By 2024, it is predicted that the software automation testing market will be worth over USD 28.8 billion globally. Selenium will be one of the key contributors to this growth story. So, what is Selenium? Nearly every enterprise with a successful test automation strategy in place for their digital enterprise ecosystem will be aware of the top automation platforms in the market available for automation testing. Selenium will occupy the top spot in terms of platform preferences in most cases. However, as with most software platforms, implementing a test automation strategy with Selenium is not without its fair share of challenges. Enterprises need to be aware of these challenges and the means to mitigate them. To know why Selenium testing is successful, it is crucial to understand the challenges in Selenium automation and the best practices to minimize or eliminate challenges.
In this blog, we will cover
- What is Selenium
- What is Selenium used for
- Key challenges in Selenium automation
- How to eliminate challenges in selenium testing
- Trusting Selenium automation for better quality assurance
What is Selenium
Selenium is a popular open-source test automation tool or platform that offers a framework on top of which software testing professionals can build and execute automated test scripts. In addition, Selenium provides an interface that allows test scripts to be written in various popular programming languages like Ruby, Node JS, Python, Java, C#, PHP, etc.
What is Selenium Used for?
Selenium testing allows enterprises to validate web applications across different browsers for their functionality and compatibility. Selenium comprises a suite of software tools, each catering to different QA testing needs of an enterprise for their different technology implementations. Once a test script is written in a preferred programming language, Selenium enables its execution on a browser instance in any targeted device like a smartphone or tablet PC or an actual PC. This allows testing teams to save countless hours of testing time, which would have been needed if they had to manually validate every module of an application in an actual run-time environment outside of the development ecosystem. In the absence of Selenium automation, ensuring the quality of a large enterprise application from an end-to-end perspective could take days or weeks to complete.
Key Challenges in Selenium Automation
Despite being a major player in the global automation testing market, the use of Selenium often leads to challenging situations for enterprises. It occurs primarily because of poor strategic planning and a lack of awareness of how to leverage different functionalities of the test automation tool according to unique characteristics of business applications.
Let us explore four key challenges in Selenium automation.
- Handling dynamic web page content: Modern websites are moving away from a multi-page approach and instead are focusing on retaining a single-page version on which different hidden elements are constantly pulled into action dynamically from servers on demand. This can create challenges for test professionals while writing test scripts on Selenium.
- Testing for Mobile Operating Systems: Today, more content is consumed on mobile devices worldwide than traditional computer screens. Hence, it is essential to ensure that any web application needs to be tested for reliability on mobile OS browsers before they are released to the market. Selenium, by default, doesn’t offer too much reliability for mobile browser testing for capabilities such as responsive design.
- Validating Dynamic Runtime Elements: For security reasons, most websites today leverage measures such as captcha to prevent unauthorized bot attacks on different subsections in the webpage. End-users can access them only after they solve the captcha. Additionally, there could be system pop-up messages and notifications that can come up from the operating system side, over which, the Selenium testing environment has little interaction whatsoever. From a testing perspective, this can become challenging as Selenium doesn’t have a captcha solving intelligence in its arsenal inherently nor handle pop-up activities from the underlying OS.
- Scalability Issues: As the application grows in usage and feature additions, the scope and coverage of the testing landscape also increase. While Selenium lets you run test builds in sequence over multiple environments, it may not be very effective as the application size increases. It is to be noted that automation of the software testing stage is effective when testers can run as many tests as possible covering all possible scenarios. Hence, scalability issues can impact the overall test quality in the long run.
How to Eliminate Challenges in Selenium Testing
The challenges mentioned above may seem like a deterrent for enterprises in trusting Selenium for their test automation needs. However, these challenges can be easily eliminated with the right approach and strategic configurations, and modifications to the Selenium tool. Most businesses do not have this knowledge and, therefore, they are more likely to not succeed in terms of ROI when Selenium automation is leveraged in their testing landscape. Almost all the challenges mentioned above have workarounds.
The issue of dynamic content loading in web pages as well as pop-up and captcha management can be solved by using wait times, both implicit and explicit, in the Selenium framework. It can pause the test execution till all relevant running conditions are met and satisfactory. As for mobile testing, Selenium has offerings like the Appium that allows developers to test and validate content on native mobile OS browsers and check for their compatibility and responsiveness. Finally, Selenium Grid allows the parallel execution of test cases at any scale to help in resolving scalability issues.
Trusting Selenium Automation for Better Quality Assurance
It is to be noted that nearly all the challenges in Selenium automation have solutions, and the real problem is the lack of knowledge of enterprises to implement the workaround solution. Selenium testing is one of the most prolific QA innovations that has made a lasting impact on the way software development standards have improved over the last decade. Having the proper guidance and knowledge on leveraging the various facets of Selenium automation is the real test of faith for enterprises. For this, it is essential to have powerful testing platforms like ACCELQ using which, you can create the most strategic success roadmap for automation testing in your businesses.