At present, Selenium is one of the most popular test automation frameworks for web applications. As an open source test automation framework, Selenium enables testers to evaluate a variety of web applications without increasing project overheads. At the same time, Selenium makes it easier for testing professionals for web application testing by supporting major web browsers and operating systems. Here is an interesting read on the effectiveness of Selenium in web application testing.
At the same time, Selenium IDE, as a robust record and playback tool, enables testers to evaluate the web applications efficiently without writing test scripts. The testers can even use the record and playback tool to evaluate websites without being proficient in scripting languages. But Selenium, like other software testing tools, has its own shortcomings. The testing professionals must understand the important limitations of Selenium to assess web application more efficiently.
Understanding Some of the Important Limitations of Selenium
Testers Need Additional Time to Write Test Cases
As the successor to Selenium Remote Control (RC), Selenium WebDriver enables testers to create browser-based regression tests and test suites efficiently. Also, the user can distribute the regression test scripts seamlessly across different environments. But Selenium WebDriver, unlike other test automation frameworks, does not supplement the programming interface with an IDE. Hence, the testers have to write steps elaborately while writing test scripts for individual tasks.
Does Not Provide Any Test Management Tool
While testing complex web applications, QA professionals require test management tools to monitor test case execution, store test data, plan testing activities, and capture status of various tests. Most test automation frameworks simplify testing of complex web applications by providing built-in test management tools. But the testers still lack the option to avail a test management tool while working with Selenium.
Lacks Built-in Reporting Feature
The built-in result reporting feature provide by licensed test automation frameworks make it easier for testers to generate and present test results. Selenium still lacks built-in result report capability. IT requires testers to generate test reports through third-party testing frameworks. Often testing professionals integrate Selenium with TestNG or JUnit to present test results and generate test reports.
Selenium IDE Supports a Single Browser
Selenium IDE enables testers to evaluate web applications without writing test scripts. A tester can even use the record and playback tool to evaluate websites without having any programming experience. Also, Selenium IDE supports a wide range of extensions. But the testers have to use Selenium IDE as a Firefox plug-in. The record and playback tool is currently not compatible with web browsers other than Mozilla Firefox.
Selenium IDE Lacks Advanced Features
In addition to being available as a Firefox plug-in, Selenium IDE also lacks some of the advanced features provided by other test automation frameworks. It allows users to insert commands, add comments, and set breakpoints. It even simplifies web application debugging process by displaying information and error messages. But Selenium IDE is yet to support listeners, alerts, navigation, and pop-ups explicitly. It even does not support file uploading, external file reading, iterations, and conditional operations.
Does Not Facilitate Testing of Image Based Applications
Nowadays, images impact a website’s performance and user experience directly. While testing a website, testers have to assess the quality and resolutions of images to measure its loading speed accurately. Some testers even choose testing automation frameworks based on their effectiveness in assessing images. Selenium is yet to provide the features required to evaluate image-based web applications efficiently. Hence, many testers prefer other test automation frameworks to Selenium while testing image-based websites.
New Features Often Do Not Work Properly
As noted earlier, Selenium is an open source test automation tool. It is also being supported by a large and active community. But Selenium, unlike licensed test automation frameworks, lacks prompt and reliable support. The lack of reliable support even impacts some of the new features or functionality provided by the popular web application testing software. Often testing professionals complain that they are not able to use the new features properly.
On the whole, Selenium enables testers to assess a variety of websites and web applications by supporting major operating systems, browsers, and programming languages. But Selenium has its own pros and cons. The smarter testing professionals overcome the limitations of Selenium in a number of ways. Some testers even prefer choosing the right part of Selenium according to precise needs of each project. At the same time, many testing professionals integrate Selenium with robust web application testing frameworks and tools to reduce testing tine and produce more accurate test results.