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Introduction – Selenium Tutorial


Selenium is a browser automation framework. It provides a number of tools and APIs for automating user interaction on pure HTML and JavaScript applications in browsers such as IE, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and many more. However, Selenium does not support Rich Internet Application (RIA) technologies such as Silverlight, Flex/Flash, and JavaFx out of the box.

Selenium offers the following set of tools for automating interaction with browsers:




  • Selenium IDE: This is a Firefox add-on for recording and playing back Selenium scripts with Firefox. It provides a GUI for recording user actions using Firefox. It’s a great tool to start learning and using Selenium, but it can only be used with Firefox while other browsers are not supported.

However, you can convert the recorded scripts into various programming languages supported by Selenium                 WebDriver and run these scripts on browsers other than Firefox.


  • Selenium WebDriver: This is a programming interface for developing more advanced Selenium scripts using different programming languages. You can also run tests on multiple browsers supported by Selenium. The following figure provides a high-level architecture of Selenium WebDriver:


selenium webdriver


Selenium WebDriver supports browsers including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera. It supports writing scripts with various programming languages including Java, .NET Languages (C#, VB.NET), Python, Ruby, PHP, and JavaScript.


  • Selenium Standalone Server: This allows remote and distributed execution of Selenium scripts. You can also use the Grid feature of a standalone server to run tests in parallel and run tests on mobile platforms such as Android or Apple iOS for iPhone and iPad.


Usage of Selenium

Selenium is widely used for automated testing of web applications; however, its usage is not limited to testing. Selenium mimics user actions such as entering text into a text field, clicking on buttons or links, selecting an option from a drop-down list, and many more, in a browser window as if a human user is interacting with the application. Selenium is also used for screen scraping and automating repetitive tasks in web applications.

You can use Selenium for functional/acceptance testing of your web applications. You can create automated regression tests using Selenium and run them whenever you need to test a new build of your application.You can use Selenium to automate repetitive tasks such as data entry, filling out forms, check status, or perform complex navigation steps while manual testing.

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