Top 5 Selenium Alternatives for Less Maintenance

Anna Thorsen

Automation Expert

Selenium has long been a popular choice for automated web testing, but it comes with its drawbacks. You need developers on hand, the maintenance of the solution grows the more you use it, and it’s difficult to achieve end-to-end test coverage. If you’re on the hunt for a Selenium alternative, you’ve come to the right place. 

With 56% of organizations collaborating between business users and testers to achieve a balanced approach to user acceptance testing (UAT), it’s clear that business stakeholders and testers are working together to drive value out of testing. With this in mind, what Selenium alternatives can help you achieve your quality engineering goals? 

Skip ahead to: 

The main disadvantages of Selenium
Why code-free Selenium is important
The top 5 Selenium alternatives
Leapwork
Selenium with AI
Playwright
Appium
Robot Framework
Conclusion

In this blog post, we explain the drawbacks of the tool, why a code-free version can help, and the top Selenium alternatives. Each tool is assessed on four points which have been listed below: 

  1. Coding requirements: Is coding experience a requirement to use the tool?
  2. End-to-end testing support: Does the solution work across applications (even those outside of web)?
  3. One-to-one support: Does the solution offer catered support?
  4. Maintenance requirement: How heavy of a maintenance requirement can you expect once you start using the solution?

What are the main disadvantages of Selenium? 

Selenium is a powerful tool. And if you have coding experience it’s possible to achieve a lot. But Selenium does come with drawbacks.

  1. Developer requirement: Selenium demands a high level of programming expertise, limiting its accessibility to non-developers.
  2. Maintenance challenges: The upkeep of Selenium scripts can be time-consuming and complex, leading to increased costs.
  3. Scalability issues: Achieving comprehensive end-to-end coverage across desktop applications can be a significant challenge with Selenium.

Why code-free Selenium is important

Testing is important. You need to be able to ensure that your application under test (AUT) works as it should, and doesn’t impose risk to your business. While Selenium can help you automate tests, it’s the process of building and maintaining those tests that lead to challenges that don’t necessarily come to light until you’ve integrated test automation into your quality assurance practices. 

And that’s why code-free test automation is important. Implementing codeless Selenium alternatives can address the challenges posed by traditional Selenium testing. They help testers with various skill sets to contribute to the testing process, enhancing collaboration and accelerating the testing lifecycle. For an in-depth discussion on the significance of codeless Selenium, refer to our codeless Selenium blog post.

The top 5 Selenium alternatives

With a sea of solutions to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? This largely depends on the requirements of your team - meaning the technologies in use, the processes for QA, and the organizational or team set-up. 

With 60% of quality engineers struggling with a lack of coding skills in agile projects, and 63% acknowledging that they do not have the time to test or automate, what solutions can help you close these gaps? Source: World Quality Report | 2023-23 | Page 20

In the list below, we highlight four alternatives - including using AI alongside Selenium. 

Selenium alternatives for code free test automation

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1. Leapwork

 

Leapwork-logo-400px


Leapwork is a visual test automation platform that helps testers and business users build, maintain, and scale automation faster. With Leapwork, you can design your automation using a smart recorder that makes test automation build easy. Or choose our automation builder - it’s like cobbling Lego blocks together. Once built, your flow becomes easy to maintain automated tests

 

Leapwork product graphic no-code

Source: example of a Leapwork test case. Here, you see the Leapwork building blocks which carry out the steps of logging into a D365 application and creating a new lead. 

 

This solution doesn’t limit you to one application type either. Businesses can assure quality across every technology within their IT ecosystem - whether desktop, web-based or legacy - no matter your technical skills. You can manage, plan, document, execute, and report without silos, collaborating seamlessly with your software development teams.

Users can get started in less than 30 days, spend 90% less time on manual testing as a result, and make a 5X return on your investment within the first 12 months.

See how Leapwork helped Tyler Technologies reduce their testing time by 90%

Some of our features include:

  • A visual language and smart recorder: Automate functional UI tests effortlessly with our smart recorder.
  • Reusable components: Build efficient and modular test components for reuse.
  • Hypervisual debugging: Identify and resolve issues swiftly with our intuitive debugging tools.
  • Cross-browser, cross-device: Ensure consistent performance across browsers and devices.
  • Cross-technology automation: Seamlessly automate applications across various technologies.
  • CI/CD integration: Easily integrate with your continuous integration and continuous deployment processes.

Key Points:

Coding requirements: No coding required, making it accessible to a broader audience
End-to-end testing capabilities: Leapwork supports end-to-end testing, providing coverage across various stages of the application lifecycle
One-to-one support: Leapwork offers one-to-one support, ensuring users receive assistance when needed
Maintenance requirement: Leapwork has a low maintenance requirement because it doesn’t require coding

Compare Selenium vs Leapwork

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2. Selenium with AI

 

the selenium test automation logo

 

Selenium with AI refers to the use of generative AI such as ChatGPT to create test scripts. By building a layer on top of Selenium with generative AI, you can make the process of creating and maintaining tests more intelligent. You can, in theory, train the algorithm to review the code of your application and build Selenium test scripts, and maintain your code with functional updates. However, this doesn’t remove the fact that you’re building a complex software component that needs maintenance. 

This self-built framework will be owned by someone. If that someone - who trains and develops this framework - leaves, you’ll have to train a new employee to both understand the set-up and maintenance of the framework.

  • You’re still interacting with code and will require users who have an understanding of code. 
  • Generative AI can produce errors which require someone with coding experience to validate. 
  • The AI will not understand the unique customizations of your software. 
  • When updates to applications occur, tests might break. Finding and fixing errors in coded scripts can be very time-consuming.

With these considerations in mind, it is up to your business to decide whether you have the time and skilled employees in place to be able to build and maintain an AI/Selenium framework. 

Key Points:

Coding requirements: While Selenium with AI reduces the coding burden, some level of programming knowledge is still required for effective use
End-to-end testing support: Web applications
One-to-one support: Selenium operates as an open-sourced vendor with an active community
Maintenance requirement: Maintenance requirements are moderate, with AI capabilities helping in adapting to changes more intelligently

3. Appium

 

appium test automation logo

 

Appium is an open-source automation tool specifically designed for mobile applications. It enables automation of native, hybrid, and mobile web applications on both iOS and Android platforms.

Key Points:

Coding requirements: Appium requires moderate coding skills, making it accessible to users with programming backgrounds.
End-to-end testing capabilities: Mobile applications
One-to-one support: Limited one-to-one support may be available, depending on the specific implementation or vendor support.
Maintenance requirement: Maintenance requirements for Appium are moderate, with updates and changes necessary to adapt to evolving mobile platforms.

4. Playwright

 

playwright test automation logo

 

Playwright is a browser automation tool that supports multiple programming languages and provides a high level of automation for web applications.

Key Points:

Coding requirements: Playwright coding/scripting skills, offering flexibility for users with programming backgrounds.
End-to-end testing capabilities: Web applications
One-to-one support: Playwright offers one-to-one support, ensuring users have access to assistance when troubleshooting or optimizing their scripts.
Maintenance requirement: Playwright has a low maintenance requirement, allowing for efficient test script management.

5. Robot Framework

 

robot framework test automation logo

 

Robot Framework is an open-source automation framework that uses a keyword-driven approach, making it easy to create and maintain test cases. It supports both codeless and script-based automation, making it versatile for various testing needs.

Key Points:

Coding requirements: Robot Framework uses a keyword-driven approach. It supports script-based automation for more complex scenarios
End-to-end testing capabilities: Robot Framework provides support for end-to-end testing across web, mobile, desktop, and API applications
One-to-one support: Robot Framework has an active community that provides support through forums and online resources. Commercial support options are also available
Maintenance requirement: Robot Framework has a low maintenance requirement, with features like clear syntax and reusable keywords contributing to script maintainability

Conclusion

The shift towards codeless Selenium alternatives addresses the limitations of traditional Selenium testing. If you’re on the hunt for an alternative, consider the technology, process and organizational fit of the solution. With this information, you’ll be able to determine which solution works for you - from the coding and maintenance requirements, to the technologies supported, and the customer support you can expect to receive. 

You can take your knowledge a step further by reviewing the differences between popular solutions like Leapwork and Selenium in our comparison chart. This is an extended comparison where you can find information on:

The usability and adoption of the test automation The integrations supportedThe applications supportedThe governance, compliance and documentation of the tool

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most similar to Selenium?

Appium and Playwright closely resemble Selenium in terms of functionality but offer unique features and advantages. Both of these solutions require coding experience. Leapwork, a commercial vendor, uses Selenium under the hood to power their visual automation approach. 

What factors should you consider when selecting alternatives to Selenium?

First, consider the technology, process and organizational requirements of your business. Once you have this information, you should review tools based on their coding and maintenance requirements, end-to-end testing support, and their one-to-one support availability. Additionally, evaluate the specific needs of your testing environment and applications.