While developing new software or a web portal, any organization has to run some tests on their final product. Since automated testing is more affordable than manual testing, the software industry has started to use open source test automation tools. Selenium is a free automated testing suite for web apps across various platforms and browsers. In fact, it’s one of the best options for automated testing of websites nowadays.
Selenium is similar to HP QTP (Quick Test Pro), but it’s focused on automating web-based apps. It’s a suite, not a single tool and it’s got 4 components: IDE (Integrated Development Environment), RC (Remote Control), WebDriver and Grid. Each of these components caters to different testing requirements of organizations using them. With a proper Selenium training, you’ll be able to use one or more Selenium components.
In case you want to develop browser-based, robust regression automation tests and suits or to distribute and scale scripts accross several environments, you should use Selenium WebDriver. In fact, it’s the successor of Selenium RC that’s been officially disapproved. The Selenium Server (which is used by both RC and WebDriver) nowadays contains grid capabilities. Selenium IDE should be your option for creating scripts to aid in exploratory automated testing or for creating quick bug reproduction scripts. IDE is actually a Firefox add-on that will perform record-and-playback of interactions with Firefox.
Finally, I would like to share some funny story about how Selenium got its name. During the development of Selenium, another automated testing tool was rather popular, the one developed by Mercury Interactive (they originally created QTP before HP acquired it). Selenium is a highly effective antidote for Mercury poisoning, so one of the Selenium developers Jason Huggins cracked a joke and suggested that name. His team agreed upon it and that’s how this popular framework is called up to the present.