Saturday, 3 March 2012

Debugging Tests in Selenium IDE

Below are the methods or ways of Debugging your selenium IDE scripts..

Selenium IDE reports failures in the log console, and failed test cases within the suite are shown in red.
The failing test cases and commands are highlighted in red, so it’s easy to see what failed, but quite often it can be difficult to understand why it failed. This information is all in the log, but if you’ve run more than just a couple of tests then it will be difficult to match up the failing commands to the errors in the log.

There are a few ways to debug these failures and work out if your application under test has bugs, or perhaps your tests require some changes

Execute Individual Command:

When you double-click a command in Selenium IDE it will be executed – this is very handy when first writing your tests. You could use this to step through each command in each test case until you find a failure, and investigate from there.

Custom Log Messages:

There’s a command in Selenium IDE named echo and this will basically repeat whatever you type into the log when the test is executed. You could use this to output a message associated with an expected failure, and then find this in the log. You do still have to scroll through the log to look for your messages though.

Slow Down:
You can use the speed slider to slow down how fast your test commands are executed. This can be helpful as you can watch the application under test while your tests are running and see any obvious issues that your tests are failing on. You can also use this in combination with executing commands manually by pausing your tests.

Pause, Break and Step:

You can pause your test at any time, either by clicking the Pause icon in the toolbar or by setting breakpoints. Set a breakpoint by right-clicking on a command you want Selenium IDE to pause before executing, and selecting ‘Toggle Breakpoint’ from the context-menu. You will see a small pause icon appear to the left of your command.
When Selenium IDE is paused, the Step icon becomes available. You can use this to execute one command at a time, which can be very useful when approaching a failure or working through a number of verification failures. If you have set multiple breakpoints then you can click the Resume icon to continue executing your tests and stop at the next breakpoint.

Set Start Point:

If you have a really long test and it’s failing towards the end, then you can set a custom start point so that you don’t have to run the entire test when you’re investigating the failure. For example, your test might register a new user, log in, and then fail on the welcome page. You could simply navigate to the welcome page yourself and set your test to start from there. To set a start point simply right click on the first command you want Selenium IDE to execute and click ‘Set / Clear Start Point’. You will see a small play icon appear to the left of your command.

There are many ways that Selenium IDE can assist you in investigating failures and debugging your tests.


  1. For Novice, It would be helpful to demonstrate with an example though.