Anyone related to the automation testing field can vouch for Selenium and its versatility. Launched for the first time in the year 2004, it has been in existence for over 15 years. Many top automation testing tools like LambdaTest, Katalon Studio, Test Project, and many more have been introduced since then, and yet Selenium stands to be numero uno for testing web applications. 

We do not say that Selenium is one of the easiest tools out there to learn. However, a good Selenium certification program from the best, verified institutes can help you ace the tool and its third-party associate tools such as Maven, JUnit, Sikuli, etc.

In this blog, let’s see the reasons why Selenium still rules the roost.

What is Selenium?

Selenium is a free, open-source, automation testing tool used to test web applications across browsers. Its ability to support numerous programming languages like Java, C#, Python, PHP, PERL, Ruby, etc for writing Selenium test scripts makes it a highly adopted automation testing tool in the market.

Selenium suite comprises four essential components that cater to different software testing needs.

  • Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE) – This is a Firefox extension to automate the browser using record, playback features. Selenium RC has to be used in any other browsers that need to be tested.
  • Selenium Remote Control (RC) – This allows the cross-browser and cross-platform testing of web applications supports data-driven testing, quick with multiple-programming language support.
  • Selenium Grid – This is used together with Selenium RC to perform parallel tests across browsers and machines simultaneously.
  • WebDriver – This is the mightiest component of the Selenium suite that automates the browser actions by directly communicating with the browser.

What are the advantages of Selenium?

It goes without saying that Selenium has some of the best features that make it a highly-adopted automation testing tool.

  • Offers multiple browsers and OS support

Selenium supports all the browsers and platforms for conducting automated tests. It offers support to all the following:

  1. Google Chrome
  2. IE
  3. Firefox
  4. Safari
  5. Opera
  6. PhantomJS
  7. Android
  8. IOS
  9. Windows
  10. Linux 
  11. Solaris
  • Free and open-source

Selenium is a free and open-source tool that can be downloaded by anyone and everyone and start working on it. It offers the flexibility to the testers by offering them a wide range of options to test, compare results with the expected outcomes. The SENDKEYS method in Selenium translates the test cases written in other programming languages to Selenium’s understandable script.

  • Transparency

It ensures that transparency is maintained across different teams involved in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

  • Enhances Continuous Integration practice

Continuous Integration helps in implementing the Agile software development process. 

  • Offers comprehensive testing platform

It automates the end to end testing process and offers great visibility to the entire SDLC teams

  • Quicker testing process

The Selenium framework with its Grid functionality supports parallel testing across browsers and machines. This essentially reduces the overall testing time.

  • Enables 3rd-party integration 

Selenium is popular for its third-party integration capability. With ExtentReports, Selenium can generate reports for the clients. Integration with Sikuli is required when testing the images is involved, and so on.

What are the drawbacks of Selenium?

While many advantages support the Selenium adoption, there is an impressive list of disadvantages too.

  • Lack of genuine technical support – Being an open-source tool, reliable technical support is missing as in the case of UFT/QTP.
  • Limited to web application testing – Selenium tool helps in testing just the web application in computer and mobile but does not support desktop, mobile native applications.
  • Difficulty in implementing test cases – With the WebDriver having a programming interface with no IDE, every task needs specific steps for execution. 
  • Complex test environment setup – As we know, Selenium needs to integrate with various plugins to support test automation, each of them needs to be configured manually.
  • Requires third-party integration for most of the functions – Selenium needs third- party integration for test management, reporting, etc.

Is Selenium still the number one automation testing tool?

As each tool has its advantages like LambdaTest, QTP, TestComplete, or any automated testing tool, picking the right tool to depend on various factors. While LambdaTest, TestComplete can be the best for a testing desktop computer, and mobile applications, the TestProject tool has something else to offer. 

Similarly, Katalon Studio can be the best for comprehensive testing, but it costs bucks. Yet, when it comes to testing web applications on the computer, mobiles, and image testing, Selenium stands to be the #1 cross-browser and OS testing tool.