Software testing is a crucial part of software development. While it is possible to test software manually, it leaves room for errors. In addition, the manual method is time-consuming, demanding the tester to be constantly present. Therefore, using automation tools for software testing is better as they are effective in avoiding errors while making the software testing process easier.
One of the most popular tools for automated software testing is Selenium. This blog discusses what Selenium is and its features.
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What is Selenium?
There are four main types of Selenium tools:
- Selenium RC- This tool allows the users to upload their web or mobile application UI scripts for testing. It is effective in testing complex scripts.
- Selenium WebDriver- It is one of the most essential and widely used selenium tools that allow testing of scripts through programming or script-based interface.
- Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)- This tool works on Firefox, Chrome, and Opera and facilitates playback of test scripts written in Python, Java, HTML, and Ruby.
- Selenium Grid- The Selenium grid is used to test scripts of different browsers or servers. It is mainly used for running tests in a parallel environment.
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The following are all the things you should know if a Selenium Tutorial:
1. Setting up the environment:-
Before you start using Selenium, you need to set up or install it on your laptop or computer. Here is how you can do it:
- Download and Install Java- The first step is to download and install the Java Development Kit on your laptop through the URL ‘http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html’
- Download and Configure Eclipse- After downloading and installing Java, the next step is to download and configure eclipse through the URL http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/. It is downloaded in a zip format. You can unzip the file, install it, and configure eclipse.
- Configure FireBug and FirePath– To work with Selenium RC or web driver, you will need FireBug and FirePath Plugin that you can download from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/firebug/ and download the plugin.
- Configure Selenium RC:- The next step is to download and configure Selenium RC. First, you need to go to the URL http://www.seleniumhq.org/download/ and download the latest version of the selenium server. Once that is done, the users need to command prompt and move to the JAR file folder. You will need to type the command ‘java -jar <<downloaded jar name >> to start the server.
- Configure Selenium WebDriver- Lastly, you need to configure the selenium WebDriver by downloading it from http://www.seleniumhq.org/download/.
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2. Selenium Commands:-
Commands are actions that a user enters for the Selenium tools to perform. There are three types of commands in Selenium – actions, accessors, and assertions.
a. Actions- These are commands used to manipulate or alter the situation of the application. Actions include:
- Click (locator)- used to click on a link or button.
- clickAt (locator, coordString)- uses locator or coordinates to click on an element.
- close ()- allows the close option to appear as a popup window.
- dragAndDropToObject (Dragobject, dropobject)- allows dragging an element and dropping it on another element.
- contextMenuAt (locator, coordString)- used to open the context menu from a specified location.
b. Accessors:- Selenium accessors are used to check the application’s state, and the results are stored in variable form. Some of the most common accessors include:
- storeAllButtons (variableName)- used to return the IDs of all buttons.
- storeAllLinks (variableName) allows returning IDs of link pages.
c. Assertions:- The purpose of assertions is to verify the application’s state and do a comparison, if necessary. Here are the most commonly used assertions for Selenium.
- verifySelected (selectLocator, optionLocator) V- used to verify that the option specifier is satisfied by the selected option.
- verifyAlert (pattern)- used to verify the alert text.
- verifyAllLinks (pattern)- used to verify all links. People generally use this assertion with accessor storeAllLinks.
d. Locators:- The purpose of locators is to identify the HTML element and the command. The following are the different types of locators in commands.
- identifier=id- used to select an element with ‘id’ or name attribute.
- name=name- the first element with the name attribute is selected.
- xpath=xpathExpression is used to locate an element using XPath expression.
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How to allow Selenium to interact with other apps?
The Selenium Webdriver allows the interaction of selenium with various web applications, which occurs through some basic-user defined functions and not predefined commands. The most common types of interactions in Selenium WebDriver are Text box interaction which requires putting values in a box and using the sand key method, Drop Down Item Selection, Keyboard Actions, Radio Button Selection, and more.
How to design tests in Selenium?
The primary purpose of using Selenium is to automate test checking. It can be done through different techniques like:
- Page object model- Selenium has an inbuilt object repository, and it works through the different properties of its web elements like XPath and name. The path object model is used to create an object repository for Selenium which allows the formation of different web elements using class files. You need to follow these steps for testing:
- The first step requires creating a class through (page_objects_perc_calc.java). It is followed by creating methods for identifiers.
- Next, you have to create a class, import the package, and create methods for object identifiers.
- The test then gets executed. You will find it printed on the console.
- Excel- To test a software product, it is necessary to parameterise a test initially. This can be done through Excel by following these steps:
- The first step is to download JAR Excel through the URL http://poi.apache.org/download.html.
- You need to unzip the earlier folder and create a new project.
- After that, you need to add all the external JARS in one folder by creating a new project.
- Next, you have to add ‘External JARs’ in ‘ooxml-lib’ and the ‘lib’ folder.
- Then you have to parameterise the inputs by using a % calculator in Excel.
- Create generic methods for accessing the Excel file and then the main method. Then execute the script.
- Logging- This is done through Log4j, which is an audit framework.
- The first step is to download the log4j JAR file and create a new Java project.
- Add ‘log4j_demo’ to the name of the new project and click on the external jar.
- After this, you need to add Selenium WebDriver libraries and click on add JAR again to insert Selenium WebDriver JAR.
- Create a new XML file and add the properties of Log4j. Next, you must add a main function in the class file and execute it.
- Multi-browser testing- With Selenium, you can simultaneously test and execute scripts in multiple browsers. You need to download and install Selenium Grid for this.
- Capture screenshots or videos- This method allows taking screenshots of failure while the test is running. It is done through Selenium Grid with remote features. When a screenshot is not sufficient, you can also take videos to record the failure during program execution. Here is how you can capture videos.
- You must first download the screen recorder through http://www.randelshofer.ch/monte/index.html.
- Then add the JAR file to the current project’s libraries.
- For graphics configuration, you can use Java’s AWT package.
- The recorded video is saved on your computer.
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With increasing advancements in technology, organisations are focusing more on automation. Since Selenium is an automation software, deep knowledge of the framework will help you move forward in your career. You can get a job as an automation lead, quality engineer, and selenium automation analyst.
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What skills do I need to learn Selenium?
To learn Selenium, you should be well-versed with multiple programming languages, manual testing, and experience in leading automation testing tools. It is also beneficial to know basic syntax, data types, data structures, and variables.
Is Selenium a good career option?
Yes, Selenium is a good career option. It is one of the most popular automation software for testing. You can apply to plenty of job opportunities like Selenium tester, automation engineer, test analyst, and quality engineer after learning Selenium.
Is it necessary to know Java to learn Selenium?
In addition to Java, Selenium also supports other programming languages like C, Ruby, and Python. So if you are a manual tester, basic knowledge of Java will also be sufficient for learning Selenium.