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Selenium with Java : Getting Started to Run Automated Tests

By Sadhvi Singh, Community Contributor and Pradeep Krishnakumar, Manager -

Selenium is the first thing that comes to mind when one is planning to automate the testing of web applications. Selenium is a beneficial tool because it is not only open source but also a portable software testing framework for web applications that support multiple languages like Java, C#, Ruby, Python. Choosing the right language depends on the application under test, the supporting community, available test automation frameworks, usability, elegance, and of course, seamless build integration.

Java is a popular programming language. As per StackOverflow, it is the third most popular back-end technology after JavaScript and SQL.

Popular Programming Languages

This article highlights the step by step guide on how to kickstart Selenium with Java.

Why Developers prefer Selenium With Java?

A good community of developers to create documentation and resolve issues has helped Java to become the most preferred language among the application developers. Thus, writing selenium test cases using Java has multiple benefits:

  • Selenium supports Java. So, testers can leverage the active community of contributors and detailed documentation to write test cases
  • Programs written in Java are faster than other popular languages like Python
  • Java is more widely used in commercial applications as compared to other programming languages like Python and hence integrating Selenium tests it easier

Eventually choosing the right language varies by project, organization, and individuals driving it. An essential criterion is to know the language in-depth when dealing with Selenium.

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Getting Started with Selenium using Java

To kickstart Selenium Webdriver with Java, one needs to bring the different components together, to start coding.
Selenium is compatible with multiple operating systems like Windows, Linux, Solaris, Macintosh. It also supports multiple browsers like Chrome, Safari, IE, Edge, Firefox. It is used to automate functional tests. Also, Selenium is easy to integrate with tools like Jenkins, Maven, and Docker to achieve a continuous testing approach. Tools like TestNG and JUnit further help in structuring the selenium tests for easy maintainability and generating reports.

In this section, we explain how to set up and run a simple test through Selenium with Java bindings.

Pre-requisites for Setup Configuration

The following components are required to get started with automation:

  1. Java(JDK)
  2. Eclipse
  3. Selenium Client and WebDriver Language bindings
  4. Configuring Selenium Webdriver with Eclipse
  5. Creating and Running the first test

Step #1 – Install Java

A Java development kit which includes the JRE (Java Runtime Environment) is required to write and run Java programs. JRE is a child of JDK, which comes along with JDK installation. Even for running applications that need the dependency of Java, one needs to install JDK. One such application is Eclipse IDE. Download Java, install it and set the environment path. Once the path is set, one can verify the installation by typing java -version on the command prompt, which provides the details of the installed java version. Refer to the following image for better understanding.

Selenium Java Tutorial Step 1

Step #2 – Install Eclipse

Eclipse is a platform for Java developers to write their code and run it. Download Eclipse from their office page. Based on the OS, one can go with the required option. Once downloaded, extract the downloaded file. Once completed, one can see the eclipse .exe in the eclipse folder:

Selenium Java Tutorial Step 2

Step #3 – Selenium Client and WebDriver Language Bindings

Selenium Webdriver supports multiple languages, and each language has its client driver. As we are using Selenium with Java, we need to have ‘Selenium Java Client Driver’. One can download the client driver from the official Selenium website. One can see the multiple language client drivers provided by Selenium:

Selenium with Java Tutorial Step 3

Once downloaded, extract the contents of the downloaded file and then move to the next step, which is configuring Selenium Webdriver with Eclipse.

Step #4 – Configuring Selenium WebDriver With Eclipse

This is a vital step of starting with Selenium. To configure Eclipse with Selenium Webdriver client,

  1. Double click on the eclipse.exe file to launch it
  2. Create a workspace Selenium and Java Tutorial Step 4Think of it just like any other folder, which stores all the scripts in one place. One can choose to create as many workspaces as required. Click on Launch to launch the workspace.
  3. Create a new java project by clicking on File-> New-> Java Project and name the projectSelenium Java Guide Step 5
  4. Create a package under this project, by right-clicking on the ‘src’ folderJava and Selenium Tutorial Step 6
  5. Once the package is created, right-click on the package and create a class. Java Selenium Guide Step 8Once the class is created, go ahead with adding the Selenium Jars to the project.
  6. To add the Selenium Jars, right-click on the project folder and go to Properties:Tutorial on Selenium Automation with Java Step 9

From the Properties window, navigate to ‘Java Build Path’ and click on ‘Add External JAR’s

Selenium Java Tutorial Step 7

Add the downloaded Selenium Jars and click on ‘Apply and Close.’ Selenium with Eclipse is configured now. Now Eclipse is ready to execute the first script.

Step #5 – Creating and Running the first test using Selenium and Java

As the first test, we will write a script to open ‘google.com’ on the Chrome browser. To use Chrome, it is mandatory to have the driver executable. To download the driver executable, visit the Selenium website. In the third-party driver browser section, one can download the executable file for a specific browser.

Post downloading, below is the code snippet to run the first test:

import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit;

import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeDriver;

public class FirstTestInSelenium {

public static void main(String[] args) {
// TODO Auto-generated method stub

//setting the driver executable
System.setProperty("webdriver.chrome.driver", ".\\Driver\\chromedriver.exe");

//Initiating your chromedriver
WebDriver driver=new ChromeDriver();

//Applied wait time
driver.manage().timeouts().implicitlyWait(10, TimeUnit.SECONDS);
//maximize window
driver.manage().window().maximize();

//open browser with desried URL
driver.get("https://www.google.com");

//closing the browser
driver.close();

}

}

In the code snippet above, we have used the Selenium keyword driver.get(“URL to open in browser”) to open URL in the desired browser. Other keywords like driver.close help to close the browser window, as a cleanup part.

So, this was a quick start guide to start using Selenium with Java. One should keep in mind the best practices to be incorporated while writing Selenium tests.

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Selenium with Java: Best Practices

Some of the important aspects to remember while writing Selenium tests with Java are:

  • Using the right locatorSelecting locators are the building blocks of a selenium script, and using the right one is critical. If incorrect locators are used, they tend to make the script flaky and unreliable. Using ‘ID’ and ‘Name’ locators are easy. They also provide faster execution and are more reliable as compared to CSS and XPath
  • Making your way into the test-driven script – When we talk about testing, it is about testing the software on multiple permutations and combination of data. The same should be incorporated in the Selenium tests. Multiple data points should drive all Selenium tests, and using a data-driven framework helps achieve this
  • Using the right wait and avoiding using ‘Thread.sleep – For WebElements or a page to load, it is essential to give a specific halt time to the script and avoid the failure of the script. Selenium provides certain waits like ‘Implicit’ or ‘Explicit’ to achieve this. Both these waits halt the execution of the script until it finds the element. The moment it finds the element, it continues the execution of the script. ‘Thread.sleep’ on the other hand, stops the execution for the defined period even when it finds the element in the defined interval. This increases the execution time of the script
  • Don’t make scripts specific to a browser or driverCross browser testing plays a vital role in testing. One may expect the scripts to run on multiple browsers or a specific browser depending on business needs. Selenium frameworks like TestNG provide annotations such as @parameters and JUnit provides annotations like @RunWith, which helps in running tests on multiple browsers and corresponding drivers
  • Validating tests using assertions – The key to writing a good test is validating the tests. Just like when one writes a test case and mentions the actual and expected results, one needs to assert the tests in Selenium with the help of assertions provided in frameworks like TestNG and JUnit. If the assertions are not used, the testing process is incomplete, as it is not validating the correctness of the test build
  • Taking screenshots and Reporting – As a QA tester, to provide proof of testing for failures, it is essential to have supportive screenshots. The same stands for Automated Selenium testing. In case a test fails, it is vital to have corresponding screenshots. This helps explain the bug to the developer, who can debug it instantly. Similarly, from a reporting perspective, to provide insight to the stakeholders, it is valuable to share reports with them, to establish the stability of the product. For this, Selenium provides a default reporting system with frameworks like TestNG and provides further customizations to them using listeners

Conclusion

Automation testing using Selenium with Java has made life easier for both developers and testers. Being an open-source tool, it provides an opportunity to speed up the time of execution and to remove manual redundancy and human prone errors. Java is a hugely popular programming language, given the extensive support it receives from the developer community. Selenium with Java has proved helpful and provided an optimized way of testing, especially in terms of regression testing and cross browser testing. With multiple plugins making their way into Selenium, it has resulted in making testing effortless and less time-consuming. Continuous Integrations with tools like Jenkins and Maven have led to continuous testing models.

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