Test Automation

Top 9 Test Automation Best Practices for Selenium 4

The quality of various websites and web applications across the globe has been improving. The credit goes to technological advancements and digitalization. If you have waded into the waters of a Software Testing Life cycle, you must know that Selenium has always been one of the most preferred tool suites for or automated cross browser testing. After all, why would anyone want to miss out on an amazing testing experience owing to its sophisticated functionalities and features?

However, in my experience, I’ve seen some testers having trouble with the reliability, design, scalability, and stability of their automation tests despite using spot-on logic. After a lot of trials and errors, I have realized that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to Selenium test automation. The silver lining for test engineers is that Selenium 4 is a brilliant new makeover with an enhanced tool suite including a better Selenium Grid architecture, relative locators, revamped IDE, W3C standardized protocol, new APIs, and so on.

With Selenium 4, testers don’t need to encode and decode API requests for communication between test scripts and browsers. In other words, the WebDriver can directly interact with the browser you are targeting. The W3C standardization will increase the efficiency and reliability of cross browser testing.

But all upgrades aside, if you don’t know the best test automation practices, you won’t be able to make the most out of Selenium 4. In this blog, I am going to throw some light on the top 9 test automation best practices for Selenium 4. The best part is you can apply these regardless of the programming language you are using for automation testing. let’s dig in.

1. Use The Right Locators

Selenium 4 comes with relative locators that amplify the way you look at elements. It has introduced intuitive terms such as ‘To left of’, ‘To right of’, ‘Above’, and ‘Below’. The QA team needs to know how to use the right locators to test various web elements. After all, you don’t want your tests to fail just because of the inability of test scripts to correctly identify elements, right?

I am going to take the example of login page to explain this further. Suppose you need to automate inputs to the password and username fields. Locating the respective text fields is the first step. If the script fails to find the password and username fields, there is no way the login process is going to work.

2. Appropriately Name Test Suites and Test Cases

Give self-explanatory names to test suites and test cases. Sometimes, other team members have to improve the tests someone else wrote. If anyone revisits a particular test after some time, it’s important to find out its purpose without having to squint your eyes through its complete implementation.

Suppose a test fails during execution. If you give a self-explanatory test name, figuring out broken functionalities would become a lot easier. This way, no teammate would have to waste unnecessary time to keep scrolling around.

3. Use Page Object Model

Using Page Object Model is necessary to reduce code duplication and improve test maintenance. As web application UI changes, associated locators change as well. With that, you might need to write all the tests once again. But with the use of Page Object Models, testers don’t need to make repeated changes in all test scripts.

POM creates a centralized object repository on the web page for controls. This implements the web page as a separate class such that the one being tested is going to have a corresponding page object class. This eliminates the direct interaction of Selenium automation scripts with the web elements of a webpage.

Evolution in the user interface of a website is bound to happen due to ever-evolving demands from customers. Therefore, incorporating brand new changes is also mandatory. But by considering every webpage as a class file, QA professionals can reuse existing code, simplify test maintenance, and get rid of code duplication.

4. Failure Investigation With Automated Screenshots

No matter how careful you are while running automated tests on Selenium 4, no one can ever guarantee 100% success. Sometimes, failures are inevitable. The important thing is to figure out why it occurred in the first place. Was the code full of errors? Or was it because of an AUT bug?

As a remedy to this issue, you should set up your test infrastructure such that it takes automatic screenshots for failure investigation. As a result, the QA team would be able to identify what caused the failure. This would make it simpler to rectify errors and consequently save valuable time resources and efforts of the testing team. LambdaTest’s online Selenium grid enables you to use a Desired Capabilities Generator that generates step-by-step screenshots. All it takes is turning on a button and you’re good o go!

5. Maximize Browser Zoom and Browser Window

Sometimes, an implementation doesn’t work correctly on outdated browsers such as Internet Explorer. But when you set the browser zoom to 100%, it imparts a native mouse feel. In other words, this practice ensures the setting of native mouse events to accurate coordinates.

Another best practice for Selenium that goes hand in hand with maximizing browser zoom is to maximize the browser window. During screenshot testing, Selenium doesn’t use the maximized mode for opening a browser window by default. This can reduce the clarity of a web page and compromise the quality of the screenshot attached in various test reports. Thus, maximizing the browser window for full-page screenshots is one of the most highly recommended best test automation practices for Selenium 4.

6. Test Parallelly In Selenium 4

Selenium 4 offers support to run multiple tests parallelly just like the previous versions. PyTest, TestNG, PyUnit, Cucumber, and other popular test frameworks offer parallel test execution on a Selenium grid. You can target different environments such as combinations of device emulators, platforms, browsers and operating systems to simultaneously execute tests. Considering how massively parallel testing reduces execution time, experts highly recommend this practice.

If you are performing automated cross browser testing with LambdaTest, rest assured. It supports all popular and reputed test frameworks. Also, thanks to the highly reliable and scalable Selenium grid, you can further leverage it to enhance the performance of your parallel tests during execution.

7. Set Up Logging and Test Automation Report on Selenium 4

Locating the failed test can become highly challenging in case of failure of an extensive test suite. Having console logs at the right place in your test code facilitates an enhanced understanding of code. That’s the primary reason why logging turns out to be a massive savior in these situations. However, note that you only need to add necessary logs having a level error that contributes towards tracking what actually caused the failure. After logging comes reporting.

If you can accurately measure something, you can always improve it. This applies to test automation using Selenium 4. When users track the performance of their tests, they can work towards achieving enhanced results with their Selenium test automation efforts. Setting up test automation reports on Selenium 4 offers test results with better readability. It also helps in minimizing the time spent to maintain test data.

Generating reports for Selenium test automation helps keep test data management organized. It also offers a higher level of control over your tests since you’re able to keep track of failed test scripts using detailed analysis. After all, without logging and reporting, is it possible to make the most out of your test automation efforts with Selenium?

8. Use Behavior Driven Development

If you’ve been a Selenium user for a while, you must know that BDD is one of the most popular approaches to development. Testers can easily write test automation cases in English which makes it easy for non-coding geeks to understand them. This way, technical and business teams can bridge the ever-widening gap between them and be on the same page about what goes on in the project. Consequently, BDD facilitates better collaboration.

It also helps in creating specifications that enhance the understanding of requirements and the test. This way, you wouldn’t have to explain tests due to their self-explanatory nature which automatically saves a lot of time. Business teams can also offer valuable input due to better grasping of test insights.

9. Data Driven Testing

DDT is vital for parametrization. When we hard code test values, it causes unnecessary repetitions and bloatware in test automation scripts. But when testers use parametrization to achieve data-driven test automation, it facilitates the execution of test cases against various data sets or input combinations. As the data set gets more extensive, it automatically improves the test coverage. As a result, the product quality goes higher.

Summing It Up

Selenium 4 has already made it easier for testers to carry out automation testing by eliminating previous complexities. For instance, the upgrade has smoothened out the management of Selenium grid since you no longer require separately setting up and starting hubs and nodes. Both individual testers and testing teams can deploy the grid in standalone mode, hub and node mode, and fully distributed mode.

The revived Selenium 4 IDE has its addon available for Chrome, Firefox, and other major browsers along with an improved GUI, better control flow mechanism, and an improved element locator strategy. Enhanced documentation and Chrome debugging protocol support are two other major functionalities that have simplified the task of the QA team.

The best part is that you can easily migrate to Selenium 4, thanks to its compatibility with existing versions. During this process, you won’t have to compromise the stability of existing test cases. All in all, Selenium 4 has left no stones unturned in enhancing your overall cross browser testing process.

LambdaTest provides users with seamless testing on the Selenium grid cloud of more than 3000 mobile and desktop browsers. You can also take advantage of LambdaTest’s zero test flakiness and seamless integrations along with 24/7 support from industry-leading experts.

Now that you have the tool kit, support, and platform, it’s time to take action. As long as you follow these top 9 test automation best practices for Selenium 4, nothing can stop you from making your automated cross browser testing efforts reach their maximum potential.


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