Automating Mundane Tasks

20 January, 2010 § 2 Comments

A couple days ago I wanted to move all of my work email out of the inbox and into an archive folder, similar to how I use Gmail but I ran in to a problem. I had over 3,000 emails in my inbox and Outlook Web Access only allowed me to move up to 100 emails at a time.

The process to move emails is as follows:

  1. Click the check box in the table header that checks all of the emails.
  2. Click the ‘Move’ button
  3. Choose the folder to move it to
  4. Click the ‘Move’ button to commit the move

Who wants to sit around clicking the same buttons for 20 minutes just to move messages. It sure would be nice if Outlook Web Access had the same feature as Gmail:

So instead of doing the same old, mundane, click-wait, click-wait task, I downloaded and installed Firefox and the Selenium IDE plugin.

Selenium IDE is a free plugin that allows you to record your use of a web page and play it back. I’ve been using it now for some time in creating automated tests of a website I’m working on.

I played the test back and it worked beautifully. I then copied the test steps and pasted them countless times within the same test. Next I hit ‘play’ and was able to watch a recorded lecture while all of my mails were moved over to the archive folder.

Problem solved. All emails were moved in a couple minutes time.

I will be on the lookout for more ways that Selenium IDE can save me time.

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§ 2 Responses to Automating Mundane Tasks

  • A.J. says:

    Hey this is pretty cool! I gave it a quick download and try!

    Years ago I was trying to get some information off of a website and used another tool. I don’t recall the name of the other tool unfortunately. Anyhoo, in evaluation mode it limited the number of steps to 100; and I was able to enter the steps in a .bat file. Nonetheless I got the data that I wanted.

    This tool seems cooler! Most mundane steps are in a web browser (at least for me).

  • msujaws says:

    You can also take a look at Project SIKULI which is a write Python scripts against UI elements.

    This takes more work to create than a Selenium test, but allows you to test a lot more than just inside of the web browser.

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