Few Tips and Tricks to Work on Selenium

As a portable software testing framework, Selenium is used widely for automating websites and web applications for testing purpose. Along with automating web browsers, Selenium is also effective in automating the web-based administration tasks. It further allows QA professionals to write test cases in C#, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Perl, Python, Objective-C and Ruby. At the same time, the testing framework is also compatible with major operating systems and web browsers. However, you must be familiar with a number of tips and tricks to effectuate web application testing with Selenium.

Tips and Tricks for Testing Web Applications with Selenium

Editing Test Source Code
selenium automated testingEach time you save a test, an HTML file with the test definition will be stored Selenium IDE by default. So you have option to edit the test source code in two distinct ways. You can quickly edit the test source code by editing them outside the IDE window. Otherwise, you can put HTML file to a tests folder, and include it in your version control system. Along with making the folder a part of the project, you also have option to save, share and add versions.

Grouping Tests into Test Cases
An individual test aims to check specific operations like login feature of a website. So you can always write small and simple tests to effectively check a particular feature of the web application. You also have option to write and add new teas cases without any restriction. But you must not forget to group your tests in an orderly manner into a test suite. You can simply open and run the test suite to the run all tests included in it.

Executing JavaScript Code
While using WebDriver test case, you can execute JavaScript code in a number of ways. You can use the synchronous ExecuteScript() to execute the next line of code only after the previous script execution returns. On the other hand, you can use ExecuteAsyncScript() to run the code without any interruption. But you must use ExecuteScript() when the JavaScript execution depends on the test logic. However, the return type of the function will vary according to the value returned by your script.

Identifying Elements
You have option to identify elements on page through their ids, names, CSS selectors, XPath or DOM syntax. The Selenium IDE decides the selector type automatically according to the order set by you in the option. Many testers use XPath frequently as a generic tool to identify path in an XML document. But you must avoid using XPath to identify elements, as it produces very long selectors, without being exactly intuitive.

Using the Driver API
Selenium allows you to run tests using several web browsers. But regardless of the web browser, you must refer to the driver API by using the RemoteWebDriver class. You can further create a text or XML file to describe the testing environment including the web browsers you will use. After creating the file, get it compiled to return the relevant and correct driver instance. The correct browser instance will make the tests independent of the specific browser driver class.

Cleaning up
Each time a test suite completes running, you need to ensure that it frees the resources used by the web driver instance and closes the browser window. You can make the WebDriver’s API release resources using several methods including Dispose(), Quit() and Close(). But you must keep in mind the differences between these methods to effectively release resources. For instance, Dispose() or Quit() will close all browser windows, whereas Close() will close only the current browser window.

Based on the specific web application testing requirements, the testers also have option to choose from Selenium IDE and Selenium WebDriver. As a Firefox add-on, the Selenium IDE can be used to perform a set of record and playback interaction with the web browser. On the other hand, the Selenium WebDriver can be used as a collection of language specific bindings to drive the web browser according to the expected user experience. So it is always important for the QA engineers to decide the most appropriate part of Selenium to effectuate the web application testing.

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