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    Selenium Explained: Text Version

    June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017

Selenium Explained: Text Version

What is Selenium?

Selenium is a free and open source browser automation framework. This means with Selenium you can automate almost anything in any popular web browser. The great thing about Selenium is that it is backed by all major browser vendors including Google, Apple, Mozilla and Microsoft.

How does it work?


In your testing code, you always use the same commands to trigger actions in the web browsers. Actions can be anything the user would be able to do like for example clicks, text input or navigation. Each browser vendor provides the Selenium project with a custom driver for their browser which translates the Selenium commands to real actions inside the browser. This approach has a few key advantages:

  • You can run the same test code against all different browsers
  • The drivers are provided by the browser vendor and therefore are mostly up to date
  • All tests run against the unmodified release version of the browser to give you most accurate results

Which browsers are supported?

Currently, you can run Selenium tests in all major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge and Opera. With a little more effort you can even test mobile browsers like Safari on iOS and Chrome on Android but the setup for this is a little more complicated and will be the topic of a future lesson.

Which programming languages are supported?

Selenium and third-parties like Facebook provide language bindings for a great number of programming languages. This means you will be able to write Selenium tests with any of the below languages:

  • Java
  • C#
  • Ruby
  • Python
  • JavaScript

Next Steps

Now that you know what Selenium is and how it works under the hood lets move on to setup a local Selenium test environment which you can use during test execution.