TestCafe vs Selenium : Which is better?

Web Automation Testing, Difference Between, Selenium

Tuesday September 11, 2018

Most of the Automation tools provide tasks with multiple features which makes it easier to automate the specific test.
There are various automation tools available online and today we will be comparing two major automation tools that are TestCafe and Selenium.

Firstly, we’ll understand the role of both the automation tools and later see a quick comparison between them.
What are TestCafe and Selenium?
TestCafe: A node.js end-to-end automation tool which is used to test web applications.
This automation tool does not require any external browser plugins to run tests on different popular modern browsers.
Testcafe can carry over multiple tasks including starting of browsers, running tests on them, gathering all the test results and finally generating the test reports.
Selenium: Selenium is an open-source automation tool used widely in automating a test for web applications.
With a rich user interface and external plugins, creating and running tests on modern browsers have become simpler for testers.
It supports different types of tests including smoke testing, regression testing, sanity testing or functional testing etc.
A Quick Comparison of TestCafe and Selenium
Both the tools are used to perform automated tests on web application across different browsers and platforms. We’ll be looking for some features to compare the two below.

  • Perspective: The first feature we will be comparing is the look and feel of both the automation tools. How rich and easy a tool can be for the user. TestCafe has a better perspective than Selenium as it provides information and also the details about what is actually going on during the automation test with a status bar below. This actually helps the tester to make the debugging process easier. Also, TestCafe provides better debug output for failed tests as compared to Selenium.
  • Installation and Quick Setup: This feature shows how easily it can be to set up and start the first test. In TestCafe all you have to do is use
npm install –g testcafe

 In less than 30 seconds, installation of TestCafe is done and in about 15 minutes your first test would be running.
Although selenium also uses the same amount of time for installation, it needs external plugins to run tests on different browsers.
Selenium can be easily installed by driving elements through Python.

Python: m pip install selenium

To run tests on the browser, WebDriver plugin is needed. During set up of WebDriver, there can be some added complexities to get this plugin to work with different browsers.
Setting this plugin for the first time may take a while. It would take nearly an hour to run your automation tests. Clearly, TestCafe has an upper hand in installing and setting up for the first test.

  • Multiple Browsers Tests: The main focus of these tools is mainly to provide testing across different browsers. In Selenium, it allows you to test on different browsers but for the first time, there can be little issues and errors which needs to be fixed to run tests on multiple browsers. Also, it needs different plugins associated with different browsers to run the tests. Mostly, issues with timings and wait can be seen in Selenium but tests can be run.

Also Read : Why is TestNG Awesome? Advantages of Integrating it with Selenium

In TestCafe for beginners, it can be a little tricky to get their tests done on multiple browsers. It can take a day if you are new to testing, thus you’ll not be able to run tests other than chrome browsers. TestCafe can be a little complex if you want to run tests on different browsers and Selenium can be a little tough but achievable for the first time.

  • Waits in Automation Tool: When dealing with waiting, Using Selenium can be difficult. It involves an implicit wait, explicit wait and fluent wait which can be a little complex to understand it first and get it to work. Thus, dealing with the wait in Selenium is difficult as compared to TestCafe. In TestCafe, it has only implicit wait build into the async calls. It makes it easier for the tester to deal with the wait in automation tool. So, TestCafe is better when dealing with the wait.
  • Language Selection: Selenium supports various languages such as Ruby, PHP, Python. Mostly, testers use Python which makes it the perfect platform to test web applications. It can be beneficial if you are testing the application in the same language. As TestCafe uses JavaScript, it can be sometimes typical for the testers who are not much familiar with JavaScript. Thus, Selenium is a better option if testers want to use multiple languages across multiple browsers.
  • Large Community: As the Selenium has been for a long time, it has a rich community and guides which will help any tester to solve his problem. Also, there are active communities which can provide support 24/7 to any problem. For a beginner’s guide, the question and answer will always be available if he chooses to automate tests by using Selenium. This also helps a lot of testers, if they’re stuck in some problems and need a solution immediately. While TestCafe is new to automation testing and does not have a rich community as compared to Selenium. If you are running some new codes in TestCafe and faces new problems, you wouldn’t be able to find any answers regarding your problem. Thus, having a large community is really helpful.   

Selenium or TestCafe?
 Selenium is simple as well as easy to learn. It has been around for quite some time now and has loyal testers in the QA industry.
TestCafe is new to automation tool but with enhanced features. However, it only supports one programming language that is JavaScript, whereas Selenium supports all the main programming languages such as Python, PHP or ruby etc.
which becomes a flexible automation tool for multiple users. TestCafe is capable for mobile app testing, whereas Selenium needs support from Selendroid or Appium for mobile application testing.

Sr. No. Features Selenium TestCafe
1. Flexible Licensing It is Open-Source and is available freely. available as paid and unpaid versions
2. Plugins It has multiple plugins which may or may not be available freely. Plugins are required in selenium with all associated problems. It eliminates plugins and user can easily test apps against any HTML browser, desktop or mobile.
3. Concise and easy to learn API It can be easy for users who already have an understanding of programming language. Most of the users who use Selenium are professionals. Its API is both concise and easy to use. The user can spend less time memorizing and more time testing.
4. 100% web-based test environment Its main purpose is to test web-based application and it is based on a web test environment. It is also based on web testing environment, everything from recording to execution and analysis is web-based.
5. Community It has a rich community available 24/7 that can provide any solution to any problem. As it is a new tool, it does not have any large community which can help users with solutions.

TestCafe does not require any external plugins to run tests on different browsers which makes it easier for the testers to eliminate the effort of setting up plugins.
no doubt in that, but there are some issues reported regarding the cross-browser compatibility of the tool. So it’s just a matter of time for TestCafe until then Selenium is the winner.




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