End of support for Selenium IDE in Firefox 55+. What can you do about it?

By ceasing to support Selenium IDE, Firefox has drawn the attention of the testing community to a long-standing problem. We’ve all known for years that old-school record-playback tools underdeliver in the way of usefulness. Thanks to Mozilla, this has become more obvious. Image credit: Freepik Don’t get me wrong, Selenium IDE is great in its way, and it certainly deserves credit for doing exactly what it promises. It’s lightweight, it automates UI tests by recording manual testing sessions, and it has been the official Selenium recorder for Firefox since forever. Built in 2006, it has long become the first tool that comes to mind when someone mentions record-playback UI testing. Maybe it’s due to this long history that the news of Firefox dropping Selenium IDE feels so unexpected. So what is the reason for discontinuing the support for Selenium IDE in Firefox? There are two of them, actually. Reason 1. Having ditched the .xpi format used in Selenium IDE, Firefox will move to WebExtensions To keep moving forward, you sometimes have to leave things behind. Cheesy as this may sound, it’s painfully true for mainstream technology. In case with a technology as mainstream as the world’s 3rd most popular browser,... More

20+ web automation tools to consider for your next projects

We’ve created Screenster as a product that embodies a specific vision of a web automation tool. We believe that testing automation should be about ROI, not the programming skills of your QA team. This vision defines our approach to the automated testing of web UIs, yet we realize that this approach is just one of many. Actually, there’s a plethora of approaches to — and tools for — web automation. Recorders, drag-and-drop test constructors, numerous frameworks and libraries supporting every major programming language — there’s a lot to choose from. The ecosystem of web automation tools has grown so vast and diverse it’s easy to get lost in the variety of solutions. In case you’re looking for a quick introduction to your major options, this post is for you. This article will explore web automation solutions ranging from mainstream tools (ahem, Selenium) to niche products. If this is what you’re looking for, read on. Selenium, the golden standard of web automation You have to hand it to Selenium for being the de-facto standard in web automation. Selenium is a must-know technology for testers, and Selenium WebDriver is the foundation for dozens of high-level frameworks and platforms. Besides, testers often evaluate... More

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

What regression testing challenges exist on the UI level?

What regression testing challenges do you typically face when automating UI tests? And more importantly, how do you overcome these challenges? This post sums up our experience of dealing with UI regression testing and its pitfalls. But there’s one more question to ask before we can proceed: do you automate UI test in the first place? I’m sure you know that quality control is inseparable from product development process. Some good amount of time and resources should be invested into it. New UI functionality must be covered with tests as soon as it is ready. And it is not enough to verify it once: each time an important change is introduced, the UI regression testing phase must follow. Whereas unit- and API- level testing helps you catch the most critical bugs, UI regression testing mostly deals issues of a different nature. True, there’s plenty of logic underlying modern-day UIs. Still, there’s also a plethora of potential presentational (visual) and functional (UX-related) issues that people typically associate with GUI regression testing. And the problem with these issues? They are the first ones that users see. Now, when it comes to catching UI bugs, a surprisingly large number of companies never move... 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
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