Selenium is one of the widely used portable frameworks to automate web applications supporting various OS, Languages, and Browsers. Its support for different supported selenium testing types makes it popular. However, Selenium also comes with some drawbacks. Without any doubt, Selenium makes it easier for users to test complex web applications. But, there are some challenges that Software test engineers and developers face while using it. This article highlights some common scenarios and challenges that testing teams should consider before selecting Selenium Testing.
1.Dynamic Web Content Handling
The trend of SSO (Single sign-on applications) has been increasing in the last few years. The page content is changed either through hidden elements or loaded during run time from the server. Handling dynamic content on SSO-based applications is one of the challenges that selenium scripts must handle. Developers have to handle this situation through explicit waits or hard-coded waits. Identification of elements that have dynamically generated nature is challenging using Selenium. These elements identifiers do change along with a new deployment, typically on class names and Ids. Therefore, it becomes difficult to locate such elements using the long auto-generated default identifiers.
Sometimes Selenium will give you flaky tests, and analysis of this instability involves considerable effort. Ultimately, suppose tests are not stable and trigger flakiness oft due to false positives. In that case, testers or developers might ignore the test results, which is alarming because the team does not have proper and stable automated scripts. This instability is a major challenge of using Selenium. The team has to continuously analyze the test results and bring stability to the test scripts most of the time. Selenium Tests are not self-healing. Self-healing test automation is based on AI and ML techniques to automatically update and adjust test scripts to UI and test environment-related changes.
Another challenge is Selenium’s inability to handle Captcha. The use of Captcha in web automation ensures that only real users are accessing the web application. There is no inherent direct capability in Selenium to solve captchas functionality.
4.Mobile Application Testing
Selenium supports automated test cases on any operating system and browsers on the desktop; however, it lacks built-in support to execute tests on mobile devices. To automate native apps, developers have to use a third-party tool like appium.
5.Scalability and Stability
Selenium testing provides the capability to run automated tests on a various range of browsers. You can scale your tests, but the bottleneck is its ability to run tests stable and quickly. Each browser needs a different logic and trick to interact with the DOM elements and handle different actions, e.g., dynamic loading of web elements, iframes, unified login, and built-in support for Shadow DOM, etc. Test script which works in one browser does not work in another browser. Coding Expertise is required to write such scalable and stable tests.
Test Reporting is considered to be one of the significant challenges faced during Selenium automation. Unfortunately, Selenium does not provide support on its own for effective reporting. Instead, you have to use various packages or third-party tools such as JUnit, Allure, TestNG, etc. However, such options require advanced programming skills to integrate it inside the selenium testing framework.
Selenium WebDriver can test in multiple tabs, but switching multiple tabs does not work for every browser. Most common browsers like Chrome and Firefox both behave differently in this particular situation. UI automation on Salesforce is heavily dependent on the opening of different functionality in new Tabs. Handling such cases using Selenium becomes very difficult if test scripts have to be run on other browsers.
8.Open Source but Costly
Selenium is open-source, but companies need expert professionals to write stable test scripts. Selenium Grid also requires the continuous support of updating the browser’s updates from Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari. Companies opt for selenium testing solutions, but in the end, it becomes costly for them due to the hidden running costs of Selenium testing.
9.Support for data-driven testing
Selenium WebDriver doesn’t have the inherited support of data-driven automation testing. You need a 3rd party library to read test data and then inject it inside your test scripts.
Selenium testing is one of the most popular frameworks for automated web applications. However, developers and testers face many challenges and limitations using Selenium. This article has highlighted the most common challenges that developers face while using Selenium. These testing challenges can be handled easily through intelligent AI and ML-based solutions. The best alternative to Selenium should support little or no coding, scale-up automation across web and mobile, stability, and self-healing of tests scripts