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5 Best Practices of Implementing Selenium Test Automation

Friday May 12, 2017

5 Best Practices of Implementing Selenium Test Automation

Open Source Innovation and Open Source Innovation platforms have been constantly creating news over a period of time. However, it isn’t a levity anymore to be ignored, as today enterprises of all shapes and sizes are considering Open Source for development and exploring various testing needs. The key reason is that open innovation fades the differences/gaps between companies, experts from various streams, institutions, etc., and boosts collaboration.

The underlying objective is to speed up the delivery process by taking the open innovation route and get more and more hands and brains to deliver excellence.

With reference to the various software testing requirements, there is a rising demand for automating tests to speed up the testing cycle and bring further efficiency in terms of test coverage. Test Automation increases the repeatability of tests, which further enhances testing efficiency. It is mainly adopted for improving accuracy, enhancing test coverage within shorter timelines, and eventually bringing cost efficiency.

Enterprises are implementing both commercial/proprietary tools and frameworks as well as open-source tools to automate tests and bring efficiency to the testing cycle. With growing need for quality and speed, automation has clearly become an integral part of an organization’s development and testing strategy.

According to Transparency Market Research (TMR) the global test automation market, which in 2015 had a valuation of US$12.91 bn, is expected to reach US$85.84 bn by the end of 2024. Interestingly, the market for test automation in North America, which stood at US$5.70 bn in 2015, is expected to be worth US$29.78 bn by 2024. This states the market potential for Test Automation and the need for an apt tool to align with the needs of the project.

There are diverse options in the market for automation testing, you just need to align them with your requirements – project size, turnaround time, resources involved, and mainly the automation required. Enterprises have been leveraging established licensed automation tools such as QTP, TestingWhiz, TestComplete, Ranorex, QA Wizard Pro, Silk Test, QA Test, and Rational Robot for various testing requirements.

At the same time, there is a rising demand for Open Source automation tools such as Selenium, SOAP UI, Robotium, WebDriver, JMeter, JUnit to take care of performance testing, regression testing, and functional testing.

Nevertheless, industry experts and QA professionals have been oscillating between the choice of commercial tools and open source tools after evaluating its various benefits and understanding its implications. While Open source tools bring the cost-effective factor and open community participation, tools such as Selenium are being considered to be the best open source tool for testing web applications for its various features.

Why Selenium?

Many would give credits to the ‘free’ aspect in the entire Selenium Test Automation deal, but the benefits are way beyond the obvious cost factors. Enterprises are considering the same and leveraging the tool for testing Web Applications.

Amongst the many reasons, the key success factor for Selenium is that the tests can be coded in multiple programming languages, where they can be executed directly across various web browsers and operating systems. Selenium is considered as the most robust tool, as its features are simple to use, offer easy user interfaces that enable to meet 90% of the requirements of web application testers.

It is flexible, supports multiple browsers, weaves into multiple programming languages such as JAVA, .NET, Ruby, Perl, PHP, and provides the option of using a broad range of IDEs with the tester’s choice of programming language.

As the experts say, not every test can be automated and automation has to be a strategic decision. The planning and process have to focus on optimizing the tool and achieving maximum test coverage.

Check out some best practices or things to consider while implementing Selenium Test Automation:

1. Understand the application

Selection of the tool totally depends on the project/application/product at hand for testing. So, it is critical to assess the application for various nuances. For instance, if it is a web application, find the top browsers that it should be compatible with and accordingly decide on the testing strategy. This will help ease out the automation process and enable effective implementation of the tool.

2. Training on the tool

This applies to any tool that you intend to choose, where you need to check the compatibility and comfort of the team with the tool. So, it is important to ensure that the team is well-versed with various features of the tool before the actual testing starts. The idea is to avoid the learning curve by considering the tool that minimizes it. Selenium being an open platform, there is tremendous group learning and experience that helps in further learning and adoption.

3. Distribute the testing efforts

Every team has various levels of expertise, where the different tests are created based on the QA engineer’s skill sets. So, once the level of experience and skills of each team member are identified, the automation effort can be divided. Writing the tests can be a specialized task while performing the tests can be taken up by another group.

Consequently, testing done collectively becomes very much effective for finding defects and speeding up the process.

4. Envision the end result or outcome from Automation

The choice to go with an Open Source tool for test automation happens for a particular reason and with an objective. So, it is important to understand the end objective to be achieved with the tool. With reference to data-driven testing, retrieving good test data is critical, so the key objective of using Selenium would be to generate quality test data for quick reference.

Additionally, good amount of test data can make the automated tests reusable and feasible to maintain.

5. Generate reports and circulate for quicker turnaround

Selenium helps you to generate test reports in various formats and provides a resourceful dashboard. So, the tool can be effectively leveraged to generate reports for circulating them amongst the team and enabling prompt action for planning the next step in the project. Moreover, these reports are readily available to all for a better action plan and faster turnaround.

In Conclusion

If implemented effectively, Selenium can enable better collaboration, faster turnaround, enhanced test coverage, effective collection of test data, and robust quality mapping of the application. Selenium is a powerful tool that can be leveraged effectively by developers and testers. The highlight is that it can be leveraged even without much knowledge of scripting language. All in all, it ensures that the quality of the application is unbroken and the application/software is market ready.

So what are your thoughts about utilizing Selenium for test automation? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

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