selenium test automation
October 2, 2019

What Are the Limitations of Selenium? How to Solve Them

Continuous Testing

Selenium is a popular tool, but there are limitations of Selenium that you need to know about. 

This blog will give an overview of the limitations of Selenium in more detail, as well as suggest how teams can get around them.

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What Are the Limitations of Selenium?

What are the limitations of Selenium?

  • Selenium requires the expertise of your team — and resources to manage.
  • Selenium is a maintenance-heavy framework — and is difficult to scale as you grow.
  • The Selenium Grid is less secure than a cloud-based lab.
  • Selenium does not offer visibility into tests through reporting.

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.  

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. 

Selenium allows testing on most browser and OS. But the speed and volume of testing allowed is limited based on how many hub/nodes there are available.  

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.  

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. 

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Why Should Selenium Be Selected As a Test Tool? 

Despite the limitations of Selenium, here's why Selenium should be selected as a test tool:

  • 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.

The framework is a popular choice for developers and testing teams. That's because it's an open source tool that 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. 

There are good things about Selenium. And, luckily, there are ways to solve Selenium limitations (and keep using it). 

Jump to 26:10 of the video below to see Selenium automation testing in action.

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How to Solve the Limitations of Selenium

While testing with Selenium has its limitations, pairing the Selenium framework with a solution like Perfecto can solve those drawbacks.

Perfecto Scriptless can be a great win-win for dev and test teams. It mixes the test coverage of Selenium with Perfecto while also being a strong option for codeless automated testing.

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. 

Test 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. It requires 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.  

Test 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.  

Test Lab 

With a smart testing tool, you can use your test automation framework of choice, like Selenium, and also enjoy the benefits of a cloud-based lab. With our lab you can test against 1,000s of platform combinations, no matter the OS, browser, or device.

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

Test 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.  

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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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