Choosing the right tool for automated GUI testing

Within LeaseWeb we did our first steps in automated GUI testing and we use a tool called “Selenium” for our automated tests. Before choosing Selenium as an automated testing execution tool, we also checked:

– Fitnesse (http://fitnesse.org/)
– Rational Robot (http://www-01.ibm.com/software/rational/)
– Selenium IDE and webdriver (http://seleniumhq.org/)
– AutoIT3 (http://www.autoitscript.com/site/autoit/)

We preselected these tools for research, because they all pretend to have a low learning curve and could be (more or less) used out of the box. Also we wanted open source tooling. Rational is not open source, but was an alternative, because I used to work with the Rational tooling with good results in the past.

Fitnesse
Works with input from Wiki like pages, and very usable if you want to test a lot of data that comes from the business. So very usable for testing data that is going through the software from a business point of view. Fitnesse has no Record and Playback options (yet), so the learning curve is not that high for testers just starting with automating their tests. Maybe something to use in combination in the future.

AutoIT
This is more of a macro recorder. It has record and playback, but that is very limited and it clicks around on applications based on pixels on the screen. If you play a script from AutoIT on another PC with a different resolution or when a button is placed somewhere else, the script will fail. It is usable for quick recording, editing and playback when you need “throw away automation”. Nevertheless it has full programming capabilities, so can be used if you’re writing tests that go beyond the User interface.

Selenium
Selenium is the most well known automated test tool for web applications and I immediately could play around with the Record & Playback tool of this product. It was reasonably easy to export this to a programming language as “Python” and then the options for using it as a test tool becomes almost limitless.

IBM Rational Robot
I used Rational Robot a few years ago and tried to install the latest version. But I couldn’t get it to start within my time box for this research. I checked this after checking Selenium, so I quickly went back to Selenium as an automated GUI testing platform.

Conclusion
This was a post of the selection of an automated tool. We have chosen the Selenium platform because it is a web based automated GUI tool that can be used almost immediately with little knowledge of programming. It doesn’t stop there, because you can use a programming environment to adapt it to your needs. Also it has lots of plug-ins for the record and playback software (Selenium IDE) that make more sophisticated test scripts possible in Selenium IDE. I’ve heard of combination s of Selenium with the Fitnesse tool, so that could be a good combination in the future for data driven testing too. Open source, open platform. What’s not to like?

Just try it for yourself and see the possibilities.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *