Tag Archives: automation

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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Use XLT with Sauce Labs and BrowserStack

Sauce Labs and BrowserStack – What Are They and Why Use Them?

This approach still work fine, but we came up with a much better one. Head over to GitHub and see our Multi-Browser-TestSuite for XLT. It will make multi browser testing a breeze. By the way, all the code is licensed under the MIT license, so absolute flexibility for you.

Sauce Labs and BrowserStack allow you to run automated test cases on different browsers and operating systems. Both provide more than 200 mobile and desktop browsers on different operating systems. The benefit? You can focus on coding instead of having to maintain different devices. You can easily run your test cases written on iOS on an Internet Explorer without actually buying a Windows device; and last not least, you don’t need to worry about drivers or maintenance.

By the way, Internet Explorer even seems to run faster at Sauce Labs than on a desktop machine. Also note that Sauce Labs supports Maven builds.
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Test Automation – Here are our Thoughts on it

XLT Script DeveloperToday’s article can be seen as a survey reflecting our thoughts on web test automation in general. It basically lists personal experiences that we were able to gain in customer projects or conclusions that we arrived at in recent discussions on this topic.

Feel free to use these ideas and thoughts as input for your own discourse on test automation, whether it is about starting it, keeping it running, or just questioning it every once in a while.
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Simplify Your Life With a Little UI Automation

Are you familiar with someone asking you to do things such as putting all of your clients into the new CRM or inserting 80 new users in a software product x? If so and if your software has no import feature, you probably found yourself copying and pasting all day long. A simple way to save you from this torture is using a UI automation tool like Sikuli Script.

What is Sikuli?

Sikuli automates UI functionalities like mouse, keyboard, and clipboard actions. It works with UI recognition to identify UI components such as buttons, input fields, or menus. To use this kind of recognition, Sikuli compares the actual screen with screenshots from the user.
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Xceptance LoadTest 4.0 is available

We just released Xceptance LoadTest 4.0. This release of our load test software got some really nice feature enhancements to make your regression testing easier. So we stick to our general software approach: One tool for regression and load testing. One set of scripts for both purposes.
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Why Test Automation Costs Too Much

I got a pretty nice link today. Check out that short article about the usual obstacles when trying or applying test automation: Why Test Automation Costs Too Much. Elisabeth covers the aspects of disconnected teams and the often practiced sharp distinction between programmers and testers pretty well.

Bottom line: the reason test automation costs so much is that it’s done in a silo far removed from the development effort.

Buffered from the consequences of design decisions that decrease testability, the developers continue to create software that’s nigh onto impossible to automate.

And isolated from the technical expertise of how the software was constructed, the test automation specialists are in a situation where they cannot help but be both inefficient and ineffective.

Enjoy reading!