Implementing Data-Driven Testing with Selenium for Large-Scale Test Suites

Testing an application is one of the most important steps that ensure that it stands up to the expectations of the developing company and the end users. During the implementation of the testing process, the app developers have to use various forms of parameters, simulate environments and use cases to ensure the application does not show any form of fluctuation in its performance. In this form of testing, automation testing plays a very important role in ensuring the efficiency and quality of the test cases. Selenium is one of the top contenders in the segment when it comes to automation testing of web applications. It is not only one of the oldest additions in this segment but is also very simple and easy to use.

With this article, we will understand how application developers can implement data-driven testing while working with large-scale test cases of Selenium. It is also very important to be aware of some of the best practices that can benefit the implementation of this process. 

Implementing Data-Driven Testing with Selenium for Large-Scale Test Suites

Understanding The Implementation of Automation Testing

Automation testing is a modern trend that allows application developers to initiate and execute multiple test instances without the involvement of a manual test bench. This is because the system can emulate various forms of human interactions with the help of a test file consisting of multiple data, statistics, and other relevant information. After this interaction, the system will analyze the result and generate a test report showing the user interactivity, stability, and functionality of the application undergoing the development project. So, the app developers and testers can easily go through this report to understand whether the app is fit for the production phase. It is also possible to make significant changes in the test file for the accuracy of the test report.

The app developers can implement various customizations in the automation test cases. Storing and maintaining the existing automation data in future app development projects is also very simple. However, the initial charges of test automation can be steep for various small companies and individual testers. This is because it is important to integrate various tools, plugins, and libraries that are critical for the stable interpretation of the automation test bench. Thus, we strongly advise all application developers to have stable resources of revenue and high returns on investment to justify this transition.

The Basics of Selenium

To develop a basic knowledge of Selenium, we can define it to be an open-source umbrella project consisting of different automation testing tools. These tools are unique and benefit the application developer at individual stages of the application testing process. The open-source infrastructure guarantees that the app developers can access all the features without any additional charges. Selenium also has a tech community of enthusiastic developers who are working to add new features and help the new testers and developers. The core infrastructure is highly dependent on the popular programming language, JavaScript. Now let us understand briefly the individual role of all the tools present under the Selenium suit:

  • Firstly, we would like to introduce the Selenium WebDriver, which is responsible for all the major execution and initiation tasks. This is because the Selenium WebDriver can allow the application developers to execute the automation test cases in the native environment of all web browsers without any dedicated test engine.
  • Next, initiating and executing codeless automation testing with the help of the Selenium integrated development environment is possible. This is because it analyzes the user interactions and generates the test cases accordingly in real time. So, while using this tool, the app developers only have to use the application like a normal user for the test case generation process.
  • In case the project demands the manual creation of automation test cases, the application developers can use the Selenium client API. It allows app developers to create automation test cases in any of their preferred programming languages like JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and many others. It is also very simple to import these test cases into the native environment of Selenium.
  • Finally, the app developers can massively boost the efficiency of the automation test cases with the help of the Selenium Grid. This is because it will act like a hub communicating with multiple nodes to allow the application developers to conduct the automation test cases in a parallel configuration. It is also possible to initiate multiple test configurations on different machines at the same time.

Exploring Data-Driven Testing

The primary concept of data-driven testing is separating the data from the test cases. In this process, while executing the test cases, the application developers have to separately load the data in the automation test case, which can, in turn, help to extend the automation test cases. The primary benefit of this process is that it allows the application developers to run the same automation test case on multiple forms of user inputs. It’s also useful to understand the application’s behavior in various unusual scenarios like overloaded traffic, user input error, or any other parameters that cannot be controlled or anticipated during the application development process.

While implementing data-driven testing, the application developers can use three forms of data. They are normal data, boundary data, and erroneous data. Many application developers also believe that data-driven testing helps improve the maintainability of automation test cases.

Implementing Data-Driven Testing with Selenium Large-Scale Test Suites

The developers can easily input data-driven testing with Selenium large-scale test cases by parameterizing the test cases and using the data from external sources. To simplify this process for the new automation testers and developers, we have created a step-by-step guide:

  • The first step in this process is to identify the test cases that can benefit from data-driven testing. Some of the most common examples include filling out forms, navigating through the user interface, and many others.
  • After shortlisting the elements that can benefit from data-driven testing, the application developers can now start creating automation test cases to utilize data from external sources. The developers can store this data in various formats like Excel sheets, CSV files, and JSON files. It is very important to ensure that all the test cases comprehensively test the app to cover both negative and positive outcomes.
  • The application developers should also remember to modify the existing test code for implementing the data-driven approach. Instead of using hard-coded data, app developers can use placeholders or variables that can be replaced with data from external sources.
  • The next step in this process is to connect to the external data sources and retrieve the data as per the application’s requirements undergoing the development process. It is also important for the application developers to implement necessary APIs and methods that can read the data and implement the test code programmatically.
  • While using data-driven testing, the application developers can also utilize a loop that will reiterate the process until the application is devoid of all bugs and errors. After this process, the app developers can easily forward the application to the production phase to quickly release it for the end users.
  • In the context of data-driven testing, we would like to emphasize the importance of real-device testing. This is because, with the help of real devices, app developers can understand the influence of various physical parameters on the functioning of the app. Various cloud platforms can allow developers to utilize these test cases without setting up and maintaining a physical test bench. This is because, with the help of these platforms, app developers can access hundreds of real devices on remote servers through the Internet. This process also eliminates certain barriers like geolocation restrictions and inaccessibility of legacy devices. To understand further the influence of cloud platforms in app development strategy, we can use the context of LambdaTest:

It is a modern cloud-based digital experience testing platform for cross-browser test cases. The app developers can not only execute Selenium automation test cases but also test files from other frameworks like Playwright, Cypress, Appium, and many more. It allows you to run the test cases on 3000+ environments. More than 10,000 enterprises rely on LambdaTest for their testing needs.

  • The app developers should have enough infrastructure to help them store the test reports. This is because various automation testing tools have detailed test reports that keep track of all the bugs and errors that have been detected during the execution process. As modern applications consist of thousands of different elements, it is very important to keep track of all these processes so that they can simplify the debugging process that will follow soon after.
  • The final step in this process is to analyze the test reports that will be generated after the execution of all the automation test cases. These reports will allow the application developers and testers to create a generalized idea about the current status of the application. It is also very important for the app developers to discuss these results with not only the production team but also the business team. 

While we outlined the crucial steps for implementing data-driven testing with Selenium for extensive test suites, developers of the application should recognize that certain parameters may undergo significant variations depending on the specific project or the preferences of the developers and testers.

The Conclusion

With this article, we intend to improve the efficiency of Selenium-based automation test cases by implementing data-driven testing. In this generation of high-efficiency applications, app developers need to implement various new trends and techniques like this to maintain their company’s position. These processes also play a critical role in maintaining the quality of the application, which further creates a positive image for the company. The app developers should also continue improving their knowledge about all the new trends and practices in the test automation segment. It is also very important to choose the correct automation testing tool that can synchronize with the requirements of the application and the developers. Having a proper idea about the target audience’s requirements can also boost the quality and customizability of the app.

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