Contributed by admin on 23 Aug 2013
A few days back, I saw a few computer screens and something caught my eye. Fields in Winforms were automatically getting filled up with data and firing click events. This intrigued me and awoke my curiosity. Several questions rose to my mind:
After days of pondering over it, the answer suddenly clicked and everything fell into place: it was automated test records using Coded-UI.
To put in a simple way, Coded-UI is a tool that is available with Microsoft Visual Studio - Ultimate or Premium version. This tool enables us to create automated tests in order to validate UI controls, functions of Windows and web applications.
To begin with, you can visit
And know more.
In this article, I would walk you through the challenges that I faced in performing automation tests, viz how to identify hidden/mouse-over controls, how to validate row/column values of a grid, how to repeat the recorded action, how to split/edit/remove action items, etc.
While performing a task to validate records in a grid, since we cannot validate each and every row, in order to validate all the records in a grid, I came out with the below script to validate each individual row in a given table. I added the below script in UIMap.cs:
Initially, we failed to identify hidden controls/hidden forms/mouse-hover menu items, because these controls were invisible as soon as one clicked outside. To validate any hidden controls, use keyboard shortcut key Ctrl+I. The same is illustrated below with the example of validating menu items of Google chrome:
And then point your mouse over the menu border and press Ctrl+I such that blue border appears over all the menu items as shown below and save it.
Once validated work is saved, the following script validates whether a given menu item is identified or not:
a. Do not rename the Coded UI Test Map file (i.e. UIMap1.uitest). You might lose all the test cases recorded in this.
b. Recorded method should preferably act on a single page or a form or a dialog. Create a new test method for each new page, form or dialog. Or split the recorded method into many small records by double clicking UIMap.uitest, which opens Coded-UI test editor that allows you to view/edit recorded methods/actions and control properties.
c. Do not comment / modify code in UIMap.Designer.cs because changes could be overwritten on creating new recordings or assertions.
Each line in the action recordings in the c# or VB code that the Coded UI Test Builder generates represents a step (Action item) from the action recording. This will be added to the UIMap.Designer.cs file and the supplied method name would be enclosed. This method will be called from the CodedUITest1.cs file.
When more number of test cases are recorded, the UIMap.Designer.cs file grows bigger and may not be easy to maintain. Thus, it is always advisable to create a separate UIMap.uitest file and bring up the coded-UI-Builder by right clicking, so that all the recordings will be associated to it.
By now, I am sure you are clear with the distinct differences and the role played by CodedUITest.cs, UIMap.Designer.cs, UIMap.uitest and UIMap.cs files.
I was once asked a question: How to validate a set of input values and its expected values i.e., how to repetitively run test method/test case in iterative mode for a given set of records?
The answer to that is here.
While performing tests, playback may fail to locate a particular control/assert value if the application is talking to the database. This is because the records in a database might have been modified / deleted while performing the UI actions. Hence, the playback might have failed to validate. It is therefore advisable to restore the database in the test-initialize and test-cleanup methods. The test life cycle of a single test method according to which every test method runs is of the following order:
[TestInitialize] -> [TestMethod1] -> [TestCleanup]
[TestInitialize] -> [TestMethod2] -> [TestCleanup]
[TestInitialize] -> [TestMethod3] -> [TestCleanup]
[TestInitialize] -> [TestMethod……] -> [TestCleanup]
The TestInitialize and TestCleanup methods would look like this:
Sometimes, we may need to perform a clean-up activity or make a call to specific recorded UI actions only when a test fails. This can be achieved as shown below:
I hope I have addressed all the absolutely essential requisites to start/master an automated test in .Net.
-Contributed by Lokesha.M.
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Tags: action recording, automated test record, automated tests, C#, click events, Coded UI Test Map, Coded-UI, Coded-UI test editor, coded-UI-Builder, CodedUITest.cs, CodedUITest1.cs, combobox, console.writeline, Google chrome, listbox, Microsoft Visual Studio, mouse-over controls, recorded action, test life cycle, test method, test-cleanup, test-initialize, UI controls, UIMap.cs, UIMap.Designer.cs, UIMap.uitest, validate records, VB, web applications, Windows functions, Winforms
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