Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Java IoT, Weblogic, IoT User Interface, Recurring Revenue, Log Management

Java IoT: Article

An Introduction to Abbot

A Friendly JUnit Extension for GUI Testing

Graphical user interface (GUI) testing is a potentially problematic area because constructing effective test cases is more difficult than the corresponding application logic. The roadblocks to effective functional GUI testing are:

  • Traditional test coverage criteria like "80% coverage of the lines of code" may not be sufficient to trap all the user interaction scenarios.
  • End users often use a different user task interaction model than the one conceived by the development team.

    Functional GUI testing needs to deal with GUI events as well as the effects of the underlying application logic that results in changes to the data and presentation.

    The common methods for functional GUI testing are the "record and execute" script technique and writing test programs for different scenarios. In the "record and execute," the test designer interacts with the GUI and all the events are recorded in a script. The script can later be replayed to re-create user interactions for a particular scenario. In the test programs, the test designer tries to understand and write tests for the various GUI decision points.

    This article discusses how Abbot can be used to quickly and effectively come up with a comprehensive GUI test framework for Swing GUI applications. Abbot (http://abbot.sourceforge.net/) is a JUnit extension for Swing GUI testing. It provides an interesting framework that can be used for test case generation as well as "record and execute" scripting.

    Introduction to Abbot
    Abbot builds upon the java.awt.Robot class to provide an automated event generation and validation framework for Swing GUI components. The framework can be used to create, record, and execute scripts and programmatic test cases in Java. Abbot also has a script editor called Costello that facilitates the creation of scripts in XML. The framework can also be well integrated to run with JUnit.

    To illustrate the use of Abbot to create a GUI test infrastructure, this article will make use of the following two scenarios.

    1.   GUI already exists: The GUI has been coded and the application needs to be tested, but no unit tests are available. This scenario will primarily make use of the "record and execute" style and then focus on how test suites can be created and run with JUnit.

    2.   GUI has not been coded: The GUI has been designed on paper; however, no working code exists. This scenario will primarily focus on creating test cases in Java. This method will create a homogeneous suite of tests both for the back-end application code and the GUI.

    The two scenarios focus on the end-point cases in functional GUI testing. The principles mentioned can be mixed and matched to suit the needs of the project. To get started with Abbot, download the JAR files and place them in the lib directory of the project.

    Scenario One: GUI Already Exists
    In this scenario, most of the GUI has already been coded. Automated testing is not available and the testing is mainly being done by hand. The goal is to come up with a test suite in the shortest time possible so that the quality metrics for the project can be met effectively.

    The script editor Costello will be used to develop a battery of tests. Costello provides the "record and execute" functionality that will allow us to record different user interaction scenarios with the GUI and test those scenarios efficiently. The scripts that record the user interactions are saved as XML. The salient features of the scripts that help in rapidly creating a functional test framework are:

  • Focuses on test creation: The XML-based scripts can be written rapidly (directly or by using Costello) and are dynamically interpreted by Abbot. There's no need to write new code and compile test cases.
  • Focuses on validating GUI decision points: Abbot allows the test creators to add assertions to check for values resulting from user interactions. The assert tag is used to check for valid results from a user interaction before the script proceeds. This feature is very useful, as it helps pinpoint the step in which the GUI fails and aids in regression testing.
  • Provides infrastructure to create robust scripts: Some GUI "record and execute" tools produce very fragile scripts. These tools not only store the events but also the GUI component position information, such as coordinates, to identify them. These scripts are very fragile because any change in positional attributes (changes in layout or running the script on a different platform) breaks the scripts. Abbot uses a number of attributes to dynamically identify the component without depending on any positional attributes. These attributes in aggregate form a component reference, which can be used within the script even before the component itself necessarily exists.
  • Provides a high-level abstraction over the Java Robot class: Abbot builds on top of the Java Robot class by providing a layer of abstraction. The abstraction layer allows end users to create test cases that can capture high-level semantics like the OK button, Select CO from the list of states, etc. This makes the scripts easy to understand and enhances them in the future.

    An example of a test script in XML is provided in Listing 1.

    With this background about the features of the script, it's time to look into how to use the script editor to create the test cases. The sample GUI shown in Figure 1 is an example from the Java Swing tutorial available at java.sun.com.

    The GUI is a Celsius-to-Fahrenheit converter that takes in a numeric value and on the button click displays the converted result in Fahrenheit. To test this GUI, we can write some simple GUI tests to verify the results on the input of a positive number, a negative number, and a nonnumeric input.

  • More Stories By Satadip Dutta

    Satadip Dutta is a software architect at Hewlett-Packard (http://devresource.hp.com) and has been programming in Java since 1997. His areas of interest include distributed software architecture, Web services, and user interface design. Satadip holds an MS in Computer Science from Virginia Tech.

    Comments (7) View Comments

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


    Most Recent Comments
    Ashwath 01/18/05 02:34:16 AM EST

    I tried to run the code that u haven for 'GUI already exista' scenario. But it doen't work.. give me some eg.s

    tlroche 08/22/03 10:05:14 PM EDT

    "Abbot for SWT" (project name=abbotforswt) is an Eclipse plugin
    which seeks to extend Abbot ... for SWT (but you guessed :-) It is
    currently available only from the IIOSB (a "walled garden" version of
    SourceForge inaccessible outside IBM) @

    https://w3.opensource.ibm.com/projects/abbotforswt/

    (IIOSB residence is intended to be temporary. We are currently in IBM
    Open Source Steering Committee pre-review, and therefore hope to
    contribute our extensions back to Abbot sometime this millenium :-)
    For more detail, including

    * how abbotforswt extends j.a.Robot and Abbot

    * abbotforswt vs blackbox tools (e.g. RobotJ/XDE Tester)

    * related Eclipse 3.0 plan items

    see the (currently rather crude) abbotforswt homepage

    To demonstrate abbotforswt's feasibility, we have taken scenario 2
    from the JDJ article above, recoded its SUT (a dialog) in SWT, and
    designed and implemented an API targeting SWT equivalent to Abbot's
    existing API targeting AWT/Swing. For more details, see our release
    notes.

    Sound interesting? Try it out! However, first:

    <required type="legalese">

    If you are an IBMer and have NOT already completed your "OSPG
    training," please read the Open Source Participation Guidelines
    before you check out any code.

    </required>

    You have 2 installation options. Instructions are for Eclipse/
    WebSphere Studio users:

    0 Install the release zip. Goto our release page

    read the "IMPORTANT NOTICE", then follow the instructions in the
    release notes

    Note that you need not register for IIOSB to get the release, but we
    hope you will, because you're a fine human being. (Apologies for
    speciesism to all the fine non-human programmers out there :-)

    1 Install from CVS. This is a good first step toward becoming an
    abbotforswt contributor!

    - Run your development workbench (devbench) with either Target
    Platform pointing to a WSAD build (which is how I tested), or just
    import org.apache.xerces (should work, but not tested).

    - Create a new CVS repository location with

    host=cvs.opensource.ibm.com
    repository path=/cvs/abbotforswt
    user=anonymous
    no password
    connection type=pserver

    and check out HEAD/abbotforswt.

    - Browse to our release notes

    search or scroll to "run the demo"

    - Skip to step 4

    The demo can then be run in each of 3 ways, all of which are
    documented in the release notes:

    * using Test Collector in a launched WebSphere Studio build

    * using pde.junit to launch an Eclipse or WS build

    * using Eclipse's JUnit to launch just the UI

    tlroche 08/22/03 09:55:08 PM EDT

    "Abbot for SWT" (project name=abbotforswt) is an Eclipse plugin which seeks to extend Abbot ... for SWT (but you guessed :-) It is currently available only from the IIOSB (a "walled garden" version of SourceForge inaccessible outside IBM) @

    https://w3.opensource.ibm.com/projects/abbotforswt/

    (IIOSB residence is intended to be temporary. We are currently in IBM Open Source Steering Committee pre-review, and therefore hope to contribute our extensions back to Abbot sometime this millenium :-) For more detail, including

    * how abbotforswt extends j.a.Robot and Abbot

    * abbotforswt vs blackbox tools (e.g. RobotJ/XDE Tester)

    * related Eclipse 3.0 plan items

    see the (currently rather crude) abbotforswt homepage

    http://w3.opensource.ibm.com/~abbotforswt/

    To demonstrate abbotforswt's feasibility, we have taken scenario 2 from the JDJ article above, recoded its SUT (a dialog) in SWT, and designed and implemented an API targeting SWT equivalent to Abbot's existing API targeting AWT/Swing. For more details, see our release notes @

    http://w3.opensource.ibm.com/project/shownotes.php?release_id=597

    Sound interesting? Try it out! However, first:

    If you are an IBMer and have NOT already completed your "OSPG training," please read the Open Source Participation Guidelines

    http://ltc.linux.ibm.com/open_source/ospg.html

    before you check out any code.

    You have 2 installation options. Instructions are for Eclipse/ WebSphere Studio users:

    0 Install the release zip. Goto our release page

    http://w3.opensource.ibm.com/project/showfiles.php?group_id=1023

    read the "IMPORTANT NOTICE", then follow the instructions in the release notes

    http://w3.opensource.ibm.com/project/shownotes.php?release_id=597

    Note that you need not register for IIOSB to get the release, but we hope you will, because you're a fine human being. (Apologies for speciesism to all the fine non-human programmers

    http://www.newtechusa.com/PPI/pressroom.asp#higher

    out there :-)

    1 Install from CVS. This is a good first step toward becoming an abbotforswt contributor!

    - Run your development workbench (devbench) with either Target Platform pointing to a WSAD build (which is how I tested), or just import org.apache.xerces (should work, but not tested).

    - Create a new CVS repository location with

    host=cvs.opensource.ibm.com
    repository path=/cvs/abbotforswt
    user=anonymous
    no password
    connection type=pserver

    and check out HEAD/abbotforswt.

    - Browse to our release notes

    http://w3.opensource.ibm.com/project/shownotes.php?release_id=597

    search or scroll to "run the demo"

    - Skip to step 4

    The demo can then be run in each of 3 ways, all of which are documented in the release notes:

    * using Test Collector in a launched WebSphere Studio build

    * using pde.junit to launch an Eclipse or WS build

    * using Eclipse's JUnit to launch just the UI

    tlroche 08/22/03 09:51:39 PM EDT

    "Abbot for SWT" (project name=abbotforswt) is an Eclipse plugin which seeks to extend Abbot ... for SWT (but you guessed :-) It is currently available only from the IIOSB (a "walled garden" version of SourceForge inaccessible outside IBM) @

    https://w3.opensource.ibm.com/projects/abbotforswt/

    (IIOSB residence is intended to be temporary. We are currently in IBM Open Source Steering Committee pre-review, and therefore hope to contribute our extensions back to Abbot sometime this millenium :-) For more detail, including

    * how abbotforswt extends j.a.Robot and Abbot

    * abbotforswt vs blackbox tools (e.g. RobotJ/XDE Tester)

    * related Eclipse 3.0 plan items

    see the (currently rather crude) abbotforswt homepage

    http://w3.opensource.ibm.com/~abbotforswt/

    To demonstrate abbotforswt's feasibility, we have taken scenario 2 from the JDJ article above, recoded its SUT (a dialog) in SWT, and designed and implemented an API targeting SWT equivalent to Abbot's existing API targeting AWT/Swing. For more details, see our release notes @

    http://w3.opensource.ibm.com/project/shownotes.php?release_id=597

    Sound interesting? Try it out! However, first:

    If you are an IBMer and have NOT already completed your "OSPG training," please read the Open Source Participation Guidelines

    http://ltc.linux.ibm.com/open_source/ospg.html

    before you check out any code.

    You have 2 installation options. Instructions are for Eclipse/ WebSphere Studio users:

    0 Install the release zip. Goto our release page

    http://w3.opensource.ibm.com/project/showfiles.php?group_id=1023

    read the "IMPORTANT NOTICE", then follow the instructions in the release notes

    http://w3.opensource.ibm.com/project/shownotes.php?release_id=597

    Note that you need not register for IIOSB to get the release, but we hope you will, because you're a fine human being. (Apologies for speciesism to all the fine non-human programmers

    http://www.newtechusa.com/PPI/pressroom.asp#higher

    out there :-)

    1 Install from CVS. This is a good first step toward becoming an abbotforswt contributor!

    - Run your development workbench (devbench) with either Target Platform pointing to a WSAD build (which is how I tested), or just import org.apache.xerces (should work, but not tested).

    - Create a new CVS repository location with

    host=cvs.opensource.ibm.com
    repository path=/cvs/abbotforswt
    user=anonymous
    no password
    connection type=pserver

    and check out HEAD/abbotforswt.

    - Browse to our release notes

    http://w3.opensource.ibm.com/project/shownotes.php?release_id=597

    search or scroll to "run the demo"

    - Skip to step 4

    The demo can then be run in each of 3 ways, all of which are documented in the release notes:

    * using Test Collector in a launched WebSphere Studio build

    * using pde.junit to launch an Eclipse or WS build

    * using Eclipse's JUnit to launch just the UI

    Jeff 04/29/03 08:26:00 PM EDT

    I believe this is a forum in which comments need to be made about the article and its vaildity.

    The above messages should be in English and any concerns/comments should be made available for the benefit for all in the community

    Bhojohori Manna 04/29/03 06:00:00 AM EDT

    Chee chee, Ei rokom gala gali dile hobe.Dada koto bhalo article likheche.

    Utgandu 04/29/03 05:54:00 AM EDT

    Dada,ei jinis poisa diye keu porbe bhebechen apni?USa te theke apnio sobar moto boka patha hoye gechen .Apni ei jinista kotha theke chotha korechen?Ar apni ki GUI Master ke chenen???jobab chai,jobab dao.

    @ThingsExpo Stories
    If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
    Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
    As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that CDS Global Cloud, an Infrastructure as a Service provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CDS Global Cloud is an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider specializing in solutions for e-commerce, internet gaming, online education and other internet applications. With a growing number of data centers and network points around the world, ...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
    19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
    WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
    Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety,...
    Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
    For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
    A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
    Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
    Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
    Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
    Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
    In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridharabalan, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, Inc., will focus on key challenges in building an Internet of Things solution infrastructure. He will shed light on efficient ways of defining interactions within IoT solutions, leading to cost and time reduction. He will also introduce ways to handle data and how one can develop IoT solutions that are lean, flexible and configurable, thus making IoT infrastructure agile and scalable.
    Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
    An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
    There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
    Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...