Image and screenshot comparison tools for UI testing

There is a simple case for why end-to-end UI testing is impossible without automated image comparison. If you’re not using a screenshot comparison tool, your product is at risk of shipping with visual bugs which rarely go unnoticed by users. Obviously, no sane QA engineer is willing to accept this risk. So do you automate image comparison when testing UIs? And if yes, what automation tool do you use? Is it simple module for WebDriver — or other code-based solution — or a dedicated visual CSS regression testing tool? Let’s look at the popular tools and platforms that QAs use to compare screenshots when testing web UIs. In this post, we’ll find out if these tools’ functionality meets the real-life requirements of UI testing. WebdriverCSS WebdriverCSS is a part of the WebdriverIO, which makes for a lot of neat functionality. It allows you to write scripts in JavaScript while supporting Selenium, and it’s compatible with major TDD and BDD frameworks. One more reason to like this tool is the WebdriverCSS Adminpanel — a clean, nothing-extra-style dashboard with a slider for manual image comparison. Sure, setting up the admin panel adds overhead, but the overall experience of using the dashboard seems... More

Using Jenkins CI for UI testing. Will Selenium do?

If you’ve ever used Jenkins CI for UI testing automation, you probably know it’s a terrific scheduler. Sure, Jenkins isn’t the only tool of its kind, but continuous integration with Jenkins has several advantages over other CI platforms. Namely: Jenkins is open-source, award-winning, and supported by an independent board of programming veterans from Yahoo!, Microsoft and RedHat. Being a mainstream CI tool, Jenkins has great documentation and a vibrant, booming community. Even though Jenkins CI is not as easy to configure as TeamCity, it's still pleasantly manageable. Jenkins has hundreds of plugins available. Moreover, developers often give Jenkins higher priority over its Oracle-controlled counterpart Hudson when rolling out updates and new plugins. Okay, Jenkins is uber-awesome… unless you use it to schedule Selenium UI tests Jenkins does everything you’d expect from a robust CI solution. It’s great when used with most types of automated testing tools, too — as long as we’re talking unit and API tests. Things tend to get trickier, however, once you try using Jenkins with an old-school UI testing automation tool like Selenium. Okay, that last statement might irk some Selenium fans, so let me explain myself while they’re getting their pitchforks and torches ready:). Or... More

Regression testing tools compared: Screenster vs Sauce Labs

In the brave new world of 2017, UI regression testing tools shouldn’t take days to set up. Elimination of setup and configurations pains makes one solid case for taking your QA infrastructure to the cloud. Another obvious case for running tests on the cloud is streamlined collaboration — after all, software testing is a team effort. A matter of question, however, is what type of a cloud-based platform is best-suited for your project. In this post, we will consider two regression testing tools that demonstrate radically different approaches to UI testing automation. The first one is Sauce Labs, arguably the most popular automated testing cloud for running Selenium or Appium tests. The other one is Screenster, our very own cloud-based platform that enables codeless UI testing. Sauce Labs Sauce Labs builds on the flexibility of Selenium and Appium tests, and it provides a readymade cloud infrastructure for running them. The solution offered by Sauce Labs mainly functions as a code-based regression testing tool. The platform enables QAs to run Selenium and Appium tests on remote virtual machines that mimic the environment of different OS and browser versions. All in all, there are 700+ OS and browser combinations available for the... More

Regression testing techniques and best practices

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that our team is pretty serious about regression testing, as well as regression testing techniques and best practices. Visual regressions have been the arch-enemies of our product AjaxSwing, and we’ve even created our own automated regression testing tool to overcome them. Today, we’d like to talk about regression testing, it’s key concepts and main challenges, and tools that help you overcome these challenges. Let’s start with addressing some of the basics. What is regression testing? Regression testing is a QA process that tells you if a previously written and tested program continues to work correctly after you’ve introduced some changes. In other words, it helps you notice if you’ve unknowingly broken something in your code by an update or a fix of some sort. New bugs introduced with these updates and fixes are called regressions, hence the name of this type of software testing. How to do regression testing? Okay, so how exactly do you test for regressions? In a nutshell, you do it by continuously re-executing the same tests to ensure that system continues to function as expected. Once a test that passed during previous runs fires a failure, you know... More

Most important facts about regression testing tools in 2017

Why visual regression testing is so important The World Wide Web is swarming with sites and web apps of all sorts. Each year, the competition keeps growing hotter in every segment. For instance, this year there were almost 2.5 million of applications in Google Play alone. Nearly each day, a fresh new project gets released somewhere. Pick a specific niche, do a quick research, and you will find several rivaling companies competing in it. UI or CSS testing of a web project is, therefore, a crucial part regardless of what your app is designed to do. Functionality and performance have long been the key factors that keep that influence user retention. In the brave new world of today, UI and UX are just as important. Let’s face it, adding a new killer feature to your product will do little good if your lead-generating landing page is broken. The best cure against this trouble is visual regression testing performed constantly, as often as you can afford. In 2017, regression testing automation isn’t an extra activity any more Things are getting automated in our daily life, step by step. First of all we pass to robots or programs most burdensome and least... More

Let’s talk about Selenium competitors for UI regression testing

With so many UI testing tools posing themselves as direct competitors to Selenium, which one do you choose? And why opt for a Selenium competitor in the first place? Don’t get me wrong, Selenium is awesome. Well, sort of... Even today, 13 years since its launch, Selenium remains the number-one choice for testing in the browser. It supports the widest range of programming languages, it works with every major browser, and it runs on every major OS. No other testing automation tool can rival the flexibility and the functional scope of Selenium. Besides, none of the competitors is as popular as Selenium. The above doesn’t mean, however, that Selenium is the best solution for every use case that its functionality covers. Namely, you wouldn’t want Selenium for end-to-end regression testing of complex UIs — or, at least, that’s the conclusion we’ve arrived at when testing own product, AjaxSwing. In fact, our scepticism about Selenium grew to a point where we abandoned the tried-and-true framework and started looking at Selenium competitors in search of an alternative. Eventually, this led us to building our own tool for visual regression testing, but that’s a different story. When working with Selenium, we’ve faced three... More

How to run tests from Selenium IDE in Chrome

Ever wondered if you could use Selenium IDE for Chrome? You've probably heard that the IDE only runs in Firefox, which means Google’s much-famed browser is out of reach. Actually, there’s a neat little feature that lets you run Selenium IDE in Chrome. The feature is called WebDriver Playback. Here's how you can use it: Launch Selenium IDE. Go to ‘Options’ and select “Options...” in the drop-down menu. In the Options menu, select the ‘WebDriver’ tab. Check the ‘Enable WebDriver playback’ checkbox. Find the ‘Browser choices’ input field right below the checkbox. Below the input field, you will see browser options including ‘android, chrome, firefox, htmlunit, internet explorer, iPhone, iPad’. Substitute ‘firefox’ with ‘chrome’. Note that both variants are lowercase. Download Selenium standalone JAR file and ChromeDriver. Add both files to the same folder on your local computer. Use Terminal to navigate to the folder with the downloaded files. Start Selenium server and ChromeDriver server via Terminal: java -jar selenium-server-standalone-2.43.1.jar Open Selenium IDE and run the test script. Note that the script will run in Chrome. So if you wanted to find out how to run Selenium tests in Chrome, follow the 10 steps mentioned above and enjoy the... More

Regression testing on the cloud

My colleague once told me that regression testing is the single best reason why QA automation exists. According to the same person, doing regression testing the right way is a major challenge for most web development projects. So what is so challenging about it? And more importantly, why taking regression testing to the cloud is a good idea? Why do web teams have problems automating regression testing? Two words, “UI testing”. It’s common knowledge that the ROI of automated UI regression testing is low. I’m sure you’re familiar with the culprits of this problem: Even with skilled professionals onboard, most teams struggle with the maintenance of coded UI regression tests. QA automation frameworks often lack efficient collaboration tools. In fact, few solutions will even feature shared integrated portals displaying test statuses. Existing testing environments require manual setup and maintenance. Specifically, frameworks often make you code the fundamentals of the framework itself before you can actually start writing your tests. Take another look at this list, and you’ll see that most of the problems stem from the inherent shortcomings of the tools, not the process. So maybe it’s time we moved on to something different? Taking regression testing to the cloud:... More

Selenium IDE alternatives for UI regression testing

Most of the QAs I know consider Selenium the number-one choice for UI test automation. I guess this is why Selenium IDE is the first thing that comes to mind when they start looking for a record-playback tool to automate UI regression testing. After all, if Selenium is so great for writing UI tests, it’s bound to have an equally great IDE, right? Well, not quite… If you have any experience with Selenium IDE, you’ll agree that it’s far from perfect. In fact, many testers will argue that Selenium IDE is doing you more harm than good. Reasons? Pick one! Selenium IDE doesn't always record what you expect, and it still requires programming skills (at the very least, the knowledge of HTML and CSS). In a nutshell, the tests produced by Selenium IDE are poorly implemented WebDriver code which ends up being brittle and hard to maintain. Selenium IDE makes you handle timeouts manually which is a major inconvenience. Selenium IDE is no good for projects involving UI elements that change their IDs, location, and/or content dynamically. This means you can’t regression-test the UI of a web app with Selenium IDE. Selenium IDE only works with Firefox and may not work... More

Optimising our automated testing tool with Invoke Script

I’m sure most people reading this blog have at least some experience with automation testing tools for web UIs. And I guess most of us can agree that no matter what testing solution we use, we all follow similar algorithms when doing automated regression testing. These algorithms are, in fact, pretty simple. In most cases, they will include roughly the same series of repeated steps for different test cases. Here’s an example: Open a starting URL (in 99% of cases, this will be the homepage) Log in Navigate to a different page (e.g. a shopping cart page, or blog post) Do something on that page(e.g. click on a button or scroll) Click to check out. Looks familiar, doesn’t it? Now, the exact steps might differ, but you’ll still find yourself repeating the same routine across different test suites. So doesn’t this seem boring and time-consuming? Having dealt with all this boring stuff, nearly any person would either search for some shortcuts or drop UI testing altogether. Sadly, many choose the latter — and this is the reason why relatively few companies do regression testing automation. But there’s actually a way to optimize this process, provided that you have the right... More
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