Selenium IDE is part of the Selenium suite and has been a depreciated record and playback tool, largely because it could only be used in Firefox and had stopped being supported by contributors of the Selenium project.
But don’t call it a comeback — Selenium IDE 2.0 (still to be officially named) is more so a new and improved version of its former self.
Some of Selenium IDE you might recognize from the first version, such as their UI. However, while it may look similar at first glance, you’ll soon notice many improvements including better locators and support for common tasks.
Potentially the biggest differentiator with the new Selenium IDE is that it’s built as a web extension, which is standardized by the WC3, so it no longer only works in Firefox.
This means that the new Selenium IDE can run in any browser that supports web extensions such as Chrome, making record and playback cross-browser testing much more achievable than in the previous version.
How to Install the New Selenium IDE, Record, and Play
In the webinar, Simon showed us how we can install Selenium IDE and run our first test.
- Go to Tools
- Click Add-ons and Get add-ons
- Search Selenium IDE and click Add to Firefox
- Go to the Menu bar and select Selenium IDE
- Go to Chrome Web Store
- Search Selenium IDE
- Add the extension (make sure to select the one from SeleniumHQ.org)
In the example, Simon does a Google search for “cheese,” which is as easy as firing up the new IDE, choosing to record a test, entering the URL you want to start with, and then going through the actions that you want recorded manually.
The new IDE also has options during testing such as assert and verify. If you want to edit the test steps after, you can do that, too.
As mentioned, there are quite a few value-add features and enhancements in Selenium IDE gathered from users over the years.
If you want to run tests with a command line, you can put tests into a CI system, or allow them to run locally with the Selenium IDE runner. The runner supports additional features such as parallel execution through a Selenium grid or a server like CrossBrowserTesting.
There are other enhancements with the new IDE, as well. Control flow statements enable more maintainable tests, whereas before, it was only available through plugins.
Additionally, fallback locators will provide better test stability and make tests more resilient despite changes. Previously, Selenium has been known as brittle and unstable because locators have been hard to write and maintain.
There currently is no option to export recorded tests like there was with the original IDE, but this is immediate on the product roadmap.
Selenium IDE Alternatives
As we discuss Selenium IDE, the conversation around record and playback tools is brought back into light.
More and more individuals and organizations are realizing the value of record and playback tools like Selenium IDE and Selenium IDE alternatives, such as Record and Replay in CrossBrowserTesting.
Both of these tools are ideal for the use cases that Simon reviewed in the webinar. Record and playback is helpful for:
- Team members that don’t aren’t familiar with programming languages
- Someone who wants to put together a bug report
- Someone just getting started with automating a test suite
- Automating boring and repetitive tasks
Of course, the benefits of Selenium IDE and its alternatives don’t stop there — the more teams adopt record and playback tools the more uses they’ll find.
So, whether you decide to stick with Selenium or try a tool like Record & Replay, it’s worth exploring the possibilities of a record and playback tool.