What Are Some of the Common Exceptions in Selenium, and How to Handle Them?

One peculiar fact about application testing is that until recently, there was no emphasis placed on it by developers during the initial app development stage simply because apps were easy to develop and functioned well without massive amounts of extra modifications or tweaks. However, with constantly evolving technology at an increasingly faster pace, user demands increased proportionally leading developers into creating more complicated applications. This presents a challenge for them today as they have to ensure an agile approach while incorporating a vast range of elements all at once for these modern applications.

The modern style calls for rigorous automation testing since they are reliable and can help detect bugs or errors that could result in App crashes or shutdowns. Experts today rely heavily on Selenium-based tools when doing automated verification; however not often do all scenarios go as expected requiring immediate action regarding resolving issues arising from various Selenium exceptions in real-time. The following article discusses some major issues related to Selenium-based automated testing as well as probable solutions helpful in resolving them permanently.

Exploring Selenium

While understanding Selenium, we can define it to be one of the most useful and modern automation testing suits for verifying the proper performance of web apps. While using Selenium, the application developers can access multiple tools that will help them at different stages of the test project. Selenium is based on an open-source umbrella architecture that ensures that all the developers and testers can access its features without worrying about any license charges. Selenium also has a huge community of developers who are working towards improving the end-user experience with this tool. So, the new app testers can refer to this community whenever they’re stuck with any feature of Selenium. While exploring the possibilities of Selenium, we must mention that it is only useful when app developers are working with web apps.

So, for other alternatives like native apps, hybrid apps, and cross-platform apps, the app developers will be forced to look for an alternative in the modern app market. To expedite our understanding of what happens when multiple tools are used together in the Selenium Test Suite? Below is brief Information about them:

  1. Selenium WebDriver is usually talked about first owing to its status as a primary tool for automated testing within Selenium. It initiates and completes all generated automation tests on various parts that form Web Applications – Without needing any specific Test Engine. This is one of the primary reasons why the Selenium WebDriver is regarded as a superior version of the Selenium remote controller that was present in the first release of the Selenium test suite.
  2. Selenium IDE helps Developers to lay their hands upon writing and generating automation tests devoid of being familiar with exact lines & syntaxes of code – particularly coding related to developing Automated Testing methodologies. The codeless test case generation approach helps developers to generate tests in real-time with just human interactions.
  3. With aid from one more useful toolkit named “Selenium Client API”, testers can generate Test Scripts manually in different programming languages such as Python; JavaScript; & Ruby, etc., making it easier during the testing regime. This is far superior compared to the Selenese language that was previously used by the suit before the introduction of this tool.
  4. Finally, the online Selenium Grid plays a critical role in improving the simplicity of the automation test cases and improving their effectiveness. With the help of the Selenium Grid, the app developers can conduct the test cases in a parallel configuration on multiple machines. This is possible as these tools use the function of a hub communicating with multiple notes at the same time. Based on the test request, the hub will automatically forward the automation test case to the target node.

Common Exceptions in Selenium and Their Resolution

While using Selenium for executing automation test cases on web apps, it is one of the most common phenomena that the developers will come with various exceptions. So based on our research and understanding, we have created a list of some of the most common exceptions along with their solutions. They are as follows:

1.       NoSuchElementException: This exception occurs when the system fails to locate an element on the web application. In some cases, it can arise when the developer fails to relocate the element on the web app before initiating the test cases. In other cases, it is a common phenomenon when an element depends on the proper functioning of other elements to be visible or accessible. For such a scenario, the application developers can incorporate exclusive wait in the test code. This wait will automatically pause the test case until the execution of the previous element so that the system can locate or access the element and does not cause any exceptions.

2.       TimeoutException: This is yet another common exception faced while executing Selenium testing on web applications. The application developers and testers will come across this exception when the target element takes longer time for execution than it is mentioned in the test code. The most simple solution to this problem is to increase the timeout mentioned in the test code. On the other hand, the application developers can also take considerable steps to improve the performance of the element so that its execution time is reduced, and it will boost the quality of the application overall.

3.       ElementNotVisibleException: This is a common error that occurs when an element is present in a document object model but is not visible on the web page. In instances where elements must remain visible within certain periods while testing applications—implicit wait systems become useful tools in identifying silent issues trickling through at risk-defined moments. Application designers and coders turn towards these solutions since implicit waits will cause automated test cases to pause until visibility requirements meet their selection criteria and enable interactions with locating them.

4.       One critical misfire anomaly during software experimentation happens when WebDriverExceptions randomly pop up; they occur due to physical parameters like browser settings and other configurations-related problems that lead to unitary testing cases into timeouts or undefined errors, and hence unable to continue further. The general recommendation is for developers to review the logged file and the error prompt generated during the testing procedure to identify the root cause of WebDriverExceptions.

5.       Another frequent error occurs when attempting to modify frames that do not exist in code—NoSuchFrameExceptions. Developers trying to handle it may need try-catch blocks for accessing all existing frames when switching between them through code functionality —following basic coding principles of such activity on applications’ development. Programmers can also ensure that they have reverted through default content in their application before switching frames.

6.       Lastly, StableElementReferenceException is one type of an error arising from web application design and implementation-test phenomenon —where objects placed within the Document Object Model (DOMs) fail to remain locatable hence violating proper examination procedures with repeatable failures. Therefore, it gets encouraged that during early developmental phases, app developers test their code for robustness towards inconsistencies while moving in DOMs and being careful about interpreting “no longer locatable” warning messages while debugging those parts of code serving impacted preconditions properly. It can occur in case the element has been refreshed or relocated dynamically after an update to the web application. The simplest solution to this problem is using dynamic locators to relocate the element based on its new position and re-run the test case. In this context, we would suggest the application developers name the automation test cases according to the target element so that they can keep track of the application’s activity log and simplify errors like these.

These are some of the common exceptions that app developers will face while using Selenium testing. So, we recommend the app developers exclusively study the exception handling provided by Selenium WebDriver so that they can find the appropriate approach based on their application requirements and preferences.

The Prospect of Integrating Tools and Platforms with Selenium Testing

The developers and testers can benefit a lot from the integration of various platforms and tools with Selenium testing.  This is because these tools help improve the simplicity of the automation test cases and improve the quality of the app undergoing the development project. For instance, with these platforms, it is possible to access cloud-based test cases to eliminate the need of having an onsite device bench. This is because, with these platforms, app developers can achieve similar test results by running all the important test cases on real devices present on web servers through the Internet. Cloud platforms also eliminate location barriers by allowing app developers to initiate test cases from anywhere in the world. Finally, cloud platforms help access thousands of legacy devices that are no longer available in the market:

We can improve our knowledge about the role of cloud platforms in the modern automation testing industry by considering LambdaTest as our benchmark discussion point:

LambdaTest is a unified digital experience testing platform for verifying the performance of web apps. Cross-browser testing is a new standard of ensuring that app developers are providing the best end-user experience to their customers. This is because, with cross-browser test cases, it is possible to guarantee the stability and usability of the application irrespective of the user’s change in the operating system, device version, or any other browser changes. LambdaTest uses parallel test execution to improve the test efficiency multiple times. Other than running the automation test cases of Selenium, it can also run scripts from various other popular frameworks like Cypress and Playwright. While working with Selenium test scripts, the app developers can run their own more than 3000 modern browsers side-by-side.

Finally, the integration of hundreds of real devices with thousands of emulation software highly boosts the accuracy of LambdaTest reports.

The Conclusion

The primary motive of this article was to spread adequate awareness regarding all the exceptions that developers can encounter while working with Selenium testing. We also mentioned some of the best solutions that can help developers to eliminate all of these unexpected errors in the app development life cycle. At this stage of the market, we all can unanimously agree that automation testing will become one of the most capturing factors in the future. So, developers and testers need to keep themselves prepared by updating their knowledge about all the recent trends and additions to the world of test automation.

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