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Beyond Selenium: Exploring Alternative Automation Testing Tools for Enhanced Safari Coverage

If we survey the current app market, we will see that automation testing is a very important part of the modern app testing process. Using automated test cases, the testers can ensure quality and reliability while increasing the speed of the app release cycle. The automation testing tools also have a crucial role in ensuring the proper implementation of this process during the app development cycle.

Selenium is often the first choice for implementing automation testing on modern web apps. Although Selenium has multiple robust cross-browser testing capabilities, its compatibility with Safari, especially on the Mac operating system, has been a continuous challenge.

So, with this article, we will discover some of the most efficient alternative automation testing tools that can provide enhanced Safari coverage beyond Selenium. We will also try to analyze the capabilities of these tools by understanding their features and advantages.

The Challenges with Selenium and Safari

Selenium WebDriver is the most commonly used tool for automating modern web browsers. However, while using this tool with Safari, the app testers will encounter the following limitations and challenges:

  • Native Safari Support

Unlike other browsers like Chrome and Firefox, Safari does not have native support for the Selenium WebDriver. This lack of support makes it difficult to automate the Safari web browser sessions while using Selenium automation testing.

  • Limited Safari WebDriver

Although Safari WebDriver is available for the integration process, it is not as feature-rich and stable compared to its other versions available for Chrome and Firefox. This lack of intuitive features leads to various testing inconsistencies and reliability issues while executing the test automation process.

  • MacOS Dependency

Safari WebDriver is tightly coupled with the Mac operating system. This integration limits its usage to the Apple ecosystem. This process, in turn, makes it a very challenging process for executing cross-platform testing while using Selenium.

  • Exploring Alternative Automation Testing Tools

To overcome the limitations of executing Selenium testing for Safari Browser, let us explore some of the most popular alternative automation testing tools. All of these tools enhance Safari coverage depending on the app development requirements:

  • Appium 

Appium is an open-source tool for initiating automation testing on native mobile, web, and hybrid apps for both iOS and Android platforms. Using this tool, testers can access robust support for the Safari browser automation on iOS devices. This availability makes it an excellent choice for testing web apps while targeting iOS users.

Features:

  • It is an open-source automation tool for mobile apps.
  • It supports both native and hybrid mobile apps on Android and iOS platforms.
  • It primarily uses the WebDriver protocol for cross-platform app testing.
  • Appium supports both real devices and emulators along with multiple simulation software.
  • Appium has a robust handling mechanism for various user interactions like gestures, device orientation, and app state. 

Advantages:

  • While using Appium, the developers can execute cross-platform mobile testing with a single automation test script.
  • Appium provides native support for mobile web app testing on the Safari browser, including its various versions.
  • It is very easy to integrate Appium with multiple testing frameworks and programming languages.
  • Appium provides detailed test activity logs and debugging information for test analysis.
  • It also helps the testers to quickly resolve issues and forward the application to the production phase.
  • XCUITest

XCUITest is a powerful framework for executing automation testing, especially for iOS apps on the Safari browser. While using this framework, the testers can write the automation test scripts in Swift or Objective-C. This framework is mainly designed for iOS user interface testing.

Features:

  • It is a native iOS testing framework that is provided by Apple itself.
  • XCUITest supports writing the automation test scripts in Objective-C or Swift as per the tester’s requirements.
  • It is a very smooth integration process to integrate XCUITest with the XCTest framework and Xcode.
  • This testing framework is capable of testing UI elements and interactions within iOS applications, including on the Safari browser.
  • This framework provides access to multiple device-specific features, including device orientation and touch gestures.

Advantages:

  • This automation testing framework provides close integration with Apple’s ecosystem, which ensures improved app compatibility and reliability.
  • This tool has the ability to test iOS applications and Safari browsers on multiple real devices and simulation software.
  • XCUITest provides detailed insights into the app’s real-time performance and also its behavior based on user interactions.
  • XCUITest provides robust support for accessibility testing to ensure that the app is usable by users with multiple disabilities.
  • WebDriverIO

WebDriverIO is a modern browser and mobile automation testing framework specifically designed for node.js. This framework has native support for cross-browser compatibility testing with browsers, including the Safari browser. This framework provides a rich set of features which help the testers write reliable and maintainable test scripts.

While using WebDriverIO, the testers can use the power of the WebDriver protocol while enjoying a simplified syntax and also extensive support documentation.

Features:

  • This is a modern browser and mobile automation testing framework for node.js.
  • It provides multiple testing frameworks, including Jasmine, Mocha, and Cucumber.
  • WebDriverIO implements the WebDriver protocol, which helps the testers to execute cross-browser testing on their web apps
  • This framework offers both asynchronous and synchronous APIs for better control over the entire test execution process
  • The extensive documentation and community support ensure that the testers always have adequate references whenever they are stuck with any feature.

Advantages:

  • While using the WebDriverIO, the testers can easily access cross-browser testing and cross-platform testing on their apps that are currently being developed.
  • It is a simple process to integrate WebDriverIO with multiple testing frameworks along with continuous integration and continuous deployment pipelines.
  • This automation testing framework provides support for multiple browser features, including cookies, Geo-location, and browser window management.
  • It also allows the testers to easily integrate it with cloud testing frameworks like LambdaTest to use features like remote testing. We will learn more about the influence of cloud testing in the later part of this article.
  • Cypress

Cypress is a well-known and modern testing framework that is mainly designed for executing front-end testing. Although the Safari support of Safari may not be as extensive as Firefox and Chrome, it does not limit its support for Safari browser testing. Cypress adopts a unique approach to testing using its built-in automatic waits and real-time DOM snapshot features.

Features:

  • Cypress is a modern JavaScript testing framework which mainly focuses on executing front-end application testing
  • It provides various unique features like automatic waiting for real-time DOM snapshots and a time-traveling debugger.
  • This automation testing framework offers a simple and elegant API for writing the automation test scripts.
  • While using Cypress, the developers will have the capability of handling network requests and multiple responses raised by the application infrastructure.
  • This automation testing framework also comes with an interactive test runner that has built-in debugging tools so that the testers can easily detect errors and resolve them before the app deployment.

Advantages:

  • Cypress provides a fast and reliable test execution process due to its unique testing infrastructure.
  • This tool is an excellent choice for executing modern web app testing that has multiple dynamic contents which change their behavior depending on various parameters.
  • The testers can easily get started with Cypress due to its easy setup and minimal configuration requirements.
  • Cypress provides native support for initiating continuous integration and parallel testing on web applications. Using these features, the developers can not only streamline the overall testing process but also improve the quality of the application that is being developed.
  • Katalon Studio

We can introduce Katalon Studio as a one-stop test automation platform. This platform supports web, mobile, and even API testing. The testers can use this automation testing platform to access a user-friendly interface for creating and executing the tests. This framework also offers built-in support for Safari browser testing.

While using Katalon Studio, the testers can automate the Safari test cases in an efficient and quick manner, even if they are not an expert in the overall test automation process.

Features:

  • It is a one-stop test automation solution for running API testing, web testing, and mobile testing.
  • This platform offers a user-friendly interface that allows easy test creation and test management processes.
  • Katalon Studio provides native support for keyword-driven testing and also script-free automation testing.
  • The testers can easily integrate this framework with popular CI/CD tools like Azure DevOps and Jenkins.
  • Katalon Studio provides built-in reporting and analytics features to keep track of the test cases and take appropriate debugging steps.

Advantages:

  • This framework is suitable for both experienced testers and beginners due to its intuitive interface.
  • Katalon Studio offers comprehensive test coverage across various app mediums like web, mobile, and API layers.
  • This framework enables various forms of testing. This support also includes cross-browser testing for popular browsers like Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.
  • The testers can improve their overall testing experience using Katalon Studio’s out-of-the-box integrations. These integrations allow the use of 3rd party tools and other services.

Using Cloud Platforms

Other than all the above alternatives, the testers also have the option of integrating a cloud platform for executing Safari testing. While using these platforms, the testers can choose their preferred Automation Testing frame for executing the test cases on multiple operating systems, devices, and browser versions.

LambdaTest is one AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that allows the testers to execute cloud-based automation testing with multiple testing frameworks like Selenium, Cypress, Playwright and Appium. While using this platform, the testers can run the test instances on more than 3000 different combinations of browsers, operating systems, and real devices. 

With LambdaTest, the app developers can also access various unique features like real-time test logging, integration of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning along with comprehensive test reports consisting of screenshots and videos.

The Bottom Line

So, with this article, we can conclude that Selenium’s dominance in the web Automation Testing industry Is decreasing, and its limitations with Safari have forced the testers and quality assurance engineers to find alternative solutions in the market. All the tools that we mentioned will offer enhanced Safari coverage along with providing reliable options for testing web apps.

So, whether you are looking to automate the test cases for iOS apps, web apps, or both, you will find a tool in this list that will suit your needs. By using all the alternative automation testing tools, testers can ensure the quality and reliability of web apps on all major browsers, including Safari. This helps serve the ultimate goal of delivering a seamless user experience while maintaining a positive brand image.  

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