When to use Selenium IDE, RC and WebDriver

Categories: Technology |

In the first blog of this series, I provided an overview of the key components of Selenium. In this blog, I will analyze Selenium IDE, RC, and WebDriver and help explain when you should use each of them, as well as providing a simple side-by-side comparison.

Selenium IDE

Selenium IDE was created with one purpose: to increase the speed of test case creation. It has user action record and playback options which helps you create simple tests quickly. The interface is user-friendly and also supports multiple extensions.
Cons: It’s supported only by the Firefox browser and basically used as a rapid prototyping tool. For serious, robust test automation and to run your scripts in different browsers, Selenium 1 or Selenium 2 are recommended.

Selenium 1 / RC

Selenium RC or Remote Control allows you to run HTML test suites in a range of different browsers like IE, Mozilla, Chrome, Opera and  Safari with the use of a server. It also supports multiple languages like Java, Ruby, C#, Perl, Python etc. It is platform independent, so the same code will work on Windows OS, Linux, Mac and Solaris. Selenium RC server only supports the Selenium 1 API’s.
Cons: Selenium RC requires you to manually start/stop the server to execute the test scripts.

Selenium 2 / WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver allows the controlling of the browser from the OS level. It’s not required to manually start/stop the server anymore. It’s still able to run Selenium RC’s interface for backward compatibility. It supports the WebDriver API and underlying technology, along with Selenium 1 technology for maximum flexibility in porting your tests. Selenium 2 includes more cohesive and object oriented API making it a much more robust automation tool.

When to use Selenium IDE, RC and WebDriver


Comparison between Selenium IDE, RC and WebDriver:


Recommended pages

Selenium WebDriver

Selenium IDE