Selecting a Right Tool

Nowadays, there are a variety of testing tools, ranging from free and open-source tools like Katalon and Selenium to commercial tools like TestComplete and supporting different testing types and technologies.”Picking the right automation tool: That’s another tricky area of test automation. Automation requires tools and teams might find that problematic because of various reasons: they lack the expertise to make the most of a specific tool they don’t know whether the tool they need exists they want a tool that isn’t available on the market their tools of choice don’t offer 100% test coverage the cost of tools exceeds their test budget.

Demanding Skilled Resources

Some people claim that test automation can be just handled by manual testers or any technical testers because many test tools already support recording test scripts and playing them back so easily and quickly

High Upfront Investment Cost

Talking about test automation, most of us agree that automated regression testing is crucial and useful in most Agile contexts. But when turning into the cost, we have many concerns. As a matter of fact, the initial phase of test automation is usually expensive. It’s necessary to analyze, design and build a test automation framework, libraries or reusable functions, etc.

Automation costs a lot at its initial phase. While the approach is very useful in Agile contexts, the expenses involved in setting up a test automation suite prevent many teams from incorporating automated testing into their practice. Before presenting the automation suite to the management, make sure that you analyze and build a test automation framework, where you include elements like libraries of reusable functions. Add both hardware and software costs as well. And don’t forget about licensing costs if you plan to use a paid software. And even if you opt for an open source solution, you’ll still need to consider the expenses related to training and maintaining them. Convincing the stakeholders that automation is worth all that effort is a difficult task. But the potential ROI is a good argument, so prepare a plan together with a budget, and go for it.

Testing the complete application

Is it possible? I think it’s impossible. There are millions of test combinations. It’s not possible to test each and every combination both in the Manual as well as in Automation Testing. If you try all these combinations you will never ship the product.

How much to automate?

You cannot automate everything. False positives and False negatives – A false positive is a scenario where the system is fundamentally working fine but the automation scripts show otherwise. This could cost a tester a huge amount of his time and money for finding something which doesn’t even exist. Vice-versa, a false negative is a scenario where the automation script declares the system to be working fine when in reality, it isn’t! This happens if the initial stage of a database is inaccurate or if test environment settings are abrupt due to network issues.

Cross browser compatibility

If you are having a compound website then there will always remain some test cases which won’t get proper rendering in all web browsers. A manual approach is best suited for cross browser testing to realize which Browser/Version/OS/Device your website is unable to deliver its intended functionality.

Selenium is widely used for automated cross-browser testing of web apps because it supports multiple languages and operating systems. While automating cross-browser testing with Selenium, many developers found that some elements of the web app work in one browser and not in others. It is necessary to make sure that your web app works well and appropriately in every browser; otherwise, you can lose out on a high traffic rate.

Reuse of Test scripts

Application development methods are changing rapidly, making it difficult to manage the test tools and test scripts. Test script migration or reuse is very essential but difficult task

Dynamic GUI content

As it is ever changing in accordance to the demands of time and business. Frequent changes may lead some scripts to fail.

A website or web application may consist of static content or content that is dynamic in nature. Testing a website or a web application that has static content poses a minimal number of challenges in Selenium automation. However, in today’s times, most of the websites contain content that that may vary from one visitor to another. That implies that the content is dynamic in nature (AJAX based apps)

Web elements with undefined ID’s

If your scripts are not able to map properly with ID to every web element. Then the automation script may fail after looking for a significant amount of time.

Generating Test Reports

The primary intent of any testing activity is to locate bugs and improve the overall product. Reports can play a major role in keeping a track of the tests being executed, generated output, and results of the tests. Though there are modules like pytest_html (for Python) that can be used along with pytest and Selenium, the information in the test report may not be very exhaustive. There are similar types of modules/packages for different programming languages such as Java, C#, .Net, etc. that can be used with Selenium, but the same problem persists for these languages too. Gathering test reports is a one of the critical challenges in Selenium automation.

Handling Pop-up Windows

There could be scenarios where you need to automate interaction with pop-up windows, it is another one of the most common challenges in Selenium automation. There are different types of pop-up windows – Simple alert – something that displays some message. Confirmation alert – requests the user for confirmation of operation. Prompt Alert – informs the user to input something. Though Windows-based alerts cannot be handled by Selenium WebDriver, it does have the capability to handle a web-based alert. The switch_to method is used to handle pop-ups. For demonstration, we create a simple HTML file which contains an Alert popup implementation.

Page Loading

As mentioned earlier, some of the web pages in a web app are user-specific and load different elements depending on the user. Some features even appear based on the user’s previous activity. For example, if you have a drop-down menu for Italian food, then food items related to that category will appear in the food dropdown. During the runtime, the Selenium script might not be able to identify the element. Therefore, to overcome this issue, you can use explicit waits to provide elements enough time to load and to discover the element.

Not So Scalable Approach

Selenium is a great automation testing tool, and being open-source it has helped make life easier for web testers around the world. However, one of the major challenges in Selenium automation is the inability to scale. The ultimate goal of performing automation testing is to cover more test coverage in less time. Initially, you may have short test builds, however, your product is bound to expand with every sprint. This would mean you may need to cover a larger number of test cases. Using Selenium WebDriver, you could only perform testing in a sequential way and that won’t be as effective as you may want your automation process to be. Also, the speed at which tests will be executed would depend upon your computing speed. Now, we know that is where a Selenium Grid comes to aid by empowering you to run test cases in parallel. But there is a downside to that as well. You cannot thoroughly test your website or web-app across multiple combinations of browsers + OS. Why? Because your Selenium Grid would only help to execute cross browser testing on the specific browsers that are installed in your local machine. LambdaTest provides a cloud-based Selenium Grid to help you paddle faster through your release cycles. You can test your web-app or website on more than 2000 real browsers, browser versions and operating systems on the cloud.

False Positives & False Negatives(Flaky Tests)

False positive is a scenario where your test result comes out to be successful, even though when it is not. Vice-versa, False negative is a scenario where the test results report an error with a script execution, even though everything is working as intended. False positives & False negatives have always posed a challenge for web automated testing, and Selenium is no different. When you are running hundreds or thousands of test cases through your Selenium script then there may be a chance where you encounter such flaky tests which show false positives or false negatives. If left unhandled for long, flaky tests may end up leaving a tester with a deluded image of their automation test scripts or web application under test. Flaky tests are certainly one of the most common challenges in Selenium automation. They could be tricky to manage, and I would love to elaborate some ways through which you can deal with test flakiness, but that would be a detailed discussion in itself. I will be covering an entire article around handling flaky tests soon. Stay tuned for that by hitting the notification bell.

Multi-Tab Testing

Selenium provides you the ability to test your web app in multiple tabs, but this functionality can turn out to be an obstacle if you don’t know the exact commands. For example, if you want to perform a specific action on a new tab without closing the current tab, you won’t be able to control both the tabs and go back to the parent tab.To overcome this challenge, try to store the current window handle in one variable, and then go to the new window and store it in the second variable. After that, use the switchTo method to switch between both the windows as per your needs.

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