7a. Selenium IDE – Introduction, benefits and limitations

Selenium takes us to new places and it is time for us to know more about the World we are going to live in – the World of Selenium.  It has four major parts viz.,

  • The Magic Meadows of Selenium IDE popularly known as “The All-Time Leader for Selenium beginners”
  • The Diversity Delta of Selenium RC which got famous as “The Superman of the Series”
  • The Southern Surprises of WebDriver which is “The Ruling Champ”
  • The Cluster Channel of Selenium Grid which is our “I-Am-There-For-You Champ”

Off to Magic Meadows! Let’s leave this dusty old manual testing World for good. Oh don’t worry, we can always send a snail mail.

BrainBell-Time for some Repetition: Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is the simplest and easiest framework that’s available as part of the Suite. It comes as a Firefox plug-in and hence it is really easy to install and use. With very minimal programming knowledge and near zero training, one can get started with Selenium IDE. For beginners, in order to get a peek at the Selenese commands and also to understand the scripting syntax, this is an excellent tool.

It provides a GUI (Graphical User Interface) to record necessary actions in Firefox browser. Magic lies in this record and playback feature which we will be seeing in detail very soon. Upon selecting a UI element that is displayed on the Firefox browser’s currently displayed page, a right click while the Selenium IDE is running will show a list of Selenium commands with pre-defined parameters based on the context of the selected UI element. This makes scripting all the more easier!

It is always interesting to know what we are going to reap before we even sow! So here is a quick look at some of the benefits and limitations of this land.

Benefits of Selenium IDE:

  • Very easy to install and use.
  • No programming experience is required.
  • Has built-in help feature and it shows the documentation on the selected or entered command.
  • Helps in debugging by displaying the information and error messages.
  • It allows us to set breakpoints, insert commands and comments wherever necessary.
  • Provides a good support for extensions.
  • Helps in exporting tests that can be executed in Selenium RC and WebDriver.

Limitations of Selenium IDE:

  • As it comes as a Firefox plug-in, it doesn’t support any browser other than Mozilla Firefox.
  • It doesn’t explicitly provide help to support alerts, pop-ups and navigations.
  • It doesn’t support listeners.
  • No support for error handling and database testing.
  • It cannot be used in the testing of iPhone and Android applications.
  • Reading from external files and uploading files is not supported.
  • No support for iterations and conditional operations.

Get ready for some action as in our next post we will be installing Selenium IDE and diving all the way in.

Have a great day!

Lakshmi Chandana is a Software professional + passion-fueled blogger + novel-reader + artist + tutor to make your day a little brighter than it was before! She is thrilled you are here! She is on a mission to make sure learning sticks but with the fun part kept intact. She uses certain tricks called BrainBells (inspired from barbells and dumbbells used for workout) to achieve this and she says, “this is not the hardest job! As once minions said, it for sure is working in a bubble wrap factory. Imagine the self-control needed!” So, dive in to explore the fun-filled World of Learning!!

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