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Angela Gupta
Angela Gupta

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What is Selenium? A Beginner's Guide

Automating tests across browsers for these web applications is beneficial with the increase in online works and the vast number of websites. Selenium is the tool that allows you to automate web browsers. Selenium allows you to write test scripts in programming languages like Java, NodeJS, PHP, Ruby, Perl, C#, and more in a single interface.

With the help of Selenium, you can now test web applications on various browsers and multiple operating systems. Selenium is mainly used for functional and regression testing, and the testing are done by the Selenium tool are referred to as Selenium testing. 

You can implement Selenium tests using Python programming language as it is a scripting language with tremendous library support and is well suitable for test automation. You can utilize Java8 to implement Selenium tests with higher execution speed. Java has a prominent presence in commercial applications, and this feature makes it easier to integrate Selenium tests. ****

You are aware Selenium is an automation testing tool. Before getting in-depth, let us understand the manual and automation testing. There are multiple differences and benefits to manual and automation testing. A human is responsible for conducting the test where they perform tests step by step without test scripts. 

In the case of automation testing, you can execute tests automatically through test automation frameworks and other helpful tools and software. Testers are benefited from these automation tests as they can execute more test cases and improve the test coverage. When you compare manual testing with automation testing, you can analyze that manual testing is a long process that takes more time and is less efficient than automation.

The automation process helps you achieve more tests done with greater efficiency. You make use of test scripts that automates test execution and requires less time to complete the tasks. The automation tasks can also include accurate user simulations, and Selenium is the functional automation tool that helps you achieve all the expectations.****

If you get familiar with the Selenium tool, you will understand that it is not just a single tool but is a combination of various suites of software. Selenium has four components Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment), Selenium RC (Remote Control) - deprecated now, Selenium WebDriver, and Selenium Grid.

Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment)

Selenium IDE is implemented as a firefox extension that provides record and playback functionalities on test scripts. It allows testers to export recorded scripts in languages like Java, HTML, Python, C#, Ruby, RSpec, JUnit, and TestNG. Selenium IDE allows you to use these exported scripts in Selenium RC or web driver. This IDE has limited scope, and the generated test scripts are not robust and portable.

Selenium Remote Control

Selenium Remote Control (RC) is a server, written in Java, that accepts commands for the browser via HTTP in any programming language, which promotes better amalgamation of Selenium in existing unit test frameworks.****

Selenium RC comes with two components.

  • Selenium RC Server - acts as an HTTP proxy for web requests.
  • Selenium RC Client - library comprising your programming language code.

Selenium WebDriver

It is the successor to Selenium RC and is the most crucial component of the Selenium suite. SeleniumWebDriver helps you with the interface where you can create and execute test cases. These test scripts are written to identify the web elements on web pages, and desired actions are performed on these elements. SeleniumWebDriver performs faster than Selenium RC, and it makes the direct calls the methods to the web browsers. Hence, we have the different drivers for each browser, and some of the primarily used web drivers include:

  • Mozilla Firefox Driver
  • Internet Explorer Driver
  • Google Chrome Driver
  • Opera Driver
  • HTML Unit Driver - a particular headless driver
  • Safari Driver
  • Selenium Grid

It is an essential component of Selenium Suite which allows you to run tests on multiple machines against various browsers in parallel. It follows the Hub-Node Architecture to execute parallel test scripts.

Career in Selenium

Selenium is a popular open-source testing tool many companies use to test their web applications. A career in Selenium can be rewarding, and you will be able to work with different browsers and help companies test their web applications. Selenium is a popular tool, and there is high demand for Selenium testers.

If you are interested in a career in Selenium, you should learn Selenium Basics and other Selenium courses and learn how to write Selenium scripts. You should also become familiar with Selenium WebDriver. Many articles, blogs, courses, and tutorials are available online to help you learn Selenium.

Wrapping Up

Selenium is a web development tool that enables you to test your web applications. It automates the process of checking the functionality and responsiveness of your web applications. Selenium can test web applications in different browsers on different platforms. 

Hence, it is crucial to be aware of helpful automation tools like Selenium and upskill yourself in this automation tech world. A novice in this field can go for a Selenium tutorial and understand what is Selenium. There is also a Selenium course available online, which will help you better grip Selenium basics. Hence, learn this beneficial automation tool to enhance your working processes.

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