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