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Testing / 8 Common Challenges in Selenium Testing and How to Overcome Them

Application testing has started to gain a lot of popularity with the increasing complexity of the modern app development market. This is because, in recent times, apps have developed such a model that they need to have access to multiple web elements at the same time. For such an infrastructure, it is very important for the app developers to not only guarantee the individual stability of the apps but also their integrated functioning.

To overcome all of these processes, the modern app market has started to rely on automation testing. Selenium testing is a very important part of the modern automation testing process. This is because Selenium has been present in the automation testing segment for over 10 years now. Many app-developing companies are starting to make the transition to Selenium-based automation testing. While performing Selenium testing, some common challenges might occur in the application test bench. So, with the help of this article, we are going to discuss these challenges and also the most probable ways to overcome them. We will also understand the contribution of multiple platforms and tools in the proper execution of Selenium-based automation testing.

Understanding the Selenium Test Suite and Automation Testing

To understand the scope of Selenium-based automation testing, the application developers need to have a clear idea about automation testing. This is the process of removing human involvement in the test case execution process. This is because while using automation testing, the system can rely on a text file to extract all the important data, variables, and other relevant information to communicate with the application like a normal user. Based on these communications, the system can understand various important factors about the application. After this process, the system will generate a detailed report showing the usability, simplicity, and intractability of the app. The app developers and testers can later go through this result to conclude whether the app is fit for final production.

Automation testing also allows app developers to make significant changes in the test file to ensure that the final results are customized according to the app undergoing the development process. Many experts believe that it is possible to use up to 60% of the existing automation test data in future app development projects. The process of storing and maintaining this data is also very simple. However, test automation has an initial investment charge that might be steep for various individual creators and small companies. This expense covers all the important factors for integrating multiple tools, libraries, and plugins that are critical for the proper execution of automation test cases. So, all modern app companies must have enough revenue resources to justify this investment. Now as we come to Selenium, we can define it as a modern open-source umbrella project consisting of multiple tools to verify the proper performance of web apps. All the tools present in this project help the developers at different stages of the application testing process. Since Selenium is based on an open-source infrastructure, app developers do not have to invest to access all of its features.

Selenium is highly dependent on the well-known JavaScript programming language. However, with Selenium, the developers can only initiate the automation test cases on web apps. So, while working with other popular apps like native apps and hybrid apps, the app developers will be forced to look for an alternative in the market. Now let us understand the role of all the tools present under the test suite:

  • We will begin our discussion with the Selenium WebDriver as it is possibly the most important tool present under the Selenium test suite. The Selenium WebDriver not only initiates the automation testing process but also ensures that they are conducted on the right element of the web application. The Selenium WebDriver is an improved version of the previously present remote controller. This is because the Selenium WebDriver allows the developers to conduct the automation test cases in the native environment of a web browser without any dedicated test engine.
  • The Selenium IDE or integrated development environment helps the developers to initiate codeless automation testing on web apps faster with the help of this tool, the application developers can generate the automation test files based on real user interaction in real time. This means the developers simply have to use the app like a normal user and the system will continue to generate the test cases.
  • The Selenium client API is useful when the app developers need to manually write the automation test cases as per the requirements of the project. With this tool, it is possible to create automation test cases in any of the preferred programming languages like JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and many others.
  • Finally, the Selenium Grid has made a massive contribution to improving the efficiency of automation test cases in modern complex web apps. This is because, with the help of the Selenium Grid, the app developers can initiate multiple test configurations on different machines at the same time. According to expert analysis, the Selenium grid can improve efficiency multiple times.

Common Obstacles in Selenium Testing and How to Overcome Them

Based on our research and understanding, we have created a list of the most common challenges that come while executing Selenium testing. We have also developed some of the best ways in which the developers can resolve these issues. They are as follows:

  1. Modern web applications often have certain elements that change dynamically like CSS locations or classes. To overcome this challenge, the automation testers can use relative locators or CSS selectors instead of completely relying on fixed element identifiers.
  2. While using Selenium testing, the app developers can face various synchronization issues when they're interacting with the elements that are not immediately available on the web app. To cope with this issue, app developers can use implicit or explicit waits and synchronize the test actions based on the response of the web application.
  3. It is one of the common phenomena when the Selenium test files run properly on one browser but fail on the other. So, the app developers need to incorporate cross-browser testing with Selenium test cases. Various tools can help application developers to accomplish these goals. We will discuss more about the role of cross-browser testing tools in the later part of this article. Moreover, while incorporating cross-browser testing, app developers must use browser-specific capabilities or preferences to control various variations in behavior.
  4. iFrames are a serious challenge because Selenium works within the boundaries of the main document. This means it cannot directly interact with the elements that are present inside iFrames. In such a scenario, the developers must use dedicated methods and perform the necessary actions.
  5. Various pop-ups and alerts can disrupt the flow of Selenium-based automation testing. So, the developers must remember to incorporate dedicated pop-up handling tags and methods while creating the automation test files.
  6. One of the standard debugging procedures is capturing various screenshots and videos during the test case execution process. So, while working with Selenium, the developers can easily capture both of these forms of media with the help of dedicated methods that can be entered in the terminal window of Selenium.
  7. While working with Selenium, it can be challenging to perform test cases based on different sets of data. However, the developers can implement data-driven testing by storing the test data in external sources like databases and Excel sheets. Then they can use Apache POI or any other library to read the data and interact with the application accordingly.
  8. One of the common challenges related to automation testing with Selenium is the maintenance and stability of the automation test cases. So, the app developers must regularly update and refactor the test cases to ensure that they not only remain compatible with the app but also meaningful based on the ever-evolving standards of the app development market. Instability in test cases can also rise due to various updates that are rolled out in an application.

Integration of Tools and Platforms with Selenium Testing

Various tools and platforms available in the market can help application developers to simplify the Selenium-based testing process. Moreover, these tools and platforms grant access to additional features that help in improving the quality of the app undergoing the development process.

For instance, cloud platforms help app developers grant access to remote servers for executing test cases on real devices. This process in turn removes the hassle of having an onsite device test lab that can be expensive and almost impossible for small individual creators. With the help of cloud platforms, developers can gain access to real devices through the Internet.

It's also possible to run the test cases from anywhere in the world as cloud platforms help the app developers to remove the location barriers in the application testing process. Finally, cloud platforms grant access to hundreds of legacy devices that have been removed from the market. Let us improve our knowledge about the grasp of cloud platforms in the modern app market with the help of LambdaTest as our benchmark discussion point:

For the initial introduction, we can say that LambdaTest is a unified digital experience testing platform for automated browser and app testing. This platform can run automation test cases on not only Selenium but also other popular frameworks like Cypress and Playwright.

With the integration of parallel testing, LambdaTest can run Selenium-based test cases on more than 3000 modern browsers. It is also a great option to verify the proper performance of locally hosted web apps.

The Conclusion

With this article, we focused on some of the most common challenges that developers might face while initiating and executing Selenium testing. It will become even more apparent as more and more companies will continue to adopt automation testing trends. Recent studies show that more than 66% of modern app development companies have moved to complete automation testing practices. With this improving grasp of test automation, app developers need to continue updating their knowledge regarding automation testing practices so that they can maintain their company's position in this competitive market. It is also important to have a clear knowledge of the role of multiple tools in automation testing and how they can benefit the preferences of a developer. Finally, the companies must have a clear idea about the demands of their target audience so that they can customize the application.


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