Blog Post

Automate Routine Firefox Tasks With DejaClick

logo dejaclickIt should be obvious by now that here at Web Worker Daily we are big fans of the Firefox web browser. We’ve covered the recent launch of Version 3 in detail and have published a good number of round-ups highlighting useful add-ons.

Everyone has their own reasons for choosing Firefox but for me it’s mostly a matter of efficiency. I feel that the add-ons that are available let me work smarter and get more done in less time. That’s why I was particularly intrigued when I heard about the DejaClick extension which promotes itself as a web recorder and Super Bookmark utility.

In a nutshell, DejaClick allows you to record any series of steps or actions you take in your Firefox browser and then play them back with a single click. Setting up simple scripts is remarkably easy. In fact, if you have ever used any sort of macro recorder such as in Word you will feel right at home with the interface.

img deja bar

Click the begin button, perform your actions, click the stop button. Save and replay. I was creating simple login and search scripts in just a few minutes and without any difficulty. I particularly enjoyed watching the replays run through the steps I had just recorded. This is so cool, I thought – the possibilities are endless.

Then I just kind of got stuck. What was I going to use this for? After a couple of weeks, I still haven’t come up with much.

In reality, as much “fun” as this sort of thing can be, DejaClick is really a pretty feature rich site monitoring and testing tool. You can create scripts that simulate users on your web site and use them during your development to test new user registrations, form completions, complex searches and such with just a click. Used in conjunction with the AlertSite Service, scripts can be uploaded and used to simulate activity to provide performance and availability metrics on your production sites.

While DejaClick hasn’t been the productivity booster for me I was hoping it would be, I think that is partially a fault of my own lack of imagination as to how it can be best implemented. However, the identity crisis of whether it is a development tool or an end user product carries over to the web site where seemingly very few resources are provided for non-developers. I like the product and see great potential but would really like to see a more interactive user group focusing on real word end-user solutions and implementations to help prime the pump and provide inspiration.

DejaClick is a free download for Firefox 2.0 – 3.0.* Acceptance of a license agreement is required.

Do you use a web recording utility like DejaClick or iMacros? How is it a benefit to you and your productivity?

6 Responses to “Automate Routine Firefox Tasks With DejaClick”

  1. Tim Tim

    I am a long time iMacros user and find this tool superior. We run iMacros via task scheduler to generate and download a variety of reports at night. Before, our staff used to do that manually every morning.

    What I like about iMacros:

    1. ***Built-in Javascript scripting engine*** – this is an extremely powerful feature, see
    2. Command line support – this is how we start the iMacros scripts automatically
    3. Web scraping support (extract website data)
    4. Password encryption, important if you use iMacros as a free Roboform replacement
    5. Ability to save web pages and download files

    Another major difference is that iMacros also comes as Internet Explorer add-on, but we use the Firefox add-on only.


  2. Hi Scott,

    My name is Ken Godskind and I am the web performance evangelist here at AlertSite

    is an incredibly advanced website monitoring tool that is
    completely built-in to Firefox’s Web browser. While it is technologically
    advanced, it is also fast and easy to use and completely WYSIWYG.

    When used in combination with AlertSite’s monitoring service, DéjàClick
    can automatically monitor the performance and availability of web apps.
    For example, it can continuously measure that visitors to a Web store
    can search for products, view the product catalog, and add to cart, login and checkout from locations around the country or globe. It will also
    capture a screenshot of the page when there is an error.

    I saw you mentioned you got stuck figuring out what to use Déjà for
    and thought I might offer a handful of interesting suggestions.

    1. Support and QA activities (desktop performance metrics)
    – Many customers have shared that their support and QA teams are using saved Superbookmarks for each of the applications they are supporting and frequently execute those scenarios on demand from the desktop. Basic performance metrics from playback are provided in the Déjà sidebar.

    2. DéjàNotes
    – DéjàNotes is an effective way to communicate critical information to other DéjàClick users The DéjàNotes feature supports annotation of the recorded scenarios for sharing information across teams, adding training info to web-based applications, or marking up things that need to be corrected for web pages in development.

    3. Transaction Sharing
    – Several have shared that they are saving the scenarios to shared directories, a sharepoint repository or even attaching to an e-mail so recorded
    scenarios can easily be shared with others. Leveraging the DéjàNotes really makes transaction sharing interesting.

    4. Automation of daily tasks
    – DéjàClick is also really useful to automate daily tasks. For example, you might create a Superbookmark to navigate
    to Blockbuster or Netflix, Login to your account, and open the new releases page.

    There are some really interesting new features coming soon for the support and QA crowd so stay tuned!

    Ken Godskind
    VP of Web Performance Evangelism