Free tool(s) to test both Windows desktop apps and Web apps, interconnected



  • I have found this question here on SQA. However I'd like to make my question more specific with hope that someone could point me to something relevant rather than just wasting hours on learning the other tools just to discover that they are not fit for my purposes. So my needs are fairly basic:

    • I have an environment with many different applications which are interconnected in various ways. Some through SOAP UI, some share a DB, etc..
    • Some of the applications are web interfaces, some of them just locally installed GUI front-ends.
    • I only need to test the interconnectivity of the applications rather than making too much focus on a specific one design and features.
    • I do need to be able yo access and login to all of these applications and perform basic "button clicks" and "fields filling" tasks.
    • The verification will be verifying certain fields (on web apps and guis).

    Are there any tools which are able to give me such functionality?

    P.S. If my explanation here is still to vague, please feel free to comment and I will emphasize.



  • My experience is that UI automation tools differentiate themselves by the kinds of interfaces they interact with rather than whether they facilitate "basic" testing or complicated testing.

    I think you will have a hard time finding a single tool that covers both native applications (what you called "locally installed GUI front-ends") as well as web interfaces. The common denominator will probably be a single tool that only knows how to simulate typing, simulate mouse/touch events at specified (x,y) coordinates, and capture screenshots. Twenty years ago, that was state-of-the-art for UI automation, but the majority of testers shy away from that kind of technology now.

    Instead of specifying (x,y) coordinates, modern UI automation tools use identifiers or expressions to specify what should be clicked. It is easier to read an automated test that relies on IDs or expressions, and the test is more likely to work when the UI is modified, too. Web browsers and native apps are based on entirely different technologies, and particular they structure UIs and identify UI elements in entirely different ways, which is why UI automation tools specialize in web UIs or native UIs but not both. (To make matters worse, each native UI technology is also different, so for example you will not find a lot of automated tests that work with Silverlight as well as native Java UIs.)

    If I were you, here is where I would start. If you only need to test application inter-operability, you may not need to exercise UIs at all. Sometimes web applications have web APIs that you can access with programs like wget and curl. Sometimes native apps also have CLIs. Tests written against those interfaces may be less vulnerable to change. And if they don't exist, it may be less expensive to write them than to write (and maintain) UI-level tests.



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