Which is the newest Selenium IDE

The experts in continuous testing and test automation

What is Selenium IDE TNG?

Selenium IDE is the first point of contact for many who want to enter the world of Selenium test automation. It is an add-on for browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox) with which it is possible to record test cases directly in the browser by interacting with a web application and to play them again in the browser and, if necessary, to modify them. So this is a free capture-and-replay tool. The older versions of Selenium IDE no longer worked with the browser from Firefox 55 onwards, which is why Selenium IDE was repeatedly declared "dead". However, this problem was fixed in 2019 by the version Selenium IDE: Version 3.5.8 (currently: Selenium IDE Version 3.16.0, as of November 2019), which is now called "Selenium IDE TNG (The Next Generation)" or "Selenium IDE 4.0 ". In this article, we will show you the benefits that Selenium IDE TNG could have for you.

What can Selenium IDE TNG do?

Selenium IDE TNG is a very helpful and multifaceted tool for all those who want to test a web interface automatically without having to program it. A complex installation and setup is not necessary, the plug-in can be downloaded and activated directly in the appropriate browser (Firefox or Chrome).

Since it is a capture-and-replay tool, the application itself is simple, you enter the target URL of the test object, whereupon Selenium IDE TNG opens the website. Various actions such as mouse clicks or keyboard entries can now be performed. When the test case is finished, the recording stops. In the overview you can check the recorded actions and, if necessary, remove unwanted actions.

A special feature that distinguishes Selenium IDE TNG from the previous versions is the ability to link actions to conditions. For example, you can specify that a pop-up window should only be interacted with if it has been found.

In test automation, one is often faced with the problem that the test object does not build up quickly enough or builds up unevenly. Selenium IDE supports TNG here by automatically waiting for an element to be visible. In addition, the speed of the test execution can be regulated using a slider.

One of the biggest and most practical innovations is that elements are no longer identified in just one way, but several locators (XPath, CSS selector) are saved directly when they are recorded. If the web element can no longer be found with the original locator in a new release of the test object, Selenium IDE TNG tries out the other locators independently and checks whether the element can be found in this way.

If you want to use another tool such as Selenium WebDriver, not all test cases have to be implemented again, but can be converted into program code (C #, Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby). However, the conversion does not always work without errors, so the code should definitely be checked again before it is used.

For a better overview, we have once again brought together the advantages and disadvantages of Selenium IDE: The Next Generation (4.0):

advantages

  • Very easy installation
  • No previous experience or programming knowledge required
  • Capture and replay
  • More stable localization of web elements
  • Graphical user interface (GUI)
  • Open source, no cost
  • Conversion of recorded actions into code
  • Supports Firefox and Chrome
  • Scalable test speed
  • Integrated debugger
  • Expandable through plugins
  • Great Selenium community

disadvantage

  • Use limited to web applications, no testing of applications (Android, desktop, etc.) possible
  • No support of data-driven tests (CSV, Excel)
  • No possibility to extend the test cases with code

Conclusion

Selenium IDE is very well suited as an introduction to test automation, especially if there is no programming knowledge and smaller test projects are to be implemented with a simple test object. Compared to the previous versions, Selenium IDE TNG has gained some helpful features. However, if you want to automate larger projects with a complex test object, you come up against the limits of a pure capture-and-replay tool. For such applications, we recommend Selenium WebDriver as an additional open source solution or Ranorex Studio as an all-in-one solution, as we believe they are more suitable.

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