General Software testing types such as functional testing, regression testing, and integration testing, etc., are being replaced by systematic testing programs using automation tools.

In the contemporary world, Test Automation is adjudged as the best way to achieve enhanced efficiency, coverage, and effectiveness of any product or software.

The Software Industry is brimming with automation tools. The interesting fact is that many organizations that use 3rd party tools to utilize open source technology of some kind (Selenium, Appium, Junit, TestNG, etc.).

In this agile world, organizations look for a tool that provides the best possible features to utilize in the software testing process.

Selenium is one which is most preferred for web Application automation because of several factors.

Now let’s analyze where the current trending tools like Protractor, Jasmine, and Ranorex fit in this Selenium dominated world of test automation. Let’s travel and explore more.

Selenium:

Selenium is an open-source testing tool where it is designed especially for web application automation.

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The best part of Selenium is it’s compatibility with different platforms and browsers. It provides API’s to interact with different web browsers.

Selenium Webdriver bindings come with different languages such as- Java, Python, C#, etc..

Challenges with Selenium:

  • It supports Web-based applications and not for Desktop Application Automation.
  • Limited support for Image Testing.
  • No Built-in Reporting facility. Need to integrate with other reporting libraries like Extent Report, Allure Report, TestNg etc.
  • There is no synchronization between automation test scripts and Web application. We need to explicitly synchronize tests with application using various available waits in Selenium.
  • Lack of professional experts On-demand support for Enterprise Projects.
  • No participation from non-technical resources.
  • Not an All-in-One solution – requires 3rd party tool bindings.
  • No official support from Selenium. But, it has large open community forums.
  • Selenium alone can’t support for Mobile App automation. Need to use Appium

Protractor:

Test Professionals describe Protractor as an “End-to-end test framework for Angular and AngularJS apps.”

In general, Protractor is a powerful tool for web application testing. The right mix of Selenium WebDriver, NodeJS, Cucumber Jasmine, and Mocha makes it as attractive for web automation.

Though it is intended for AngularJS applications, still it performs well with non AngularJS applications as well.

Originally it was introduced into market by Google developers and became  open source in the future.

Angular JS:

In this modern world of eCommerce days, every company is interested in making an impact online.

This has actually created a huge market for web developers in market. It’s difficult to think about the development of a contemporary single page application without involving AngularJS.

The fact is it helps developers to build best applications. Thus AngularJS is coined as the next super thing in web application development.

Architecture of Protractor:

Protractor works in conjunction with selenium webdriver. Where it provides best automated test infrastructure that allows users to test Angular application running in a browser or mobile device.

Protractor is a wrapper around webdriver.js, with extra functionalities and features. To transact with browser, WebDriver utilizes Selenium JSON-Wire- Protocol.

Why to Prefer Protractor?

  • Most of the Angular JS applications are entrenched with HTML attributes like ng-controller and ng-model. Selenium locators cannot find such web elements with just Selenium code. Whereas Protractor can easily find and control Angular-specific locators in the attributes of web application.
  • It performs faster than Selenium because there is no need for any additional waits to use. Since Protractor can able to track the network, router changes, and execute the testing scripts accordingly.
  • Does multi-browser testing on often used browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Edge, IE11 in quicker time and in an easy way.
  • Protractor works equally well for both Non-Angular and Angular web applications.
  • Protractor has parallel execution feature, thus making it easier for testers to run test cases in numerous instances of any browser simultaneously.
  • It has node at its core, where extensive variation of packages can be installed when needed. Which means installation of several packages and working with them is quite easy in Protractor.
  • Protractor has multiple assertion libraries to work with. Though it’s easy to use with Mocha and Jasmine, with the latter being default.
  • Testers can deploy their Protractor code in cloud easily. It supports Sauce Labs and Cross Browser Testing along with other cloud platforms.
  • Protractor is much faster as it improves and manages synchronization to a greater extent. Also, it works equally well with headless and real browsers.

Conclusion:

To summarize Protractor provides all the capabilities of Selenium along with many other useful additions such as:

  • It is well adept with synchronization and we no need to use wait on each and every element.
  • It has a variety of assertions and annotations along with the ability to create our own assertions as per the requirement, which is easier than Selenium.

Overall, it is a perfect upgraded tool used to test Angular based Applications. There are numerous NPM packages available out there which can be embedded with framework smoothly. These packages will yield our framework even better.

Ranorex:

Ranorex was introduced to market in 2007 with a vision for revolutionizing the automation testing process, It is a commercial GUI based test automation tool used to test desktop, web, and mobile apps.

What makes Ranorex attractive?

  • Ranorex is based on the XPath query language that facilitates efficient search of components in a web-based application.
  • Ranorex record and playback interface allows tester for automating any application by recording UI actions.
  • Ranorex Studio supports a broad range of environments, specifications, and settings includes:
  1. Windows desktop technologies, that includes .NET, ActiveX, Delphi, Telerik, and Microsoft Office apps.
  2. Mobile testing on Android and iOS platforms.
  • Cross-browser testing on all major browsers like chrome, firefox, ie, etc.
  • Ranorex supports in integration with DevOps environments which demand continuous testing and fast feedback to test results.
  • Ranorex offers a wide range of testing tools to integrate with most CI/CD tools, test management tools.

The popularity of Ranorex:

A data-driven researcher, iDataLabs says Ranorex has close to 1.2 percent of the industry share in the automation Testing Tools category.

Ranorex is a licensed tool, but definitely it will be worth full in the long run of testing. Because of its features, it provides out of the box for automation.

While free tools such as Selenium are backed by a massive community, the Ranorex user base is smaller compared with Open Source tools.

Features of Ranorex:

  • Multiplatform Application: For web, desktop, and mobile applications, while Ranorex competes with products such as Selenium, which supports web testing only.
  • Codeless test creation: Codeless test creation: Drag-and-drop interface allows for conducting code less tests. Once keywords are set by team member, no programming background is needed to work with Ranorex.
  • Built-in image comparison: Smart object identification technique is able to automatically detect any change in the UI. It includes GUI recognition elements( RanoreXPath ,The path editor, Ranorex Spy).
  • High-quality customer support: Customer service is professional, helpful, and quick to reply.
  • Execution Report: Every test run in Ranorex Studio results with automatic execution report that provides logs and also screenshots for validation. Hence this makes the workflow much easier than Selenium.

Conclusion:

Ranorex Studio is a very powerful tool to automate tests for web, standalone and mobile applications. Even non-programmers will be able to create tests without hurdles. To summarize:

  • Ranorex supports multiple technologies like .Net, Java, HTML etc.
  • Ranorex Spy is an object recognition tool which identifies the hierarchy of UI elements in any application.
  • Ranorex Recorder allows recording of test steps and replaying the same to test application with different input data.
  • The repository contains all the UI elements and their unique logical path.

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Overall Summary

Maintaining the quality of an application and ensuring a bug-free product is crucial for the success of any project.

In Automation testing phase, Tool selection is a vital part. Though each tool is a good player on its own ground.

But considering, project requirements such as project type (Web/Desktop/Mobile), scope of the project, existing team’s strength, tool that integrates seamlessly with their project planning & test management tools, CI/CD , reporting, easy to learn & simple to use and many more. Hence automation team can choose best tool that matches their requirement.

Overall, looking at the unique features of Protractor and Ranorex definitely, these two sets its own image in this Selenium dominated world of test automation.

Author

Balireddy works for Indium software as Test Engineer in the field of Software Test Automation. He has good knowledge in writing Selenium Automation scripts using Java and C#. And has experience working with other frameworks like Cucumber and Protractor.

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