A web application is developed in many stages and a lengthy procedure is involved in developing it and bringing it to reality. Testing is generally the pen ultimate state of a typical web application development process. Once your web application has been developed, it’s time to test whether it’s functioning seamlessly across multiple platforms & web browsers, whether it’s responsive to multiple screen sizes or whether it’s bug free or not. These testing processes are generally carried out in an automated way and more and more companies are now opting for automated testing over its traditional form that is manual testing. Test automation has come up to be the most favoured and effective way of testing web applications for a variety of reasons the most significant and obvious ones being the repeatability and the speed of execution of these tests which manual testing can hardy achieve.
Test automation means using a software tool to run repeatable tests against the application to be tested. There are many tools available for automated testing but the most widely used open sourced testing tool is selenium. Selenium is free and open sourced automated testing suite for web applications across multiple web browsers and platforms, focusing on automating web based applications. Selenium is not a single tool but a collection of four different tools, a suite to be precise, with each tool catering to a different testing need of an organization. The four components of selenium are:
WebDriver and selenium RC merged together and is collectively called Selenium 2 with WebDriver at the core. Selenium 2 is still being fully developed and is the future of the selenium project.
Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
The Selenium IDE has the simplest framework and is the easiest to learn among the four components. It’s basically a prototyping tools for running test scripts. Being a Firefox plug in, it’s easy to install and provides easy to use interface for the development of automated tests. There is record feature in Selenium IDE which records user actions and then exports them in reusable script formats for Selenium RC and Web Driver.
Selenium Remote Control (RC)
Selenium RC also called selenium 1 is previous version of the selenium project. It was cross browser and cross platform with faster execution than Selenium IDE. It can perform looping and conditional operations with support for data driven testing. However, it is now deprecated and is supported only in maintenance mode. As of version 2.25.0, RC can support the following programming languages:
It supports the same languages as Selenium RC.
Selenium Grid is used together with Selenium RC to run parallel tests, i.e it runs multiple tests across different machines and different browsers at the same time. By using parallel processing Selenium Grid saves a lot of time. Also it can manage large test suits by dividing them for testing in multiple grids thus boosting performance substantially.
Mastering selenium automated testing can prove to be a good choice to opt for as a career move.