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Katalon Studio Versus Selenium

Katalon Studio Versus Selenium

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Thanks for the great response on my previous articles (Read my previous articles on Katalon Studio Here).

In this new article, I am going to compare Katalon Studio Test Automation Tool with Selenium Test Automation Tool.

Before going a head understand that ‘Katalon Studio cannot replace Selenium’. You will understand the reasons for it after going through the below comparisons.

Lets get started.

Katalon Studio Versus Selenium

The following table will help you in understanding the different comparisons between Katalon Studio and Selenium Tools using the characteristics provided in the table.

Note: All the terms mentioned in this article will be explained in detailed in the upcoming sessions. Keep reading even though you don’t understand any terms and only understand this topic at a high level.

CHARACTERISTICS KATALON STUDIO SELENIUM
POPULARITY
  • > Katalon is not popular compared to selenium, but its popularity is increasing day by day because of its out of the box features.
  • > Katalon has less community support compared to selenium.
Selenium is very popular for web UI testing and has wider community support.
TARGET USERS
  • > Katalon Studio’s users could be the testers with limited technical knowledge.
  • > Katalon Studio hides all technical complexities behind the scene and provides friendly UI with the manual mode (where users can drag-drop, select keywords and test objects to form test steps)
  • > But Katalon still keeps necessary weapons for more technically powerful users who are able to dig deeper into coding with the scripting mode that fully supports development conveniences like syntax highlighting, code suggestion and debugging.
Selenium and Appium are mainly automated testing libraries which are more suitable for testers who possess good programming skills. They will typically need to use an IDE like Eclipse or Visual Studio, to import Selenium & Appium libraries (and certainly their dependencies) into a development project, to install necessary unit testing frameworks like JUnit, NUnit and TestNG before starting to write a test case.
COST Katalon is Free, but not open source (which means no access to the source code used for developing it) Selenium is free and also open source (which means it’s free as well as you get access to the source code used for developing it)
EASE OF USE If you want to get feel of automation or you are new on test automation, then I would recommend you start with the best practices in Katalon Studio. Once you become more proficient, you will see the need to use programming for further empowerment of your automation tests. Later, you can also use all the Selenium functionalities in Katalon Studio via the provided scripting interface. Selenium has its steep learning curve. Need programming skills to start automation also to build up framework.
DEPLOYMENT & GETTING STARTED Katalon Studio is built as a unified bundle which includes almost all necessary things like Java, Android SDK, Web drivers to drive browsers, and required dependencies. All you have to do is to download and install it on your computer. Minimum installation is required:

As Appium is frequently updated, Katalon Studio does not bundle Appium. If you are testing mobile apps, you have to install Appium, Node.js (on Windows) and XCode (on Mac)

You can quickly get familiar with Katalon Studio as it has friendly UI and sample projects.

The detailed user documentation (docs.katalon.com) definitely helps you go through quickly from simple to advanced features.

Most open source projects are hard to setup and deploy because they are contributed by many different developers and providers who submit their work into a central place, i.e., GitHub.  You may have to build everything using the submitted source code. But even if frameworks are packaged into a ready-to-use stuff like Selenium and Appium, you still have to go through technical guidelines for their API and integrate them into with an IDE and a preferred programming language. Below are high-level steps required by Selenium, Appium and Katalon Studio to setup and run.
Test management and scripting language support Management of test artifacts:

Katalon Studio provides rich graphical UI with menus, tree views, tables, etc. to manage test cases, objects and data files. Its composer for scripting with full syntax highlight, code suggestion, debugging is ideal for testers who just want to drag-drop or have limited programming skills

Scripting language support:

Java/Groovy is the only option for now

Selenium and Appium, when integrating with a dedicated development IDE like Eclipse and Visual Studio, offer intuitive environments for developers but unfamiliar and unnecessarily complex features for manual or non-technical testers. Managing tests is challenging for non-technical testers when using Selenium and Appium

Scripting language support:

Many choices for scripting languages-C#, Java, Objective -C, Perl, Php, Python, Ruby

Performance Katalon Studio uses Groovy, a language built on top of Java, and has to load many libraries for parsing test data, test objects, logging. So, it may be a bit slower Tests in Selenium will run bit faster than Katalon
Usability and Functionality Katalon supports Object Spy for Web which highlight the objects for you, and you can capture them. Katalon objects spy gives you more options like relative x path etc. Selenium has Selenium IDE plugin for recording objects. Recently new IDE version is developed. But It won’t give you more options like Katalon.
Test Management and Data Driven Katalon Studio provides Data File object which can query data from external sources: CSV file, Excel file, Relational DB. Katalon Studio also supports data-driven testing on a data file object. For example, when testing the login feature, you can specify 100 pre-defined accounts in an Excel spreadsheet or a database. Selenium and Appium: testers have to hard-code test data directly in the code. Any support for external data sources requires considerable programming effort.
Test Built-Keywords Katalon Studio is released with per-defined sets of commonly used keywords or actions, users will find them enough to start implementing most test cases, but if they have more advanced or specific needs, they still have a way to create custom keywords for their projects. Custom keywords are an extension of built-in keywords. They can be used the same way as built-in keywords and can be shared between users. Selenium and Appium: Users have to build common and reusable actions on their own in forms of programming functions.
Test Reporting and Analytics Katalon Studio provides intuitive reports with friendly and readable messages and captured screenshots at the time of failure which can be exported into CSV, HTML and PDF files.

Katalon Analytics visualizes test execution results in an actionable fashion that enables teams to quickly diagnose and have better insights of their automation tests.

Selenium and Appium do not have reporting tools themselves but based on the testing framework being used will have some simple report templates. Sophisticated reporting and analytics capabilities like what Katalon offers are probably among the most wanted features for Selenium and Appium.
Integration Katalon Studio can integrate with several test management systems and bug tracking systems including qTest (https://www.qasymphony.com) and JIRA to submit bugs, defects, test logs and test results. Katalon Studio can also integrate with Kobiton, a cloud-based mobile lab for cloud-based mobile testing (https://kobiton.com). Selenium and Appium do not have reporting tools themselves but based on the testing framework being used will have some simple report templates. Sophisticated reporting and analytics capabilities like what Katalon offers are probably among the most wanted features for Selenium and Appium.

Selenium and Appium: no integration, users have to build the integration capabilities themselves.

CI Integration Katalon Studio provides a command line interface, allowing CI Systems to call and trigger test execution. Selenium and Appium: users have to create and configure execution jobs (Ant tasks, maven goals, etc.) to trigger test execution
Customer Support The Katalon team actively supports Katalon Studio’s users more regular than the Selenium and Appium communities, via its website and forum. Selenium and Appium are open source, and users may find online help somewhere from other users or the Selenium group.
Bugs Fixes, Release schedule Katalon Studio is released monthly (minor releases for hot fixes are often available within a few days to a week), and bugs are usually fixed within days. User feedback is highly appreciated and resolved quickly. The Selenium and Appium groups do not have a clear release plan, and bugs reported do not usually get fixed quickly.
Solutions for several automated testing problems Katalon Studio, on the other hand, provides capabilities to handle these Windows controls and recognize images.

Katalon Studio allows starting test from any step with an already opened session which is very helpful for troubleshooting test.

Katalon Studio overrides Firefox Driver to make new Firefox versions (47+) backward compatible with old Web Driver

Selenium can only deal with HTML content inside a browser. Special and customized controls such as Windows popups and embedded objects (Flash, Flex, Media) will make Selenium fail to handle.

Selenium community is still struggling with the unstable Gecko driver.

Hope you have understood the high level comparison between the working of Katalon Studio and Selenium Test Automation tools.

Reference: https://www.katalon.com/

Bye for now!

Will meet again with another article on Katalon Studio soon.

Next Steps:

  • > To learn more about Katalon Studio, continue to the next post (Click on Next Post Link Below)
  • > Check complete Katalon Studio Tutorial Contents here (Click here)

Please leave your questions/comments/feedback below.

Happy Learning 🙂

About Me > Mahesh Joshi

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On a mission to contribute to the Software Testing Community in all possible ways.

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Comments (2)

  • Very good and useful article. Is there any possibility that someone writes an article for comparing Katalon Studio and Cypress? Which one is better for UI automated tests?

    Reply

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