Selenium an Introduction

When more and more software applications are being introduced almost every day, the need for software testing is increasing. Traditional manual testing has been replaced in many areas with test automation to do testings more effectively and fast. At present, there are a good number of test automation tools are available in the market. While some are free and open source tools some are commercial which need to be purchased by paying a license fee. Selenium is one such tool and this introduction to selenium will help you to know more about Selenium.

Introduction to selenium – What is Selenium

Selenium is a test automation tool which is used for testing web applications. It cannot be used for testing either desktop or mobile applications. There are many other tools such as Quick Testing Professional which can be used for testing all types of applications but these are licensed products and the user will have to pay for the license and for maintenance. Selenium is a free and open source tool and hence it is widely prefered by test managers and developers for testing web based applications.

Selenium has the following components


  • Selenium IDE: – This is an Integrated Development environment where the user can create simple scripts and then can be exported to Selenium RC or Webdriver for execution of the test. It has record and playback facility. It is available as a Firefox plug-in.
  • Selenium RC: – This will automate any web application which uses any programming language supported by Selenium.
  • Selenium Webdriver: – It communicate directly with each browser using browser’s native application for automation. Webdriver supports dynamic web pages such as Ajax where the page elements may change even without the reloading of the page.
  • Selenium Grid: – Selenium grid facilitates parallel testings concurrently in multiple browsers and multiple machines.

Learning Selenium is not a difficult thing. As a beginner one can start using Selenium IDE, which is a Firefox plugin for practice and to learn how the commands are used to run the script in IDE. However, IDE is not sufficient for perfect test scripting as it does not support looping concept and the test cases cannot be customized to meet all the requirements. Here you need to learn Selenium webdriver. Selenium webdriver supports many programming languages such as Java, C#, Ruby, Python, PearI, PHP etc and hence you can use the language in which you are comfortable.

Prerequisites to Learn Selenium

Basic knowledge in Java and HTML will help to work easily with Selenium,

Tags you should know in HTML to work with Selenium

  • Text Box
  • Text Area Box
  • Radio Buttons
  • Check Boxes

Things you should know in Java to work with Selenium

  • Static and non static variables.
  • Control statements
  • Operators
  • Objects and Classes
  • Return Types
  • OOPS concepts (Inheritance, Overriding)
  • Strings
  • Constructors
  • Arrays
  • Exception Handling
  • Packages

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