Selenium QA Testing: Everything You Need to Know

Timothy Joseph
Timothy Joseph | August 11, 2020

Selenium QA Testing: Everything You Need to Know

Testers spend so many hours testing your web application to validate its functionality inside and outside of your local development environment. If your team relies on manual testing, your testers must enact and re-enact hundreds of test case scenarios across all essential browsers as well as record the issues and pinpoint the source of uncovered defects - all by hand.

Does your team have the right testing framework in place so that your product is mistake-free?

While manual testing always has its place within the testing process, solely relying on this testing approach can often lead to testing inaccuracies as well as an overworked team of skilled QA testers. Many successful companies choose to implement a testing framework like Selenium so that their development cycle supports an even balance of automation testing with manual testing.

Is your team ready to become a Selenium QA testing team?

In this guide, you can discover everything you need to know about Selenium QA testing, including:

  • What is Selenium?
  • What is API testing using Selenium?
  • What does the Selenium Suite look like?
  • How to Test API Using Selenium
  • Benefits of Selenium

What Is Selenium?

Selenium is not a tool for API testing. Rather, Selenium is an open-source, automated testing framework that validates web applications across a variety of platforms and browsers. Selenium provides a single interface for API testing using Selenium Java as well as additional programming languages for test scripts including C# and Python.

What Is API Testing Using Selenium?

API testing using Selenium is the process of validating application programming interfaces directly by using Selenium in order to verify if they meet expectations for reliability, performance, functionality and security. API testing using Selenium WebDriver, Selenium Grid, Selenium IDE and Selenium Client API is often referred to as Selenium QA testing.

Explore the Selenium Suite

Selenium QA testing means using a suite of software with each component serving a different testing need for the development cycle. Explore the various ways your team can carry out QA test cases for your software product.

  • Selenium IDE

    Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is considered as the simplest framework for Selenium QA testing and the fastest framework in the suite to learn. Because of it’s simplicity, users shouldn’t carry out advanced test cases with Selenium IDE as they would execute API testing using Selenium WebDriver or Selenium RC. Simply put, Selenium IDE is best used as a prototyping tool within the QA process.

    • Easy to install Firefox plugin
    • No programming experience necessary - only HTML and DOM knowledge needed
    • Provides export tests to format compatible for API testing using Selenium WebDriver and RC
    • Features a built-in help and test results reporting module
    • Offers support for extensions
  • Selenium Remote Control

    Commonly referred to as Selenium RC, this was the flagship testing framework of the entire Selenium project for years. As the first automated web testing framework, Selenium Remote Control allowed users to apply their preferred programming language. In other words, a tester could conduct API testing using Selenium Java, C#, PHP, Python, Perl or Ruby.

    • Cross-browser and cross-platform testing framework
    • Performs looping and conditional operations
    • Supports data-driven Selenium QA testing
    • Readily adapts to new browsers

  • Selenium Grid

    Selenium Grid’s smart server routes test commands to browser instances on remote devices. Your team can run Selenium Grid together with Selenium RC in order to execute parallel tests across a variety of machines and browsers simultaneously. In short, Selenium Grid minimizes test runtime while maximizing accurate testing results.

    • Runs tests simultaneously across multiple browsers and environments
    • Significantly reduces test runtime
    • Applies the hub-and-nodes concept for testing
  • Selenium WebDriver

    Unlike the other Selenium Suite components, Selenium WebDriver implements a more modern, stable approach when it comes to automating the browser’s actions. In fact, Selenium WebDriver doesn’t rely on JavaScript for automation and controls the browser through direct communication. Like Selenium RC, API testing using Selenium WebDriver means that a user can perform API testing using Selenium Java, C#, PHP, Python, Perl or Ruby.

    • Simple installation
    • Direct communication to the browser
    • More realistic browser interaction
    • Separate components not required
    • Fast execution time
  • Selenium Client API

    As the latest within the Selenium Suite, you can write test scripts in various programming languages through Selenium Client API. Without the need to writing in Selenese, users can execute API testing using Selenium Java, JavaScript, C#, Ruby and Python.

Here’s How to Test API Using Selenium

  • Automation Testing: Through automation testing, testers execute test cases through automated test script. Automation testing with Selenium means that Selenium QA testers can automate all test scripts throughout the testing process.
  • Cross-Browser Testing: This type of testing validates that your software product performs and functions as expected across all browsers. Selenium makes it easy for testers to create automated test cases for all browsers - including Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Microsoft Edge - from one platform.
  • Regression Testing: When testers carry out regression testing, they are looking to see if all existing software functionality remains in tact, even with the presence of new functionality and/or code change. Testers can create automated test scripts that can be run over and over again within the Selenium Suite.
  • Sanity Testing: This type of testing is executed after the deployment of a software build to confirm that all previous defects have been fixed and no additional issues arise with the updated code. Selenium allows testers to automate these test cases to ensure that the entire product is bug-free and ready for market.

Benefits of Selenium

There’s a reason why so many successful businesses rely on Selenium QA testing from one development cycle to the next. Selenium has risen in popularity because of the benefits it provides development and testing teams across industries. While it’s fair to say that there are both pros and cons of Selenium automation testing, here are benefits your team can expect when implementing Selenium.

  • Open Source: Selenium is FREE. After downloading, your QA team can start testing without updating licenses or signing any contracts. If your team is new to automating the web browser testing process, Selenium can be a great starting place without any upfront costs.
  • Supported by Multiple Browsers: Selenium script is compatible with the most-used browsers worldwide including Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Opera. Your testers only need to write one script that can be tested across all relevant browsers.
  • Supports Multiple Operating Systems: Selenium can work across different operating systems including Windows, Mac OS, Linux and UNIX. In other words, one tester can create the test script on a Windows operating system and another tester can execute that same test on a Mac OS operating system with no issues.
  • Compatible With Various Programming Languages: No new language skills required. Selenium supports all major programming language including Java, Python, JavaScript, C#, Ruby and Perl. That means you can write your test scripts in your preferred programming language and Selenium can convert it into compatible codes quickly and easily.

Does your team need additional assistance implementing Selenium QA testing? Partner with a QA services provider like QASource to jumpstart your automation testing process. Our experienced QA engineers are skilled in all types of automation testing and specialize in the Selenium Suite. With our team of experts, your business can set up the Selenium testing framework properly so that it supports all your automation testing needs across projects and testing cycles. Get in touch with a QASource expert today.


This publication is for informational purposes only, and nothing contained in it should be considered legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out of this information and encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.