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Using Selenium as an Automated Testing Tool: Pros and Cons

© by IsTOCK

Selenium is a popular open-source testing tool that is changing the way many developers and testers conduct testing protocols. The Selenium framework has many different tools to automate web browser testing. The Selenium interface allows testers to develop intricate test cases in different languages and for different operating systems and browsers.

Also, the Selenium platform is adaptable and can be customized for any project, regardless of your requirements, making it one of the most popular frameworks for developers in the tech industry.

The popularity of Selenium is significantly influenced by the fact that it reduces the amount of time spent on coding and increases automation efficiency. Meanwhile, when we look at manual testing, Selenium automation framework is more flexible and has huge coverage of product areas and has decreased manual regression test effort by 46%.

If you’d like to know more, check out the rest of our article below.

Pros of Selenium Automation Framework
There are numerous benefits to using the Selenium automation framework. These include:

Selenium Is an Open Source Software and Completely Free
All of the Selenium projects available under the Apache 2.0 license (Selenium RC, Selenium IDE, Selenium Grid, and Selenium WebDrive) are completely free to use and can be downloaded and modified according to your project’s requirements. However, while you can modify the source code to suit, you cannot sell your modified code.

Selenium Supports Different Programming Language for Test Scripts
One of the best things about Selenium is that it supports many different programming languages. For example, you can write test scripts in Java, Perl, C#, Python, PHP, Ruby, and more.

However, if you use Selenium IDE, be aware that it does not support any programming of any kind.

Selenium Supports Various Different Operating Systems
Another key benefit of Selenium is that you can use it alongside many different operating systems and offer cross-system functionality. For example, you can create test cases in MS Windows and then use those same test cases in other operating environments like Mac or Linux.

Selenium Supports Every Popular Browser
Selenium testers also have the added benefit of creating test cases that can be executed in every popular browser without editing the taste case. For example, testers can executive test cases in Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari, Opera, and other browsers.

However, keep in mind that Selenium IDE only supports the Firefox browser.

Selenium Allows Parallel Test Executions
Selenium testers can use Selenium Grid to execute multiple tests at the same time, reducing the time it takes to thoroughly test an application.

Selenium Requires Fewer Hardware Resources
Compared to Vendor Tools like RFT, UFT, SilkTest, and others, Selenium automated testing requires few hardware resources. However, we still recommend that testers test on real devices rather than emulators to pick up more bugs in a natural environment.

Cons of Using Selenium Automated Testing
While Selenium testing has numerous benefits, there are a few drawbacks as well. These include:

No Tech Support Available
Due to Selenium being open-source software, there is no tech team ready to provide support if you encounter issues with the Selenium suite. However, there is a large community of Selenium testers that provide fixes and support in forums and blogs.

Only Supports Web-Based Applications
Unfortunately, Selenium only automates web browsers. Testers can apply Selenium testing to computer and mobile web apps. However, they cannot automate testing on desktop apps, or mobile native or hybrid apps.

Selenium Has a Steep Learning Curve
While the Selenium automation framework benefits many testers, it can be difficult to use depending on the tool. For example, Selenium WebDriver has no IDE and you need to write steps for every task which can be time-consuming.

Compared to Other Tools, Selenium Test Environments Can Be Difficult to Set Up
Selenium offers many tools and plug-ins for test automation, testers need to configure those tools manually.

New Features May Not Work As You’d Expect
Because Selenium is an open-source platform, there is no quality control over new features. For example, some new features will not work as intended or at all as nobody is responsible. If you were to use a vendor tool, somebody would be in charge of ensuring those features work correctly.

No Test Tool Integration Available for Managing Tests
Whereas Selenium offers many automated tools for simpler testing protocols, the Selenium suite does not have any tools available for test management. You’ll need to choose a separate test management tool from the online market.

As you can see, there are many pros and cons to using Selenium for automated testing. In short, if you are looking to make your testing process more efficient and productive, Selenium is an excellent choice, though you should expect a steeper learning curve and some difficulty looking for solutions if you run into trouble with the suite, due to the lack of technical support team.

Still, when used correctly, Selenium can prove invaluable to testers looking to cut costs and reduce testing times.