when you want to build your framework in a language that has the highest adoption in the organization it is being built within. Unlike tools like QTP which force you to use VBScript
3. You can instantiate several concurrent tests with Selenium.

Disadvantages:
1. Even though Selenium has several ways to identify elements on the page. It has a concept of locators that support common attributes like id, names etc as well as XPATH, javascript DOM and others. However, this is still not as smart as say the Object Repository (OR) in QTP. That being said, QTP’s OR comes with it´s baggage as well.
2. It does not generate detailed results like the result viewer in QTP
3. Selenium IDE does not allow to write manual scripts like conditions and Loops for Data Driven Testing.
4. There is no option to verify images.

Hope you find this information useful :)

Thanks,
Download Dartenium (Selenium Automation Framework) free 15 days trial version at:
http://www.dartenium.datamatics.com/
Hi,

Selenium is
Web testing framework
Runs in a browser
HTML & Javascript
Opensource tool
Support languages like Java,Python,Perl,Ruby etc.,

Selenium consist of four flavours

1) Selenium IDE - plugins for firefox browser alone.
2) Selenium Core
3) Selenium RC - Selenium Remote Control.
4) Selenium on Rails.

Selenium has been around for a while and is one of the most popular open source testing tools out there. I myself have used Selenium for 8 years and it does have some great features. The reason people are still using Selenium is-

  1. It is FREE. You do not pay for any of the services
  2. It is “Technical Friendly”. Anyone who is used to writing code to build things will love Selenium; as what code you write is what gets implemented in automation. So developers and technical testers are more inclined towards using this compared to record/playback tools
  3. It is Extensible. You are free to add your own wrapper around Selenium to do whatever functionalities you want. This is lacking in most of the codeless testing automation tools
  4. It supports multiple scripting/programming languages like C#, Java, JavaScript, Ruby etc. Not many tools do that

That being said I think it does have its own limitations such as

  • Spending majority of your valuable testing time fixing flaky tests
  • Unable to make automation progress due to the lack of skilled programmers to write automated tests
  • Not finding enough support in the open source community when new libraries and updates break existing tests and you have no idea what to do
  • Need of visual validation when a step fails, to visually understand the exact reason for the failure
  • Insufficient logging information when your tests fail
  • Finding it hard to seamlessly integrate your automated tests within your CI/CD pipeline
  • Inability to handle dynamically changing elements on the web page
  • No inbuilt functionalities to automate actions that involve multiple tabs, hovers, scroll and other complex user actions
  • The need to give explicit and implicit waits manually to make tests more stable
  • Flakiness with the inbuilt options of the IDE such as Record/Playback where it seizes to work in some situations for no reason

I think a lot of people have understood the above problems and are trying to fix these issues.

Check out these 2 articles that describe Selenium/Selenium IDE with other tools that are out there-

Top 3 Selenium IDE alternatives to build test automation frameworks

Top 3 selenium alternatives to involve non-technical people in auto...

Hope this helps.

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