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A Quick and Easy Guide for Selenium Beginner's

Let’s get started with the introduction to Selenium!

What is Selenium and Why?

Firstly I want to ask you some questions about what you understand from Automation. How will it impact your life? Do you know the number of different Automation tools? Have you been fed up with doing Manual tasks?

If multiple answers are juggling in your mind, then let me describe to you all the above questions.Automation is a way which reduces your manual effort, time and opens new opportunities. You enjoy and feel better when you get your task automated. So, we have one of the best Web Automation tools that is Selenium which is widely used in all organizations. Now, you will think we have a number of other Automation tools like-

  • TestingWhiz
  • Unified Functional Testing
  • Test Complete
  • Sahi
  • Waitr
  • Tosca TestSuite

Then why should we go for Selenium only?

Here are the reasons:

Features of Selenium 

  1. Open source tool, no need to buy it.
  2. Platform Independent and easily portable.
  3. Support Multiple languages like c,c#, java, python, ruby, Perl, Groovy.
  4. Supports all browsers on which we run our test cases.
  5. Supports Parallel testing which reduces time and effort.
  6. It can easily be integrated with the TestNG framework which helps to create multiple test scripts in one go.
  7. To run a selenium script there is no need to install the different servers. It directly interacts with the browser.
  8. To run a Selenium test suit you just need to integrate your Selenium Test suite with a CI tool like Jenkins and with the help of CI job, it is easy to run all test suites.

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History of Selenium

  • Birth of Selenium Core

Selenium was created by Jason Huggins in 2004 which was a ThoughtWorks engineer. He was fed up with repeated Manual tasks so he thought about developing an automated process. He created a  JavaScriptRunner open-source which was known as Selenium Core.

  • Birth of Selenium RC

For using Selenium Core Testers had to install the complete application and Web Server on their Local system so that they can create a Test environment. To overcome this problem another ThoughtWorks Engineer, Paul Hemmant created a server that will act as an HTTP proxy which is known as RC that is Remote Control. It is also known as Selenium1.

Note:  RC has been deprecated now. It is not in use now.

  • Birth of Selenium IDE

An extension of the Firefox browser which supports  Record and Playback features for automating an application. It records all the actions of the Browser when you run the browser. Shinya Kasatani Japan created Selenium IDE in 2005.

  • Birth of Webdriver

Simon Stewart developed WebDriver in 2007 which is the first cross Platform Testing Framework. I will explain Selenium Webdriver in detail later.

Selenium Suite

Selenium is having the main four components:

  1. Selenium IDE
  2. Selenium RC
  3. Selenium Grid
  4. Selenium WebDriver

Selenium Suite

Selenium IDE

Do you know the Full form of IDE? Let me tell you the full name is Selenium Integrated Development Environment which is an extension or Addon of Firefox Browser. It is a Record and Play tool to run the script.

Steps on how to Integrate with Firefox

  1. Download Firefox Browser if your system not having -
  2. Run the Exe file and It will install Firefox in your system.
  3. Restart your browser
  4. Click on at the rightmost Hamburger Menu and Select Add on 
  5. Search with Selenium IDE and Add it to your Browser as Extension

Selenium IDE Browser as Extension

You need to click on the Record button and Open your Browser and perform the action which you want. Selenium IDE will record every action in the form of Script and Selenese command. Although you can modify it as per your requirement. It helps when you are facing a problem during automating your script.

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Selenium WebDriver

It is a combination of 2 words  Web+Driver. 

A driver that executes your test scripts against your Web browser. It allows you to choose any browser on which you want to run your Scripts. Hence, cross-browser testing is possible from this.

It allows you to choose any programming language like c,c#, java, Groovy, Python, Ruby

The Architecture of Selenium Webdriver

There are four component of Selenium WebDriver

  1. Client Library
  2. JSON wire protocol(JavaScript Objection Navigation)
  3. Selenium Browsers driver
  4. Real Browser

First when a user writes code in Java language so it uses java client library and through JSON wire protocol over HTTP request is sent in the form of URL to selenium browsers driver and after that this request is set on a real browser and after that action performed.

You will learn later you will pass a URL and what exception you face with HTTP protocol.

HTTP protocol

Here, we see what will happen internally after you click on Run till the launch of the Firefox browser.

Once you click on Run, every statement in your script will be converted as a URL with the help of the JSON Wire Protocol over HTTP. The URL’s will be passed to the Browser Drivers. (In the above code, we took FirefoxDriver). Here in our case the client library (java) will convert the statements of the script to JSON format and communicates with the FirefoxDriver. URL looks as shown below.

Every Browser Driver uses an HTTP server to receive HTTP requests.  Once the URL reaches the Browser Driver, then the Browser Driver will pass that request to the real browser over HTTP. Then the commands in your selenium script will be executed on the browser.

Difference between UFT and Selenium

Selenium is a widely used tool for those organizations that don’t want to spend money on tools or having a low budget project. Although Selenium and UFT both are used to automate Web applications, there are still several differences. Let’s have a quick view of them.

S.No Selenium UFT(QTP)
1 It can automate Web Based applications only. For Mobile, Desktop application Third-party tool we have to useThird party tool we have to use It can automate Web, Desktop, hybrid, RPA application. This is one of the main advantage of QTP over Selenium
2 Selenium Test Scripts can be run on  multiple browsers It supports only IE and Firefox browsers
3 It supports multiple languages It supports only VB script
4 It is open source and anyone can use it without paying any cost. You just need to download and set up the project. I will explain How to set up the project later. It is a paid tool developed by HP. You need to purchase licenses for it.
5 No inbuilt object repository was available. You need to create its repository. It is a tool with build-in Object  repository so easy to use
6 For generating the reporting another Test Framework need to integrate like TestNG Inbuilt Reporting Framework present. Default Test Report  generated
7 No proper support is available if you need some help. There are online communities available. You can discuss and get your solution As this is a paid tool so proper support you will get
8 Easily integrate with several Paid and Free tools like Maven, Jenkins It can integrate with an only paid tool
9 The Scope is very vast The Scope is very less due to less job in the market

Test Environment Set up

I will explain to you how you can set up with Selenium Webdriver so that you can write your script to automate your application.

Step by Step you need to do some installation which is required. Here I am using Java as Programming Language, Eclipse as IDE and Chrome as Browser in my example so Please follow all the steps:

Prerequisites: I think you all aware about Java and Eclipse IDE but those who don't know then  any need to worry, You just follow below steps and get started with Selenium

1. Go to Oracle official Website to download Java first

 And click on the Download button. You will see the screen below

Read: Top 30 Frequently asked Selenium Interview Questions and Answers

Click on Agree and Start Free Download.

2. After Java installation completion you need to download Eclipse IDE. Go to Eclipse official site by accessing below link

You will see the icon below. Click on the Download button.

and Download it. After downloading you will get the .exe file as shown below picture. Just run it and you will see Eclipse has been installed in your system.

3. Once you install eclipse then Launch it by using eclipse.exe icon


4. Choose your workspace area and click on the Launch button. Cross the Welcome screen.

5. Now Download Selenium java Client libraries. Go to Selenium official site to download selenium “” 

6. Click on the Download link and Save the file folder. Unzip the folder

7. Now download the Chrome Driver to run the script on the Chrome browser. Please visit the below link before downloading the driver. I will explain to you later what exception you could have to face

Note: It is very important to note your Chrome Browser version first to download the Chrome Driver. Otherwise, you will face a compatible issue. As my chrome browser version is 71 so I am using chrome driver 2.46

Read: How To Download & Install Selenium IDE & WebDriver

8. Now you have all the downloads, so are you ready to start? 

9. Open your Eclipse->Create New java Projects->Enter Project Name and click on Finish

10. Now Right Click on your Project->Build Path->Configure Build Path->Select Libraries Folder

11. Now click on the Add External JARs..button and add all jar files from the Selenium Client Libraries folder. Click on Apply and close button

I hope you have got How to start with Selenium. I will explain to you in detail how to write the script.

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Selenium Life Cycle

Selenium has its own life cycle. Selenium Automation has to go with the below phase. Let’s have a quick view

  1. Requirement Analysis: You first need to understand the requirement. After understanding the requirement it is easy to write Manual Test cases.
  2. Test Planning: This is a very important phase of the Selenium life cycle. Which Framework you will use, how many resources will involve to automate the manual test case, Which test case will be a part of automation suite, when you will start to do automation, on which browsers scripts will run, which language you will use to write the scripts, which build tool, repository we will use within sprint or not all these questions will decide in this phase.
  3. Creation of Test Script: In this phase, you start to write the test scripts. Selected Test case added an Automation script in Framework.
  4. Test and Debug the script: After creating the script you need to compile and run the script on your local system and once it ran successfully then merge it into the existing framework
  5. Execution of Test Script: Now you need to run your script on the server by using a CI job.
  6. Analyze the Report and Send result via mail: When CI job complete then need to verify TestNG report and verify the result for Failure
  7. Report a defect for Failure: Test case which failed you need to verify for them.
  8. Maintenance: For New enhancement and Failed test case you need to maintain the suite.

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Let's Summarize it

Selenium Webdriver which is a very important component of Selenium, supports multiple languages, multiple browsers, operating systems and automates mainly regression, sanity, and smoke test suites. It can be easily integrated with another tool, hence Batch Testing, cross-browser testing, Database Testing is possible without any problem. Reporting which is very important after running the suits can easily get from this.

Happy Learning……….

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    Leena Garg

    Being a Senior Automation Tester I love to first analyze the things and then deliver quality work. By automating and maintaining my task, I have achieved my goals and also contributed to multitasking projects. I believe in learning new technologies with time.


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