Testing web applications with Selenium- Some major problems

The open source software known as Selenium is used as one of the tools for automation testing of web applications. It certainly provides the testers with a good option for their purpose but one thing that discourages a lot of people when they want to use this is the fact that selenium has quite a number of problems. Often, handling this may be a challenging experience due to multiple problems that may arise, making creation of functional tests an extremely difficult process. In fact, most people complain that the tests can be flaky, sometimes working and sometimes not working. However, the problems should not deter you from using the tool as the advantages are too many to ignore. It is not really unstable or flaky but the main challenge which must be solved to tackle the problem is information. Most of the problems can be sorted out with proper knowledge. Here are some of the problems along with their solutions.

selenium automation testingFlaky external services- Relying on such services often lead to failure of all tests. This happens especially when you use production backends or rely on infrastructure that is outside the control of your team. The best way to solve this is not to rely on such services which cannot be controlled by your team. You can start in-process servers by the use of something such as webrick in Ruby or Jetty in Java world. The external services can be spotted by watching the running of tests which will show the actual problem underlying. The flakiness can also be minimized through performing of health check before you run tests. Check if all relying services are running properly or not.

Poor test isolation- This may happen and you may see that the tests are working fine when they are being run alone but during build they fail randomly. To solve this, resources should be isolated as much as possible. Data should be set up within tests so that you do not have to rely on the ‘set up datastores’ step in the build. Try to set up database for each developer or use something such as SQLite or Hypersonic as an in-memory, light-weight and private database. If users are required to log-in for the applications then several user accounts should be created which are reserved just for the tests; provide a locking mechanism as well so that you can ensure that just a single test is carried out with the use of a specific user account.

Identifying elements- Another very common problem in this is the way of identifying XML/HTML elements that must be observed as well as manipulated. While designing, the application should be made for easy identifying of elements through adding of ‘id’ which is well-named and attributes to unique elements; along with class attributes that are well-named for repeated structures such as tables or lists. By virtue of attributes you can refer directly to the interested elements easily. You can also start simplifying the locators by creating locators that rely on the essential parts.

Problems in timeouts- This is a very common problem. There are times when the timeout is not long enough, thus the tests fail under load. For that, the best thing that you should do is not use timeouts at all. When using, they should be used by generous setting or using them together with notification from the UI being tested.

During problems with selenium testing, it is best to do some research as well as analysis to find out the main cause so that you can understand the reason for such behavior. Most often the problem is minor and can be solved through the proper resources. No matter what the problem, these days there are plenty of resources to take advantage of. There are several videos, blogs, documentations, user groups, chat rooms, conferences, forums, books, etc which can aid you so that you can use the tool successfully.

You can hire testers from top custom selenium testing company in India who can help you accomplish testing with the selenium tools within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide selenium automation testing services. If you would like to discuss with an expert selenium tester from our team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Automated Testing with Selenium and Cucumber

The choice of web browser varies from one user to another. So an internet application must be accessible on several web browsers to become popular. As a key part of the development lifecycle, programmers have tone ensure that the app will work flawlessly across a set of widely used web browsers. The cross-browser compatibility of an internet application can be checked through extensive regression testing. But regression testing requires additional time and resources.

selenium automation testingTherefore, organizations prefer using effective test automation tools like Selenium and Cucumber to avoid expensive and time-consuming regression tests. The tools enable developers to create several fully automated test suites that will run against a set of web browsers. Also, they have option to run the automated test suits as part of the build pipeline or schedules build process. Regardless of the approach, the tools are effective in detecting bugs quickly and along with providing rapid feedback.

Web Application Testing with Cucumber
As a widely used test automation tool Cucumber facilitates behavior driven development. The developers can use Cucumber to describe the expected behavior of the internet application in plain text. Despite being written in Ruby, the tool supports several programming languages including Java, Ruby, C#.NET, Python and FLEX. So it becomes easier for developers to test applications written using any of these supported programming languages.

The entire Cucumber testing process can be divided into six broad steps. But the programmers are not required to write any code while fixing a bug in, or adding a new feature to the application. They can simply describe the expected behavior in plain text. When the feature or bug is tested through Cucumber, the tool will highlight the successes and failures. Based on the failures, programmers can write code to fix the bugs. As Cucumber requires test cases to be written in advance, it helps managers and business analysts to verify if the key requirements are met.

Web Application Testing with Selenium
Selenium provides developers with a set of tools required for testing different aspects of an internet application. The tool is further used widely by developers for browser testing automation. So Selenium is effective in evaluating the performance and behavior of an application across a set of supported web browsers. Selenium also comes with a suite of tools that run seamlessly across widely used operating systems and web browsers. The testers can further control these tools through a number of frameworks and programming languages.

Along with web browser automation, Selenium can also be used to web-based administration tasks. As the tool supports most web browsers, it becomes easier for developers to include the tool as part of the browser’s native components. An organization also has option to choose Selenium IDE, Selenium WebDriver or Selenium Remote Control according to the nature and requirements of each web application development project.

The IDE can be used as a simple Firefox add-on to perform simple record and playback with the web browser. In addition to creating bug reproduction scripts rapidly, the IDE also creates script for automation-aided exploratory testing. On the other hand, the Selenium WebDriver and Selenium Remote Control are used to optimize browser-based regression automation. These suites further help developers in distributing and scaling test scripts across different environments.

A constant increase is noted in the number of organization adopting behavior based development approach. The agile methodology further helps developers in rapidly test how an internet application works across multiple browsers. Both Cucumber and Selenium must be used together to effectively check the application’s cross-browser compatibility. These tools must be used together for automated behavior driven development testing to curtail the overall development cost and time.

You can hire testers from top selenium web testing companies in India who can help you accomplish testing with the selenium tools within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide selenium automation testing services. If you would like to discuss with certified selenium testers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.