What is Selenium?

Selenium is an automated software testing framework that is used on web applications only, to test their functionalities and regression. Note that it does not support the desktop applications and therefore it is different from UTF tool.

In this post are 5 things you need to know about Selenium.

Selenium Integrated Development Environment

This is the simplest tool in the Selenium pack because it is easy to install and run. The only disadvantage is that it is meant to be used on the Firefox browser only. However, the simplicity makes most engineers use it as a prototyping tool and not as an overall solution for developing and maintenance of the complex test suites. To use the Selenium IDE tool, you will need to be conversant with the HTML, JavaScript and the Document Object Model so that it can serve you fully. Selenium IDE helps you to achieve only two goals namely ability to enter commands more quickly and secondly, it will restrict you from entering wrong/invalid commands.

Selenium RC Server

This tool helps extend the capability of the Selenium pack because it opens up in different browsers and supports different operating systems. It is comprised of a Java file and does not require any special installation after downloading it. The tool automatically bundles the selenium core and injects it on the browser. However, you will need to have installed java and running path environment correctly so that it can successively run from the console. It is advisable that you confirm that Java is successfully installed by running the java-version command on your console. The respond after running the version command should be version 1.5 or later which means that you are good to get started with the tester.

Selenium Web Driver

There are two features that are common in Webdriver and Selenium RC. They both allow the use of programming language in designing the test scripts. And secondly, they allow the user to run the tests against different web browsers. The difference between RC and WD is in the architecture and the speed. For the architecture, the WD architecture is simple compared to Selenium RC architecture. And on the speed, WD is faster than the Selenium RC because it has the ability to control the browser engine directly, whereas the Selenium RC uses the JavaScript to control the browser.

Different Types of Waits in Webdriver

There are two different types of waits on the Webdriver namely the implicit wait and the explicit wait. The implicit wait is used to provide a default waiting time between each consecutive test. Whereas the explicit wait halts the execution until a particular condition is met.

Always Have a Defined Strategy Before Running Selenium Tools

To increase your chances of success when using Selenium, it is advisable that you define a strategy that you will focus on during the testing process. Based on your strategy, design some questions that will better help you to determine the chances of success. The strategy questions should always be related to the overall objective of the project that you are running. From the answers to those questions, you should be able to determine the functionality of your application on different browsers.


The major limitation of Selenium pack is that it supports testing only on the web-based applications. Mobile applications can’t be tested using it. Secondly, there is no readily available vendor support because it is an open source tool.

Nikolay Advolodkin is a self-driven SDET on a lifelong mission to create profound change in the IT world and ultimately leave a legacy for his loved ones, community, and the world at large. Today, he serves as the CEO and Test Automation Instructor at UltimateQA.com and contributes informative articles to leading test automaton websites like SimpleProgrammer.com and TechBeacon.com

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