Selenium is one of the most popular tools for automating website testing. The Selenium ecosystem includes numerous supporting tools and libraries in addition to Selenium itself: there’s Selenium IDE, which enables test authors to record tests directly into a browser; there’s Selenium RC, a server that receives tests from local Selenium clients and executes them; and there’s Selenium WebDriver, which is an implementation of the WebDriver standard that allows testers to write tests in their own programming languages. Each tool has its own particular use cases, but all these tools can be combined together to create fully automated testing pipelines. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to 4 ways you can use Selenium in your automation testing processes.
Define Browser Automation Frameworks
First, let’s address the question of browser automation frameworks. What exactly do we mean by that? Selenium is a tool that helps you write tests that interact with websites. You can write your tests in any programming language, and then run Selenium in a browser to see if they work. The Selenium server runs on your computer, and it connects to each browser that runs your tests and sends instructions to them.
Selenium supports numerous different programming languages, so you can write your tests in whatever language you’re most comfortable with.
Selenium is an open source project that has been around for a long time, so it’s very mature. For this same reason, however, it can be a bit complex to get started with. There are several different browser automation frameworks that are built on top of Selenium, which offer more intuitive APIs.
Test User Experience and User Interface
Selenium can be used to automate end-to-end tests that simulate user interactions, such as filling out a form, clicking a button, or scrolling to a certain section of a page. These tests enable you to verify that critical features and functionalities of your application are working correctly.
Selenium can capture screenshots while executing tests and save them as images. These images can be used to create test cases, generate reports, or create test data.
These tests can also be used to validate the User Interface (UI) of a website, which can be helpful if you’re testing a website that’s not available in your own browser environment, or if you’re working on a project that requires a high degree of realism.
Test Web-Based APIs
Selenium can be used to automate API tests that check the functionality of web-based APIs such as RESTful APIs. API tests are typically much shorter than full-blown user interactions tests, and they’re often more focused on checking the responses from API calls.
You can use Selenium to call an API (for example, an API for logging in to your application), receive a response, and then check that the response is what you expected. You can use the tools in the Selenium ecosystem to interact with any web-based API that has a predictable output and doesn’t require user interaction.
Monitor Websites and Track Changes Over Time
Selenium can be used to monitor websites and track changes over time. For this, you’d also use Selenium’s WebDriver implementation. Websites monitoring can be used to check that a website is online, or to check that it’s running correctly. Monitoring websites can be used to make sure that your website is available to customers around the world, and that it’s not experiencing downtime due to technical issues. Monitoring websites can also be used to track changes over time.
You can set up a Selenium script that checks that a website is running correctly every so often (e.g., on a daily basis). Whenever you change something on the website, you can write a new Selenium script to check that the change has been applied correctly. Web monitoring allows you to identify issues as soon as they happen, and get them resolved before they impact your customers.
Browser automation frameworks can be used to make Selenium easier to use by providing an easier-to-understand API. Selenium can be used to automate browser-based user interactions, API tests, mobile app user acceptance tests, and website and web app monitoring. Automation testing using selenium can be used to test any website or web application that is accessible from a browser, regardless of whether it’s a website, or an API.
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