There are many different solutions among the web-based software testing tools. First, it may seem that there are ready-made options for everything and you should not waste time developing and implementing local verification tools.
But, honestly, this is a misjudgment. For example, when it comes to testing classic desktop applications based on Windows, one of the most popular operating systems.
Why is it so? That’s because, unlike web automation or mobile testing, desktop application testing is a kind of hack, and there are several reasons for that:
- Nowadays, there are very few useful open source solutions that may be really helpful for the test automation engineer.
- Commercial products are expensive.
- The constant development of web technologies affects the fact that most desktop software is simply becoming outdated. This has a significant impact on the development and maintenance of tools, the availability of specialists in this area.
But despite such a pessimistic attitude, there are still several available open-source solutions that are noteworthy.
An Overview of Winium, Flanium, and FlaUI
This is a special framework to test any desktop applications with Selenium. It has a lot of technical solutions, namely:
- Support for the WinForms and WPF programs;
- REST protocol of interaction between tests and software under test;
- Interoperating with Selenium (Java+Selenium).
Nevertheless, despite all these advantages, this product has one but an extremely significant drawback – limited functionality. Specifically, users cannot operate with ValuePattern, SelectionItPattern, and a couple of other patterns.
The next software, namely FlaUI, is also quite an interesting solution. This library is developed completely on C# and doesn’t have any API for external operations. It is a kind of wrapper for automation libraries Microsoft Windows Automation API that simplifies the process of writing tests for QA engineers.
Unlike Winium, FlaUI has 100% compatibility with WinForms and WPF applications. But at the same time, it is required to create tests on C#.
As the name suggests, this solution is a well-managed combination of Winium and FlaUI.
This software includes two equal components:
- FlaNium.Desktop.Driver. This is the basic component that represents the driver of interaction with the tested software through the Windows Automation API and uses the Selenium REST API interaction protocol.
- FlaNium.WinAPI. It is a specialized Java library that helps to spread the Selenium REST API protocol and to add additional configurations on editing and interacting with the FlaNium driver. Additionally, this library allows typifying classic Selenium WebElement and bringing it to the particular components of tested software gradually adding auxiliary techniques of interaction that specify a particular kind of elements.
The alternating use of these methods greatly facilitates the procedure for interacting with the software and reduces the amount of written program code. By the way, there are a lot of supporting elements that are characteristic of this software. You can learn more about them at the link – https://www.javadoc.io/static/com.github.lanit-exp/FlaNium.WinAPI/1.0/FlaNium/WinAPI/elements/package-summary.html
Using one of the three above-named drivers will allow once and for all to leave the vendor software for testing, lowering the price of automation and its subsequent support by a decent amount, as well as unifying the technology stack to the professional qualifications of testers (and developers).