selenium jumpstart

Posted on 2011-05-08
Last Modified: 2013-11-24

I am going to use selenium for my web application testing.
I am super new to selenium ... can anyone give me a jumpstart and overview?
especially what kind of environment do i need to setup?

I follow a lot with this tutorial:

I also play around with it, is it necessary to use selenium RC ?
cuz the ide will record the test, and i can just replay the recorded test script. how come i need to run on RC, Junit, and even need to deal with java code?

Please advise,

Question by:hongclub
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment


    The two main reasons people use RC instead of IDE are:

    1. RC-supported languages (Java, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, C#) have subroutines, loops, conditionals, etc. IDE's Selenese/HTML tests do not. (Although there is a JS extension that provides primitive flow control.)

    2. RC tests can be run against any browser, not just Firefox.

    #1 is a great reason to use RC instead of IDE. However, #2 is not as good, because there's an option to the RC server called "-htmlSuite" which allows one to run the HTML tests generated by IDE against different browsers.

    I'd suggest you continue your education with the official Selenium docs located at or by reading a book called _Selenium Simplified_. I've also got a set of slides that cover IDE/Selenese at

    Good luck!


    Author Comment

    Thanks for your input, very helpful.

    i have more question:
    1. RC-supported languages (Java, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, C#) have subroutines, loops, conditionals, etc. IDE's Selenese/HTML tests do not. (Although there is a JS extension that provides primitive flow control.)

    question: I thought IDE can also generate Java, PHP, HTML, etc?

    Another questions:
    (1) am i right that i can just use IDE to run a simple test and replay again? but i guess just against firefox ... unless i use sauce lab builder, correct?

    (2) why do i need Junit.

    I will play around more, thanks


    Author Comment

    one more question.

    If i will use sauce lab solution, like using their server against cloud, do i still need to install RC on my machine.

    Our goal is to come up the test script first on my machine, then once it is ready, use their cloud.
    Since their service has fee involved, that's why we want to develop on our side first.
    So again, can i just use IDE to develop the script first (and do some customization), then dump it to sauce lab? so i don't need to deal with RC, Junit, etc

    Any input? i am ready your slide show, good material, thanks

    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution


    You are right--IDE tests can definitely be exported to those six languages. But then once you modify such tests to include loops, subroutines, conditionals, etc., IDE cannot run them--you have to use RC. Basically, IDE runs HTML-format tests, and RC runs *either* HTML or high-level language tests.

    IDE can only run a test against Firefox. However, you can run such tests against other browsers if you use a special option to the RC server: -htmlSuite

    Here's a summary of the three ways you can run tests using Selenium 1:

    1. Via Selenium IDE, against Firefox only.

    2. As an HTML test against any supported browser, using a cmdline like this:

    java -jar selenium-server.jar -htmlsuite "*googlechrome" "" "./testsuite.html" "./results.html"

    3. By starting up the Selenium server separately, and then "connecting" your high-level language (PHP, Perl, Python, Java, C#, or Ruby) test case to it. A test case in this category could have started out life being recorded as HTML in IDE, then exported to the high-level language and modified. Does this make sense?


    Author Comment

    yes, thanks! i am sure it took me a while to get familiar the whole selenium ... definitely read more docs and play around more.

    Author Comment

    btw, i am facing this problem when i run it in Selenium RC ... not sure you have quick solution, but let me give a shot.


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