April 30, 2020

How to Use the Selenium Testing Tool for Automation


Selenium testing software is a leading automation framework for web applications. There are also Selenium alternatives for testing. This guide will cover the various Selenium testing tools that are available — and how to use Selenium.

Looking for answers on how, why, or when to use Selenium for automation? Read along or jump ahead to the section that interests you most:

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What Is the Selenium Testing Tool Used For?

Selenium automates tests across browsers. It is known for facilitating quick, repeatable testing that result in high-quality web applications.

Selenium is an open-source tool. And, Selenium releases regularly. Testers like using Selenium because it’s easy to generate test scripts to validate functionality. It’s also reliable.

Related Reading: Selenium Cross-Browser Testing: A Web Testing Tutorial >>

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Why Use Selenium for Automation?

Providing a consistent experience across browsers, devices, and platforms is critical. Each digital experience is a reflection of your brand. And that’s why web testing needs to be an integral part of your test automation strategy.

With so many browsers, operating systems, and devices, you have limitless permutations to test. But with automated web testing with Selenium, you can execute tests quickly to accelerate your DevOps processes.

As you know, manual testing can be a time-consuming process. Automating test with Selenium leads to more efficient and accurate testing and reduces the instances of human error associated with manual testing.

Selenium allows developers and testers to automate the testing of web applications across different browsers and platforms. The following are some of the benefits of using the Selenium testing tool for automation:

  1. Language Support: Selenium allows you create and execute scripts in various computer language, such as Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, JavaScript, and C#.  
  2. Browser Support: Selenium enables you to test across browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft, Safari, and even Internet Explorer.  
  3. Test Coverage: Utilizing the Selenium testing tool for automation enables teams to  cover a wide range of testing scenarios, thus maximizing test coverage.
  4. Reusable Test Scripts: The Selenium testing tool for automation allows testers to create reusable test scripts that can be used across different test cases and projects. 
  5. Parallel Testing: Selenium supports parallel testing, allowing multiple tests to run at the same time, which helps reduce testing time. 
  6. Reporting & Analytics: Selenium provides detailed test execution reports, making it easier to view and analyze test results. 
  7. UX Testing: Selenium can simulate user interactions and behavior, ensuring that the application under test is user-friendly.
  8. Continuous Testing: Selenium can be integrated into your CI/CD pipeline to help identify and address issues earlier in the development cycle, allowing teams to effectively shift testing left. 
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What Are the Selenium Testing Tools?

Selenium testing tools include the following.

Selenium IDE

Selenium IDE is a free plugin on the browser that helps you record, edit, debug, and replay functional tests.

Selenium WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver is a browser-based driver that helps in accessing and launching different browsers.

Test engineers and developers will find many options to leverage Selenium WebDriver technology. A lot of frameworks have been derived from Selenium and extended its capabilities. These include Protractor, WebDriverIO, CodeceptJS, etc.

Selenium Grid

Selenium Grid has a hub-and-node architecture that helps you do parallel tests across different browsers.

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How Does the Selenium Automation Testing Tool Work?

With Selenium testing, you can write test scripts in a number of different languages, like Java, Python, Ruby, C#. The Selenium testing tool automates your tests and runs them against browsers, like the ones Perfecto provides in the cloud.

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Can Selenium Be Used for Mobile Testing?

No, Selenium can not be used for mobile testing directly, but it offers frameworks for testing mobile apps. You can test your web apps on Selendroid, which is a Selenium-based mobile testing framework for Android. For mobile testing there's also Appium, XCUITest, and Espresso.

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Who Uses Selenium Testing Software?

Whether you are a developer or a test engineer, you are probably doing Selenium testing today. The only difference between them are:

  • The objective that they have in front of them.
  • The skills they have that influence the tools they use to create the test scripts.

A test engineers would typically feel quite comfortable automating tests with Selenium — and all the other frameworks. But they will find the headless browser testing less relevant to their needs (excluding exceptions).

The software developer will most likely use less of the full-blown Selenium framework. They will benefit from headless browser testing solutions like Google Puppeteer. It all comes down to the quality objectives each persona has.

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Is Selenium Test Automation Good?

You may be wondering how well Selenium works. Rest assured, it is the leading testing tool for web apps. Selenium helps you execute automation, so you can test more permutations for fewer escaped defects.

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When to Use Selenium With the Right Testing Tools

You can create test automation using Selenium frameworks that are low-code or no-code. These allow business testers to put some automation into their day-to-day activities.

Selenium can be used to automate in various development languages including Java, JavaScript, C#, Python, and others. It can be used in conjunction with low-code frameworks like BDD (e.g., Perfecto’s Quantum), or through no-code solutions like codeless.

Here’s what to consider when learning how to use Selenium.

Cross-Browser Testing

Cross-browser testing with Selenium is more critical than ever. Using Selenium with Perfecto makes it easier to create cross-browser test automation.

Perfecto removes the entire setup of a local Selenium Grid. You’ll get seamless and secure access to a Selenium grid in the cloud that is elastic — and always on and up to date.

Automating across browsers and real devices in the cloud with Perfecto ensures robust, stable, and highly visible test execution activity.

Codeless Testing

Codeless Selenium testing is important to improve test coverage. But you’ll need the right tools to support codeless testing with Selenium. You can use Perfecto Scriptless for codeless Selenium testing.  

This solution enables a machine-learning capable test automation record and playback on real desktop browsers. It is fully integrated into the Perfecto cloud and smart reporting.

Headless Browser Testing

Headless browser testing delivers fast feedback for unit and functional tests to developers. Examples include Google Puppeteer and Mozilla. Headless browser testing improves test coverage — and is easy to set up.

Other Tools and Frameworks

Selenium won’t be your only testing tool. But it is the foundation for many frameworks. For example, Protractor is built on top of Selenium to enable application testing of an AngularJS application.

And Selenium integrates with everything. Here are some areas where you might consider using additional testing tools with Selenium to:

  • Provide a testing structure (BDD/ATDD) (Mocha, Jasmine, Jest, Cucumber).
  • Provide assertion functions (Chai, Jasmine, Jest, Unexpected).
  • Generate, display, and watch test results (Mocha, Jasmine, Jest, Karma).
  • Generate code coverage reports (Istanbul, Jest, Blanket).
  • Provide a browser or browser-like environment with control of scenario execution, UI testing, and more (Protractor, Nightwatch, Phantom, Casper, Selenium,, TestCafe).
  • Provide mocks, spies, and stubs (Sinon, Jasmine, enzyme, Jest, testdouble).

Overall Strategy

You’ll also want to consider your overall test automation strategy.

If you want to be successful, you’ll need to look at a mix of these frameworks — including cross-browser coding-based frameworks, codeless, and headless.

Some final questions to ask include:

  • Does the test automation framework allow you to take screenshots?
  • Can you do memory and performance profiling?
  • Can you provide test coverage analysis?
  • Which testing types can you do?
  • Does it fit your software development lifecycle (SDLC)?
  • What’s the reliability and setup of the framework?
  • Can it support page object model creation?
  • Is it a synchronized or an asynchronous test automation framework?
  • Does it come with a set of reporters?

Especially in today’s reality — when you have a responsive web app or progressive web app — you need to answer these questions.


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How to Use the Selenium Testing Tool for Automation

The following step-by-step guide will provide an overview of how to use the Selenium testing tool for automation:

  1. Understanding Selenium

Selenium enables testing and dev teams to automate across various platofrms. Selemium supports multiple programming languages, including Java, Python, C#, and Ruby, making it accessible to a wide range of testing needs. Selenium WebDriver, the core component of Selenium, privdes a simpe and intuitive feature for interacting with web elements.

2. Setting Up Selenium 

To set up your Selenium tests for automation, you must begin by setting up your test environment:

  • Install your programming language along with Selenium WebDriver
  • Download Selenium WebDriver on the browser on which you intend to automate.
  • Configure WebDriver in your project.

3. Create Your Selenium Project

To start using Selenium, you need to create a project in your preferring programming language. Here is a general overview of the steps involved:

  • Set up a project structure and import the required Selenium libraries.
  • Specify in your browser what you want to automate.
  • Navigate to the desired URL using WebDriver.


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How To Use Selenium Testing Software With Perfecto

Selenium is the leading testing tool for web apps. But to get the most out of Selenium, you need to use the right testing platform.

That’s why you need to use Selenium with Perfecto.

Jump to 24:48 of the video below to see how to use the Selenium testing tool with Perfecto.

How to Use Selenium With Perfecto


Selenium and Perfecto are seamlessly integrated. Selenium gives you the framework. And Perfecto gives you an enterprise-grade platform with all of the devices and browsers to run your Selenium test scripts on. At the end, you’ll be able to easily analyze the results for fast feedback and prevention of escaped defects.

You’ll get open integrations between Perfecto, Selenium, and other testing tools. Plus, you’ll get faster test execution, maximum test coverage, enterprise-grade security, and advanced reporting and analytics.

See for yourself how Perfecto improves your Selenium testing tools. Get started with a free 14-day trial.


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