5 Best Practices While Using Selenium WebDriver In 2023

Selenium is the most renowned and popular free/ open-source automation testing framework that allows the automation testing of websites or web apps across varied OSs browsers. It provides compatibility with multi-programming languages like C#, Python, Java, JavaScript, and many more, allowing QAs to automate their web test in any programming language that they are secure with.

Using the Selenium, QA’s can deliver test cycles speedier by automating recurring test cases. When incorporated with CI/CD pipeline, it can also aid with a sturdy, error free release delivery pipeline. It has multiple tools within, such as the Selenium Grid, Selenium IDE, Selenium Web Driver, or the Selenium RC. With its help, you can find it a lot simpler to do both regression testing and you can automate web interactions incredibly.

Besides, you can access playback and recording traits too, which is convenient. The toolkit also lets you export scripts and then use them again as you go along, all while giving you whole control over the way the process is formed and the content that you require to cover here.

Who Uses Selenium Automation?

Selenium test automation is extensively accepted throughout the web development field. Almost all businesses that are running on the web through a web application or website are having the Selenium tool incorporated in their test workflows. Even though Selenium is an automated test framework it isn’t restricted to testers alone. Being compatible with multi-programming languages, Selenium has open ways for software developers to automate their unit test deeds too. Even the DevOps teams incorporate Selenium in their Continuous Integration/Continuous Development tools to make certain a rigorous round of automated browser testing each time a code modification is committed via pipeline from one stage environment to another.

Being a free framework, it would not be wrong to mention that Selenium serves as a support to loads of freelance web testers and web developers. Simply speaking, after all integration, User Interface engineers can use Selenium for visual regression testing. Even freelance web developers can execute testing for debugging using Selenium. QA testers can make certain deterministic scripts and tests with enhanced coverage and accuracy with Selenium.

What Are Varied Types Of Tools Selenium Is Compromised Off?

Selenium proffers a compilation of tools for browser automation. It comprises 3 key Selenium elements, each serving a diverse purpose for web testers.

1. Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment)

2. Selenium WebDriver

3. Selenium Grid

This article will draw attention to the History, Benefits, and 10 best practices that will assist QAs to enhance their testing using Selenium WebDriver.

History of Selenium WebDriver

In 2007, Simon Stewart developed the Selenium WebDriver, who was also an employee of ThoughtWorks Company. The purpose of this eminent tool was to put into effect control on the web browser. Furthermore, this automated test framework could test across varied platforms. Selenium lacked a few traits and WebDriver just fuelled the need for them. Indeed, for some time, it emerged as Selenium’s rival. But the competition ended in the year 2011 (July) when the two significant tools collaborated together to form Se 2.0. It paired the WebDriver APIs which we are familiar with today. It had the original set of traits along with new traits.

Selenium Web Driver 

Web Driver functions on the web browser straight and uses the web browser’s in-built traits to trigger the test automation written by the QA tester. So first let us take a glance at how Selenium WebDriver API interacts with real-time web browsers using browser drivers and know key blocks that encompass the Selenium WebDriver architecture. Well, Selenium WebDriver includes four major blocks:

· JSON Wire Protocol

· Selenium Client Libraries

· Browsers

· Browser Drivers

Best Practices for Selenium Automation

1. Use Selenium Wait Commands Instead Of Thread. sleep()

It is quite often that your web app takes a short time to load due to server issues, network speed, or several other reasons. To tackle this, you have to pause your test scripts to wait for all the components to load. This is a great mode to make certain that all your web components are there while you execute your tests on them. One way to pause the test script is by making use of the Thread. sleep() function, which pauses your script for a particular time. However, there is an immense flaw with this function, for instance, if you wish to open a web page, and you have preferred the time to wait for 10s, in cases where your site loads much faster, you would have wasted an enormous amount of time.

In the faster circumstances, you may have lost extra time running Selenium automated testing and in the slower ones, you’d get the end result as an unsuccessful and failure. So to avoid such circumstances, you need to integrate explicit waits or implicit waits.

2. Use POM (Page Object Model)

As the User Interface for the web app changes, so do the locators connected with it, with it each test requires to be written again. However, there is an explanation for this, by using POM (Page Object Model), you do not require to make modifications to each of your test scripts, repeatedly.

With the Page Object Model you only require to alter the page objects, yet all the locators are in one mid-repository. In Page Object Model, every page has an individual page class, to find web components on it as well as the page techniques for these web components. This makes the project trustworthy as the software developer does not require scanning the entire code and test scripts, simply to integrate a few User Interface changes.

Leveraging POM is one of the Selenium best practices that can assist in:

  1. Enhancing test maintenance
  2. Increasing code reusability
  3. Reducing code modifications due to updates in the product User Interface
  4. Simplifying the model and visualization of the web page under testing

With the ever-increasing demands of the customer, a site’s User Interface is bound to evolve after incorporating new alterations at regular intervals. Unsurprisingly, locators concerning particular User Interface components change too. This means testers require generating new test cases for a similar page again, which can be tiresome.

One can tackle this by using the POM design pattern to create test scripts. In this design pattern, all pages are considered a class file, and all class files carry corresponding web components. This method aids eradicate code duplication & also makes test maintenance extra convenient. Quality Assurance experts can also reuse the current code and make minimal modifications.

3. Set Up Se (Selenium) automated test Reports

“You can’t improve what you cannot measure.” This is true for Selenium automated tests; you cannot make certain better Selenium automated test results if you do not keep a track of how exciting your testing is. The automated test report assists to improve the readability of test outcomes and helps to reduce the time spent maintaining the test data. 

Selenium automated test report generation can do wonders for you, as you can save precious time and manage your test data in an organized manner. Due to this, you have good control over tests, as using this information you can examine when the test scripts are failing.

You can keep a tab on your test scripts with a Platform like LambdaTest. With LambdaTest, you can execute your Selenium test scripts over a cloud-centric Selenium Grid of 3000+ mobile plus desktop browsers.

4. Mention the Test Suites & Test Cases Appropriately

While working in a team, there are some cases when your team members require enhancing the testing that you had scripted. If you revisit a similar test after a couple of months, you could not figure out the reason for testing, until you go through the entire implementation.

If a few tests have failed during the implementation stage, it must be easy to discover which functionalities are broken by simply taking a quick glance at the test name. Such issues can be effortlessly fixed by naming test cases in an organized manner. Hence, you or your teammates wouldn’t need to spend time unnecessarily scrolling through the execution.

5. Avoid Hardcoding Test Data

Hardcoding test data results in a set of issues. For one, it makes your automated tests brittle –– which means they are more expected to break when the app under test alters. It also makes your testing less reusable. If you wish to execute a similar test with varied data, you have to depart into the code and modify the hardcoded values. This isn’t only time-consuming, yet it’s also bug-prone. Finally, hardcoding test data can make your tests slower. If the testing needs to recover data from a database or an external solution, this can add noteworthy time to your test runs.

The better mode to avoid such issues is to use parameterized testing. With parameterized testing, you can specify the information you wish to make use of in your tests as parameters. This lets you reuse similar tests with varied data, without having to change the code. For instance, you could create a parameterized test that executes the same test with the distinct combo of username and password.

Overall, parameterized testing is a much better choice than hard coding test data. They are highly resilient to modifications in the app, are more reusable, and can even enhance performance.

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