I recently started working on the GUI testing space again. This is an interesting space, with loads of commercial and open source tools being available. Although all the tools might have their own unique features which they bring to the fore; I realized that there are some basic fundamental steps, which need to be brought up to get things moving in the right direction. I have tried to put these steps as succinctly as possible in this post.
The initial step is to realize that although all GUI web based applications may vastly differ from each other, they have one common control which needs to be looked into – the ‘objects’ which create the page. Each web page (or for that matter GUI based application) would have these. Each tool has its own unique way of looking at and identifying these objects on the web page. The basic assumption being that the Dev’s have done a spot of good coding and provided meaningful and unique names to all the visible objects on a Web based application :-)
Map these objects to the web applications page and half the work of automating the web based app is complete. The crucial part is that the automation engineer should realize that he has to use the names provided by him during this initial setup and mapping stage. We cannot rely on names provided by the Dev Team, as these may be generic and/or not properly worded; to provide the correct identification of the object on the web page.
So from my viewpoint, you need to start any GUI Automation by first mapping all the objects and providing proper names to these. With this work done, now arrange them into a proper flow, so that you create the required test scenario as has been provided by either the Business or the Customer. Having the initial mapping of the objects, is the biggest help that can be obtained. Will further post on the different tools and how to build this great library of objects with each tool.