Multi-Browser Support for Test Automation with XLT

Summary

In today’s post we will discuss the steps necessary to enhance an XLT-based test suite with multi-browser support. We will show how to tag your test cases to conveniently run them in different environments and execute the test suite in a local or remote fashion.

Introduction

Xceptance maintains a MIT licensed test suite at GitHub which demonstrates functional testing for large scale projects. With the suite we’ve put an emphasis on clear structures, naming and test case organization. Targeting Demandware’s SiteGenesis storefront at heart, the underlying concepts and mechanisms are valuable for everyone building test suites for comparable web applications with XLT. Next to being a template for test automation and best practices in test suite design, it can be a starting point ready to pick up in your very own projects. We regularly utilize it and want to encourage you to explore, employ and contribute.

A regular challenge in testing ecommerce applications is the variety of different browsers and platforms that are available today. As you probably know XLT, the test automation and load testing framework from Xceptance, is based on Selenium browser automation and the Webdriver API. Supporting multiple browsers therefore comes naturally. This blog post will demonstrate how XLT is able to streamline different testing environments directly in your test suite. You will learn how to execute your tests locally and remotely with the help of Sauce Labs and similar automated testing platforms. Along the way you will pick up some details about XLT as well as Script Developer and quickly find yourself equipped with a ready to use multi-browser test suite example.
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Special Characters in Script Developer

Recently we received a support request regarding special characters in Script Developer. Perhaps other XLT users stumble across a similar requirement, so it’s a good idea to make the discussion available to the public.

First of all, some bad news: Up to now, Script Developer does not have explicit support for special characters, such as Line Feed (\n), Horizontal Tab (\t), Backspace (\b) or similar. For example, typing multiple lines of text – each line delimited by a newline character – into an element on your page is not possible just like that. Upon loading your script, XLT Script Developer normalizes all white-space characters contained in the target or value field of any command.

Of course, we don’t want to leave you out in the rain but provide a feasible solution.
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Conditional Expressions in XLT

Motivation

Did you ever have to create multiple versions of your test cases to accommodate small differences of your test objects? Looking for a trade-off between good testing practice and minimizing project complexity. The following blog post reflects on this challenge and introduces you to a potential solution: Conditional Expressions.

Introduction

Xceptance introduced its test automation and load testing tool XLT 4.6 in February 2016 and with it we brought you conditionals. Today we want to shed some light on this new feature, the discussion that came along with it and why we finally decided to introduce it. This blog post will equip you with everything required to employ conditional expressions in your test scripts.

In computer programming, a condition or conditional expression performs an action depending on whether a given statement (the condition) evaluates to true or false. The programmer has the possibility to execute a part of the program only if certain circumstances are met. Now don’t worry, you do not need to become a full-fledged programmer to create your test cases with XLT Script Developer. But you should not skip on the possibilities this new feature is offering.

The Challenge

In testing typically you want your flow of execution to be linear, deterministic and transparent. The individual execution steps of your test case should be well-defined and yield the same results in a constant environment. If one execution step fails – e.g. an assertion does not check out – the whole test case always breaks and evaluates to failed. Run, rinse and repeat.

On the contrary often enough your real world test cases need to cater various scenarios. Think multi-region support of your page for example. Area specific content and functionality can quickly bring you into a catch-22 situation. Follow good practice in test case design, but deal with complexity and organizational nightmares in your test suite. Tiny differences in your test objects force you to keep multiple versions of your (already lengthy) test cases. Farewell maintainability!
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Xceptance at 11th Charity Relay in Jena

Yes, we did it again. We’re athletic and we care for our community, so we took on another sports challenge and had three of us participate in the 11th Relay Race in Jena, a charity run covering a 3x2km distance.

We had a lot of fun and did pretty well but most importantly we’re happy that this year’s funds will be donated to the Kindersprachbrücke Jena e.V., a local organization devoted to helping refugees and migrants, especially children and their families, learn German and find a new home in Jena.

Announcing the XLT Community Forum

Many of our customers have asked for it, and today we’re delivering it: the XLT Community Forum: https://ask.xceptance.de/.

This is your place to discuss test automation and performance testing with XLT. We would like to hear your opinion about the product, know your feature wishes, and see what you have done with XLT. Of course, this is also the place to ask for help, offer support, present solutions, and share results.

Xceptance will use this forum to:

  • announce new versions of XLT
  • present features and ideas
  • share general knowledge around testing
  • respond to support questions that are of general interest

You can ask support questions at any time and because this is a community forum, we encourage everyone to respond and share their wisdom. Xceptance might or might not engage in those conversations.

If you have support questions that need a guaranteed response, we recommend that you buy a support package. You can buy one online with the help of the XLT Self Service Center.

Please note that all contributions to this site are licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 4.0 International. By engaging in a discussion you automatically agree to that.

The XLT Community Forum is powered by Discourse.

Tracking and Ad-Blocker Software

Summary in 64 words

Ad blockers are widely used tools these days. Users install this software to improve loading times of websites or to simply remove intrusive advertisement. But what does this mean for us as a testing company? We saw some sites break and are now including tests with enabled ad blockers. This helps our customers to see where problems might occur and to improve user experience.

Introduction

The amount of advertising increases and more and more users take this matter in their own hands and install ad blockers. Users also become privacy-conscious and do not want to expose their browsing behavior to an ever increasing number of companies. Facebook’s, Twitter’s, and Google’s ad or content pixels are on nearly every page nowadays. Adobe collects data as well with font services, Scene7, and Omniture. There are lots of big and small third parties that live on pages and are included as a service. We have seen websites with over 50 third party services on a single page of their web shop.

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Open-Air in Jena – kulturarena 2015

Logo KulturarenaWe are again supporting Jena’s widely acclaimed KulturArena Open-Air to contribute to local arts and culture. The international festival, which is held right in downtown Jena, is famous for hosting musical acts from all over the world.

This year’s performers include well-known artists such as Tanita Tikaram, Roachford, and Element of Crime. As always, visitors can also go to movie nights and theater performances. We’re excited to be a part of the biggest open-air event in Thuringia.

So come on out and enjoy exciting summer nights in Jena!

Xceptance at 5th Jena City Corporate Running Challenge

On May 20, 2015, we again joined Jena’s greatest sports and charity event, the Jena Corporate Running Challenge. Every year local companies and organizations go on a 5 kilometers run in downtown Jena to promote sporting activities and, more importantly, raise money for local programs and institutions devoted to help others in need.

We had a lot of fun and all of us tackled the whole distance. This year’s funds will be donated to various charity projects in Jena: the Paten für Demenz project for people with dementia, the mental health charity Aktion Wandlungswelten, and the Stiftung Hodenkrebs dedicated to research on testicular cancer.

Xceptance Goes by Bike

From May 9 – 29, the city of Jena hosts the so-called Stadtradeln event, a nation-wide campaign initiated by the Climate Alliance to foster climate protection and bicycle-friendly communities. Everyone is invited to get together in teams and compete for the most miles commuted by bike.

Banner StadtradelnA total of 46 teams is going to cycle in Jena and we are proud to announce Xceptance is one of them this year. Throughout the next couple of days we will therefore ditch our cars, get on our bikes as much as possible and track our miles as well as CO2 emissions saved. It is not that important to us where in the ranking we will end up: as an international company we still care about our local environment and we are happy to contribute in our own small way to climate protection and an eco-friendly Jena.

Videos of TEDxFSU Jena

About a month ago, we proudly sponsored the TEDxFSU event in Jena. Today, the videos of all talks came online and of course we want to share them with you, because the TEDx mission is free access to education. Enjoy: Videos of TEDxFSU Jena.

This is one of the talks in which Peter Perceval discusses the connection between humor and innovation.