Selenium automation testing and Protractor automation testing are both equally effective tools for code testing. However, understanding the difference in the features of the Selenium and Protractor as test automation tools helps select the best tool per the priorities and testing requirements.

Test automation is currently the need of the hour. Several automated testing tools are available to cater to the diverse needs of the code testing teams. To achieve the best results, it is important to select the best tool as per the requirement.

Some testing teams often get confused between two automated testing tools. Suppose you are the one who is struggling to select between Selenium automation testing and Protractor automation testing. In that case, this blog might help you clear your confusion and assist you in selecting the best tool per your need.

So let’s begin


Selenium automation testing is mainly employed to test the codes used in web applications. It is an open-source testing tool and, thus, is available for free. Selenium automation testing can be used across several browsers and platforms. It is an all-inclusive suite that is licensed under the Apache License 2.0. 

Selenium was first conceived in 2004 at ThoughtWorks Chicago as “JavaScriptTestRunner ” for testing of an internal Time and Expenses application (Python, Plone). It supports automation across browsers, platforms, and other programming languages.

Selenium can be developed easily over several platforms like Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Macintosh. It also supports OS (Operating system) for iOS, Android, and Windows mobile-based applications.

Selenium can be used to automate functional tests. It can be integrated with the automation test tools like Maven, Jenkins & Docker to achieve a continuous testing process. It can be integrated with other tools like TestNG & JUnit to manage several test cases and generate reports. 

Selenium drivers support several programming languages. Selenium is mainly used for automating web-based application testing and does not include any specific testing framework. Some of the testing frameworks that can be used with Selenium include:

  • BELLATRIX (C#, Java)
  • Capybara (Ruby)
  • CodeceptJS (JavaScript)
  • FluentLenium (Java)
  • Helium (Python)
  • Nerodia (Python)
  • QAF (Java)
  • Selenide (Java)
  • SeleniumBase (Python)
  • Watir (Ruby)

Selenium automation testing mainly consists of three different tools, and these are:

  • Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
  • Selenium WebDriver
  • Selenium Grid

Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

Selenium IDE records the sequence of the flow of work for prototyping purposes. It is the simplest among all the four available tools of Selenium. This Firefox plugin is associated with several other plugins and is easy to install. 

Selenium WebDriver 

Selenium WebDriver is mainly the superior counterpart of Selenium RC. It interacts directly with the web browsers to retrieve the results. Another special advantage of Selenium WebDriver is the presence of JavaScript is not mandated for Automation. Like Selenium RC, Selenium WebDriveralso supports Java, C#, PHP, Ruby, Python, and PEARL.

Selenium Grid

This Selenium automation testing tool is faster than the rest and thus is considered to be time-saving. Selenium Grid is specially designed to conduct parallel execution tests over several different browsers based on the concept of hub and nodes.

Pros of Selenium

  • It is language-independent such that the developers are not compelled to learn any new language to test their codes with the help of Selenium.
  • It can be easily integrated with other popular tools like Selenium Grid, JUnit, sourceLabs, Extent, etc.
  • Selenium supports all the leading web browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. 
  • It supports the leading operating systems, Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Cons of Selenium

  • It works only for web and mobile browsers and does not support desktop-based applications.
  • It is time-consuming.
  • Produces false positive results.
  • The image testing feature is not available with Selenium.
  • It does not provide tech support for dealing with inconvenient problems.

The true ability of Selenium automation testing can be leveraged through cloud-based Selenium Grid like LambdaTest. It is a cloud-based automation testing platform where you can run tests on a large farm of 3000 different browsers and OS configurations. You also do not require to install and configure the Selenium Grid locally. Rather, using LambdaTest, it is very easy to instantiate remote Selenium WebDriver with just one line code.  Parallel testing in Selenium can be executed in multiple browsers running on different OS.

Managing your workflows becomes easier as LambdaTest integrates with various tools such as Jira, GitHub, and Slack. Collaboration with team members is also streamlined through these integrations.

Last but not least important is scalability; LambdaTest offers high scalability, so you can easily scale up or down based on your specific needs. You can add more devices or browsers without paying for what you don’t use.


Protractor Automation Testing is considered a powerful tool that’s used for the testing of AngularJS applications. Apart from angularJS applications, it works equally well for other applications. It is a solution integrator that works by assimilating stalwart technologies like Jasmine. Selenium, Cucumber. NodeJS, Web driver, etc. It can easily write and edit regression tests automatically for web-based applications. Like Selenium Automation Testing, it is also an open-source framework. 

Protractor automation testing helps in cross-browser testing, including Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc. It has the end-to-end testing capability with advanced HTML attributes. It also provides asynchronous test performance. 

Alternatively, it can be said that Protractor is an end-to-end test framework that is used for AngularJS and Angular applications. The protractor mainly runs the tests against your application running over a real-time browser and interacting with the user’s work. 

It is developed over top WebDriveJS that use native events and other browser-specific drivers to interact with the application in user-specific mode.

For the Angular Apps, Protractor supports Angular-specific locator strategies that help you to test angular-specific elements without any specific setup effort. Protractors also automatically execute tests; thus, you do not need to worry about waiting time and who can simultaneously conduct your other work over the system.

Pros of Protractor

  • Helps in the identification of the AngularJS elements by using built-in support
  • It can test both angular and non-angular apps with its easy-switching option.
  • It can run over real and headless browsers.
  • It has NodeJS support that enables asynchronous processes, helping to speed the test execution.

Cons of Protractor

  • It runs very slowly and, thus, is time-consuming.
  • Protractor cannot conduct real-user simulation
  • Protractor debugging is complex.
  • Learning Protractor is complex, and understanding its technical aspect is time-consuming.
  • It does not automate testing for mobile-based applications.

Comparison of Features

Technology-based front-end web application supportIt provides front-end support and technology managementIt is mainly compatible with angular applications but can also support other technical applications
Language supportThe languages supported by Selenium include C#, Java, Haskell, Perl. PHP, JavaScript, Objective-C, Ruby, Python, RLanguages supported by Protractor include: JavaScript and TypeScript
Compatible browsersIt is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Safari, and HtmlUnitDriver.It is compatible with a limited number of browsers, and these are: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge
Synchronization and waitingThere is no automatic synchronization support in between the applications and the tests. Proper synchronization is important with differing utilization of wait.  Waiting for the process of synchronization is automatic for the Angular application. However, it demands explicit synchronization for the non-angular applications
Nature of executionSynchronousAsynchronous
Technical skill requiredAverageModerate
Support for mobile-based applicationThere is no direct supportDirect support
CI/CD integrationYesYes
Support Strategy for LocatorsFor the purpose of the common locators, the strategies that are used include Id, name, linkText, className, tagName, partial link text, XPath, and CSS for all the web-based applicationsIt provides support to Angular locator strategies apart from supporting the common locators. The Angular locator strategies include repeater, model, option, binding, etc.; it also helps in the location of customer locators
Test execution speedSlowFast
Stability of Test ScriptNot stableStable
Support for BDDYes (Serenity, Cucumber, JBehave)Yes (Mocha,  Jasmine, Cucumber, and Serenity/JS)
License providerApache License 2.0Webstrom 7.0

Selenium or Protractor, which one to use?

Before selecting the Selenium Automation Testing or Protractor Automation Testing tool, one must be clear about the exact testing requirements and priorities. For testing the general web-based application, Selenium is still now considered the best possible choice and is widely used by several quality analyst professionals. However, for testing AngularJS applications, Protractor needs to be selected over Selenium.


Thus, from the above analysis of the features, pros, and cons of Selenium and Protractor, it can be stated that both Selenium and Protractor are open-source testing tools for the web-based applications. Selenium can replicate the users’ actions and provides multiple users support followed by community support and reusability of the codes. 

Protractor works best on AngularJS-based web application testing, performs cross-browser testing, and provides remote server testing over the cloud network. Protractor also provides asynchronous test performance with the help of NodeJS.

Thus, if you are confused with Selenium and Protractor, the winner is your requirement; depending on the requirement, the testing tool must be selected.

Alternatively, it can be said that Protractor is an end-to-end test framework that is used for AngularJS and Angular applications. The protractor mainly runs the tests against your application, running over a real-time browser and interacting with the user’s work.

It is developed over top WebDriveJS that use native events and other browser-specific drivers to interact with the application in the user-specific mode.

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