How to Setup and Use Selenium for Automating Tests in an Organization

Selenium is an industry leader in automation testing. Automation testing has become the new standard of the application development process. Using test automation, the developers can use predetermined parameters to execute the test cases. Automation testing has started to gain popularity due to the rising complexity of modern applications.

For instance, modern apps have thousands of elements that need to work smoothly at the same time. So, determining this functionality is almost impossible with complete manual test cases. Due to this trend, many experts believe that almost 60% of app development companies have already begun to transition to automation testing.

However, there are various factors the new developers must keep in mind while implementing automation testing with Selenium.

So, in this article, we’re going to discuss everything that you need to know to implement automation testing with a Selenium test suite. We will also discuss some of the best practices tools and platforms that can help the developers to utilize the most out of their automation test bench.

The Basics of Automation testing

Automation testing is a very simple process as the name suggests. It is the process of automatically executing the test cases without any form of human involvement. Since there isn’t any form of human involvement, we can say that automation testing is completely devoid of work time restrictions. The app development companies can run the automation test cases 24 hours round the clock. The test file of automation testing consists of a lot of predetermined parameters that the system will use while executing the test cases. These test files also consist of a lot of random data to analyze the user interaction capabilities of a modern application. It is also worth noting that the developers can make changes in these data forms according to the project requirements.

Currently, the developers can use various frameworks like Selenium, Cypress, and playwright to create automation test cases. While on this topic, we would love to mention that Selenium is the current market leader that is dominating this segment for almost a decade now. We will learn more about Selenium in the later part of this article.

Introducing Selenium

Selenium is an open-source umbrella project that consists of different tools necessary for executing automation testing on web applications. It is worth noting that all the tools present in the Selenium test suite will help in different stages of the application testing process. During the initial release, Selenium was known as a JavaScriptTestRunner. The reason behind this unique name was that this test automation tool was based on this popular programming language. Since its initial release, Selenium has presently gone through four major updates to massively improve the user experience. It currently offers various features that not only improve the efficiency of the test cases but also help the developers to add new quality features to the application.

While on this topic of Selenium it is worth noting that the major drawback of Selenium automation testing is that the developers can use this test suite to only verify the proper functioning of web applications. Considering the variety of applications that are available in the current market, these restrictions can massively limit the development capabilities of a company. Now that we’re finished understanding the basics of Selenium it is time to have a proper look at all the major tools present in this test suite:

  • The Selenium client API was an important addition to the Selenium test suite to remove the proprietary language barriers from this suit. Before the addition of this tool, the developers had to create the automation test cases with the help of the native Selenese language. This was an obstacle as all the new automation testers had to learn a new programming language to use this framework. To ease this process Selenium client API removed the barriers and allowed the developers to write the automation test cases in all the major programming languages like JavaScript, Python, and Ruby. Then the developers have the option to automatically import it into the Selenium environment.
  • The most important component in the Selenium test suite is the Selenium WebDriver. It is responsible for not only initiating the automation test cases but also allocating them to the respective elements of a web application. After the 4th update of Selenium, the company has further improved the functioning of Selenium WebDriver. The intelligent interface of Selenium WebDriver helps it to analyze the user actions and automatically generate the test cases. This means the developers have to use the application like a normal user and the system will continue to generate the test cases in real-time. This is a very important process as it helps to ensure that the test cases justify the real-world requirements of an end user.
  • Selenium grid is responsible for initiating parallel testing on a web application. Using parallel testing, the developers can initiate multiple test instances at the same time. This process is highly essential as it massively helps to reduce the development time for the application. Before the introduction of parallel testing, all the test cases would take several weeks to complete. However parallel testing helped to bring this time down to only a few days.

The Setup process for Selenium

Let us discuss the setup process for using Selenium and writing your first automation test case with it. The developers just have to follow the simple steps given below:

  • The first step is to download all the components of Selenium from the official website. The developers should also ensure that they are getting the latest version of all the drivers.
  • The next step is installing these components and drivers on your system and initiating them.
  • Developers must also ensure that they have the latest version of Java and Java integrated development environment present on their system. The most commonly used Java-integrated development environment is an Eclipse.
  • The next step in this process is to choose the directory or workspace that will store all the test files. Maintaining a proper directory will help the developers to keep track of all the test cases.
  • It is also important for the developers to ensure that they have all the latest browser drivers available on the system to ensure smooth execution of the testing processes on native browsers.
  • The final step in this process is to configure the Selenium WebDriver by using the Eclipse IDE. During this process, the system will ask the developers to provide a JRE. Although the developers can choose their custom JRE, we would recommend the developers stick to the default JRE to avoid any complexity. Now the developers can finish the setup process by clicking on the finish button. Now all that is left is to create your first Test file and name it according to the element which you will test.

Role of Tools and Platforms in Selenium Testing

Since Selenium is a test suite consisting of multiple different tools it can be highly confusing to developers who are new to this industry. Out of confusion the developers and new testers can make various errors that can massively slow down the development process. To solve this process there are various automation tools and platforms that are easily available in the market. Each of these tools is unique as they aim to serve a specific purpose during the application development lifecycle. So, the developers need to choose the correct tool that can satisfy their requirements. For instance, LambdaTest is a tool that helps developers to use cloud testing for eliminating the hassle of maintaining a physical device testing lab. Let us learn more about it:

The current device market is so diverse that it is almost impossible for developers to maintain it. This is because it is not only very expensive but also thousands of devices appear in the market annually. So, to avoid this headache various developers simply release the final application after verifying its performance on only different emulators and simulators.

However, one thing that the new automation testers have failed to analyze is that emulators cannot simulate the physical specifications of a device. This means while using an emulator it is not possible to understand the behavior of an application due to low battery, slow Internet, or a broken screen. So, the most economical way to solve this problem is to integrate a cloud platform into your test bench.

LambdaTest is a cloud platform to ensure secure cross-browser compatibility test cases on web and mobile applications. Cross-browser compatibility testing has become the new market standard for ensuring that you’re providing the best end-user experience. This is because cross-browser compatibility test cases help the developers to check whether their application provides the best performance even when the end user shifts to a completely new operating system or a browser version. LambdaTest can also help the developers to verify the proper functioning of applications that have local servers as hosts.

While using LambdaTest, the developers can use test automation scripts from multiple frameworks like Selenium, Cypress, and Playwright. Since this article focuses on Selenium testing, it is worth mentioning that LambdaTest can execute the Selenium automation test scripts on more than three thousand different browsers at the same time. LambdaTest also has various attractive features like parallel test execution to improve the efficiency of the test cases by almost 15 times. This platform can generate highly accurate test results by combining multiple reports from simulators, emulators, and real devices.

The Conclusion

So, we can conclude that the integration of Selenium and automation testing is an important component of the modern app development market. Many experts believe that automation testing has the capability of completely dominating the app development industry in the coming years. So, developers need to start their transition to this modern app development standard.

However, it is also worth mentioning that the initial expenses of introducing automation testing are quite high. So small companies and individual creators must analyze their business perspectives before jumping into this opportunity. Moreover, automation testing is a long-term investment, and it will not generate quick results. So, the app development company should hold frequent seminars regarding all of these factors. Lastly, app developers need to realize the role of proper tools and platforms in Selenium automation testing.

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