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Home Guide Top 6 Selenium Alternatives For Your Test Automation Goals

Top 6 Selenium Alternatives For Your Test Automation Goals

By Shashank Nautiyal, Community Contributor -

For some time, Selenium was the de-facto framework for test automation and was considered a standard for DevOps teams. It was the preferred testing tool as it allows test engineers to write test scripts in their native programming language. Selenium is an open-source tool, and its suite has components like Selenium WebDriver, Selenium IDE, and Selenium Grid.

  • WebDriver is the de-facto tool for engineers who like to create test scripts.
  • IDE is preferred by non-technical or beginners and allows editing, recording, and debugging of the tests.
  • Selenium Grid offers an ecosystem of physical and virtual devices for users to run multiple tests at once.

Despite having all the qualities of a test automation tool, there are certain pitfalls. Many Selenium alternatives have emerged whose key features we’ll touch upon in this guide.

But first, let’s specify why users are looking for Selenium Alternatives:

  • Coding required: The DevOps engineers should focus on coding & innovation, whereas non-technical tasks can be assigned to testers. Now, the other testing tools than Selenium need coding only. It could pave the way for some new learning opportunities for non-coders.
  • No built-in image comparison: Selenium doesn’t have an indigenous feature of a built-in comparison solution. It requires a third-party solution like Sikuli to offer this feature.
  • Lacks Reporting capabilities: Selenium doesn’t support full-fledged reporting as it requires third-party plugins to provide such a feature.
  • No support for native or mobile web: Selenium is a widely used portable framework for testing web applications, but it doesn’t provide support to test native mobile or mobile web applications. 

Top 6 Selenium Alternatives For Test Automation

1. Puppeteer

Puppeteer is a Node library that provides a high-level API to control headless Chrome or Chromium over the DevTools Protocol. It empowers programmers to interact with a web browser as an object, calling methods such as .goto() or .type(). It is maintained by the Chrome DevTools team and is a browser-driven framework.

Key Features of Puppeteer

  • Comes with more control over Chrome 
  • Enables web scraping 
  • It comes with the ability to take screenshots and PDFs of pages for UI testing 
  • Measures load times through the Chrome Performance Analysis tool

2. Cypress

Cypress is also an open-source test automation platform, and its 4 Bundle was released on 10/15/20. Its tools align with the latest development principles, making it a preferred option over Selenium for developers. It has two types of tools:

  • Cypress Test Runner for running tests in the browser
  • Cypress Dashboard for a suite of CI tools

Key Features of Cypress

  • It works in real-time. Thus, you can write the test when building an application.
  • Get the test snapshots from Command Log
  • Automatic assertions

3. WebdriverIO

The Webdriver IO framework is built to automate modern web and mobile applications. It is an end-to-end testing framework founded by the OpenJS foundation. It is also a NodeJS-based application that can test applications using JavaScript/TypeScript.  Mostly WebdriverIO is used with WebdriverProtocol since it provides rich features like cross-browser testing. Unlike Cypress, it doesn’t offer any commercial option.

Key Features of Webdriver IO

  • Scalable, robust, and stable test suite
  • Built-in and community plugins allow extending your setup as per your requirement.
  • Comes with native mobile application testing
  • Easy to Set up

4. Playwright

Playwright is an open-source test automation library developed by Microsoft contributors. It is a Node.js library to automate browsers based on Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit through a single API. It comes with Apache 2.0 License and supports programming languages such as Java, Python, C#, and NodeJS. It is considered more suitable to use with NodeJS with Javascript/Typescript.

Key Features of Playwright

  • Easy Setup and Configuration
  • Comes with multi-browser support like Chrome, Edge, Safari, and Firefox
  • Comes with the multi-language backing like Java, C#, Python, and Javascript/Typescript
  • It comes with the parallel browser testing capabilities
  • Supports multiple tab/browsers

5. Cucumber

Cucumber is another well-known Selenium alternative and functions as an automation tool for behavior-driven development (BDD). It was originally written in the Ruby programming language but now supports Java and JavaScript. It is preferred over Selenium as it allows the user to test scenarios without coding by using a scripting language called Gherkin.

Key Features of Cucumber

  • It helps to engage business stakeholders who can’t read code
  • It mainly focuses on end-user experience
  • It allows the reusing of code in tests because of the easy writing style.
  • Easy to set up and execute

6. NightwatchJS

NightwatchJS is a Node.js based framework that utilizes the Webdriver Protocol. It is developed and maintained by BrowserStack. With Nightwatch, you can seamlessly conduct a wide range of testing, including End-to-End testing, component testing, visual regression testing, accessibility testing, API testing, unit testing, and integration testing.

The best part is that you can use the same framework for native mobile app testing as well.

Key Features of Nightwatch

  • NightwatchJS is easy to install and setup
  • NightwatchJS test scripts are more readable
  • It can be used for different types of testing
  • It supports multiple browser testing, such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc.
  • It supports native mobile app testing as well
  • NightwatchJS framework is easy to customise or extend
  • NightwatchJS supports page object pattern

In Conclusion, 

Multiple Selenium alternatives are available for testers and developers alike, offering a robust set of features. However, each has its pros and cons, and some of them can even be used with the Selenium framework. So when someone chooses any specific framework, it has to be in tandem with the DevOps team’s objectives, skillset, scope to test, and other product-specific considerations.

No matter which Selenium alternative you choose or if you want to stick to Selenium itself, BrowserStack will be your de-facto testing platform. Test automation is essential to keep up with the growing demands of faster delivery, while testing on a real device cloud is the only way to ensure the complete accuracy of results.

No matter which Selenium alternative suits your overall needs, always go for real device testing through BrowserStack to verify website performance, cross-browser compatibility, and the overall user experience.

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