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

CI-friendly UI testing tools: what are your options?

UI testing automation is all the fuss due to an advent of new solutions promising to either excel or complete the functionality of “tried-and-true” tools of the past years. But how many of these automated testing tools (both new and old) are CI-friendly? Besides, how many of them are good at handling visual testing of websites and web apps? Let’s see what the market of UI automation testing has to offer in the way of CI support. But first, let’s answer the following question. Does solid CI support really matter for UI testing automation solutions? The short answer is yes — because continuous integration solutions are the first line of defense against bugs and errors. Here’s what a typical process looks like: one job creates a build, while another launches unit tests on it, allowing early spotting of most easy-to-find problems. If the build passes this stage successfully, testers can step in with their usual routine. They’ll take a quick look at the UI and, if everything is fine, proceed with functional testing. Now, this process seems to have a lot of room for improvement, doesn’t it? In particular, it would be super awesome to automate this quick UI sanity... More

A better way to do visual regression testing

The concept of visual regression testing isn’t new, but it’s been in the spotlight lately. There are two factors causing this growth of attention. First, the advent of rich UIs and responsive design has made it next to impossible to efficiently test web apps and websites without focusing on CSS and visual layout. Second, the ever-increasing competition among internet businesses forces companies to search for faster ways of testing their products. Can manual testing do the job? Given these trends, manual regression testing doesn’t seem like a viable option — it’s just too slow and inefficient. In fact, very few companies can afford to run visual regression tests manually after each UI revamp. Besides, humans aren’t that good at spotting visual differences in the first place due a thing called change blindness. Basically, if we don’t expect to see a minor change, we’re subconsciously bound to overlook it. Now, the problem here is that tweaking CSS is all about unexpected changes. Once you add a new class or CSS rule on one age, it will almost certainly override something on a completely different page. As a result, your users are more likely to spot the bug than your testers. Visual... 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

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
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