Selenium Overview

Selenium is a free (open-source) automatic testing suite for web applications across completely different browsers and platforms. It is quite the same as HP QuickTest Pro (QTP, currently UFT); however, Selenium focuses on automating web-based applications. Testing done using Selenium tool is usually referred to as Selenium Testing. Remember that, testing of only web applications is possible with Selenium. We can test neither desktop applications nor mobile applications using Selenium.

Watch this Selenium Tutorial:

What is Selenium?

As part of this tutorial, you will learn the following topics:

What is Selenium?

There is no need of feeling disappointed due to this because other software has got you covered as there are many tools for testing desktop and mobile applications like IBM’s RFI, HP’s QPI, Appium, etc. But, the aim of this tutorial is to understand the testing of dynamic web applications and why Selenium is the best for this purpose.

To learn more, visit our Selenium Community and get your doubts clarified!

Since Selenium is open-source, there is no licensing cost involved, which is a significant benefit over other testing tools. Other reasons behind Selenium’s ever-growing popularity are as follows:

  • Test scripts are often written in any of these programming languages: Java, Python, C#, PHP, Ruby, Perl, and .Net.
  • Tests can be carried out in any of these operating systems: Windows, Mac, or Linux.
  • Tests can be carried out using any of these browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, or Opera.
  • It can be integrated with tools like TestNG and JUnit for managing test cases and generating reports.
  • It is integrated with Maven, Jenkins, and Docker to achieve continuous testing.

Now, let us talk about Selenium in particular, and let us see where Selenium stands in the market.

Watch this Selenium Tutorial

What is Selenium?

Selenium vs QTP

A comparison based on the performance factor of Selenium with another popular tool, QTP, is shown below.

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A Comparison Between Selenium and QTP (Now UFT)

QuickTest Professional (QTP) is a proprietary automated testing tool previously owned by the company, Mercury Interactive before it was acquired by Hewlett Packard in 2006.

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Selenium Tool Suite has several benefits over QTP as elaborated below:

Advantages of Selenium over QTP

  • Is open-source, which means that it is free to use
  • Is Highly extensible
  • Runs tests across different browsers
  • Supports various operating systems
  • Supports mobile devices
  • Executes tests while the browser is minimized
  • Executes tests in parallel

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  • Is commercial
  • Has limited add-ons
  • Only be used in Windows
  • Supports mobile apps test automation (iOS and Android) using HP solution called HP Mobile Center
  • Needs to have the application under test to be visible on the desktop
  • Executes only in parallel but using Quality Center, which is again a paid product

It is pretty clear from the above comparison why Selenium is the most popular tool. But, there are several other nuances in Selenium, and you need to understand which one is the most applicable Selenium tool for your requirements.

You would want to check out these top Selenium Interview Questions to ace your next Selenium testing interview!

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Selenium Tools

Selenium isn’t simply one tool but a collection of software, each catering to different testing needs of an organization. It has four components:

  • Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
  • Selenium Remote Control (RC)
  • Selenium WebDriver
  • Selenium Grid


Let’s now discuss each component in detail.

  • Selenium IDE: IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment, which is a plug-in of the browser, Firefox. This is the simplest framework and therefore requires developers to switch to Selenium RC for advanced test cases.
  • Selenium RC: RC stands for remote control and it permits developers to code in the language of their preference. Selenium RC supports multiple programming languages such as Java, C#, Python, etc.
  • Selenium WebDriver: Selenium WebDriver automates and controls activities undertaken by a web browser. It does not typically depend on JavaScript but communicates with the browser to control its actions. Like RC, it additionally supports programming languages such as Java, C#, Python, Ruby, etc.
  • Selenium Grid: Selenium Grid is employed to execute parallel tests along with Selenium RC across multiple browsers.

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Watch this Automation Testing vs Manual Testing Tutorial:

What is Selenium?

How to Choose the Right Selenium Tool for Your Needs

Project to project, the testing requirements will be different, and Selenium, an open-source automated testing suite, has got you covered on this with its collection of different tools.

Selenium IDE

Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is the tool you use to develop your Selenium test cases. When you create your first IDE script, it may include the following concepts:

  • Selenese commands such as clickAndWait, assert, verify, type, open, etc.
  • Locators like ID, Name, XPath, CSS Selector, etc.
  • Executing customized JavaScript code using RunScript
  • Exporting test cases in various formats like .cs (C# source code),.java (Java source code),.py (Python source code),.rb (Ruby source code)
  • To create tests with very little or no previous knowledge in programming
  • To create simple test cases and test suites that you can export later to RC or WebDriver
  • To test an online application only against Firefox and Chrome

Learn more about Selenium from this insightful blog on How to Test Web Applications Using Selenium!

Selenium RC

  • To design a test using a more expressive language than Selenese
  • To run your test against different browsers (except HtmlUnit) on different operating systems
  • To deploy your tests across multiple environments using Selenium Grid
  • To test your application against a new browser that supports JavaScript
  • To test web applications with complex AJAX-based scenarios

Selenium WebDriver

  • To use a particular programing language in designing your test suit
  • To test applications that are rich in AJAX-based functionality
  • To execute tests on the HtmlUnit browser
  • To create customized test results

Selenium Grid

  • To run your Selenium RC scripts in multiple browsers and operating systems at the same time
  • To run a large test suite that must complete within the soonest time possible

In this tutorial you have learned about various Selenium tools, advantages of Selenium over QTP and how to choose the right Selenium tool for your needs.

If you are interested to learn Selenium at a much deeper level and want to become a professional in the testing domain, check out Intellipaat’s Selenium Training Certification Course.

For a more detailed explanation of Selenium WebDriver, browser elements, how to locate browser elements present on a web application, and setting up Selenium with Maven and TestNG on Eclipse, check out this Selenium Tutorial!

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