I'm trying to automate some tests to change & commit some settings in the GUI of a piece of computer equipment (a CradlePoint CBA 750B cellular broadband adapter). II have been playing around with Selenium IDE and have done some capture-and-playback, but the issue is that the unit's GUI content seems to be really dynamic, and elements change name/ID every time the GUI is accessed or a different page in the GUI is visited.

I'm pretty new to the whole mechanics of web-based apps, and was thinking that learning more about them would help me. I've worked through the HTML and CSS tutorials on W3 Schools, but I still don't know what I need to learn about next to try to get this automated testing to work.

Anyone have suggestions? What might be the underlying technology for this crazy dynamic content?

1 Answer 1


There are lots of server-side technologies that might produce the kind of content you described. Unless you plan to change the server-side code to produce more easily addressable content, knowing the server-side technology is not going to help you test with Selenium IDE.

It might be a better use of your time to learn how to test pages that don't have predictable names or IDs. Selenium IDE offers a couple of approaches: CSS selectors and XPath selectors. A simple Google search will yield a wealth of tutorials and reference material, e.g. https://saucelabs.com/resources/selenium/css-selectors and http://www.toolsqa.com/selenium-webdriver/choosing-effective-xpath/.

If those approaches don't get you anywhere, or if the page structure seems to change from day to day, you might want to consider testing by hand, or testing the easy pages with automation and the hard pages by hand.

  • Thank you user246 - I will look at those resources. An alternative approach that I am also looking into is going the text-based route...the units in question provide a CLI and I can try to automate the use of this using Python and Pexpect. Jan 23, 2015 at 14:28
  • That sounds like a good idea.
    – user246
    Jan 23, 2015 at 14:38

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