From the Selenium IDE to Katalon Studio

At the start of 2017, we began to toy with the idea of implementing automated test to handle repetitive tasks. Could we get code to make dozens of contacts for a web site? Could we implement code to fill in forms or walk through the pages of a form? Could we verify the pages are loading?

Since we were new to the game, we took the safe route and started with the Selenium IDE.   We could get started by recording actions then get fancy by editing the code and even writing our own solutions. It was also a good way to get familiar with selecting objects and deciding what sorts of actions we really wanted to automate.

It actually worked quite well and when combined with the SelBlocks plugin, we had quite a bit of power to get things done.

It wasn’t really automation, but steps were repeatable, so it was easy to fill in forms, create users, and verify calculations for a sampling of people. Sure, it was Selenium with training wheels, but it was a good first step.

We had a solid run of about 6 months until the demise of the Selenium IDE. Then it was time to look for another tool to take over. The obvious choice would be to switch to Selenium, but that’s not as easy as it sounds.

Selenium needs to be installed, configured and kept up to date. The usual driver language is Java, which also needs to be installed, configured and kept up to date. While that isn’t a big deal, it’s a bit confusing for those of us who aren’t pure developers. And what about a tool to capture data objects from the page. Finally, what to do about an easy to use code editor?

There are plenty of high dollar, high end solutions out there, but what justifies this $4500 a year per person licensing model? People obviously need to make money, but this feels a little ridiculous.

We wanted something that would help ease us into Selenium and that’s when I caught wind of Katalon Studio. It presented itself as a viable solution to those who had been using the IDE. It looked like a far more powerful IDE, but it was a bit hard to understand what exactly was on offer. Is this Selenium or a proprietary tool? Would this only work for a couple of tests then we’d be hit with a massive bill? Where is the documentation?

I was just starting to get my feet wet when Katalon in conjunction with SideeX, created a quasi-replacement for the IDE itself. This meant they had at least partnered with Selenium to help bridge that gap. Clearly this was worth more investigation and after digging a little bit, Katalon is a pretty powerful automation package.

And with that, so begins my journey of switching from the Selenium IDE to Katalon Studio.

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