What Selenium is? A Brief on This Tool

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Have you ever thought about what Selenium is and why we use it? However, you need not worry at all. In this blog, you will find the answer to both of these questions. Automated testing is possible via the Selenium, one of the demanding skills in the market. You can contact us for your Selenium training. We provide complete Selenium training for Selenium certification. Naresh I Technologies also is the number one computer training institute in Hyderabad and among the top five computer training institutes in India.


It's an open-source tool applied for automating the tests performed via web browsers and the web applications tested through the web browser.

However, keep in mind that you can only test the web applications only through the Selenium. You cannot test the software applications like desktop applications or mobile applications through the Selenium.

It is certainly not what you will like. However, you need not worry as you will find a lot of tools for testing the software and mobile applications such as the IBM RFT, HP's QPT, Appium, and a lot more. However, in this blog, we test the dynamic web applications and see why the Selenium happens to be one of the best for testing such applications.

Selenium Advantages?

Selenium happens to be open-source, and no license is required, and it is the "biggest" advantage that you can think of through a testing tool. However, you will find various other reasons as well, and some of them are as below:

  • You will write the test scripts using numerous programming languages like Java, Python, PHP, .NET, C#, and Perl.
  • You can perform the testing on almost all the OS and like Windows, Mac, and Linux. And that's because it is in Java, which is platform-independent.
  • You can perform the test on any browser like Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.
  • You can integrate it with TestNG and Junit for the test case management and report generations.
  • You can also integrate it with Jenkins, Maven, and Docker for ensuring Continuous testing.

However, you will find various drawbacks as well.

  • We can apply the Selenium for testing the web applications only. However, we cannot test any software or Desktop applications.
  • Also, no support is available for Selenium. And we need to embark on various customer communities.
  • You cannot test the images as well. However, you can integrate the Selenium with the Sikuli for the image-based testing.
  • You will not find any native reporting facility. However, one can neglect this issue via the integration with the frameworks such as the TestNG or the Junit.

And before moving further in this Selenium blog, let's discuss the story of how this tool became what it is today. Hence, lets first brief our scenario, which brief what else we have in this blog:

So, we discuss the need for software testing, and then what are the challenges for manual testing, how automation testing is better than manual testing. We will then compare the Selenium with various other testing tools, and finally, we will check the Selenium suite of tools.

What are the requirements of the software testing?

Software testing is essential. In this world of technology, the dominating machines get governed by software. Does the machine behave as we expect from them? All the time. Is it so? You get the answer to this through software testing.

In the end, the business growth revolves around the software application's success. And, the very same thing applies the web applications as the majority of businesses today rely on the internet.

You can consider the e-commerce company as an example. May it, E-Bay, Amazon, or any, relies on the website traffic and the web-based mobile applications for the business.

Suppose something wrong happens as product price shows wrong, and because of the code that is not readable section of the code. And in that case, what you can do, and how can you stop this from happening.

Through the code testing, correct? And that is why software testing is so essential. However, what is Selenium? Whether it is a software testing tool? You should know that Selenium happens to be an automation testing tool.

Before we proceed further, let us tell you that the testing is of two types: manual testing and automation testing. Selenium happens to be the most popular automation tool. And it can overcome all the drawbacks of manual testing, and that why it is so popular.

Manual Testing challenges:

Via manual testing, you test the web application manually. And that is done by the QA testers. And these are performed manually in almost any of the environments, with the help of the various data set. And we need to record the failure and success rate of each of the transactions.

How do you feel when you manually test the transactions recorded? It's a big challenge that can be boring and can cause fatigue and result in errors due to the manual effort. And this led to the invention of the tool, which we know today as the Selenium, the most popular automation tool.

Automation testing is better than manual testing.

The automation tool is better than the manual testing. However, it is speedier, and you need to invest less as less manual labor is required. Also, you remain free from errors, can keep up with the frequent execution of the tests. And it supports "execution," regression, and functional testing.

Let's consider one example. Just think of a login page, and we need to ensure if each login is a triumph. You can write a piece of code that validates the login attempts for success or failure.

And these tests are orchestrated to work in various environments as well as a web browser. What more you perform? You can automate the result file generation process through scheduling of a particular time. And then, you can automate the report generation depending on the results and almost anything.

And the main point is the automation testing, which makes the tester jobs quite simple. And the tester then feels much more relaxed, calm, and comfortable.

Now let's talk about the Selenium. And let's find out why the Selenium is so popular.

Comparing the QTP and RFT with Selenium

We will compare on following factors: License, cost, customer support, environment, coding experience, hardware consumption during testing, and language support.

License wise Selenium is the best as it's open-source, and no License is required. Cost-wise also Selenium is the best as it costs nothing, and merely for manual labor. However, it has pitfalls as there is no customer support. Though, online community support is at a "huge" level. Also, in Selenium, the hardware comparison is less as compared to the other two. However, you need coding knowledge and ample experience in the case of the Selenium. However, you do not require that in the case of the HP QTP. In the case of the IBM RFT, you certainly need coding experience. Selenium works on each of the environments though the other two works on the windows only. The HP QTP supports only VB Script, and the IBM RFT supports only C# and Java. However, the Selenium supports all programming languages, and we have discussed all those.

The above comparison confirms that Selenium is the best tool. However, we have so many flavors of the Selenium. And you need to select the best flavor based on your requirement.

Selenium Tools Suite
  • We have the Selenium RC, which is not in use now.
  • Selenium IDE
  • Selenium Grid
  • Selenium WebDriver
  • Selenium Components

Below you will find various components of the Selenium:

Selenium RC (Remote Control):

Before discussing the Selenium RC, we need to first talk about the Selenium core, which was the first tool in the Selenium series. The Selenium core was up with the cross-domain testing due to the same-origin policy. This policy prohibits the JavaScript code from the web elements accessing hosted on the distinct domain compared to where the JS launched.

For overcoming this policy problem, we need the tester to install the Selenium core local copies and the webserver which had the web application to test such that they belong to the same domain. And thus, came into origin the Selenium RC developed by Paul Hammant.

The RC solved the issue based on the HTTP proxy server for tricking the browser believe, that Selenium Core, and a web application to be tested, were from the same domain. And that's why Selenium RC happens to be the two components tool.

  • Selenium RC server
  • Selenium RC client

Selenium RC Client: This is the library that has the programming language code.

The RC Server talks through the HTTP POST/GET requests.

RC Server communicates using simple HTTP GET/ POST requests. Look at the below image for understanding the RC architecture.

The Selenium leading tool is Selenium RC as it's the first tool. And you can make use of it to curate various test cases in different programming languages. However, the main drawback with the RC is the time consumed while communicating with the RC serve. And that is why the RC is slow. And sometimes it consumes hours to complete one test.

However, since v3, the RC is now a legacy package. You can download it and work with it. Though, you don't have any support for it. However, from the other side, you don't need to use it as it's outdated, and now you have more efficient tools called the Selenium WebDriver. However, before we talk about the WebDriver, let's discuss the IDE and the Grid, which are the other tools that make the Selenium v2.

Selenium IDE

In 2006, Shinya Kastani donated the Selenium IDE prototype to the Apache Selenium project. It was a Firefox plugin through which the test case creation is less time-consuming. We create the test cases through recording of the interaction that users had with the web browser. And you can then play these test cases any number of times.

The tests record through the plugin exported via various programming languages like Java and Python. And this is the best advantage while you make use of the selenium IDE.

However, there are various pitfalls of the IDE as well:

  • It's for only Mozilla Firefox and not for any other browsers.
  • You cannot test through this dynamic web application, and you can record only the simple tests.
  • You cannot script the test cases through the programming logic. And it does not support the
    Data Driver testing.

Various other aspects of the Selenium IDE are also there. However, leaving that apart, we now discuss the Selenium Grid.

Selenium Grid

It was developed by "Patrick Lightbody" And initially, it was known as the HostedQA, which was initially in Selenium v1. We used it together with the RC for running the test machines. And the Grid executes numerous test scripts side by side on different Machines.

We achieve the parallel execution through the Hub-Node architecture. One machine is the Hub, and the others are the nodes. The running test scripts get controlled by the Hub on different browsers in almost all the operating systems. And the test scripts are run on various nodes written in numerous programming languages.

We still can use the Grid, and it works with the RC and the WebDriver. However, Grid maintenance with all the required browsers and operating systems is a big challenge. You have numerous online platforms that cater to us an online Selenium Grid. And you can access it for running various Selenium automation scripts. As an example, we can make use of the Lambda test. And this comes with more than 2000 browser environments over which you run various tests and can automate the cross-browser testing.

Selenium WebDriver

The Selenium WebDriver came in 2006. It was the first cross-platform testing framework that can control from the OS level the browser. And compared to the IDE, the Selenium WebDriver caters to us, a programming interface for creating and executing the test cases. We have the test cases written in a manner, the web elements on the web page are identifiable, and the actions performed on these elements.

It's an upgrade to the RC as it's quite fast. And it's fast as it makes the right through the calls to the browsers. And each browser comes with its drivers on which we run the applications. And various WebDrivers are:

  • Gecko Driver for Firefox
  • Chrome Driver
  • Safari Driver
  • Opera driver
  • HTM Unit Driver
Selenium WebDriver Benefits:
  • It supports around "7" programming languages, and we have discussed this already.
  • It supports all the browsers.
  • It works on all the operating systems.

All the limitations of the Selenium v1 exist no more like file upload, pop-ups, downloads, and the
barriers in download.

Pitfalls of it:
  • You cannot generate detailed test reports.
  • Image testing is not possible.

These shortcomings are a challenge, though we can overcome them through integration with various frameworks. However, for image testing, we can use the Sikuli, and for the generation of detailed reports, we use TestNG.

Hence, now we know what Selenium is.

You can contact Naresh I Technologies for your Selenium online training. We provide Selenium training in Hyderabad and USA, and in fact, you can contact us from any part of the world through our phone or online form on our site. Just fill it and submit it, and one of our customer care executives will be contacting you. And what else you get:

  • You have the freedom to choose from Selenium online training and classroom training.
  • Chance to study from one of the best faculties and one of the best Selenium training institutes in India
  • Nominal fee affordable for all
  • Complete training
  • You get training for tackling all the nitty-gritty of Selenium.
  • Both theoretical and practical training.
  • And a lot more is waiting for you.

You can contact us anytime for your Selenium training and from any part of the world. Naresh I Technologies caters to one of the best Selenium training in India.