Selenium IDE for Chrome

Ever wondered if you could use Selenium IDE for Chrome? You’ve probably heard that the IDE only runs in Firefox, which means Google’s much-famed browser is out of reach. Actually, there’s a neat little feature that lets you run Selenium IDE in Chrome.

The feature is called WebDriver Playback. Here’s how you can use it:

  • Launch Selenium IDE.
  • Go to ‘Options’ and select “Options…” in the drop-down menu.
  • In the Options menu, select the “WebDriver” tab.
  • Check the “Enable WebDriver playback” checkbox.
  • Find the “Browser choices” input field right below the checkbox. Below the input field, you will see browser options. These include “android, chrome, firefox, htmlunit, internet explorer, iPhone, iPad”.
  • Substitute “firefox” with “chrome”. Note that both variants are lowercase.
  • Download the Selenium standalone JAR file and ChromeDriver. Add both files to the same folder on your local computer.
  • Use Terminal to navigate to the folder with the downloaded files.
  • Start Selenium server and ChromeDriver server via Terminal:
  • Open Selenium IDE and run the test script. Note that the script will run in one of the more or less recent versions of Chrome.

So if you wanted to find out how to run Selenium tests in Chrome, follow the 10 steps mentioned above and enjoy the new feature:). Being able to push Selenium IDE outside of Firefox seems like a great thing, provided that its functionality is good enough for you.

If you’re looking for a game changer solution though, there’s an awesome alternative.

Visual regression testing on the cloud with Screenster

Screenster is a smarter, cloud-based alternative to using Selenium IDE with Google Chrome. This new QA automation platform caters to non-developers and enables them to run visual regression test suites. Just like Selenium IDE, it uses record-playback to automate UI testing. Unlike Selenium IDE, it goes far beyond basic UI testing functionality.

Below you will find a short list of the features that Screenster offers.

Record-playback with smart comparison

Similarly to Selenium IDE, Screenster records actual interactions with the UI. It also captures screenshots of every page and UI state along with its DOM structure. The platform stores this information as a Baseline for future comparison during regression testing.

When comparing UI screenshots, Screenster detects visual issues of different kinds. It notices broken layouts, wrong font or colors, and other UI bugs. What’s more, the platform detects bugs of this kind with one-pixel precision.

Automatic verification of every on-page element

Screenster is one of the many alternatives to running Selenium IDE in Chrome. At the same time, it’s one of the few visual testing platforms that actually verifies the UI.

When running tests, Screenster automatically verifies the DOM, visual representation, and content of every individual UI element. This approach is more advanced, and far more effective compared to what that most other tools use.

Low-level solutions like Selenium make you hand-code UI verification scripts targeting separate elements. Visual platforms like Ghost Inspector simplify the process by asking you to click on an element to verify it. Screenster does this automatically.

Efficient visual testing

Most visual testing tools rely on pixel matching, with tolerance for minor mismatches set to reduce false positives. So, say, if 5% of pixels are different in the new screenshot, the test will still pass. The problem is minor bugs, like missing icons, added or removed content, or broken margin and padding, will slip under the 5% threshold.

A more efficient approach is to keep the comparison pixel-perfect for each individual element. If there are no bugs on the element level, the tool will run a quick page-level comparison to check the placement of elements. That’s exactly how Screenster tests works.

Smooth learning curve

Screenster is super-friendly to non-technical people, so you don’t need to be a programmer to use it. Here are two reasons why this matters:

  • Web development teams rarely have the time or budget to cover every UI element with scripted tests. With tools like Screenster, teams can perform end-to-end UI regression testing by automating the job of manual QAs. In fact, even business staff can use Screenster to participate in UI testing.
  • Even for developers, code-based solutions like Selenium or PhantomJS have a steep learning curve. Everyone knows it’s wiser to spend the time of developers on writing features, not tests.

Codeless test editing

Selenium IDE leaves you fumbling through generated WebDriver code whenever you try to modify a test suite. With Screenster, most of the test-editing functionality is codeless. You’ll be 10x more productive when creating tests, removing or adding new steps, or working with individual UI elements.

Support for custom Selenium and JavaScript

What if you want to use your existing Selenium tests with Screenster? Or maybe, you feel that a particular case requires a handwritten, rather than recorded test…

We’ve got you covered in both cases. Selenium and JavaScript are first-class citizen in the Screenster infrastructure. If you need to, you can integrate custom-written Selenium and JS tests into your suites or expand recorded tests with code.

Automated everything

Part of the Screenster’s awesome factor is that it automates 99% of the processes that normally require tinkering. Ever had to hand-code timeouts or ponder how to build an element locator that won’t become useless after a new UI update? With Screenster, you won’t have to worry about things of this sort. The range of automated features includes:

  • Timeouts. Automatic handling of timeouts takes the pain away from working with Ajax updates. At the end of the day, this streamlines UI testing of single-page applications.
  • Locators. Screenster automatically builds precise, robust locators for each UI element. The platform updates these locators whenever someone changes the UI.
  • Identification of dynamic regions. When analyzing a new test suite for the first time, Screenster will identify regions with dynamic content. It will mark these regions and offer you to ignore them during regression testing.

Collaboration features

Screenster works on a shared server that runs on the cloud or on premise. The platform enables QA teams to collaborate on tests suits by accessing a shared web portal.

Minimal setup

Unlike other cloud-based platforms, the core functionality of Screenster doesn’t rely on the installation of extra software. No Chrome of Firefox extensions, plugins or add-ons. Just log into your account and begin recording.

CI support

Screenster supports major CI tools including Jenkins, Bamboo, TeamCity, and Travis via a CI plugin. The CI functionality of Screenster doesn’t require additional frameworks or components. The only thing that you’ll have to do manually is choose the CI tool in the settings menu.

Bottom Line: it’s 2017, check out alternatives to Selenium IDE

Sure, Selenium IDE is a neat Firefox extension — even more so now that you know how to use Selenium IDE in Chrome. Still, the functionality offered by this tool seems too scarce for any real-life project. Making Selenium IDE work for Chrome is one thing. Trying to use it for an enterprise-grade production team is a challenge of a whole different scale.

If a simple tool for visual regression testing is what you’re looking for, cloud based platforms are a way to go. And even though Screenster isn’t the only tool of its kind, it’s definitely worth a shot.


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Selenium IDE for Chrome was last modified: May 21st, 2018 by Ilya Goncharov

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