Components in Selenium play a significant role while testing an application or software; these are the building block of Selenium automation scripts. But, the real challenge with this is to locate these components, when required, on the web page.
Fortunately, there are various ways to find these components in Selenium. You can find specific components for a particular use that help you with different data loading activities in automation testing.
These are called locators or locating techniques that are nothing but powerful commands. Using these locators, you can quickly find the GUI components through which you can perform multiple user actions.
But, before looking into the different ways to find components on Selenium, it's crucial to understand what these components are and how they work.
The best tool for regression testing a website or automatic data loading is undoubtedly Selenium. In simple terms, we can say Selenium is a powerful tool for controlling web browsers through programs or commands.
It is practical for every browser and allows you to operate on every crucial Operating System. Its scripts are composed of several programming languages such as Python, Java, C#, etc. Also, it uses several other languages alongside these, and here we'll be using the very popular language Python for simple understanding.
Selenium possesses four primary elements – Selenium IDE, Selenium RC, Selenium Web Driver, and Selenium GRID.
Selenium has existed in the business for a while by mechanization testers worldwide.
Let’s examine the four primary elements of Selenium –
Selenium IDE (also known as Integrated Development Environment) is one of the crucial equipment in the Selenium Suite. It is an entire integrated development environment (IDE) for Selenium experiments. It is enforced as a Firefox addition as well as a Chrome Extension.
Another aspect of Selenium IDE is that it enables capturing, rewriting, and debugging of practical trials. It was formerly recognized as Selenium Recorder. Selenium-IDE was initially established by Shinya Kasatani and bestowed to the Selenium project in 2006.
Selenium IDE was not appropriately maintained earlier and commenced existing in 2018.
Writings might be on their own captured and amended manually, furnishing autocompletion assistance and the proficiency to shift commands over rapidly. Scripts are reported in Selenese, a particular trial scripting language for Selenium.
Selenese delivers commands for conducting activities in a browser (press a link, choose an alternative) and obtaining data from the occurring pages.
Selenium Remote Control (a.k.a RC) is a web server composed of the language Java that ratifies commands through the browser through HTTP. RC makes it easier to compose computerized tests for web apps in several coding languages, enabling decent integration of Selenium in prevailing component test frameworks.
An example of a selenium RC server is required to publish an HTML test trial – that implies that the dock must be several for every similarity run. Nonetheless, for the Java/PHP test case, just the one Selenium RC sample is required to be operating endlessly.
Selenium WebDriver is the inheritor of Selenium RC. Selenium WebDriver abides by commands (delivered in Selenese or through a Client API) and provides them to a browser. This is enforced via a browser-particular browser driver that delivers commands to a browser and obtains outcomes.
Nearly all browser drivers certainly open and access browser apps (like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, or even Microsoft Edge); furthermore, an HtmlUnit browser driver emulates a browser by employing the headless application HtmlUnit.
Selenium WebDriver doesn't require a unique server to enforce tests. Instead, the WebDriver quickly opens a browser illustration and regulates it. Nonetheless, you can utilize Selenium Grid with WebDriver to perform tests on remote networks.
Selenium Grid is a server that enables experiments to employ web browser specimens operating on isolated devices. The hub records servers that access browser specimens (WebDriver nodes) and allows tests to utilize these specimens.
Selenium Grid permits conducting tests in correspondence on multiple devices and governing distinct browser editions and browser compositions centrally (rather than every individual test).
The proficiency to govern tests on isolated browser instances is helpful to circulate the law of testing throughout various machines and carry out tests in applications operating on multiple platforms or operating systems. The other is beneficial in cases where not all applications to be utilized for testing can operate on the same platform.
Ways are nothing but locators in Selenium; these locators are powerful commands which are accessible to input and locate the GUI elements in Selenium. Moreover, you can use these commands to perform multiple user actions.
List of 6 easy ways to find GUI components in Selenium are-
Using the above locators in Selenium WebDriver, you can locate components through the "findElement/findElements" syntax.
IDs are the most effective and fastest locator option to find components on Selenium. IDs are unique numbers to identify any components. The ID locator calls document.getElementById(), making it the fastest locator option. Many browsers optimize iDs.
After the ID locator comes to the Name locator, it's beneficial if any web element has no ID attribute. But, the problem with name locators is that they cannot be unique every time. Selenium will pick the first matching element to perform any action if there are at least two or more names.
It's a situation-based locating option. LinkText Locator access links using their exact link text through the By.linkText() method. However, there may be a situation where two or more associations have the exact link text; in this situation, Selenium picks the first matching element with the link to perform any action.
This is again a situation-based locating option. Partial LinkText Locator access links using a portion of link text through By.partialLinkText() method. The first match from all will be accessed if you specify a partial link text with multiple matches.
TagName Locator is a part of a DOM structure and in this structure, every element on a Selenium web page is defined via tags like button tag, input tag, anchor tag, etc. Each tag comes with multiple attributes like name, value class, ID, etc.
When elements are defined using the class attribute, ClassName Locator is among the best ways to locate them. The best part about Class attributes is that it does not need to be unique like ID.
Apart from the six most prominent ways to find components on Selenium, there are two other ways. These ways are not that highlighted but are effective to use.
XPath expression provides reliable ways to locate web components, but also it's the slowest among all locators. XPath engines are inconsistent across browsers because they are different in each browser. For example, your XPath code will not work on IE if you write it in Chrome.
If the web component lacks an ID or name, the best way to locate them is by using CSS Selector. Compared to XPath, CSS is faster and more readable. CSS is compatible across all popular browsers and improves performance. CSS becomes useful when you want to test our application on multiple browsers. CSS is best for IE as XPath is unfunctional IE.
Finding components in Selenium needs a complete awareness of the location of the components on the web page and all possible ways to make the correct approach. We listed the six best ways to do this; however, you may find a few more, but what we listed above are sufficient to find all Selenium components. Selenium gets easy with the LambdaTest framework, where all essential components are at your fingertips.
LambdaTest, a powerful cloud testing platform, will help you accelerate your automation testing skills. It provides automated browser testing with the top automation testing tools like Selenium, Cypress, Playwright and Puppeteer across 3000+ desktop and mobile browsers and uses integrated developer tools for debugging that will also help you learn advanced automation testing tools. It also has over 600,000+ loyal users from 130+ countries.
Selenium with LambdaTest is the only pair you need to boost your testing journey.