by October 6, 2009 0 comments

For any software development project, testing is an integral and important
process. To assure that all components of an application are working as per plan
and producing desired results, comprehensive testing is done for an application.
To aid these efforts, there are tools available that help in automating the
process of testing and eliminating repetitive work for a tester. Selenium is a
portable software testing framework specifically designed for web applications.
For software testers who need to record and play their tests, Selenium provides
the facility to record a web activity process of the application and then
generate a test case based on that. He can then run those test cases
continuously without having to manually conduct the constituent steps again and
again thereby eliminating repetitive work. Even for software developers,
Selenium API is available which helps them to author test cases in Java, Ruby,
Python, PHP and other languages.

Selenium was developed by a team of programmers and testers at ThoughtWorks,
and is available for free under Apache 2.0 license. The Selenium tests run in
most popular browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Chrome, and
can be deployed on Windows, Linux and Macintosh platforms.

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Getting Started
For recording interaction with the web application, Selenium IDE is used,
which is a Firefox add-on. With this month’s DVD we have distributed this add-on
along with Selenium core testing tools which can be used to execute test suites
generated by Selenium IDE on any browser. To install Selenium IDE onto your
Firefox browser, right-click on the file, selenium-ide-1.0.2.xpi, located in the
Selenium folder in the DVD and then select ‘Open with’ option to open the file
using Firefox. After installation of the add-on, Firefox prompts for a restart.
Once you have restarted the browser, you are all set to use Selenium IDE.
However, an prerequisite is that JDK 1.5 should be installed on the system.

Selenium IDE is an integrated development environment for generating Selenium
tests that can either be written as HTML tables or coded in various languages
like Java, PHP or Python. Currently this IDE is supported only by the Firefox
browser. To demonstrate how Selenium can be used to record and then create tests
we will use a typical scenario. Web applications contain forms, and it becomes a
tedious task to fill a form each time while testing. Using a previously created
web application, PcqContacts, we will generate some test cases using Selenium

Generating a test case
Start Selenium IDE in Firefox by selecting Tools > Selenium IDE, a browser
pop-up opens with the Selenium IDE. Selenium IDE records interactions with the
Web application, with one command per line. By default, the IDE starts with
recording switched on, so when you have completed your web activity you just
have to click on the red button on the IDE menu to stop the recording.

To start Selenium IDE goto Tools > Selenium IDE in Firefox
browser. Give the base URL of the web application for which you want to
create the test case.

To start recording, enter th e web application’s path in the browser’s
address bar, ie http://localhost:8080/ PcqContacts and then start the web
activity. Fill in the Contacts form and submit the form. Next, check the
Contacts page to see whether that entry has been enlisted. Note, whatever you’re
doing within the browser is being recorded by the IDE. During recording,
Selenium IDE will automatically insert commands into your test case based on
your actions. Typically, these include:

Selenium Core can be used to run test suites on other
browsers. Through the control Panel frame you can execute the test suites
passed on the Test Suite frame.

Clicking a link – ‘click’ or ‘clickAndWait’ commands

Entering values – ‘type’ command

Selecting options from a drop-down listbox – ‘select’ command

To check whether the entered value exists, use
assertTextPresent command. Its presence is revealed in the log window.

Clicking checkboxes or radio buttons – ‘click’ command

When you’re done with our web activity, simply end the recording by clicking
on the IDE’s red button on the toolbar. You’ll notice in the Table tab that for
each activity, there has been a command inserted with a target and value. For
instance, when we entered the name as Tyra, the command issued was ‘type’ with
target being ‘Name’ and value being ‘Tyra’. In the Source tab, you can see the
HTML code for the test case generated. Through File > Save Test Case option,
save the test case as PcqTestCase.html. Now you can use this test case again to
run the case scenario of entering the test values to check that the web form
acts normally. To run the test, select the test case from the Test Case frame
and then click on Run button from the toolbar of the IDE. This will execute the
test within the browser and when any error occurs, it gets reported in the log

Adding verification
We have already created a test case named PcqTestCase.html. Now if you want
to check properties of the web page, use the ‘assert’ and ‘verify’ commands.
Suppose you want to check that the entered name, Tyra, is present in the Contact
list page or not. For that, open the test case in the Selenium IDE and click at
the blank line in the Table tab. From the drop-down list, select ‘assertTextPresent’
command and give its value as Tyra. At test re-run, if the Tyra word is present
the assertTextPresent command will return value as true, else it will give an
error exception.

Creating test suites
As Selenium is available as a core feature with which tests can be executed
in other browsers, to deploy Selenium Core, extract the contents of to a base folder. Now copy the ‘core’ folder from the
extracted contents into the web accessible directory of your web server. For
instance, if you are using Apache web server, then copy ‘core’ folder into the ‘htdocs’
folder of the server so that the Selenium Core is available on the same host and
same port as your web application.

To create a test suite from Selenium IDE, select the test cases from the Test
Case frame and goto File > Save Test Suite As option and enter the name as
PcqTestSuite.html. This will create a table formatted html page having
references of all test cases that the test suite contains.

To run a test suite from a browser other than Firefox, open the path to the
TestRunner.html file, which in Apache’s case would be http://localhost/core/
TestRunner.html. For a sample website hosted on the same web server, run the
test suite PcqTestSuite.html for that site. In the Test Suite frame, pass the
path for the PcqTestSuite.html and then from the Control Panel frame run the
test suite. It executes the test cases from the test suite and displays the
error log in a separate browser window.

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