AutomatedQA TestComplete 5 Bolsters Testing for Vista

New hooks for new Vista APIs.

Application testing and automation software maker AutomatedQA Corp. released in December version 5 of its TestComplete application testing environment. TestComplete 5 supports a wide range of software testing categories, ranging from functional, unit and regression testing to data-driven, object-driven and distributed testing, and HTTP load, stress and scalability testing.

Supporting Windows, .NET, Java and Web applications, TestComplete 5 adds hooks for new Windows Vista APIs. Most significantly, the new version interacts with the array of controls and components presented under Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)-a core technology for applications tuned to .NET Framework 3.0 and Windows Vista. Designers building a UI for WPF can do so with Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML), which employs XML to allow designers to define UI objects and properties.

"So if you're building a new type of GUI application using [XAML] and WPF components, TestComplete will record the script with those components and play them back," explains Atanas Stoyanov, chief scientist at AutomatedQA. "With TestComplete 4, it won't recognize controls as separate components. It can detect mouse clicks over the window, but not down to the control level."

Stoyanov says the ability to conduct client-side recording and scripting is important for testing AJAX-enabled applications. HTTP protocol-level recording is useful for developing simulated loads that stress the back-end of AJAX applications, but it fails to examine the client-side experience. The Enterprise version of TestComplete hooks into the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers to record and play back scripts.

Also new to TestComplete 5 is support for the new UI Automation API, which is part of the accessibility framework for operating systems supporting WPF. Programmatic access to desktop UI elements under the new API enables assistive technology like screen readers and alternative inputs. AutomatedQA hooks the UI Automation API for tighter integration with Vista and future OSes and applications.

"Any company that supports this interface out of the gate will support TestComplete. It will provide scripts that are more stable. It will not break with just a small change," says Stoyanov.

Industry testing firm QualityLogic Inc. upgraded from TestComplete 3 to add support for Windows Vista. The company had to update its existing test scripts to work under the new software, but welcomed the addition of UI Automation support.

"Alternative ways of obtaining information about processes and different windows is always helpful to have in your tool belt when trying to automate new applications," writes Nate Divine, a programmer at QualityLogic, in an e-mail response. "As recent releases of Microsoft applications have shown, the GUIs are getting more and more complex. It's good to see that new technology is being implemented to help overcome these types of complex tasks."

The new version improves reporting, with a point-and-click UI design module that lets designers create custom test reports. New features like name mapping are a boon for multilingual applications, which may be functionally identical but present a testing challenge because controls, like buttons, bear different names in each localized version. TestComplete can abstract control names so that the correct controls are called across localized versions.

TestComplete 5 costs $599 for the standard version and $999 for the Enterprise edition. The Enterprise version adds Web testing and integration with Visual Studio Team System.

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

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