The look, feel and performance of a web application need to be tested across many web browsers to deliver flawless user experience. Testing professionals rely on a variety of test automation tools to test web applications effectively. But these tools often fail to test the application when frequent changes and enhancements are made to the code. As an open source test automation toolset, Selenium made it easier for testers to evaluate the web application without putting any extra time and effort. However, each user needs to understand some of its prominent advantages and disadvantage while using Selenium.
Advantages of Selenium
Same Test Script can run on Multiple Web Browses
Often QA engineers have to write several test scripts to check the performance of the web application across different web browsers. Selenium allows testers to write the test script once, and run it on multiple browsers to test the web application. The feature allows developers to test complex web application without increasing the test cycles. Further, they can easily check how the application works across different browser versions.
Option to Choose Programming Language
Some test automation tools require testing professionals to write the test scripts using a specific programming language. So testers need to learn the programming language to write test scripts. But Selenium allows users to write test scripts using any programming language. Thus, the testers can write test scripts while availing the benefits of their knowledge and technical expertise. They can further use a variety of tools to generate reports, build systems and create IDE.
Supports Multiple Testing Frameworks
Along with being a web application testing tool, Selenium can also be used as a GUI driving library. So the users have options to use Selenium for wrapping test scripts in other test frameworks. They also have option to integrate Selenium while using any framework of their choice. The developers can combine the features of other frameworks with Selenium to make the web application deliver richer and flawless user experience.
Smooth Integration with Your Existing Ecosystem
While switching to a new testing tool, testers have to check its compatibility with their existing ecosystem. Selenium can be integrated with several widely used tools like Hudson and QMetry. Thus, the testers can integrate the testing tools with the existing solutions and suite of tools. The simple and easy integration process further does not require the users to invest additionally in commercial tools.
Disadvantages of Selenium
Expertise Required in a Particular Programming Language
As Selenium supports a variety of programming languages, it becomes easier for the tester to write scripts in his preferred programming language. But the professional must have adequate expertise in the specific language to write test scripts. The technical expertise in one of the supported languages is essential for testing web applications comprehensively using Selenium.
Assistance of the Selenium Community Needed
While using Selenium, testing professionals will need support and assistance to handle technical issues. As Selenium is an open source technology, they users do not have option to avail the assistance of a dedicated support team. They have to avail the help of the selenium community forums to resolve the technical issues. Sometimes additional time is required to use Selenium by handling these technical issues.
Additional Tools Required to Generate Reports
Despite being effective in testing web applications comprehensively, Selenium still lacks inbuilt reporting capabilities. The testing professionals have to use additional tools to generate test reports while testing applications using Selenium. Many professionals use plug-ins like JUnit and TestNG to generate test reports while availing other features of Selenium.
Despite these limitations, Selenium is still effective in reducing the test cycles drastically. The reduced release cycle further help enterprises in curtailing the overall project cost. But the testers must use Selenium properly to overcome some of its prominent limitations.
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