Selenium being one of the leading test automation tools in the industry, serves the purpose of test automation at its best. The first ever Selenium tool was launched in the year 2004 as Selenium Core. The Selenium test automation service has a few additions in the year 2007- Selenium IDE & Selenium WebDriver.
The next generation Selenium tools were named Selenium2 (2011), Selenium 3 (2016) and after a three-year gap, Selenium was to launch its latest version- Selenium 4.0. The release had been delayed and a trial version of selenium- Selenium 4.0 alpha was released. Let`s look at the new additions and modifications that have been made.
SELENIUM IDE: The Selenium IDE supports a rapid test development process and it does not need an extensive programming knowledge.
SELENIUM WEBDRIVER: The Selenium WebDriver is a user friendly and has a flexible API available in most of the popular programming languages and bowsers.
SELENIUM GRID: The Selenium Grid is another new upgrade that allows to distribute and run tests across multiple machines/ systems.
Upgraded Features In Detail
Selenium being the talk of automation testing industry has released the Selenium 4 Alpha that is to be upgraded into the Selenium 4.0. The following features can be spotted in the Selenium 4 version;
1. Web Driver Changed To W3c (World Wide Web Consortium) Standardization:
The Selenium 4 has a change in standardization to W3C to encourage the compatibility across various software implementations of the WebDriver API. This change ensures that the communication does not require the encoding and decoding of API. This results in a more stable framework and reduces compatibility issues across various web browsers.
2. Improved Selenium GridThe Selenium Grid has been improvised in terms of its UI and stability. The coding of the Selenium grid has been changed completely and the console of the grid has been restructured. This allows the execution of the test cases in parallel on multiple browsers and operating systems. Now, the Grid can serve the purpose of the Node and Hub.
The UI grid of Selenium 4 has been created to be more user friendly and has all the relevant information regarding the session’s capacity, run time and other such details. Another addition to the grid is the support for utilizing the Docker containers along with the grid server.
3. Friendly/ Relative Locators Introduced
Selenium provides multiple explicit locators such as id, XPath, etc… the new locator provides a way to locate the element by its position by concerning other elements such as above, below, to-left-of, to-right-of & near.
4. Support For Browsers
The existing support for Opera & PhantomJS is to be removed. Users who wish to test Opera can go for Chrome and users who wish to test PhanthomJS, can go for Chrome or Firefox in the headless mode. The HTML unit is no more default on Selenium server.
5. Selenium IDE (Chrome & Firefox):
The Selenium IDE is a tool for recording and playback options which is available with many more advanced features and capabilities.
6. New Plug-in
The old version of Selenium IDE could be run only on Google Chrome, but the latest version of Selenium 4`s plug-in allows the user to run Selenium on any browser (Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc…) which can declare the vendor location strategy.
7. New CLI Runner
The latest version of the new CLI runner is a WebDriver that is based on Node.JS codes. This gives the capabilities of Playback and parallel execution for supporting parallel execution and further helps in providing reports (test reports- pass & fail).
8. Detailed Documentation
The users of Selenium face many difficulties such as late updation of documentation. The new release promises to deliver updated documentation.
9. Better Analysis
There has been enhancements in terms of analysis- Logging & debugging details have been improvised to fasten the resolution of the script issues for the testers.
10. Network & Performance AnalysersIn terms of network analysers, the capabilities such as Intercepting requests, Emulating network conditions by changing the type of connection, enabling the network tracking has been revised.
In terms of performance analysers, there has been updates on the support for chromium-based edge browser, full page screenshot on Firefox & element level screenshots. Also, performance package analysers give the provision to analyse the runtime performance by providing some methods for collecting and reporting the duration metrics.
With the introduction of many new test automation tools and techniques in the automation testing industry, the Selenium test automation tool is always an edge over them due to its combined potential to attend to many testing needs of organisations.
Selenium 4.0 gives the user the best experience and capability to do all the unfulfilled tasks by its previous versions. It is faster, more compatible making it the most efficient automation tool in market.