SilkTest interview question 66: SilkTest vs Selenium?

Lately one of the interns, who works for our company for training rather than only employment, asked me to make a suggestion to choose between SilkTest and Selenium as carrier path for future Quality Assurance Engineer position.

Let's take a detailed glance and evaluate both test automated tools against each other:

The benefits of Selenium is completely free open source test automation tool, while SilkTest price is around a few thousand dollars per license. It means if you want to include Selenium to your talent set, just download free application, download manual and start testing. SilkTest download is not free, and available only for Borland customers, although everyone may download Silk Test free trial version, but it will help you for 30 days and then you will get bombarded by Borland sales asking to buy test automation tool.

There are no a single SilkTest book or tutorial in print yet except SilkTest Getting Started Tutorial, comparing with several recently published Selenium and QTP books. Quality Assurance society anticipate more Selenium books in the nearest future. For for detailed book review look at Best Books for QTP and Top Books for Selenium posts.

Selenium allows creating automated test cases only against web applications. In the same time Quality Assurance Engineer may use Silk Test for automating client server application. Selenium gracefully supports a broad range of browsers Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Konqueror on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. In the same time Silk Test is restricted to Internet Explorer and Firefox on Windows.
SilkTest uses 4Test scripting language to describe the test procedure, and to manipulate the objects and pedals of the application under test. One more benefits of Selenium has lots of language bindings like Java, .Net, Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby, so anyone can learn not only one tool, but add a few more lines in the resume.
Last thing to check is to visit any employment search sites like or and compare how many opening are available for SilkTest or Selenium.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Selenium is not very mature, so if you go with that solution you will need to be willing to live with any pains that result from the tool's lack of maturity. I am not sure if Selenium is taking advantage of the Microsoft UI Automation framework. I have heard that SilkTest .NET 3.0 support will be leveraging this technology in future releases. Microsoft UI Automation is the future in my opinion. In the beginning I thought that Microsoft would be competing in the automation space with this technology, but as I am learning more about MS UIA, it seems to me that it will only help make automation tools more reliable. In my opinion, Automation tools that do not leverage this technology will eventually be behind the curve. Automation tools that do take advantage of MS UIA will have very little issues in adaptation when new MS technologies are released.

My 2 cents.

Ashok Kumar M said...

To add more to this SilkTest vs Selenium.

Using SilkTest it is difficult or not possible to record Web2.0 or AJAX based UI.

Whereas using Selenium you can record Web2.0 or AJAX based UI.

Someshwar said...

While script executing in silk we can’t touch the mouse or key board, the machine should be idle, but in selenium we can work on system even though the Script is running on machine.

Torquester said...

There are some things stated here that I have to put right. Seems like most statements here refer to old versions of SilkTest. As for OpenAgent:

1) Language Bindings: The Open Agent has language bindings for Java, .NET, 4Test and Visual Test

2) Web 2.0: The AJAX support of Open Agent is probably the best that is currently available in the world. Up to my knowledge there is no other tool that has comparable AJAX synchronization which is a "MUST-HAVE" to run reliable, reproduce-able scripts. Tell me one thing, that Selenium does better in Web 2.0 applications than the Open Agent

3) The statement that you can't touch the mouse while your script is running is also not true for Open Agent. You can choose between "high level" - and "low level" replay. When you use "high level" replay you can touch your mouse as much as you want :-)

Anonymous said...

I have been recording against AJAX without difficulty. I am not sure what you are speaking about. I am using 2009 R2.

TheMANforAutomation said...

You have been able to call ANY progamming language in Silk Test that uses ANSI C Parameter passing conventions. Futhermore, simce you can compile and output results by calling CLI based programs (such as Visual Basic and / or Perl you can collect the output of these "external" programs using 1) echo statments in VB and 2) print statements in Perl. Correct me if I'm wrong, you cannot call a lightweight exrcution agent from Quick Test Pro and run the same sript on multiple machine unless you have a seprate liecnse for each machine, which not only costs more, but leave a much larger memory footprint on each Machine Under test.

I have also been told by Borlnd technical support that you cann cannor call libraries in DLL'

SilkTest interview questions for QA Testers