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Advanced Selenium Mobile Testing: Best Practices and Techniques

In the advanced technological era, designing and developing software applications for an organization is a boon. It helps the organization grow. Also, it plays a pivotal role in engaging a large audience in the organization. Today, we have a significant audience of mobile application users, and fewer are website or web application users. Therefore, it is wise to focus on developing reliable and seamless mobile applications. Selenium mobile testing technique can ensure testers and developers verify and validate mobile applications.

Selenium mobile testing ensures a mobile application is responsive and compatible across every platform and device. It also checks on providing a seamless user experience to the end users. Also, Selenium offers a collection of tools to test mobile applications automatedly. This article deals with advanced selenium mobile testing. Selenium provides various techniques to automate mobile testing. We will be discussing those techniques. Also, we will dive into multiple best practices to conduct seamless Selenium mobile testing. 

The best practices and techniques mentioned in this article will help you to enhance your selenium mobile testing. Also, your testing process will be accelerated. And your overall deployment of the mobile application will be done early. 

What is Selenium?

Selenium is an open-source framework. It is used to automate web applications.

It includes a collection of tools and libraries. These tools and libraries help you create automated test scripts. Test scripts can automatically test web applications on multiple platforms. Selenium allows you to write test scripts using various programming languages. This makes Selenium a versatile test automation framework that is accessible to a wide range of users.

As mentioned earlier, Selenium has a collection of tools. Among these tools, Selenium WebDriver is an important component. This helps testers and developers work with the web elements of her website. Selenium WebDriver also supports multiple browsers and their versions. This allows testers to perform cross-browser testing. Cross-browser testing is important to ensure the consistency of your web applications.

Another important tool in the Selenium tools collection is the Selenium IDE.

It records the testing process and re-run the tests if necessary. In addition to WebDriver and an integrated development environment, Selenium has a grid. Selenium Grid is responsible for running distributed tests. Distributed tests are run on multiple computers. Selenium also has a standalone server. This will allow the user to run her WebDriver scripts remotely.

Selenium is becoming increasingly popular among testers and developers. It allows designing for flexible, scalable, and robust software applications. It lets testers and developers automate software applications in an agile development environment. Selenium has an active community that provides continuous development. Continuous development of software applications allows testers to deliver high-quality and seamless software applications. Moreover, this is why Selenium remains at the forefront of test automation technology.

What is Selenium Mobile Testing?

Selenium mobile testing refers to the testing of mobile applications through Selenium test automation tools. Selenium is a highly considered open-source test automation tool. It is primarily used for mobile application automation testing. However, it has further extended its capability to automate mobile application testing. To automate mobile application testing, you need to integrate Selenium with a testing framework such as Appium or Selendroid.

Selenium mobile testing lets testers and developers compose test scripts using the Selenium API. It allows testers and developers to interact with mobile applications. The mobile application may run on emulators, simulators, or physical devices. The test scripts are capable of interacting by tapping on buttons, entering texts, and verifying elements. The interaction also includes navigating through different screens within the mobile applications. 

Selenium mobile testing includes various testing techniques. It involves testing for cross-browser compatibility. Testers can execute their test scripts on both Android and iOS platforms. Also, through the Selenium mobile testing framework, testers can interact with the native and hybrid elements of their mobile applications. It can seamlessly handle gestures like swiping and tapping. Selenium is also capable of configuring tests to run on specific device configurations. 

Selenium mobile testing can improve efficiency. It ensures consistency in the test execution. Also, helps in accelerating the delivery of high-quality mobile applications. Testers and developers can also integrate Selenium mobile testing into continuous integration and continuous deployment pipelines. These pipelines help enhance the testing processes. CI/CD pipelines can rapidly provide feedback on code changes. You can say Selenium mobile testing validates mobile applications. It also enhances the functionality and performance of mobile applications.

Challenges with Selenium Mobile Testing

There is no doubt that Selenium allows users to easily test mobile applications when integrated with a test automation framework. However, developers and testers face several challenges when using Selenium mobile testing. Here, we will discuss the most common challenges that test teams face during Selenium mobile testing.

  1. Handling Pop-Ups

Pop Ups on the screen during automated testing are part of the operating system. Selenium is often unable to record these popups in Selenium mobile testing. Thus making it difficult for developers to automate the testing for the pop-up windows in mobile applications. Additionally, mobile-based alerts are beyond Selenium’s capabilities. This is because they are part of the operating system rather than the browser. Selenium WebDriver can accommodate multiple windows. However, it typically uses the switch technique to control pop-ups and handle mobile-based alerts while the browser runs in the background.

  1. Identifying Dynamic Elements

Many mobile applications and websites often include dynamic elements. These elements aren’t visible when you first visit the website. This means the website is user-specific and displays different data depending on each user’s needs. New data will appear on the web page after a certain time or when the user clicks on something. For testers and developers, testing these dynamic elements is challenging. 

  1. Captcha

Another challenge in Selenium mobile testing for cross-browser responsiveness is using captchas. Typically, using captchas ensures that only real users can view certain sections of the mobile application. Selenium has no inherent functionality to resolve captchas. Therefore, it is a challenge for testers and developers. They have to create separate testing environment variables to overcome this challenge. 

  1. Limited Reporting

There is no doubt that Selenium greatly improves automated testing capabilities. But, its limitations prevent it from producing good test reports. This is a challenge as every tester requires a proper test report after executing a test case. A good test report helps analyze the entire test scenario and find errors.

Best Practices for Selenium Mobile Testing

  1. Avoid Blocking Sleep Calls

It is well known that the operation of a mobile application depends on many external factors. These factors may be network speed, device capabilities, access location, or a backend server load. These factors make it very difficult to predict the actual time a particular element will take to load. Adding a delay (or timeout) before acting on an element allows a delay in the execution while allowing the respective element to load.

  1. Name the Test Cases and Test Suites Appropriately

While working in teams, appropriately naming the test cases and suites is a boon. The teams may be required to enhance the test you wrote. The appropriate naming can help easily figure out the purpose of the test case without executing the test. 

  1. Selecting the Right Framework

Selenium is not capable of performing mobile application testing. It must be integrated with a test automation framework to test mobile applications. Therefore, choosing the right framework is essential. 

  1. Implementing Page Object Model

While writing Selenium mobile test automation scripts, you should check their maintainability and extensibility. This is possible if changes to the website UI result in minimal (or no) changes to the test scripts. Suppose your scripts are not managed properly. Different scripts use the same element. In this case, you must make corresponding changes in multiple places in your test script each time an element changes. This is where the page object model comes into the role. It is a popular UI automation pattern used to improve test maintenance. It also reduces code duplication. The in-page object model (POM) creates a central object repository for web page control.

  1. Avoid Code Duplication

One of the most common and effective best practices for Selenium mobile test automation is to remove and reduce unnecessary code duplication. Code commonly used in your implementation should be written as a separate API to minimize code duplication. Avoiding duplication reduces code size and improves the maintainability of test code.

  1. Use BDD Framework with Selenium

Behavior-driven development, commonly referred to as BDD, is a common development approach that helps write test cases in plain English (Gherkin). This means that in addition to developers and testers, members with minimal (or no) technical expertise can also be involved in test development. The BDD framework helps bridge the gap between business people and engineers by allowing them to work on improving testing.

  1. Use Cloud testing

Use cloud testing platforms like LambdaTest to scale your mobile testing. LambdaTest is a comprehensive test orchestration and execution platform that leverages artificial intelligence to facilitate the seamless and efficient running of manual and automated tests on a large scale. With a focus on providing a versatile testing environment, LambdaTest empowers users to conduct real-time and automated testing across an extensive array of environments, encompassing over 3000 configurations, including browsers and real mobile devices.

Techniques for Selenium Mobile Testing

Selenium mobile testing requires various techniques for effective testing. Here are a few of them.

  • Use Selenium WebDriver to automate interactions with user interface (UI) elements in your mobile applications.
  • Mobile applications often include native UI elements that require special handling, such as alerts, pop ups, and date pickers.
  • Test mobile applications that rely on multi-touch gestures such as swiping, pinching, and tapping with multiple fingers.
  • Validate mobile application behavior in different device orientations (portrait and landscape).
  • Test the behavior of your mobile application under different network conditions, such as 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi connections.
  • Validate location-based functionality in mobile applications by simulating various GPS coordinates.
  • Automate the installation and uninstallation of mobile applications before and after test runs.
  • Take screenshots of your mobile application at key points during test runs to visually check the health of your app.

Conclusion

Advanced Selenium Mobile Testing allows testers to effectively automate the validation of mobile applications using best practices and techniques. By choosing the right framework, setting up a robust environment, implementing design patterns, and using specialized techniques, testers can perform thorough testing on various mobile platforms and devices. Selenium Mobile Testing makes it easy to deliver high-quality mobile applications that meet user expectations through continuous integration, performance optimization, and regular maintenance. Adopting these practices will take mobile testing to a new level of efficiency, reliability, and success in today’s dynamic digital environment.

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