Should I Start Using Selenium Testing for Automation?
If you’re running a manual software testing (QA) operation in your company and would like to automate all or part of it, you’ve probably heard of Selenium.
Switching from manual to automated testing is a costly and time-consuming exercise. In this guide, we will provide some information to help you make an educated decision.
Before we get into the specifics of Selenium, we’ll go through a quick overview of the differences between manual and automated testing.
What Is Automation Testing?
Automated testing, simply put, is the process of automating the manual testing of web applications. There are many advantages to test automation, but it requires a tool to creates test scripts and executes them repeatedly without manual intervention. In most cases, the use of such a tool requires coding skills.
Automated Testing vs. Manual Testing
Both methods have their pros and cons, as shown in this quick table:
|AUTOMATED TESTING||MANUAL TESTING|
|Consistent, reliable, and accurate||Error-prone|
|Requires coding of test scenarios, as well as adapting testing code every time the application changes||Can utilize non-coding testers. Sometimes can even be outsourced to lower cost testers|
|Fast execution||Time consuming|
|Main cost - purchase of tool, coding and maintenance of tests||Main cost - human hours|
|Allows repeated runs at no or minimal additional cost||Starts from scratch, requiring same human effort and time in each run|
|Easy to replicate across different browsers and customer environments||Has to be redone at same additional cost for each environment|
|Provides no insights regarding user experience||Allows for a human take on the user experience|
When to Do Manual Testing
Manual testing is better for the following types of test scenarios.
Exploratory testing is done through unscripted testing of a web application’s software. It focuses on how decisions are made in real-time as a user explores various features. It’s best for these tests to be done manually in order to make sure that companies are testing the most relevant customer use cases.
Usability Testing looks into how user-friendly the product is. Even though this method of testing is also scripted, only a human user can provide relevant feedback on this.
When to Do Test Automation
These are examples of other test scenarios that are better suited for test automation.
Regression testing is a process that verifies that changes made to the code or newly added features haven’t ‘broken’ the existing code. Since no human judgment is required here, automated testing is preferable due to its ability to run scripts repeatedly every time a code change has been implemented.
Load Testing checks a system’s performance under various conditions, from normal to heavy use. Automated testing was designed specifically for this kind of work, which utilizes the power of automation for precise measurements.
Repetitive testing performs the same task over and over again to verify that the software or web application can stand it without breaking. Again, we are encouraged to take advantage of automated testing for such tasks.
Testing Across Multiple Environments
While ensuring that your application works well on different browsers, mobile devices, etc., the workload quickly multiples if you don’t automate tests.
What Is Selenium Testing?
Selenium is an open-source framework for automated web application testing and supports all browsers. Ideal for functional testing and regression testing, Selenium is the most common open-source code with a steadily growing user base worldwide. Since it is just a framework, it requires code implementation of the test scenarios. Selenium supports most code scripts such as Java, C#, PHP, Python, Ruby, Perl, and Groovy.
With Selenium automation testing you can:
- Build and develop automated tests and record actions as they are performed
- Scale and run tests on multiple environments simultaneously
- Create browser-based regression automation tests and suites
- Create bug reproduction scripts
- Be more productive
- Create scripts to aid exploratory testing
Another great reason to use Selenium for automation testing is that it’s open-source, which means no premium monthly fee. It also integrates with other open-source frameworks like TestNG, JUnit, and NUnit. They also have a very active developer community that you can collaborate with when building and executing your tests.
Disadvantages of the Selenium Testing Tool
While a very powerful tool, there are also some important challenges when working with Selenium to keep in mind:
- You must be able to develop with code in order to use Selenium
- In order to generate reports, you’ll need third-party tools
- Maintenance requires adapting your Selenium code (scripts) for every change in the application. As you scale, this can become a time-consuming process that drains testing resources.
- The Selenium framework itself is free, but the developers that operate it aren’t. The costs of hiring specific developers to do Selenium testing can easily add up.
The transition to Selenium code automation is a long and costly process for many organizations, a process that requires many organizational changes. While a powerful platform, companies need to be creative in order to help their existing teams scale their Selenium testing effectively.
Perfecto Scriptless: 6x Faster Than Selenium
Perfecto Scriptless is a codeless test automation platform that operates on top of Selenium, so you can get all the benefits of Selenium without coding.
Perfecto offers an all-in-one testing solution allowing for easy creation and execution of automated tests, including scheduled and CI/CD-originated execution. With Selenium “under the hood,” Perfecto Scriptless can test complex web components like Shadow DOM and iFrames while staying accessible through an easy-to-use, visual interface.
You can skip the need to hire specialized developers to code your tests. No coding is required to create tests using Perfecto's intuitive drag & drop interface; Perfecto Scriptless converts your tests to Selenium code automatically. Instead of dealing with the massive costs of implementing a Selenium framework, Perfecot Scriptless is a SaaS-based QA testing infrastructure and is immediately available to start your automated testing.
Tests created with Perfecto Scriptless are also more resilient, significantly decreasing the percentage of breakages due to our AI-based, self-healing technology. For times when your tests do break, our On-the-Fly binding feature makes it easy to fix and adjust tests to changes in the application. These features save testers valuable time and resources
Perfecto Scriptless also offers allows testers to reuse test elements and test flows in future scenarios, due to visual test modeling technology. This also cuts test maintenance since when you adjust an element, the change automatically applies to all other scenarios that use that element.
Explore Perfecto Scriptless
Explore Perfecto Scriptless, the codeless UI test automation tool for web apps.
Editor’s Note: The post was originally published in September 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.