Selenium tutorial

As of 2020, we see that there are many applications being developed by software individuals. However, to ensure that the applications are working correctly without any bugs or errors, testing has to be performed. Every application requires testing and has to definitely go through the testing phase. But, how is the testing performed? Are there any tools or suites that are able to meet the requirements of the developers? How are the organizations able to fulfill the client's needs efficiently? Yes, there is a powerful testing suite called Selenium which is rocking its way in the current era of living. Many of the organizations are dependent on the selenium testing suite, helping the business to run effectively. In this tutorial, you will learn about Selenium, its features, advantages, and disadvantages, terminologies, etc.

What is Selenium?

Selenium is referred to as one of the most commonly used automation testing suites that are booming nowadays. Selenium was first developed as an internal tool at Thought works in 2004. Selenium is providing its extensible support to automation across the different programming languages, browsers, and platforms.

Selenium is capable of providing its support to the different programming languages by making use of the drivers that are specific to each language. Some of the programming languages that are supported by Selenium are Java, Python, C#, Ruby, Perl, PHP, etc. As per some of the recent surveys, Selenium web driver is one of the most popular web drivers that is used with C# and Java. The selenium test script coding can be performed or written in any of the programming languages and can be run directly on any type of browser. This states that Selenium is compatible to work on different web browsers like Mozilla firefox, safari, google chrome, internet explorer, etc. Selenium also allows easy deployment on different platforms like Windows, Linux, Macintosh, Solaris, etc. It is also flexible to provide its support to the operating system for the different mobile applications like Android, iOS, windows for mobile.

Selenium is providing its support to help in automating the functional tests and can be integrated with the different automation test tools such as Maven, Jenkins, & Docker in order to achieve continuous testing. It can also be integrated with different tools such as TestNG, & JUnit for the reliable management of the test cases and generation of the reports.

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Why the Name Selenium?

The Name Selenium came from a joke which was cracked once by Jason on to his team. During Selenium's development, there was another automated testing framework that was popularly developed by the company called Mercury Interactive. Since it is a well-known antidote for Mercury poisoning, Jason has recommended that name, and his teammates have accepted the same. So that is how we got to call this framework up to the present.

What does Selenium software perform?

Below are some of the significant uses of Selenium software:

Automated Testing: Automated Testing is used in larger-based projects as of now. If there is no software or a platform called  Selenium,  a tester would need to perform the testing manually and will need to test every functionality that is created. With Selenium, all the manual tasks will be automated, which is further reducing or eliminating the stress and burden on the testers.

Increases Test Coverage: By using the test automation and the test cases, there is a reduction in the overall testing time which results in having free time for the tester to execute more testing on multiple test scenarios at the same time.

Reduction in the Test Execution Time: As Selenium provides its support for test execution in parallel, it ultimately provides its help in the reduction of the time of parallel execution.

Cross Browsers Compatibility: Selenium is capable of supporting a wide number of browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer, etc.

Various OS Support: Selenium WebDriver is also capable of providing its support across multiple Operating Systems like Windows, Linux, UNIX, Mac, etc. You are allowed to create a test case on Windows OS and execute it on Mac OS using the selenium web driver.

Features of Selenium: 

Selenium is a framework that has got multiple features in it. Let me give you a brief explanation of the features of selenium.

Selenium is called as an open-source and portable Web testing Framework that is widely used by testers in most of the organizations.

It can be considered as the leading cloud-based testing platform which is helping the testers to record their actions and export them as a reusable script along with an interface that is simple-to-understand and easy-to-use.

Selenium IDE also came up with a playback and record feature which helps in authoring tests without the need to learn a test scripting language.

Selenium provides extensive support to the various operating systems, browsers, and programming languages. Following is the list:

Programming Languages: C#, PHP, Ruby, Perl, Java, Python, and JavaScript

Operating Systems: Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, Solaris.

Browsers: Google Chrome, Edge, Opera, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.

Selenium is also capable of getting integrated with the different testing frameworks like TestNG for application testing and generating reports.

It also provides its support to the parallel test execution which will help in reducing the time and increase or improve the efficiency of tests.

Selenium requires fewer resources when compared to other automation testing tools.

Selenium is flexible to be integrated with frameworks like Ant and Maven for the compilation of source code.

Selenium web driver does not require any installation of the server, test scripts are capable of interacting directly with the browser.

Selenium commands are categorized based on the different classes which make selenium easier to understand and implement.

Selenium Remote Control (RC) in conjunction with WebDriver API is known as Selenium 2.0. This version was built in order to support the vibrant web pages and Ajax.

WebDriver API has been indulged in selenium which is one of the most important modifications done to selenium.

Selenium Interview Questions

Components of Selenium Suite:

Selenium Suite comprises the following four components:

Selenium IDE: Selenium IDE refers to the Selenium Integrated Development Environment which is considered as a tool that is allowing the users to develop the test cases. It is referred to as an easy-to-use Chrome and Firefox extension and is generally considered as the most reliable method to develop test cases. It is capable of recording users’ actions in the browser for you, by making use of the existing Selenium commands with parameters that are defined by the context of the web element. This is not only a time-saver but is also an excellent way of learning Selenium script syntax. 

It was previously known as Selenium Recorder, Selenium IDE was initially created by Shinya Kasatani of Japan and was contributed to the Selenium project in 2006. It was first introduced as a Firefox plugin to create the test cases faster. As it was a Firefox extension, it allows you to automate the browser through a record-and-play feature providing its support to auto-completion, and also includes the ability to move commands around quickly. Scripts will be recorded in a special test scripting language called Selenese for Selenium. Selenese includes the set of commands that can be used for performing the necessary actions in a web browser and also for restoring data from the resulting pages. 

The key advantage of Selenium IDE is that the tests can be recorded via the plugin and can be exported in different programming languages, such as Java, Python, Ruby, etc.

Selenium RC: Selenium Core was the first version, but with that version, testers would need to install both Selenium (a JavaScript program) and the webserver that contains the web application that has to be tested on their local systems so that they would belong to the same domain. Later on,  a ThoughtWorks’ Engineer, Paul Hammant has come up with an idea to create a server that will act as an HTTP proxy to trick the browser in Selenium Core and the web application have been tested that belong to the same domain, which has then brought up a way to the RC a two-component tool. It includes two parts called,

Selenium RC Server

Selenium RC Client (the library that contains the programming language code)

RC can support the following programming languages:

  • Java
  • Python
  • Perl
  • Ruby
  • C#

Selenium WebDriver:

The selenium web driver was founded by Simon Stewart, a ThoughtWorks’ Consultant in Australia, in 2006. Selenium WebDriver was the first cross-platform testing framework that is capable of  controlling the browser at the Operating System level. Selenium WebDriver is said to be a successor to Selenium RC. Selenium WebDriver is responsible for accepting the commands that are sent in Selenium or via a client API and also sending them to the browser. This is implemented by making use of a browser-specific driver, which will be sending the commands to the browser and then retrieves the results. Each driver will be able to launch and access a browser application. There are different WebDrivers that are available in Selenium. Few of them are listed below:

  • FirefoxDriver (GeckoDriver)
  • ChromeDriver
  • OperaDriver
  • MicroEdge
  • SafariDriver
  • InternetExplorerDriver
  • HTMLUnitDriver

Selenium Grid :

The Selenium Grid is referred to as the testing tool that allows you to run your tests on different machines against different browsers. It is considered as the part of the Selenium suite that is specialized in running multiple tests across different browsers, operating systems, and machines. You are allowed to connect to it with Selenium Remote Control by stating the browser version, browser, and operating system which will be based on your choice. It is important for you to specify these values through Selenium Remote Control capabilities. By using the Selenium Grid, one server will be moving as a hub. Tests will be communicating to the hub in order to get access to the browser instances. The hub includes a list of servers that will provide access to browser instances (WebDriver nodes) and allows the tests to use these instances.

Selenium Grid is also flexible and compatible to allow parallel testing and also helps in the management of the different browser versions and browser configurations centrally (instead of in each individual test). There are many different online platforms that provide an online Selenium Grid wherein you are allowed to access to run your Selenium automation scripts. For example, you can use LambdaTest. Selenium Grid has now reached more than 2,000 browser environments over which you are allowed to run your tests and truly automate cross-browser testing.

Advantages of Selenium: 

  • Let us gain an understanding of the advantages of Selenium:
  • Selenium does not require any licensing cost as is an open-source platform or framework.
  • Scripting can be performed or done in most of the widely used programming languages like Java, Ruby,C#, and Python.
  • It is flexible to provide its platform support for all the different operating systems available like Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and Solaris.
  • It is also flexible to provide its extensive support to most of the popular browsers like Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, and Safari.
  • The Selenium IDE component of the Selenium suite is capable of providing the record and playback features which helps the non-programmers in allowing them to also write automation scripts.
  • Selenium Grid provides its support for both parallel and distributed testing.

Limitations of Selenium:

  • Some of the limitations of Selenium are-
  • Selenium is not capable of providing desktop application automation support.
  • Web Services, It is not possible to automate the REST or SOAP using Selenium.
  • Selenium WebDriver will need the programming language requirements for the creation of the scripts.
  • We will need to rely on external libraries to perform common tasks required in automation like logging, reading-writing to external files.

About Selenium Testing Tool 

Selenium is a robust set of tools that supports the rapid development of test automation for web-based applications. Selenium provides a rich set of testing functions specifically geared to the needs of testing of a web application. These operations are highly flexible, allowing many options for locating UI elements and comparing expected test results against actual application behavior. Selenium: Selenium is a suite of tools to automate web app testing across many platforms.

Selenium tutorial

Ex: We have 500 rest cases to Executive then in manual it values days but in Automation, it takes 2 days so We can save 50 to 60% of time

Selenium: It is an open-source Functional automation tool for a web application.

Automation: The process of converting the manual test cases to Auto machine test scripts is known as Automation. Then scripts can be Executed on all the targeted Applications. When over received without Manual effect.

Advantages of Automation: We can save time by Executing the test cases Without any Manual effect We can cast reduce cast to the company CTC Test scripts are repeatable and all the builds We can maintain accuracy by repeating the same task in the same matter 3 legs can be identified We can get the test report from the tool We can ensure for quality


As of now, we all know that every organization needs testers to ensure that the application being developed is working as expected as per the client requirements. Hence, there is a high demand for the testers as the application is whole and sole dependent on the testing phase, only then it will be brought into the production level. Due to this, we also see that there are a lot of opportunities being rolled out in the market. These roles will definitely require expertise and immense knowledge on the subject. Hence, we recommend you to get trained and certified in the testing which will help you improve and attain progress in your career.

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