10 Advanced Selenium Techniques for Test Automation Experts
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Test automation experts know that script creation is only half the work done. The real challenge lies in debugging and fixing issues that prevent a script from running as projected.
Selenium is an automated, open-source, and popular testing tool that all test automation experts are well aware of. However, Selenium is not a single tool. It is a collection of tools, each playing vital roles in various requirements of Selenium automation testing.
Before exploring the world of Selenium automation testing, it is crucial to address the need for Selenium automation testing and how and when Selenium came into existence.
It can be tricky to indulge in Selenium automation testing without understanding the basics of Selenium itself. The Selenium package incorporates the following testing tools.
Selenium WebDriver: It is a browser-based driver. It helps experts to access and launch different browsers in different environments.
Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment): It is an integrated development environment that assists test automation experts in editing, debugging, recording, and replaying functional tests.
Selenium Grid: It allows parallel testing on different machines across different operating systems and browsers to formulate distributed test execution.
Here is a tour through 10 advanced Selenium techniques for test automation experts that will certainly aid in developing enhanced, scalable, and well-designed test cases. Integration of these cutting-edge Selenium techniques will help identify and solve issues that prevent the effective execution of tests.
Moreover, these advanced Selenium techniques are effective irrespective of the language test automation experts use.
Implicit Wait and Explicit Wait
A blocking sleep call blocks the test thread for a specified time. It is effective in blocking the thread for a single-threaded application. It is instrumental in adding the required delay. However, the duration of the delay is subject to several factors. It cannot be guaranteed that the added delay will work every time. Delays elongate the duration of tests and raise stability issues with the UI automation tests.
To deal with the blocking of sleep calls, Selenium offers Implicit and Explicit wait to tackle delays more capable than sleep. Implicit wait directs browsers to wait for a specified time for all the web elements on the page. The code execution moves to the next line if the element is faster than the implicit wait time. Moreover, the explicit wait is another dynamic wait in Selenium to stop executing the script for a specified time in a particular condition.
Autonomous Test Case Design
An automation testing design exclusively depends on the goal that an automation expert plans to attain from a test. A test suite consisting of several tests complicates the process. Avoiding interdependence between different tests and separating the test specifications from the test execution strategy are critical Selenium techniques.
Autonomous test case designs can explore parallelism to accelerate the test execution. The outcome of one test affects the outcome of other tests, and tests cannot be executed parallelly if tests are interconnected and dependent. Relevant decorators and markers can be used to avoid dependency among tests and skip running a test if its dependent test has failed. Creating autonomous test case designs can do wonders in automation testing using Selenium.
Appropriate Web Locator
Automation testing with Selenium needs modifications if there are changes in the execution related to locators used in the test. This can be challenging.
With an abundance of web locators, choosing the right web locator becomes vital in curtailing the impact on tests caused due to changes in the UI. Some prominent and widely-used web locators in Selenium WebDriver are CSS Selector, DOM Locator, ID, Link Text, Name, and XPath. It is ideal to use Link Text in case of a dynamic situation. Web locators like Class, ID, and Name are easy to use and less fragile than other web locators. Sometimes, XPath is the only web locator that can be exploited.
Browser Compatibility Matrix for Cross-Browser Testing
Browsers and their various versions make tests complicated. Cross-browser testing can be challenging while prioritizing testing on blends of different browsers and operating systems. Creating a list of combinations of browsers and operating systems is another advanced Selenium technique, as it helps list the varieties that will undergo cross-browser testing. This list of combinations is known as Browser Compatibility Matrix.
Browser Compatibility Matrix is important data derived from geolocation and product analytics. It is accumulated from specifics and insights on competitor analysis, stats counter, and audience usage patterns. Browser Compatibility Matrix reduces the development and testing efforts as it assists in covering all the relevant browsers.
Logging and Reporting
Logging can be highly useful in locating the failing test case if a test fails in a wide-ranging test suite. Console logs in the test code help develop an understanding of the code and terminate the problem. Some popular logs are critical, Debug, Error, Info, and warning. However, test execution can be delayed by adding unnecessary logs. Therefore, logging with level Error or Critical is useful in scenarios that help pinpoint the cause of failure.
Reporting in Selenium automation testing helps in determining the status of the tests. Test automation reports help track test suites’ progression and corresponding test results. It diminishes the time needed to maintain test data and improves the test output’s readability.
Automation testing using the Selenium framework cannot be effectively realized without the techniques of logging and reporting.
Page Object Model (POM)
Page Object is a popular web UI automation pattern. It boosts test maintenance and checks code duplication. In POM, a unified object archive is created for controls on a web page. In this model, the web page is applied as a separate class.
POM simplifies code maintenance as automation scripts in Selenium do not interact with the web elements of a page directly. Instead, a new page class exists amid a web page’s test code and controls. POM in Selenium automation testing reduces the code size. POM improves test maintenance, minimizes code changes, enhances code reusability, and simplifies the visuals and model of a web page.
Uniform Directory Structure
Focusing on the maintainability of test code is essential while working on tests using Selenium. A standard test automation project consists of Src and Test folders. The Src folder encompasses sub-directories containing Page Objects and helper functions and files containing web locator information used in tests. Whereas the Test folder contains the actual test implementation.
There is no standard rule for a directory structure for automation testing in Selenium. A directory structure separating the test implementation from the test automation framework helps in an improved grouping of the test code.
Data-driven Testing for Parameterization
A website must be tested against multiple datasets combining browsers, devices, and operating systems. Hard coding of test values in automation testing is not a scalable resolution. It creates bloatware and repeats the test code.
Parameterization helps achieve data-driven automation testing with Selenium by executing test cases against different data sets. Test coverage improves with a more extensive data set. Moreover, this advanced Selenium technique enhances product quality.
Wrap Selenium Calls
Wrapping Selenium calls is another technique experts can use to simplify maintaining a complex test suite. It eradicates the chances of code duplication in Selenium automation testing.
Experts use different web locators to access web elements on a web page. Frequently used codes in the implementation process should be created as a separate API to minimize code duplication. This technique helps lower the code size and enhance the test code’s maintainability.
Selenium is a popular tool that supports parallel testing. Popular test frameworks like Parallel testing on a Selenium Grid allow simultaneous execution of the same tests simultaneously on different environments. Enabling parallel testing in the implementation effectively reduces the test execution time. Popular test frameworks like Cucumber, PyTest, and TestNG, Cucumber offer features for parallel testing in Selenium.
Test automation experts can use a cloud-based Selenium Grid to perform automated testing on browsers and operating systems online. Cloud testing platforms like LambdaTest offer an online Selenium Grid that allows developers and testers to test their web applications or websites on a wide range of browsers, operating systems, and devices. With LambdaTest, users can perform manual and automated testing of their web applications or websites in real-time, ensuring that they function correctly and look great on all types of devices.
Debugging is a decisive skill for test automation experts. In other words, debugging separates the best from the rest. Just like a movie director fine-tunes every shot, you, too. With Selenium, experts can make their automation tests seamless, just like a movie director refines every shot.
This article dealt with ten advanced Selenium techniques that test automation experts must combine with their testing for the best results. Tried and tested, these advanced techniques are assisting professionals and experts in gaining insights into Selenium and its functioning.
In the ever-evolving testing world, it is important to approach debugging with a positive mindset to adapt and learn. We can easily knock out any difficulty with focus and the right approach. It is time to get out there and debug those scripts like a pro!