Introduction to Selenium

Selenium is a portable software-testing framework for web applications. Selenium provides a playback (formerly also recording) tool for authoring tests without the need to learn a test scripting language (Selenium IDE). It also provides a test domain-specific language (Selenese) to write tests in a number of popular programming languages. The tests can then run against most modern web browsers. Selenium deploys on Windows, Linux, and macOS platforms. It is open-source software, released under the Apache 2.0 license: web developers can download and use it without charge.

Selenium is composed of several components with each taking on a specific role in aiding the development of web application test automation.

Selenium IDE:

Selenium IDE is a complete integrated development environment (IDE) for Selenium tests. It is implemented as a Firefox Add-On and available on Chrome Store recently, and allows recording, editing, and debugging tests. It was previously known as Selenium Recorder. Selenium-IDE was originally created by Shinya Kasatani and donated to the Selenium project in 2006. It is little-maintained and is compatible with Selenium RC, which was deprecated. Scripts may be automatically recorded and edited manually providing autocompletion support and the ability to move commands around quickly. Scripts are recorded in Selenese, a special test scripting language for Selenium. Selenese provides commands for performing actions in a browser (click a link, select an option), and for retrieving data from the resulting pages.

Selenium client API:

As an alternative to writing tests in Selenese, tests can also be written in various programming languages. These tests then communicate with Selenium by calling methods in the Selenium Client API. Selenium currently provides client APIs for Java, C#, Ruby, JavaScript and Python.

Selenium Web-Driver:

Selenium Web-Driver is the successor to Selenium RC. Selenium Web-Driver accepts commands (sent in Selenese, or via a Client API) and sends them to a browser. This is implemented through a browser-specific browser driver, which sends commands to a browser and retrieves results. Most browser drivers actually launch and access a browser application (such as Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, or Microsoft Edge); there is also an Html-Unit browser driver, which simulates a browser using the headless browser Html-Unit.

Selenium Remote Control:

Selenium Remote Control (RC) is a server, written in Java, that accepts commands for the browser via HTTP. RC makes it possible to write automated tests for a web application in any programming language, which allows for better integration of Selenium in existing unit test frameworks. To make writing tests easier, Selenium project currently provides client drivers for PHP, Python, Ruby, .NET, Perl and Java. The Java driver can also be used with JavaScript (via the Rhino engine). An instance of selenium RC server is needed to launch html test case – which means that the port should be different for each parallel run. However, for Java/PHP test case only one Selenium RC instance needs to be running continuously.

Selenium Grid:

Selenium Grid is a server that allows tests to use web browser instances running on remote machines. With Selenium Grid, one server acts as the hub. Tests contact the hub to obtain access to browser instances. The hub has a list of servers that provide access to browser instances (Web-Driver nodes), and lets tests use these instances. Selenium Grid allows running tests in parallel on multiple machines, and to manage different browser versions and browser configurations centrally (instead of in each individual test).

The above is a brief about Selenium. Watch this space for more updates on the latest trends in Technology.

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