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    Home » Testing Articles » Automated Testing Articles » Choosing the right UI test automation tool

    Choosing the right UI test automation tool

    A D V E R T I S E M E N T

    Ability to run more than one test. What does this really mean? The tool you are about to select should have some in-built facility to let you run a bunch of test cases together (one-after-another to be specific). If there is no such inbuilt facility in the tool (which is rare), there should be some freedom to let you code your automation in such fashion that you achieve this goal.

    02.Ability run subset of test cases. The tool should provide a facility by which you can classify different type of tests, may be based on type, feature or whatever you like. Again, once you have done the classification creating small bunches of tests, it is obvious that you want to run them together satisfying the first requirement.

    03.Unattended execution. Sometimes I feel this is asking for too much from an UI driven automation tool. But it depends how you want to read it. I read it as some way to schedule my test runs with minimal configuration, plus once kicked-off, it should be self contained to proceed on different situations it might encounter during that run. Now, the later part is actually highly dependent on "how" your automated testing is designed and how well the coder has implemented it. Yeah, it will need some of your intelligence to be smart! Just record-playback is not going to give you a robust system.

    04.Ability to capture execution results. A good automation tool should always be able to tell you what just happened. As we are expecting it to be unattended, we want the tool to tell us what happened at the end of each test case (at least) if not log results of each step of execution. So, when the pass is over, the tester can look at the logs to figure out which tests passed and which failed and then take appropirate action. Most of off the shelf tools come with good logging facilities, but again, you will have to be smart to design and code your tests to extend the tool's logging capabilities.

    05.Ability to compare "expected" vs "actual" results. So we want logging capabilities in the tool and we also want the tool to be able to compare results to a baseline so that we can make a decision on calling a particular step or even a test case to be passing or failing. This is probably the most important "ask" that you should have when looking out for a tool. You also have to ask deeper question of what all it can compare - text?, numbers?, images? etc. You will find these specific questions looking at the software under test. It is needless to say even if the tool can compare two values, it will be your responsibility to code it right to make it able to take the right decision!

    • Record and Play back
    • Scripting language
    • Database support
    • Test result report generation
    • Support for various Browsers and Technologies
    Common Features provided by Automation Tools
    This is more detailed feature based comparison
    CriteriaRational RobotSegue SilkTestCompuware QARunMercury QTP
    Defining a test Test Manager Script Script based Script
    Recording a test 1.GUI recorder
    2.Test Manager
    Record menu Record option Record Menu: 3 modes of recording -
    Normal mode,
    Analog mode and Low level made
    Playback a recorded test Yes, Choose script and run Yes, Choose script and run Yes Yes
    Ease in record/playback Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Script language SQA Basic 4T C Based VBA
    Learning Script language Easy Easy(like C++) Similar to Visial Basic Similar to VB script
    Dependencies None None None If specific addins are required
    such as .Net, java then it needs
    to be purchased separately
    Supported Database Environment(s) Access/SQL Server/Oracle ODBC support, Access/Oracle/SQL/Excel etc Oracle/SQL ODBC support
    Supported OS Windows xp, 2000,NT,
    Citrix Terminal server, linux ,
    limited support for windows 98, ME
    Only windows Only Windows Windows
    Object Library Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Function Library Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Control / Verification points Can be inserted Possible Yes Possible
    Ease in use / learn Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Web Testing Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Image Testing Very little, with limitations Very little, with limitations Yes Yes
    Link Testing Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Performance Testing Yes No Yes No
    Load Testing Yes No No No
    Test result report Log in Test manager .res(Result) file is created. Log file created at the end Result file gets generated
    Java Support,Beans Partly Yes Yes Yes (Special addins are required)
    UI is must or not Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Server Side testing No, Same script can be used in rational performer No No No
    Activex support Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Client/server Application testing Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Image comparison Yes Yes Yes Yes (Easy to use)

    This is more of a supported enviornments by these tools.
    CriteriaRational RobotSegue SilkTestCompuware QARunMercury QTPRedStone Eggplant
    Operating systems Windows 2000
    Windows 2003
    Windows 98
    Windows Me
    Windows NT
    Windows XP
    95 (A, B w/IE 3.0 or higher)
    98 (2nd, Millenium Editions)
    NT 4 (Service Pack 6A)
    2000 (version 5.0, Service Pack 2)
    XP (Professional, Home Edition, version 5.1, Service Pack 1)
    Windows Server 2003 including SP 1 (testing only IE 6.0 Gold and 6.0 SP 1 and using DOM extension, as well as .NET)
    Sun Solaris 9 & 10
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS 2.1 & 3.0
    Windows - No details available Windows 2000-SP3/SP4
    Windows XP-SP1/SP2
    Windows 2003 Server.
    Windows, Mac OS X, Mac OS 9, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris and Linux
    Web browsers Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.x, 5.x and 6.0 Netscape Internet Explorer: 4.0, 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0 Netscape Navigator: 4.5, 4.61, 4.7x, 6.0, 7.01, 7.02 & 7.1 AOL 7, 8, 8 Plus, 9 and 9 Security Edition Internet Explorer Netscape Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2-6.0 (required)
    Netscape 6.1,
    Netscape 6.22,
    Netscape 6.23, Netscape 7.02, and Netscape 7.1 (optional)
    AOL 8.0 and 9.0 (optional)
    Any web browser
    Java support Java applications on Sun JDK and JRE 1.1.4 - 1.4; and Microsoft JVM 3.1
    Java applets that run in IE 4.x and 5.x with MS JVM or Sun plug-in; Microsoft Appletviewer, Sun Appletviewer from JDK 1.1.4+, Oracle Forms JInitiator 9i and 11i
    JVM 1.1.8, 1.2.2, 1.3.x, 1.4.1_01, 1.4.1_02, 1.4.2_01 & 1.5 AWT
    Java Foundation Classes (JFC, Swing)
    Symantec Visual Caf� Playback on Linux, Solaris and HP-UX via SilkBean Applets
    Native Microsoft JVM Sun Plug-In Jinitiator
    JVMs: IBM, Sun, Microsoft Java Class Libraries: AWT, Swing, Borland JBuilder, Infragistic Jsuite, IBM Visual Caf�, Visual Age Sun JDK 1.1 � 1.4.2
    IBM JDK 1.2 � 1.4
    Here is some feature-wise comparison between the famous off the shelf test automation tools.

    Operating System Web Browser JDK/JRE Image processing Extensibility

    Windows Linux Mac IE Mozilla Firefox Netscape Opera Sun Microsoft JRE IBM JRE Bitmap comprison OCR Custom Dlls
    Mercury QTP Yes No No Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
    Rational Robot Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Segue SilkTest Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
    Compuware QARun Yes No No Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
    RedStone EggPlant Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No

    More Automated Testing Articles
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