Is Selenium a Real Threat to UFT?

Nowadays most organizations automate their testing efforts to save both time and cost. While automating its software testing efforts, each business has option to choose from a variety of testing tools available in the market. Some of these tools are open source and free, whereas others are licensed. Likewise, the features and functionality of individual test automation tools also differ. That is why; it becomes essential for businesses to pick the right testing tools based on major criteria like testing needs, budget, availability of skilled resources, and test management.

Both HP Unified Functional Testing (UFT) and Selenium are hugely popular test automation tools. But the testing tools differ completely from each other in terms of features, performance and popularity. As highlighted by a number of recent reports, the popularity of UFT is declining gradually, whereas Selenium has emerged as the pioneer in the software testing space. The data clearly indicate the rapidly growing popularity of Selenium among QA professionals and independent software testing service providers across the globe. There are a number of reasons why Selenium is considered as a real threat to HP UFT.

Why Selenium is affecting the Market Share of HP UFT?

Open Source

Each organization wants to develop and test its software applications without spending a lot of money. That is why; a gradual decline is being noted in the popularity of licensed software testing tools. UFT is currently available as a commercial and licensed test automation tool from the HP Software Division. But Selenium is available as an open source and free software. So users can take advantage of the portable software testing framework without increasing project overheads. At the same time, the QA professional can also avail the support of an extremely active community to resolve all issues and queries related to Selenium.

Web Browser Support

The choice of web browser differs from one user to another. To make the web application popular, the maker needs to ensure that it is running on major web browsers without any flaw or defect. So he opts for a testing tool that supports different web browsers. Despite being a commercial product, HP UFT does not support different types and versions of web browsers. Thus, it becomes difficult for QA professionals to assess the application’s look, feel and performance across many web browsers. Unlike UFT, Selenium supports all major web browsers including Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari. That is why, most web developers nowadays opt for Selenium to test their websites thoroughly and efficiently.

Platform Support

The operating systems supported by these two software testing frameworks also differ. HP UFT is designed to test software applications only in Windows environment. So it supports only a single operating system, i.e., Microsoft Windows. On the other hand, Selenium supports major operating systems like Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The cross-platform feature makes it easier for QA professionals to use Selenium to test web applications in various environments.

Programming Language Support

While using UFT, testers have option to write test scripts only in VBScript. As the scripting version of VB programming language, VBScript is both simple and easy to learn. It enables testers to write test scripts easily and quickly. But the scripting language lacks the advanced features offered by other modern object-oriented programming languages. Selenium supports several object-oriented programming languages including C#, Java, PHP, Ruby and Python. So the framework makes it easier for QA professionals to adopt an object-oriented approach to test automation. At the same time, it also allows testers to write test script in their choice of programming language.

Support for IDEs and Testing Frameworks

Nowadays, QA professionals use IDEs to effectuate and speed up test script development. But the choice of IDE differs from one tester to another. HP UFT does not allow testing professionals to use their preferred IDE. They are required to develop test cases using a single IDE, i.e., UFT IDE. Selenium, on the other hand, allows testing professionals to choose from several widely used IDEs like Eclipse, Netbeans and Visual Studio. They also have option to use a variety of testing frameworks with Selenium, based on their choice of programming language. These IDEs and testing frameworks make it easier for QA professionals to significantly reduce the time and effort required to test large and complex web applications.

Reduced Execution Time

To complete all tests within a stipulated amount of time, QA professionals explore ways to write and execute test scripts quickly. UFT uses scripting time by using VBScript. But it increases the execution time drastically by taking the entire load on RAM and CPU. Also, it lacks the capability to run multiple instances or threads of the application simultaneously. On the other hand, Selenium executes test scripts at a faster pace. Also, it enables users to run different instances or threads of the web application simultaneously on different web browser. The lower execution time and option to run multiple instances make Selenium hugely popular among web developers and testers across the world.

Option to Create Complete Test Automation Suite

HP UFT allows users to automate all types of functional testing using a single GUI interface. The interface enables them to test the application’s GUI functionality, and business logic or back-end services. On the other hand, Selenium allows users to create a complete test automation suite for web application by combining Selenium IDE and Selenium WebDriver. Selenium IDE can be used for creating quick bug reproduction scripts, whereas Selenium IDE effectuates development of browser-based regression automation tests and suites. The distinct variants also make Selenium score over UFT.

While comparing Selenium and HP UFT, the user must focus on the features of each test automation tools. Despite being considered as the pioneer in the software testing space, Selenium testing can be used only for web-based applications. So the huge popularity of the portable web application testing framework can be attributed the massive popularity of websites and web applications. On the other hand, a business can use HP UFT for automating both desktop and web applications. That is why; it becomes essential for the user to pick Selenium or HP UFT according to his testing needs.

Source by Ellora Sarkar

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I am a Web UI/UX Designer who specializes in user interface design, user experiences and programming languages like HTML, CSS, and Front-End Frameworks like Bootstrap. I enjoy working on and blogging about projects that involve a mix of web user interface (UI) design, user experience (UX) research, mobile design prototyping, eCommerce, content creation and internet marketing.