selenium test automation - selenium limitations blog
October 2, 2019

Limitations of Selenium & How Perfecto Can Help

Continuous Testing
DevOps

Selenium is the most widely used open source automation testing tool. The framework is a popular choice for developers and testing teams because as an open source tool it can be downloaded immediately, completely free.

Selenium automates testing across web browsers like Safari, Firefox, IE, and Chrome. With the Selenium framework, testers and developers can create and execute automated web tests in real time.

Many organizations get their test automation start with open source, especially Selenium, because it is highly stable and has a robust community of online support. 

Selenium: What You Need to Know 

  • It’s open source with strong community and documentation.

  • Fully W3C compliant.

  • Offers functional testing of web applications.

  • Supports record and playback.

  • Multiple scripts can be run on different browsers.

While Selenium is a powerful automation platform, there are certain limitations of open source frameworks in general. These are the following considerations to using open source platforms including the Selenium framework.

Selenium Limitations

1. Expertise and Resources 

There is significant knowledge, experience, and technical skill needed to operate Selenium and its dependent frameworks such as WebDriverIO, Protractor, and others. Development and testing teams must be experienced in the Selenium framework architecture to use it to its fullest extent. Some teams struggle to find the appropriate resources to manage Selenium testing.  

2. Maintenance and Scalability 

When testing with Selenium, test maintenance can be challenging for test automation engineers. Even minor UI changes can break tests. Thus, maintaining tests using the Selenium framework requires years of experience to debug and maintain such scripts. While it’s true that Selenium allows testing on most browser and OS, the speed and volume of testing allowed is limited based on how many hub/nodes there are available.  

3. Limited Lab 

In terms of a testing lab, Selenium offers the “Selenium Grid.” The Selenium Grid enables the execution of multiple tests across different browser types, OS, and devices. However, the Selenium Grid depends on both skilled engineers to create and maintain it, as well as IT approval. In addition, it is less secure than more flexible and powerful cloud-based labs.  

4. Lack of Reporting 

Reporting capability is powerful in software engineering. To continuously improve, teams must be able to track vital testing information, results, and remediation efforts. Furthermore, testers must be able to communicate and share these reports. Selenium does not support reporting out of the box so other tools must be leveraged to accommodate reporting.  

How Perfecto Can Help 

While testing with Selenium has its limitations, pairing the Selenium framework with a solution like Perfecto can solve those drawbacks. Mixing the test coverage of Selenium with Perfecto, including  Perfecto Codeless, can be a great win-win for dev and test teams. 

Perfecto helps to optimize every part of the important continuous testing process — creation, execution, lab, and analysis.  Let’s walk through exactly how a continuous testing solution can make testing with Selenium even more powerful. 

Creation 

When using a smart testing platform like Perfecto, the limitations of Selenium test creation fall away. For example, Selenium test creation without a continuous testing platform is highly complex, requiring technically-skilled and experienced test script writers.

When using a continuous testing platform, test creation can be done totally codeless. Plus, a tool like Perfecto helps with test maintenance, which is important when using Selenium.  

Execution 

Testing with Selenium powers solid test execution, and with a continuous testing platform like Perfecto, scalability is enabled through accelerated testing across platforms with a single test script.

Execution with Perfecto also includes real user conditions of tough-to-replicate scenarios that Selenium can’t tackle alone.  

Lab 

With a smart testing tool, you can use your testing framework of choice, like Selenium, and also enjoy the benefits of a cloud-based lab. With our lab you can test against thousands of platform combinations, no matter the OS, browser, or device.

This expands your Selenium testing to much wider coverage compared to Selenium Grid. 

Analysis 

Perhaps the biggest blind spot of Selenium is the lack of reporting. When Selenium is paired with Perfecto, features of a world-class reporting suite are unlocked.

With a smart testing solution, you get fast feedback which helps teams focus in on what’s working and what’s not. Furthermore, smart testing that is machine-learning based means noise is reduced and false negatives are managed, so reporting is prioritized and powerful for your developers and testers.  

Bottom Line

If you’re testing with Selenium, you can test drive Perfecto and experience the benefits of a smart automation test platform with your own data. With Selenium and Perfecto together, you can boost coverage and test faster than ever before.

Try Perfecto today

 

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