Selenium 2.0, an upgrade to the popular open source web application testing toolset, is anticipated for release this summer, featuring accommodations for mobile platforms and architectural improvements, its creator said.

The upgrade is set to support testing of web applications that run on Apple iPhone and Google Android devices, said Jason Huggins, who first built Selenium in 2004. Some time after the 2.0 release, Selenium builders hope to add web application testing for Research in Motion BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows Phone 7 devices. Testing of native device applications also is on the long term roadmap for Selenium. "I think it makes sense for us to expand, to be able to do native apps," said Huggins. Version 2.0 already has been in a beta test phase.

Downloadable at the Selenium website, the suite of tools automates web testing across many platforms, with multiple browsers and operating systems supported. It debuted when the majority of application development was for web applications and has been geared to testing applications running in desktop browsers. "I think we're witnessing a similar shift now to mobile," said Huggins.

Architectural enhancements in version 2.0 will enable Selenium to better deal with testing areas, such as accommodating password popups or security warnings. "There's a lot of under-the-hood cleaning that we've done," said Huggins, who is co-founder and CTO at Sauce Labs, which offers a cloud-based version of Selenium called Sauce On Demand.

Selenium serves as an alternative to traditional testing tools with expensive licensing fees, said conference attendee Andrew Kemp, product manager for Twist at ThoughtWorks. Twist is a tool that supplements Selenium, adding capabilities like test suite maintenance. "[Selenium] is more accessible [than commercial tools]. It means that teams work on tests," rather than testing restricted to just the testing teams, Kemp said.

Selenium was so named because Huggins, dissatisfied with testing tools on the market, was seeking a name that would position the product as an alternative to Mercury Interactive QuickTest Professional commercial testing software. The name, Selenium, was selected because selenium mineral supplements serve as a cure for mercury poisoning, Huggins explained.