If you are building a consumer-centric web application or website, your specific product is likely to be accessed by consumers worldwide. Your SaaS product should be tested on several combinations of devices, web browsers, and platforms (operating systems) to make certain top-notch performance. No one wants to lose potential users because of unpleasant user experiences. Therefore, compatibility testing becomes even more critical. The most productive and economical way to do this is by implementing cloud-centric automated browser testing, or Selenium tests, to be precise. Wondering why it is the most effective way? Allow me to dive deep into the importance of using Selenium Webdriver 4 for the compatibility tests of SaaS products.
Developers who have practical experience with Selenium can’t deny talking about the crucial rewards of using Selenium for browser compatibility testing. Selenium is one of the most popular open-source test frameworks that is used to automate the activities of the product under test. It counts around 27.55% of the overall market share of software testing tools to date. However, Selenium is not just a sole tool, it is a suite of automation tools, every single component appealing to a business’s multiple testing needs.
There are three components or categories of Selenium Suite:
- Selenium Grid
- Selenium IDE (which is now deprecated)
Most of the time, when people discuss Selenium, they actually mean Selenium WebDriver. Developed by Simon Stewart in the year 2006, Selenium WebDriver was the first prime cross-platform tests framework that could control and configure the browsers on the Operating System level. It served as a programming interface to generate and execute test cases. Unlike Selenium Remote Control, WebDriver doesn’t necessitate a core engine such as RC & interacts natively with the web browser apps. WebDriver also supports multiple programming languages like Ruby, Python, Perl, and PHP. It can also be incorporated with frameworks such as JUnit and TestNG for Selenium automated testing management.
Selenium WebDriver is the core element of the Selenium framework, as it allows the interfacing of the test code with the components of the web page under testing. It connects straight with a web browser & has a browser-specific application. Conversely, Selenium Integrated Development Environment or Selenium IDE is a plugin that lets you record test scripts and playback the current ones.
Which Browsers can I run Selenium Testing on?
Most mobile/ desktop browsers today have built-in support for test automation with automated tools like Selenium. Consumer browser vendors like Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera and IE develop and ship their browser drivers. In the past decade, when it was first open-sourced, others have contributed to the Se (Selenium) project by accumulating 3rd party drivers for specialized browsers like HtmlUnit and BlackBerry 10, as well as bindings for incorporation with development frameworks such as Qt, PhantomJS, etc.
Selenium WebDriver 4 library to create tests for a SaaS Product
Selenium WebDriver: Installation and set up
In this segment, we look at setting up Selenium WebDriver for the Windows OS with Java as the core programming language. For the demo, I used the Eclipse IDE. But, you can select to use the IDE of your choice.
Begin with the Prerequisites:
- Firstly Install Java
- Then, Install Eclipse IDE
- Later, Install Selenium WebDriver
Step 1: Visit the authorized Java Downloads site & for Windows x64 Installer and downloads the JDK.
Step 2: You should accept the license agreement in the pop-up and, press tick & click on Download.
Step 3: Once the download is finished, navigate to the Downloads folder & then double-click the executable so that Java is properly installed in the system.
Set Up Environment Variables
Step 1: Open your computer settings and choose from the System dialog window. ‘Advanced system settings’.
Step 2: Click on the button named Environment Variables in the next window.
Step 3: Then, under the System variables, you need to double-click on Path.
Step 4: Add the entire path of the Java installation directory consistent with your system location & click OK.
Step 5: You can now check the top path in the screenshot is the Java route in the system.
To validate whether the Java is installed properly & variables are set properly, you need to click on Command Prompt & type: java -version. You will find that the Java version is installed properly in your system.
And now all set; your first prerequisite is done. The next step is installing Eclipse.
Step 1: Now, download Eclipse IDE (for Java Developers) from the authorized Eclipse website. It would be better to download the latest stable release. Choose the download based on the specific system architecture. You can use eclipse Mars, but you can pick any of the latest versions.
Step 2: Once the download is finished, at your convenience, extract the zip file at a location.
The Eclipse will open, and there you are done with your 2nd prerequisite of this Se (Selenium) WebDriver.
Install Selenium WebDriver
The last phase in this Selenium WebDriver is to install the Selenium Standalone Server:
Step 1: Try to Download Selenium Client and WebDriver Language Bindings from the authorized Se (Selenium) website. You can download the client libraries in consent with your language preference.
Step 2: Once you are done with the file download, extract it to a folder of your selection from where you can use it later.
Step 3: You can now check the corresponding extracted file at the particular destination folder.
Step 4: When you open the folder, you can notice the jar files, a libs folder (which includes a few more jar files), and a CHANGELOG file.
Step 5: Then, you have to download the web browser drivers to assist you in instantiating the browser. Below are the links to download the drivers for a few major browsers:
There is a difference between WebDriver & Remote WebDriver as there is no requirement to download browser drivers when running Selenium testing on a cloud Selenium Grid.
Step 6: Next, just extract the downloaded driver & save it at a location where you can use it.
Now you are done with setting up the prerequisites.
Popular Tools to Create Tests for SaaS Products
These tools are all made or designed for testing on multiple operating systems and browsers in diverse ways.
- Distributed Build via Jenkins
This runs Selenium testing on numerous machines, with Jenkins managing the distributions through its jobs. This is the closest performance to executing local-based testing and can be very effective if set up appropriately.
You can run test scripts faster than any other SaaS-based automated testing grid on LambdaTest’s automated cloud testing platform.
Automation browser testing using cloud Selenium Grid
LambdaTest is a cloud-centric cross-browser testing platform on which you can run the following tasks:
- Perform Automated as well as Live Interactive Cross-Browser Tests in Selenium for 3000+ actual operating systems and browsers online.
- Port existing test execution to the LambdaTest platform with the least code modifications.
- Achieve quick test outputs by benefiting from parallel execution/ concurrent sessions.
- Keep track of the automation testing and analyze the failed ones by checking the debug logs (for the corresponding testing) obtainable on the LambdaTest server.
- Use Remote Selenium WebDriver employment and create cross-browser capabilities for robust programming languages such as Python, Ruby on Rails, C#, etc.
- Analyze the performance of the testing with thorough reporting mechanisms.
Now run SaaS-based test scripts faster than any other automated testing grid on LambdaTest’s automated cloud test platform.
The largest chunk of the SaaS product’s development concentrates on the Selenium tool for automated testing. For Selenium tests on the cloud using LambdaTest, you must perform the following steps:
Step 1: Account Creation
First and foremost, you have to get registered on LambdaTest. You can visit the LambdaTest registration page to create a new account. Once the registration is done, keep the username and access token within reach, as that combination is required for signing on to the LambdaTest dashboard.
Step 2: Choose a Plan
Depending on the requirements of the particular tests, you must pick the appropriate pricing plan. Live, Lite, Web Automation, and Web & Mobile Browser Automation are the existing plans on LambdaTest. You can downgrade/ upgrade the plan anytime, and the modifications will be reflected in the next billing cycle. For descriptive information on such plans, you can look at the pricing page.
Step 3: Browser Capabilities Generator
As you would be running Selenium testing on the cloud, you must generate desired capabilities, i.e. a series of properties used to configure Selenium testing on the Selenium grid cloud. You must choose the programming language and specify the resolution, browser, OS, and browser version you would utilize for Selenium tests while creating browser capabilities.
Once you complete the logged-in procedure to this platform, generate capacities using the capabilities generator, and execute cross-browser testing, you must go to the Automation tab to examine the automation browser testing status. Every test will have a Test ID and Build ID linked with it; the format is https://automation.lambdatest.com/logs/?testID=< test-id >&build=< build-id >.
What are the benefits of Selenium WebDriver?
Now that we know the prerequisite and entire architecture of Selenium WebDriver, let us take a quick glance at the benefits of Selenium WebDriver.
Here are the key benefits of Selenium WebDriver:
- It supports numerous OSs like Linux, Windows, Mac, etc.
- It is compatible with all new-edge browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and MS Edge. It is also attuned with the near-retiring IE (Internet Explorer) browser.
- It offers speedy completion of test scripts in contrast to other tools.
Overall, the Selenium web testing tool has advantages and shortcomings compared to other automated test tools. However, this tool overshadows other automated tests tools in zones of –
1. Parallel Testing – QA Engineer can run test scripts simultaneously on various machines.
- Flexibility – Selenium supports execution on multiple browsers and OS and test scripts in various languages.
- Cost – Selenium is a free/open-source test tool.
Choosing the appropriate testing framework or tool is extremely crucial for the testing of consumer SaaS-based applications or websites. While choosing the framework, you must check whether there is broad adoption of the test framework else you may not find a backup when you come across errors.
Selenium is one of the robust test frameworks that is widely accepted for cross-browser testing, as this testing is crucial for ensuring the SaaS product functionalities, as well as UI designs, are consistent across numerous devices and browsers. According to Enlyft, the entire market share of Selenium is approx. 2.83% which is much more in contrast to the market share of other automated test frameworks. It is used by big giants and startup enterprises as it is quite simple to get started with Selenium automation testing.
For budget-friendly Selenium automation testing, cloud-based browser compatibility tests using Selenium Webdriver 4 are preferred. It is easy and feasible to use a cloud-based Selenium Webdriver while implementing multiple test cases in parallel. Enterprises always prefer Selenium WebDriver testing on the cloud for mobile apps, web apps, and websites. It accelerates the complete test execution procedure using parallel test execution. To accomplish faster performance and better scalability, go for cross-browser tests in Selenium with a cloud-centric platform like LambdaTest and enjoy the fantastic results. In a nutshell, the above major features of Selenium make it one of the robust and most demanding web automation testing tools.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is required for Selenium testing?
Selenium functions on Linux, Windows, as well as Mac. It is open source, free of cost, and under an Apache 2.0 License. Selenium is mainly written in Java, and the current version is 3.11.0, which was launched in March 2018.
Can Selenium do performance tests?
Selenium WebDriver is a robust automation tool for web apps. It can operate on Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE, and several other browsers via its driver ecosystem. On the other hand, JMeter is a Java-based performance test tool
Why is Selenium testing used?
Selenium is an automated testing framework to conduct QA testing. It is widely used for testing web apps. With Selenium, there is no requirement to write test scripts, the software comes with simple navigation tools that can effortlessly write test cases without the requirement for any test script.
Can Selenium do load tests?
Selenium can be useful even for load tests as it lets users re-use existing functional testing and execute them with virtual concurrent users. It is a very powerful free/ open-source test tool chiefly used for automated functional tests via interacting with browser-lev