When searching for insight about Robot Framework and Selenium, who better to ask than the experts? For this reason, Copado Robotic Testing sat down with the Lead Developer of SeleniumLibrary, Tatu Aalto. The following article shares Aalto’s insight about some of the features and limitations of Robot Framework and Selenium. Then, we’ll examine how it impacts the future of test automation.
The Relationship Between Robot Framework and Selenium
SeleniumLibrary is a web testing library for Robot Framework. It lets testers use the Selenium tool within Robot Framework and Robot Framework-based applications. SeleniumLibrary has one basic principle: a single keyword does one thing, and it does it well. SeleniumLibrary has undergone several changes over time in an effort to streamline test automation. However, certain components of Selenium cause limitations to arise in Robot Framework’s SeleniumLibrary.
Strengths and Weaknesses
SeleniumLibrary is one of Robot Framework’s most extensive libraries. Its popularity supersedes many browser test frames, partly due to its age and accessibility. For those who are unfamiliar, SeleniumLibrary is over ten years old. Every test frame has its strengths and weaknesses. Despite its veteran status, SeleniumLibrary is no different.
Keeping Up the Pace
Selenium is talented in various functionalities. Additionally, it has the ability to execute each one very quickly. Unfortunately, speed can pose as much of a problem as it does a solution. Selenium struggles to recognize when an action, like clicking, is needed for a particular element. To keep up with the pace of Robot Framework and Selenium, you need to know in advance whether the application under testing is ready to receive an interaction.
Addressing Keyword Heaviness
SeleniumLibrary has a vast keyword reserve. Aalto has been developing a browser library that will mimic assertion engine thinking. Then, keywords will be based more heavily on unit testing. This advancement is essential because in Selenium, you often need more keywords to accomplish tasks. Using unit test-based keywords will allow you to perform more tasks with just one keyword.
Managing the Test Environment
Robot Framework and Selenium are free architectures. Accordingly, the user is responsible for most aspects of environmental management. The user must handle the following aspects of implementation:
Choosing the browser
Selecting a driver that corresponds with that browser
Ensuring proper installation of the browser
Using the proper version of Selenium and SeleniumLibrary
Aalto points out that environmental management in other libraries with browser testing capabilities can be much more straightforward.
The Future of Test Automation
Some believe that the future of automation will remove humans from the loop. However, automation is meant to alleviate the burden of repetitive or mundane tasks. Human judgment can never be replaced by machine learning, no matter how advanced it becomes.
Using Artificial Intelligence to Make Sense of Data
You can’t discuss the future of test automation without including artificial intelligence (AI) in the conversation. Test automation opened up a world of opportunities for AI applications. One of AI’s biggest selling points is its ability to provide and present a seemingly endless supply of data. Not only can this data be used to enhance business processes, but it can also help translate business goals to technical requirements.
Closing the Loop on Analytics
The tools and software you select for testing support must incorporate analytics into your testing cycle. AI can be used to alleviate the burden of decision-making by identifying bugs and defects earlier in the development process. In the case of Copado Robotic Testing, it can also provide data-driven recommendations. This data-backed support frees your team to focus on tasks that require their creativity and human judgment.