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Are TDD and automated GUI testing compatible?

Image credit: SoapUI Test-driven development is awesome, unless you’re dealing with automated GUI testing. Sure, test-driven UI development is technically possible, but TDD isn’t exactly ideal for situations requiring full functional tests, and full functional tests are indispensable to GUI testing. For this reason, using TDD for UI borders on overengineering. Choose this path, and you’ll end up working with mock objects or project object models (POM), adding new layers of complexity to your project. And in many cases, you won’t be able to tell if doing this will pay off. Besides, the way automated GUI testing is done for real-life websites and web apps poses another problem. In real life, user interfaces — and web UIs in particular — undergo a lot of tweaking. No matter how well-specked your UI is, once you do a UI prototype and play around with it, changes are always coming. So how do people automate UI testing in a TDD project? The short answer is they don’t. What they do instead is clearly separate concerns between the interface and the underlying logic with MVC, MVP, MVVM, or similar architectural patterns. Basically, the main idea here is to keep the UI logic minimal so... More

UI automation testing with Smart Locators

When it comes to UI test automation for web projects, element locators can become one hell of an issue. But is there anything you can do about it? The thing is, poorly-written locators are just a part of the problem. Writing good locators is, in fact, not that difficult. After all, good locators are merely a matter of either accessing IDs or building robust CSS or XPath selectors. And you can always get your developers to throw in a couple of extra IDs, right? Actually, there’s a whole bunch of other factors to consider. Once these factors come into play, UI test automation turns into a challenge for any QA specialist, no matter how experienced. Let’s look at a couple of scenarios to see what factors can affect the work of your QA team. Scenario 1. Throwing in extra IDs Let’s start with something we all can agree on. An ID-based locator is the best option for 100% of UI test automation cases. But in real life, developers will not put IDs on every element upfront, and any data-driven content (e.g. a table) will have repeated elements that cannot have unique IDs anyway. In cases like this, path-dependant locators will... More

CI for CSS regression testing with Screenster

Now that the CI integration plugin has been successfully rolled out, it is time to recall how it all began... Ready for a tale about defeating a horde of CSS regression testing challenges with the help of a Jenkins server and a visual QA automation tool? Why did we need CSS regression tests on our CI Our team has realized the necessity of automating the visual regression testing process last winter, when our other product AjaxSwing gained a significant number of new users, who were actively requesting improvements. A new version was released each week, sometimes even more often. AjaxSwing generates web UI for desktop applications so you can imagine how much visual UI verification we had to accomplish each time a build was ready. It just seemed never-ending. We had unit tests in our continuous integration environment running against every new build, but they didn’t help with verifying the visual aspects of the UI such as CSS, formatting and layouts. That’s when our QA team decided it is time to try our new automation testing tool Screenster in real action, despite it being in its early Beta at the time. We upgraded our CI environment to the following state:... More

Integration with CI tools — a new plugin for Screenster

Good news! Now you can easily run Screenster visual tests in your continuous integration environment. Just visit the Downloads page on our Portal, get the CI plugin and follow our guidelines to install it and synchronize with your favorite CI tool. We have been receiving dozens of questions from our customers and guests lately about a way to closely integrate Screenster with CI platform to run CSS and web UI regression tests. This necessity is absolutely clear: it is often critically important to run quick visual tests against your web application with the help of an automation testing tool after each new fix or feature deployment. Our users have a variety of CI tools such as Jenkins, Bamboo, TeamCity, Travis and others so we designed a universal solution that works with all of them. It took a lot of efforts and hot discussions, but finally the plugin is here for you! Enjoy running visual tests on your CI server and feel free to leave a comment here about your experience!   [raw] Want to try Screenster on the cloud? Try Online [/raw]    

Automation testing of Gmail UI

Are you overloaded with web UI regression testing and finding that manual visual testing is a pain? You definitely need some automation testing tool and guess what: we have just the thing for you! Skeptical about tools abilities to handle complex sites that use not just plain HTML, Web 1.0-styled pages? You should be, because most of them suck at it :-)  Let me demonstrate you how I built UI regression testing automation process for Gmail inbox (let us imagine we are developing new Google Mail UI) in 15 minutes. My objective was to get unwanted changes highlighted as bugs while leaving out any types of expected behavior. When a new email is received, the correct behavior for an email UI is: New mail gets added to the inbox Sender’s ID or signature are displayed next to the email Date and time is displayed for sent and received mail Alert icons (like the “!” sign) displayed on tabs where new items appear Such UI changes are expected and an automation testing tool should identify them correctly. But since a human-like AI still remains far from being officially released anywhere, we could be content with a tool that ensures that expected changes... More

Here’s how you can edit automated UI tests with Extend

Last week I had to record a bunch of tests for a site that required a user to be logged in. Which is why I would like to talk about one Screenster’s feature which was most helpful for me during all that time. So, let me introduce the Feature of the Week in our blog: the ‘Extend’ command! Each tester has to employ a few different test environments from time to time. CSS regression testing process often includes checking several product versions at once. Naturally, one does not want to re-write tests anew in order to run them on another server and/or with different user credentials. Why do that if they just require a couple of actions to be changed: the starting URL and the login + password combination? In such a case you can edit the test steps but there is a faster way with Screenster - click on the ‘+’ button at the right side of this test on the Project View page, and the ‘Extend Test’ popup menu opens. How does it make UI regression testing simpler? With this command we are actually adding a new step which launches a base scenario with new parameters. Now it... More

UI regression testing challenges solved

Quality control is an important part of product development process. Some good amount of time and resources should be invested into it. New UI functionality must be covered by tests as soon as it is ready. And it is not enough to verify it once: each time an important changes are introduced, the UI regression testing phase must follow. Manual UI regression testing tends to take more and more of the project time. A common solution for a big project is to automate this process. However, the UI regression testing automation, with all the benefits it brings, comes at a price. Firstly, you need to invest into the automation in order to reap benefits later. And it could take a long time at the initial stage. The fact is, you need to spend resources to set up a framework such as Selenium, to build the tests (which should also be tested themselves) and to run them properly and return useful data. These resources could be spent to speed up manual visual regression testing instead. Secondly, the completed automated visual regression tests should be supported afterwards. Their coverage may become insufficient as the product grows and evolves. Sometimes tests should be amended... More

QA automation for Ajax UI tools: testing AjaxSwing with Screenster

AjaxSwing automatically converts Java desktop applications to web applications. It was the first product built by our company and is still the only platform capable of automatically running Java Swing apps on mobile devices running iOS and Android. For the first 10 years (10 YEARS PEOPLE!) we were struggling with changes to AjaxSwing because we could never truly understand the effects of each code change. We wanted to automate the UI regression testing with Selenium and tried a few other alternatives, but since none were testing the page visually these tools failed to detect broken CSS and HTML formatting. Touching anything in Java or CSS code was like walking on a minefield with delayed explosions but real pain. Screenster, a visual regression testing tool gets into action! We have now been running pain-free with Screenster as part of our CI. We use it for visual testing, CSS testing and most of the functional testing. Given that Screenster ensures pixel-perfect regression testing, our developers are now fearless. We've built over 50 tests that go over common scenarios, and with TDD we keep adding new tests every week. Every time our CI catches visual differences of a few pixels, cropped borders or... More

Visual CSS regression testing tool

The case for CSS regression testing is very simple. When you change a class attribute, how do you know which elements and pages have you actually affected? CSS changes might very well be the hardest thing to test because unlike JavaScript and backend development, there are no compilers and unit tests that act as a safety net. The only way to find what’s broken is to eyeball each page, which we all can agree is error prone and far-from-fun task. In 2016 do humans *really* still have to slave in front of a monitor for hours doing monkey testing?? I’m here to tell that there IS a better way that is pain-free! Companies like Google, HomeAway and Kaspersky have already signed up so let's see what the buzz is all about. Automating CSS testing with Screenster Screenster was born out of pain. Our company's flagship product AjaxSwing generates web UI for desktop apps. Making CSS and rendering changes was like a sumo wrestler walking on egg shells - you pretty much know you've broken something, but you don't get to know until you shipped the product, customers upgraded and someone reported an error. Visual changes were some of the hardest... More

Screenster Roadmap: more regression testing features, better UX

Screenster team has big plans for the future and many fresh ideas of improving the process of visual regression testing. This roadmap includes what we are working on and what we want to accomplish. Release 1.1 Target date: Summer 2016 Suites that allow to organize tests into a group Copy/Paste for suite, test and test step Concurrent test execution URL override for running tests against a different environment UX updates for easier navigation Command sets that group test steps automatically for faster execution   Release 1.2 Target date: Fall 2016 Environments with parameters and baselines Smart approve to baseline across multiple tests and steps   Release 1.3 Target date: Winter 2017 Execution on the cloud Internet Explorer support Versioning of tests Branching/Merging of tests Verification modes: text only, nothing [raw] Want to try Screenster on the cloud? Try Online [/raw]
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