During the early years of software development, manual testing was the dominant process of performing all the test cases.
However, with the advancement of technology and the passage of time, developers began to realize that it had many loopholes. Manual testing not only lacks the reliability aspect but also lacks the required amount of scalability. This is because it almost takes ages for the developers to perform all the different combinations of the test cases. These combinations include different types of operating systems, devices and browsers. Developers are often stuck with short delivery dates and have to test the web application on thousands of different parameters. These are the areas where automated cross-browser testing seems to be a lifesaver. Automated browser testing plays a vital role in speeding up the delivery process for high-quality web applications.
Selenium is considered to be the prince of all the frameworks that are currently used for performing automated cross-browser testing. Out of all the tools available in the Selenium project, Selenium Grid has proved to be the most helpful to all the developers. This is because it allows the developers to perform parallel testing on their web applications. In this article, we will try to discuss the primary uses and advantages of Selenium. We will also try to determine how the Selenium Grid is superior compared to a Local Grid.
Let us begin by understanding the basics of Selenium.
What is Selenium
Selenium is an open-source framework that developers can use to automate all the products under the testing phase. In simple terms, we can say that Selenium automates the web application in such a way that it behaves like a user. It also allows the developers to write the test scripts in different programming languages like Java, Python, C#, etc. These test cases are ideal for testing the functioning of the web application on different types of Browsers. You can also implement these test cases to verify the functioning of the web application on different versions of an individual Browser. The Selenium Test Suite consists of four major components. These components are the Selenium integrated development environment, Selenium WebDriver, Selenium RC and Selenium Grid.
The Selenium WebDriver is one of the most important components of the suite. The developers can merge all the test codes with the primary components and elements of the web application. It is a browser-specific application and can communicate directly with the web browser. On the other hand, the Selenium integrated development is a plugin that can help the developers to record all the test scripts. The web developing companies can also use this plugin to playback all the existing test scripts.
The Use of Selenium Grid
The developers use the Selenium grid on a server and client infrastructure. Here, the client will act as the hub and the server will act as the node. We can combine all these components and name them the Selenium grid. The developers have to set up the Selenium grid to conduct automated cross-browser test cases. The primary implementation of the Selenium Grid is to conduct the test cases on different browsers like Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge. Another major benefit of the Selenium grid is that it is platform-independent. This means that a code that is written for Linux can be easily used for test cases on other operating systems like Mac or Windows. Selenium Grid also helps to implement modern technologies like parallel testing and distributed testing.
The Major Benefits of Using Selenium to Conduct Automated Browser Testing
Selenium Grid has major advantages that help it to get an edge over other competitive frameworks that are available in the market. These benefits play a major role in the seamless implementation of automated cross-browser test cases. Let us look at some of the major advantages of implementing the Selenium Grid cloud:
1. Support For Extensive Languages
The support for programming languages often becomes a barrier when it comes to the smooth execution of a web application development life cycle. In most cases, the testing teams do not have adequate knowledge of these languages. Selenium grid helps you solve this issue with the help of its wide support for all the popular programming languages available in the market. It also helps to improve the coordination between different teams of a web development company. All these factors ensure a high-quality web application development process. It also helps to eliminate the hassle of learning a new programming language just for the sake of using a particular tool, platform or framework. So, while using the Selenium grid, the developers only have to worry about implementing it in the development project.
2. Free and Open-Source Nature of the Framework
The free open-source nature of the Selenium grid opens up infinite possibilities for web application test cases. It is especially beneficial for individual developers and small companies. This is because they cannot afford to invest huge amounts of money behind certain Frameworks or tools. Moreover, the open-source nature of the Selenium grid has given rise to a huge community of tech enthusiasts. This community is always working hard to improve the test experience while using the selenium framework. Web developers can also refer to this community whenever they are stuck with any feature or function of a test case. This process also helps to create a massive bond between all the developers around the world.
The developers also get a chance to test out the functioning of a beta or Alpha version of Selenium. They also have the right to suggest changes to be included in the final stable release.
Roles of Selenium Grid Cloud
1. Functional Testing on Multiple Browsers
The browser industry has gone through several changes over the past couple of years. During the early years of the internet, Internet Explorer was the only browser to access the web. However, the revolutionary technology of the present generation has presented many options to the current user base. Various market studies show that thousands of new browsers are released every day to the market. While We’re on this topic, we also have to consider all the operational versions of a single browser. So, it becomes physically impossible for a developer to perform all these test cases manually. With the help of Selenium grid and automated cross-browser testing, the developers can easily solve this issue. During this process, the developers also have to acknowledge the rule of all legacy browser versions. This is because almost 80% of the user base does not update the browsers very often.
2. Testing on Multiple Operating Systems
The last thing you want to do in the web development industry is to generalize your audience base. This is because, by this method, you will end up depriving a section of the user base due to any form of incompatibility. Discrepancies in operating system support are one such factor that you must avoid at any cost. Selenium grid helps to solve this issue with its feature of platform-independent test scripts. Using this feature, the developers do not have to waste hours rewriting the test scripts for every operating system. You can use a single portion of the test script on almost all the operating systems that are currently available. This process also helps to save financial resources for the company.
3. Implementation of Parallel testing
Parallel testing is one of the major lifesavers according to modern web development standards. In the current times, web development companies cannot expect customers to stick to the company just because of brand loyalty. Companies need to quickly deliver high-quality web applications to maintain the market standards. Parallel testing is a major step toward achieving this initiative. Using this process, the developers can initiate multiple test instances simultaneously. This means you can test the functioning of the web application on different combinations of Browsers and operating systems simultaneously. Selenium Grid is one of the few tools that can help in the smooth implementation of Parallel Testing.
Tools and Platforms to Implement Selenium-Based Automation testing
Selenium is a Suite consisting of different components and libraries. All these attachments might seem confusing to developers who are new to this industry. The best solution to this problem is to take the assistance of different tools and platforms that can help you harvest the full potential of the Selenium framework. Currently, there are thousands of tools that are available in the market for this purpose. However, you must choose the perfect tool according to your requirements and project demands. There are certain factors that you must consider to complete this goal. These factors can include your knowledge of programming languages, the requirements of the development project and the overall outlook of the company. You can also conduct market research to understand the requirements of our customers. This data will also help you to shortlist the tool for your needs.
Let us use LambdaTest as an example to elaborate on this understanding:
LambdaTest is a platform to verify the cross-browser compatibility of both mobile and desktop web applications. LambdaTest uses an online Selenium grid to run all the test cases. These cloud servers create infinite possibilities to complete the test cases by making multiple combinations. It allows the developers to verify the functioning of the web application on more than 3000 different web browsers. The developers can also use this platform to verify the proper functioning of all the local web applications. LambdaTest is also one of the few automation platforms that generate highly accurate test results. This is because it compiles the test results from not only virtual machines and emulators but also real devices. LambdaTest also stores all the final test reports for future references and bug removal processes.
Selenium grid cloud is one of the most popular platforms to complete all the automated cross-browser test cases. It has managed to maintain its position due to its enhanced features and major benefits. Web developing companies need to realize the gravity of this technology. So, they should integrate it into their core Framework as soon as possible. The developers should also understand the rule of tools in this process. It is a great idea to conduct frequent training sessions covering all these segments. Only experienced and knowledgeable developers can utilise the full potential of automated cross-browser test cases. Many experts have predicted the domination of this testing process will continue to increase in the coming years. This means that it will play a vital role in improving the market reach of all web development companies.