This is Not Your Mom and Dad’s Test Automation Software
Test and Monitor | Posted March 11, 2013

If you are old enough to remember products like MS-Test aka Rational VisualTest, Rational Robot or Mercury WinRunner then biologically speaking, chances are that you are old enough to have children of legal age. Another way to put it - you could have been a grandmother, or a grandfather and your kids could have found a professional path as QA engineers.


For the younger of folks, there is a plethora of tools to choose from including free and open source solutions. Having a wide variety of options is really good, but it also makes the selection of test automation tools for the next project that much more difficult.

Over time, this first generation of commercial test automation tools didn’t quite live to the expectations of the new WWW era - new browser versions, new dynamic in-browser technologies have created all kinds of challenges to Web application developers and testers. We all had to get up to speed with the new wave of applications. Here is a refresher on three reasons why commercial test automation tools like TestComplete stand above the rest when it comes to UI test automation.

1. Out of the box object recognition of user actions on common third party controls for your Web applications

  • Time to market pressure has led to a boom in third-party packages of controls that allow you to create efficient, easy to use and aesthetically pleasing Web applications. The list of controls is long - ComponentOne, DeveloperExpress, Infragistics, Sencha and so on. The key goal is making software development faster. To catch up on the testing side you need software that will “know” and understand complex controls like grids, or tree controls and allow you to script, or record interaction with elements within these objects in a way that matches how end-users normally interact with them.

2. Robust detection of objects during test runs

  • Creating tests is just a piece of the puzzle. One of the biggest challenges that test automation tools of today need to address is robustness of object recognition as software under test goes through the changes - whether it’s the dynamic nature of object IDs, or their location on the canvas. While it is a difficult challenge, robust object recognition is an area where you are getting your investment worth compared to open source, or OCR-based solutions. When searching for objects in a tested application, TestComplete applies techniques very similar to modern Anti-Virus software including pattern search and heuristics. The result is a reliable and repeatable test execution.

3. Cross-browser support

  • The times of Web applications that could only run on Internet Explorer are quickly going away. One of the main reasons behind that trend is proliferation of mobile computing devices like tablets and smartphones. The first wave of change was in the consumer market, but it soon followed with a shift within small and large organizations alike. Creating and maintaining different sets of tests for different platforms is not practical. You need a test automation tool that allows you to create tests in one browser and run it without any changes in multiple browsers.

For a more in-depth look at how these test automation tools can benefit your company, join us for a live webinar tomorrow at 1:00 PM (EST) where our panel of experts will be sharing their secrets to success with test automation.

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