The RanoreXPath is a powerful identifier of UI elements for desktop, web and mobile applications and is derived from the XPath query language. In this blog we will show you a few tips & tricks on how to best use the various RanoreXPath operators to uniquely identify UI elements. You can then use these RanoreXPaths in your recording and code modules to make your automated tests more robust.
Using RanoreXPath operators
- Search for multiple button elements
- Identify controls with a specific attribute
- Identify checkboxes by combining attributes
- Recognize related elements using the parent operator
- Recognize related elements by using preceding- and following-sibling
- Identify attributes fields using regular expressions
- Identify attributes with dynamic values
The Ranorex Spy displays the UI as hierarchical representation of elements in the Element Browser view. The RanoreXPath can be used to search and identify items in this UI hierarchy.
In this example, we’ll use the tool KeePass as application under test (AUT). This open source password manager application is one of our sample applications delivered with Ranorex Studio. If you have multiple applications open, Ranorex Spy will list them all. Filtering the application you want to test will increase speed and give you a better overview. To do so, track the application node of KeePass and set it as root node (context menu > ‘Set Element as Root’). Now, only the main KeePass form and its underlying elements are visible.
General Layout of RanoreXPath
RanoreXPath expressions are similar to XPath expressions. They share both syntax and logical behavior. A RanoreXPath always consists of adapters, attributes and values:
The adapter specifies the type or application of the UI element. The attribute and values specify adapter properties.
The absolute RanoreXPath of our KeePass form looks like this:
The form is an adapter specifying the type or classification of the UI element. It is followed by the attribute value comparison, which identifies the requested element. In this example, the comparison operator is a simple equality.
If you want to know more about how the RanoreXPath works, we recommend our dedicated user guide section.Search for multiple button elements
You can list all buttons elements that are direct children of a designated positon in your AUT. Have a look at these two examples:1. List all buttons that are direct children of the KeePass toolbar:
To do so, simply set the toolbar as root node and type ./button into the RanoreXPath edit field, directly after the given RanoreXPath.
This will create a relative path to all child nodes of the actual node, which are buttons.
2. List all buttons of your AUT:
Navigate back to the form adapter, set it as root node and type in .//button.
You’ve now created a relative path to all descendants of the actual node, which are buttons. These are all buttons of all levels of the subtree of the current element.
Identify controls with a specific attribute
You can also create a path to controls, to filter them according to specific attributes. In this example, we want to find all checked checkboxes.
Open the “Find” dialog in KeePass (<CTRL><F>), as this dialog contains checkboxes, and set it as root node. Now, you can validate which item of the checkbox control has the attribute “checked” set to true. To do so, enter “//checkbox[@checked=’True’]”:
As you can see, only the checked checkboxes will be visible in the Element Browser.
Identify checkboxes by combining attributes
You can further extend the previous example by combining attributes. This enables you to, for example, omit certain items from the search, or search for specific items.1. Omit a specific item from the search
You can omit a specific item from the search using the “not equal” operator and the “and” conjunction. In this case, we want to omit the item “&Title”:
2. Seach for specific items
You can use the “or” instead of the “and” conjunction to extend your search and only look for specific items. Extend the checkbox search to look for the items “&Title” and “&URL”:
Recognize related elements using the parent operator
After running the Ranorex desktop sample project, there will be two entries in our AUT – one for a WordPress and one for a Gmail account. In this case, we’d like to find the username of the “Gmail” KeePass entry:
Start with the RanoreXPath to the cell containing the text “Gmail” (framed in red). Next, use the relationship operator “parent” to reference the parent node of the current element. In this example, it’s a row (framed in blue). The index “” navigates to the second cell, which contains the Gmail username (framed in green).Recognize related elements by using preceding- and following-sibling
Another way to search for related elements is to use the relationship operator “preceding-sibling”. In this example, we want to find the title of a KeePass entry based on its username.
The command “preceding-sibling::cell” lists all preceding cells. In this case, the result is the title (framed in blue) which corresponds to the given username (framed in red).
In contrast, the command “following-sibling::cell” delivers all following cells. In our case, these are all following cells (framed in blue) that correspond to the given username (framed in red).
Identify attributes fields using regular expressions
You can also use regular expressions in attribute conditions to identify attribute fields. In this example, we’d like to filter cell adapters that contain an email address in their text attribute. Regular expressions matching an email address may look like this: “.+@.+\..+’”.
The “~” operator instructs Ranorex to filter attribute fields using a regular expression. The “.” in our regular expression matches every single character, while the “+” specifies that the preceding element has to occur one or more times. To escape special characters (such as “.”), enter a backlash before the character.
In our example, every expression will match that contains the character “@” with one or more characters before and after it, followed by a “.”, which is followed by one or more characters.
For more examples on how to use regular expressions in RanoreXPaths, please have a look at this user guide section: RanoreXPath with regular expression.Identify attributes with dynamic values
Dynamic attribute values change each time an element is displayed anew. Fortunately, dynamically generated content usually has a prefix or postfix. To identify dynamic elements, you can either use regular expressions, as described above, or use the ‘starts with’ or the ‘ends with’ comparison operators:
- ‘>’: The value of the attribute must start with the given string
- ‘<‘: The value of the attribute must end with the given string
The RanoreXPath enables you to find and uniquely identify every single UI element of desktop, web and mobile applications. You can use the RanoreXPath operators to make your test suite more robust and identify even dynamic attribute values.
Smartwatches are no longer a second screen to the mobile device. This year, Android has released their marshmallow version for Android Wear, adding yet more features to the smartwatch. Likewise, also developers seem to be kicking it up a notch. It’s no stretch to say that testing will have to adapt to a wearable mindset to face these new challenges. We proudly announce that Ranorex supports Android Wear testing. As always, you can rely on us to stay prepared and stand your ground on the consumer market. But first things first. Let’s start with why smartwatches are such a hot topic in 2016.Getting off the starting blocks
It seems that fiction is about to become reality. Gadgets are already used to ease our life in almost every area – be it health, entertainment or personal organization. In their February 2, 2016 press release, Gartner* predicts that “274.6 million wearable electronic devices will be sold worldwide in 2016, an increase of 18.4 percent from 232.0 million units in 2015 (see Table 1). Sales of wearable electronic devices will generate revenue of $28.7 billion in 2016. Of that, $11.5 billion will be from smartwatches.”
It’s a given that vendors want to throw their hat into the ranks and join the game. More vendors provide users with plenty of options to choose from. And with the rise of wearables, the pressure’s on for developers. So what does it take to be successful?The game’s on for smartwatches
Naturally, users expect both hard- and software of smart wearables to function flawlessly. But smartwatches have to be more than just an expensive secondary screen to a mobile device, merely saving the user from getting the phone out of the pocket. They’ve got to be useful. Today it’s all about user experience to keep the excitement going. As customers are presented with an ever increasing choice in smartwatch products, the challenge is on for app developers to provide the best use case and the most appealing functionality. The question of how you can make your app an incentive for using a smartwatch goes right in hand with one question: How can you best react to arising challenges when it comes to smartwatch app testing?
In for the win – with Ranorex Android Wear testing
When it comes to testing an Android smartwatch, challenges are definitely usability, device fragmentation and dependency on a mobile device. Here’s a short overview of how Ranorex can help you deal with these challenges:Usability
Smartwatches come in all forms and sizes. Software has to be able to adapt quickly to ensure highest usability in this ever-changing market. Considering that Android Wear supports square as well as round displays and screen sizes go as small as 1.3 inches, this is definitely a challenging task for developers. With such a restricted screen size, software has to be functional and easy to use. At the same time, it has to be highly adaptable to be appealing and thus desirable no matter the form or screen size.
Ranorex is flexible
With Ranorex, it doesn’t matter which Android Wear smartwatch your app will later be used on. Record your test once and run it on different Android Wear watches. How? We know that test scripts have to be reliable and robust to ensure high quality software. That’s why Ranorex doesn’t rely on a coordinate level, but uses the powerful RanoreXPath to uniquely identify even dynamic user interface elements on your Android Wear device, making your test scripts robust against UI changes.
Smartwatches aren’t (yet) a standalone gadget, but are highly dependent on a mobile device. This is why you’ll also need to test your smartwatch app on a mobile device – be it mobile phone or tablet. And who knows what’s yet to come. The many possible use cases arising from device fragmentation will definitely pose a challenge.
Ranorex offers an all-in-one license
We’ve got good news. You only need one license to test any kind of mobile, web or desktop application with Ranorex. You can test your app on your mobile device and on your smartwatch. Should you decide to venture out and perform additional cross-technology testing, we’ve got you covered: you can reuse your test case across multiple devices. You also don’t need an additional license to use the wearable testing functionality. No additional license means no additional costs. So all there’s left for us to say is: happy testing.
As we’ve mentioned in our 2016 Test automation trends blog post, time pressure is an imminent factor when it comes to releasing software, while providing highest quality software remains a prerequisite to compete in the fast-growing wearables market.
Different automation approaches and integration into existing testing environments
Working together in teams is essential for a timely release. As Ranorex offers a broad set of automation tools, every member of your testing team can feel comfortable working on a test automation project. Ranorex is more than just a Capture & Replay tool, but a software that supports collaboration between developers and testers. While you don’t need any programming skills to create robust and easily maintainability tests with the Ranorex Recorder, developers can add further functionalities or create new test automation projects entirely in C# and VB.NET. You can also seamlessly integrate Ranorex into any development environment, using CI and version control systems. Additionally, our latest major software update, Ranorex 6.0, comes with functionalities that make working in teams even easier: Remote testing, Git integration, code editor enhancements and many more features you’ll definitely love.
Do you want to know more about how you can test your Android Wear app with Ranorex? You can find detailed instructions in our Android Wear user guide section.
*Gartner, Press Release, “Gartner Says Worldwide Wearable Devices Sales to Grow 18.4 Percent in 2016”, February 2, 2016. http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3198018
Long gone is the time of waterfall’s strictly separated development & testing phases. Today, it’s all about fast feedback, quick iterations and frequent releases at a previously unseen velocity. It requires an agile methodology to keep up with the high demands. Your team’s success depends on a supporting infrastructure with the right tooling. Without any doubt, automation plays an essential role here. Our tip: Integrate test automation into your continuous integration (CI) process.
We wouldn’t want you to waste precious time if you’ve your development environment already set up. That’s why you can integrate Ranorex into any continuous integration process. Let’s have a closer look at the benefits of integrating test automation into your CI system, and how you can do it:
Automated testing and continuous integration
The idea of continuous integration is to frequently promote code changes and rapidly get feedback about the impact these changes have on the application or system. Including test automation in the development cycle enables you to automatically test each incremental code change.
So basically every time a developer commits code changes to the version control system (VCS) such as Git or TFVC, a build of the application under test as well as the Ranorex test automation project is triggered in the CI system. The resulting test automation executable then runs against the application under test.
To evaluate the outcome of the automated test, the continuous integration tool examines the return value of the executable or its output text (e.g. “TEST FAILED” for failure). With Ranorex, the return value ‘0′ signals the successful execution of the test script, while the return value ‘-1′ signals a failure. Each team member automatically receives a notification about a finished build. This notification includes build logs as well as a test execution report.Advantages of integrating Ranorex into your CI system:
- As each code change is immediately tested, potentially introduced bugs are found faster, which ultimately makes it easier to fix them.
- The test automation report enhances transparency, as each team member will receive instant feedback about the state of code.
- There’re no integration problems, as Ranorex can be integrated into any CI tool.
Note: You have to install Ranorex on each machine you’d like to execute Ranorex tests on. You’ll need a valid license to do so. Please find more information about Ranorex licenses on our dedicated Pricing page.
Each committed change in the application under test and the test automation project should be automatically tested. In other words, every change should trigger these 3 steps:
- building the application under test
- building the Ranorex test suite
- executing the Ranorex test suite
First, you need to manually set up these steps in your CI system.1. Build the application under test
The first build step should generate an executable of your application under test. This executable should later be triggered from the Ranorex test suite project.
Thus, add a build step which will build your application under test (e.g. MSBuild build step, Ant build step, …).
In this second step, you’ll need to generate an executable to automate your application under test. To do so, add a build step (MSBuild or Visual Studio) and choose the project file (*.csproj) of your Ranorex project which should be built.3. Execute the Ranorex test suite
The third step should execute the previously created executables. Simply add an execution step triggering the *.exe file of the test automation project and define the command line arguments if needed.
The test execution should now be triggered on the same system the projects were built on. If you want to trigger the execution on another system, you need to deploy the built executables and all connected files to that system. Please make sure to execute the application under test and the Ranorex test suite in a desktop and not in a console session.Automated testing of frequent code changes
If the code of your application under test or your test automation project changes frequently, it doesn’t make sense to run the entire test suite including all test cases with every build. Instead, you should run only those test cases that are affected by the changes. How? Run configurations!
You can add and edit run configurations directly in the test suite (see user guide section ‘Running a Test Suite’).
You can trigger a run configuration using a command line argument. The following command line, for example, will run the test suite executable ‘TestCIProject’ with the run configuration (/rc) ‘SmokeTest’ and generate a zipped report file (/zr /zrf) ‘Report.rxzlog’ in the folder ‘/Reports/’.
TestCIProject.exe /rc:SmokeTest /zr /zrf:Reports/Report.rxzlog
Interested in more command line arguments? You find more in the user guide section ‘Running Tests without Ranorex Studio‘.Test automation report – the importance of feedback
“No news is good news” is definitely not true for agile teams. It’s important that everyone in a team – whether it is a developer or tester – knows about the state of the code and, thus, the outcome of the automated test run. It really couldn’t be any easier: Simply add a post build action which sends a mail to your team members with the build log and the generated zipped report attached.Integrate Ranorex into a specific CI system:
You’re using a specific CI tool? Whether it’s Bamboo, Jenkins, HP Quality Center, TeamCity or Microsoft Test Manager – check out the section below to find a detailed instruction on how to integrate Ranorex into your CI tool!
- Integrate Ranorex with Bamboo
- Integrate Ranorex with TeamCity
- Integrate Ranorex with Jenkins
- Integrate Ranorex with HP Quality Center
- Integrate Ranorex with Microsoft Test Manager
As you can see, it’s easy to integrate Ranorex test automation in your continuous integration system. Each code change in your application under test and your test automation project will be automatically tested, which enhances transparency and enables you to find bugs faster.
You want to know about the benefits of integrating Ranorex into your development environment? Try it out! Download the full-featured 30-day Ranorex trial and see the benefits for yourself! Have fun integrating!
The post Integrate Automated Testing into Any Continuous Integration Process appeared first on Ranorex Blog.
Multiple releases, limited resources, time pressure and a team with mixed skillsets. And it’s your task to create flexible, maintainable automated tests, which every team member can understand and work with. The solution: get a test automation tool that supports keyword-driven testing.What is keyword-driven testing?
The keyword-driven testing approach separates the test automation implementation from the test case design. A keyword is defined for each action in the test case. Once the keyword is set, you don’t need any programming knowledge to easily design and maintain the automated tests.What are the benefits of keyword-driven testing?
- Tests are easily readable.
As keyword-driven tests are technology-independent, they’re easily readable for non-technical testers. While technically experienced team members can prepare the automation process and define keywords, you don’t need any technical knowledge to design test cases with these keywords.
- You can create flexible, easily maintainable tests faster.
In keyword-driven testing, each action is automated only once and the corresponding keyword can be reused throughout several test cases.
There are two ways of creating keyword-driven tests with Ranorex:
- Option 1: Keyword-driven framework with automation modules
You can follow this approach without writing a single line of code.
- Option 2: Keyword-driven framework using the action table
We recommend basic programming knowledge when following this more advanced approach.
You can use both your recording and code modules in Ranorex Studio as a basis for keyword-driven testing. Simply split your automation modules and give them each a clearly understandable name. For example, you can define a set of actions, which start the system under test, as a module with the name “StartSUT”. You can find detailed information on how to do so in this user guide section.
These modules now function as keywords. Once the keywords are defined, you can drag and drop the keywords needed for your test directly from the module browser into your test suite.Reuse keywords in multiple projects
Start by creating your keywords directly in a Ranorex test suite module library. You then use these keywords in multiple Ranorex projects by referencing back to this library. You can do so in two different ways:
- Reference the Ranorex test suite module library. This enables you to still edit the keywords when needed.
- Reference the DLL file of the Ranorex test suite module library. Please note that this approach doesn’t allow you to modify your keywords.
This approach completely separates the keyword implementation from the test case design and the keyword usage.
If you want to learn more about organizing test automation projects, please read this blog post: “Organize a Test Automation Project with Ranorex“.Use external data in keyword-driven tests
You can make your tests even more flexible by using variables. Variables enable you to automatically retrieve external data, which you’ve saved in an Excel or CVS sheet, in your tests – such as passwords for login actions. You can find detailed information on how to implement this type of testing in our user guide section “Data-Driven Testing“.
We bet you’re familiar with the good old Excel-spreadsheet. So why not use something you already know well in your automated tests? When using the action table in the Ranorex Recorder, you can create keyword-driven tests in a table-like workspace. It just takes a little trick to access your predefined keywords within this view: Inheritance.
A recording module, which is inherited from a code module, automatically derives all functionalities from its parent module. This is also true for parameters – you can read more about this topic in the user guide section “User Code Actions and Parameters”.
This can be achieved with inheritance in the recording modules “UserCode.cs” file:
Now, you can simply add a user code action in the action table (Add New Action -> User Code) and choose a predefined keyword. Once you’ve defined it, you can set the argument.
You can also use data-driven testing within the recording module by simply making the keyword parameters variable as explained in the user guide section “Data-Driven Testing“.Conclusion
Keyword-driven test automation is a fantastic way to create flexible test cases. It enables teams with different technical background to work on test automation projects together, while keeping test clearly structured and easily maintainable.
Conferences are always a fantastic way to meet people and exchange ideas with other test automation experts. The Test Automation Day is a major software testing conferences that is dedicated to test automation. This year, it took place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on June 23rd. This inspiring conference was packed with test automation experts, software testing professionals and leading IT organizations. Not only did we get to listen to thought-provoking keynotes, but also had interesting talks at our Ranorex booth. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions at our booth:Is Ranorex just a Capture & Replay tool?
Ranorex is more than a just simple Capture & Replay tool. It is a versatile test automation software that offers a range of tools suitable for every skill level. While you don’t need any programming skills to create and maintain your tests with the Ranorex Recorder, you can also create your automated tests manually.How can I create my automated tests without using the Ranorex Recorder?
Test automation engineers will especially love the Ranorex Spy. It is a powerful tool that enables you to obtain UI elements from your application under test. Simply open the Ranorex Spy in Ranorex Studio and track the UI elements you want to automate. You can drag these elements directly from the Ranorex Spy into the central Ranorex Object Repository. From there, you can then further drag them either into the action table, or the code editor. Here’s where it gets interesting: Usually, UI elements are used more than once in each test case. When adapting an element in the central repository, this change will be true for all occurrences of this element – both in code and in the action table. The benefit? You don’t have to adapt each element manually, which will save you a lot of time.http://www.ranorex.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/AutomateWithoutRecording.mp4 How does Ranorex support the collaboration between developers and domain testers?
The Ranorex Object Repository is the central point of collaboration between developers and domain testers. This central repository is used to manage UI elements. When you record a UI element with the Ranorex Recorder, or track an element with the Ranorex Spy, Ranorex will automatically create a repository element in this central repository. Thus, when changing a repository element in the Ranorex Object Repository, the changes are automatically applied both in the code and the recording module. This does not only ease team collaboration, but also test maintenance.How does Ranorex support creating and editing test automation projects in code?
If you’re into coding, you’ll benefit from the Microsoft .NET framework and can write code in C# and VB.Net. You’ll also love the new code editor enhancements, which have just been released with our latest major software release: Ranorex 6.0. You can find further information on the new code editor features in this blog post.Does Ranorex support automated testing of mobile applications?
Ranorex enables automated testing of mobile Android and iOS applications. You can test hybrid, native and mobile web applications. The benefit? You can connect your mobile device to Ranorex Studio using either a USB or Wi-Fi connection. For more information on mobile test automation with Ranorex, please visit our dedicated Ranorex User Guide section.
At the end of this blog post, we just couldn’t resist letting you in on this hilarious incident that occurred at the Test Automation Day this year. Unaware of what was about to happen, we’re busy talking to prospective clients at our Ranorex booth, when a woman came up to us and asked: “May I touch your balls?”. We’ll leave it up to you to imagine the look on our faces!