Science and technology

9 options frontend builders ought to find out about Selenium IDE

There has lengthy been a stigma related to utilizing record-and-playback instruments for testing moderately than scripted QA automation instruments like Selenium Webdriver, Cypress, and WebdriverIO.

Record-and-playbook instruments are perceived to undergo from many points, together with an absence of cross-browser help, no solution to run scripts in parallel or from CI construct scripts, poor help for responsive internet apps, and no solution to rapidly diagnose frontend bugs.

Needless to say, it has been considerably of a tough highway for these instruments, and after Selenium IDE went end-of-life in 2017, many thought the highway for report and playback would finish altogether.

Well, it seems this notion was mistaken. Not lengthy after the Selenium IDE undertaking was discontinued, my colleagues at Applitools approached the Selenium open source community to see how they might assist.

Since then, a lot of Selenium IDE’s code has been revamped. The code is now freely obtainable on GitHub below an Apache 2.zero license, managed by the Selenium group, and supported by two full-time engineers, certainly one of whom actually wrote the e-book on Selenium testing.

The new Selenium IDE brings the advantages of purposeful take a look at automation to many IT professionals—and to frontend builders particularly. Here are 9 issues builders ought to know concerning the new Selenium IDE.

1. Selenium IDE is now cross-browser

When the record-and-playback device first got here out in 2006, Firefox was the shiny new browser it hitched its wagon to, and it remained that manner for a decade. No extra! Selenium IDE is now obtainable as a Google Chrome Extension and Firefox Add-on.

Even higher, Selenium IDE can run its assessments on Selenium WebDriver servers through the use of Selenium IDE’s new command-line take a look at runner, SIDE Runner. SIDE Runner blends components of Selenium IDE and Selenium Webdriver. It takes a Selenium IDE script, saved as a .side file, and runs it utilizing browser drivers corresponding to ChromeDriver, EdgeDriver, Firefox’s Geckodriver, IEDriver, and SafariDriver.

SIDE Runner and the opposite drivers above can be found as straightforward npm installs. Here’s what it seems to be like in motion.

2. No extra brittle purposeful assessments

For years, brittle assessments have been a problem for purposeful assessments—whether or not you report them or code them by hand. Now that builders are releasing new options extra regularly, their consumer interface (UI) code is continually altering as effectively. When a UI adjustments, object locators usually change, too.

Selenium IDE fixes that by capturing a number of object locators once you report your script. During playback, if Selenium IDE cannot discover one locator, it tries every of the opposite locators till it finds one which works. Your take a look at will fail provided that not one of the locators work. This does not assure scripts will all the time play again, nevertheless it does insulate scripts towards quite a few adjustments. As you’ll be able to see beneath, Selenium IDE captures linkText, an xPath expression, and CSS-based locators.

three. Conditional logic to deal with UI options

When testing internet apps, scripts should deal with intermittent UI components that may randomly seem in your app. These come within the type of cookie notices, popups for particular provides, quote requests, e-newsletter subscriptions, paywall notifications, adblocker requests, and extra.

Conditional logic is an effective way to deal with these intermittent UI options. Developers can simply insert conditional logic—additionally referred to as management stream—into Selenium IDE scripts. Here are details and the way it seems to be.

four. Support for embedded code

As broad as the brand new Selenium IDE API is, it does not do every part. For this purpose, Selenium IDE has execute script and execute async script instructions that permit your script name a JavaScript snippet.

This gives builders with an amazing quantity of flexibility to make the most of JavaScript’s flexibility and wide selection of libraries. To use it, click on on the take a look at step the place you need JavaScript to run, select Insert New Command, and enter execute script or execute async script within the command discipline, as proven beneath.

5. Selenium IDE runs from CI construct scripts

Because SIDE Runner is named from the command line, you’ll be able to simply match it into CI construct scripts, as long as the CI server can name selenium-ide-runner and add the .aspect file (the take a look at script) as a construct artifact. For instance, this is find out how to add an enter file in Jenkins, Travis, and CircleCI.

This means Selenium IDE may be higher built-in into the software program improvement know-how stack. In addition, the scripts created by less-technical QA workforce members—together with enterprise analysts—can run with each construct. This helps higher align QA with the developer so fewer bugs escape into manufacturing.

6. Support for third-party plugins

Imagine corporations constructing plugins to have Selenium IDE do every kind of issues, like importing scripts to a purposeful testing cloud, a load testing cloud, or a manufacturing software monitoring service.

Plenty of corporations have built-in Selenium Webdriver into their choices, and I guess the identical will occur with Selenium IDE. You may build your own Selenium IDE plugin.

7. Visual UI testing

Speaking of recent plugins, Applitools launched a brand new Selenium IDE plugin so as to add synthetic intelligence-powered visible validations to the equation. Available by the Chrome and Firefox shops by way of a three-second set up, simply plug within the Applitools API key and go.

Visual checkpoints are an effective way to make sure a UI renders appropriately. Rather than a bunch of assert statements on all of the UI components—which might be a ache to take care of—one visible checkpoint checks all of your web page components.

Best of all, visible AI seems to be at an online app the identical manner a human does, ignoring minor variations. This means fewer pretend bugs to frustrate a improvement workforce.

eight. Visually take a look at responsive internet apps

When testing the visible format of responsive web apps, it is best to do it on a variety of display screen sizes (additionally referred to as viewports) to make sure nothing seems out of whack. It’s all too simple for responsive internet bugs to creep in, and once they do, the issues can vary from merely beauty to enterprise stopping.

When you utilize visible UI testing for Selenium IDE, you’ll be able to visually take a look at your webpages on the Applitools Visual Grid, which has greater than 100 combos of browsers, emulated gadgets, and viewport sizes.

Once assessments run on the Visual Grid, builders can simply test the take a look at outcomes on all the varied combos.

9. Responsive internet bugs have nowhere to cover

Selenium IDE may help pinpoint the reason for frontend bugs. Every Selenium IDE script that is run with the Visual Grid may be analyzed with Applitools’ Root Cause Analysis. It’s now not sufficient to discover a bug—builders additionally want to repair it.

When a visible bug is found, it may be clicked on and simply the related (not all) Document Object Model (DOM) and CSS variations might be displayed.

In abstract, very like many rising applied sciences in software program improvement, Selenium IDE is a component of a bigger pattern of constructing life simpler and easier for technical professionals and enabling them to spend extra effort and time on creating code for even quicker suggestions. 


This article is predicated on 16 reasons why to use Selenium IDE in 2019 (and 2 why not) initially printed on the Applitools weblog.

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