Welcome!

Oracle Authors: Cloud Best Practices Network, Tim Hinds, Dale Kim, Mike Kavis, Hovhannes Avoyan

Related Topics: Java, Weblogic, AJAX & REA, Oracle, HP

Java: 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
    With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th 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 an...
    @ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this case) takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives.
    17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, 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 enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
    Enterprise IoT is an exciting and chaotic space with a lot of potential to transform how the enterprise resources are managed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Hari Srinivasan, Sr Product Manager at Cisco, will describe the challenges in enabling mass adoption of IoT, and share perspectives and insights on architectures/standards/protocols that are necessary to build a healthy ecosystem and lay the foundation to for a wide variety of exciting IoT use cases in the years to come.
    Avnet, Inc. has announced that it ranked No. 4 on the InformationWeek Elite 100 – a list of the top business technology innovators in the U.S. Avnet was recognized for the development of an innovative cloud-based training system that serves as the foundation for Avnet Academy – the company’s education and training organization focused on technical training around top IT vendor technologies. The development of this system allowed Avnet to quickly expand its IT-related training capabilities around the world, while creating a new service that Avnet and its IT solution providers can offer to their...
    @ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the M2M space. This really allows some room for influential individuals to create more high value inter...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud, a provider of enterprise resource planning software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. B2cloud develops the software you need. They have the ideal tools to help you work with your clients. B2Cloud’s main solutions include AGIS – ERP, CLOHC, AGIS – Invoice, and IZUM
    It's time to put the "Thing" back in IoT. Whether it’s drones, robots, self-driving cars, ... There are multiple incredible examples of the power of IoT nowadays that are shadowed by announcements of yet another twist on statistics, databases, .... Sorry, I meant, Big Data(TM), tiered storage(TM), complex systems(TM), smart nations(TM), .... In his session at WebRTC Summit, Dr Alex Gouaillard, CTO and Co-Founder of Temasys, will discuss the concrete, cool, examples of IoT already happening today, and how mixing all those different sources of visual and audio input can make your life happier ...
    The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
    There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and easy to use. MangoApps has been named a "Market Leader" by Ovum Research and a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner...
    The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
    Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
    WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
    In his session at WebRTC Summit, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at creating interactive communications via the web by adding messaging, file transfer, and group communication (group chat and audio/video conferencing) into the web experience. He will also discuss potential applications of this technology in areas including B2B, B2C, P2P, and gaming. Peter Dunkley is Technical Director at Acision. He graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science. After graduation Peter worked on a PSTN switch developing signalling stacks for SS...
    The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
    What if, during a snow emergency, an on-the-ground sensor could automatically trigger a relevant emergency notification related to snowfall and road impact. And then, after it’s triggered, that notification is delivered intelligently to individuals based on an extensive set of rules designed to alert the most available and capable responders. This “what if” question about “smart highways” is short-sighted. We are already there, and we are only getting started. While mainstream attention is paid to machine-to-machine communications, new technologies are being developed to make these communica...
    The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
    SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
    Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.