RPA Vs Selenium: Things You Should Know
Robotic Process Automation or RPA, as it is popularly termed as, is another way of getting things done, where machines perform the tasks that were meant to be performed by humans. When we say this, it means that machines are doing only some tasks, but not all that can be done by humans.
Selenium is a suite of testing tools that is dedicatedly designed for testing web applications. It is highly preferred and widely used testing suite owing to its excellent compatibility with different browsers and platforms.
This blog post talks in detail about the concepts of RPA and Selenium and makes a comprehensive comparison of both.
Click Here to know about-> What is RPA ?
What is Robotic Process Automation?
As we said, Robotic process automation is a way of getting things done by machines. This should not be misunderstood with artificial intelligence(AI) where robots perform all human like tasks. In fact, RPA is a software that can be considered as a subset of AI. With RPA, you can perform only certain tasks unlike AI that is far different and deeper in approach.
RPA is a software that performs manually repetitive and routine tasks in an automated manner. When you opt for automating your business by using software robots and by reducing human intervention, you are The best examples include Desktop applications, working with data and its manipulations and feeding data into other applications that require no logical thinking. RPA works well where there are no complex integrations of system are necessary.
Click Here to know about ->RPA Blue Prism Certification
Technical Functionality of RPA
RPA is specifically a software bot that is designed to perform repetitive and labor intensive tasks in a quicker and accurate way. RPA bots do not need access to the innate code or databases concerned with an application. They just work at the UI level of an application. They are not bothered about the inner details and complexities.
RPA found wide popularity because of its ease of use and wider scope of application at all levels – PC, laptop or mobile device. Besides, they do not have the limitations as that of humans – having confined hours of work efficiency, chances of errors and typos, etc. With RPA, the work can be done 24×7 uninterruptedly and with absolutely no scope for errors.
Click Here to know about->RPA Career opportunities
Lifecycle of RPA process
A RPA process mainly contains the following four processes:
- Bot Development
- Testing, and
- Deployment & Maintenance
Analysis stage involves brainstorming among the team members and others involved and coming out with a RPA process that suits well the given needs and gives the appropriate return on investment as expected.
Bot development does not involve any coding, as tools are ready to use. However, this phase includes creation of a separate dev environment.
The testing team is generally carried out in two stages: testing by a separate testing team, and testing done by RPA dev team.
Once all the stages are successfully done, the bot is finally deployed. It is under constant maintenance and as and when new tasks come, it would be updated.
What tasks can RPA perform?
RPA can be used to perform any type of monotonous work at the UI level related to web applications. Some of the tasks that RPA can perform with ease and saving lot of time and cost are listed here:
- Website scraping
- Data Transfer from one system to another
- Front office operations such as patient registration
- Online shopping related transactions such as sending shipping updates to customers, order updates, etc.
- Basic HR operations such as payroll processing and forms processing
- Processing and working with credit card applications.
Various companies use many RPA tools as per their necessity and work needs. Popularly used ones are from RPA vendors such as:
- Another Monday
- Blue Prism
- Automation Anywhere
- Pega Systems
Click Here to know about -> RPA Tools comparison
What is Selenium?
Selenium is a widely accepted and popularly used testing tool that does automated testing of web applications with amazing ease and speed.
Click Here to Know about – What is Selenium?
Selenium is designed and developed by Apache, Selenium contains four different tools each that has its own purpose and functionality:
- Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
- Selenium Remote Control (RC)
- Selenium Grid
A Firefox plugin, this helps testers to record their work flow and is the most basic of the Selenium suite. It is compatible with other existing plugins and easy to use and work with, even for the beginners.
Unlike Selenium IDE, which is just a plugin, Selenium RC is a complete API and is more matured. Another advantage that testers find while using this is that it is compatible with any programming language – Java, C#, PHP, Python, Ruby and PERL – which means this is an all in one testing tool for any code written in these languages.
This is designed with ‘hub and nodes’ concept and is best for parallel execution of tests, simultaneously on multiple browsers and environments. Among the tools in the Selenium suite, this is the fastest of all.
Click Here to know about -> Selenium Frame Work
Life cycle of Selenium
The life cycle of Selenium contains the following steps:
Planning the Test:
This involves taking the requirements and designing appropriate test case that needs to be implemented for the given application.
Generating basic tests:
Basic tests are developed using locators, commands, methods and techniques.
Click Here to Know about –Selenium Career opportunities
Improvising the test process:
This involves improving the basic tests done by inserting a validation point, synchronising with the application given and handling errors.
Running and Debugging Test cases:
The test case finalised is run and is debugged in case of any errors.
Analysing test results and Reporting defects:
This stage involved analysing the reports generated.
Click Here-> Selenium Interview Questions and Answers
Click Here to know about -> How to Download & Install Selenium WebDriver
Comparison of RPA and Selenium
|Robotic Process Automation (RPA)||Selenium|
|Designed to automate the repetitive and monotonous tasks concerned with web applications.||This tool is especially for the automation of testing of web applications.|
|It is a mix of three key concepts: Workflow automation, AI and screen scraping.||This is suite of four different components: IDE, RC, WebDriver and Grid.|
|The software mimics humans in many ways and get the things done.||This is just a software and has nothing to do with human activities.|
|Deals only till UI level and the work process is entirely independent of software coding inside.||Digs deeper in software of web applications and tests them.|
|The performance is platform independent.||Compatible with Java, C#, PHP, Python, Ruby and PERL.|
|Tools are many and the cost depends on the features and their versions.||It is an open source testing tool.|
|Software bots are the key components in RPA.||Webdriver is the core of the Selenium suite.|
|Records, maintains and work on the clerical processes of an application.||This does not perform clerical process; this is just confined to testing the web application.|
|The life cycle is simpler and has lesser steps.||The number of steps involved in one full cycle is more and hence the life cycle is more complex.|
|RPA, on the whole, offers more than just testing.||This is confined only to testing.|
Test automation has witnessed amazing changes, thanks to the wide sage of Selenium in the market. On the other hand, many clerical processes have taken a new face owing to the usage of RPA tools. Both these have a good scope for offering a very promising career for the enthusiasts.
The only thing is take a next step into this career path is getting trained and certified from expert trainers in Selenium and RPA. GangBoard offers top rated online training for both Selenium and RPA. Get in touch with their tem and build your career. All the best!