Automated System Testing using Visual GUI Testing Tools: A Comparative Study in Industry
by E. Börjesson and R. Feldt
Software companies are under continuous pressure to shorten time to market, raise quality and lower costs. More automated system testing could be instrumental in achieving these goals and in recent years testing tools have been developed to automate the interaction with software systems at the GUI level. However, there is a lack of knowledge on the usability and applicability of these tools in an industrial setting. This study evaluates two tools for automated visual GUI testing on a real-world, safety-critical software system developed by the company Saab AB. The tools are compared based on their properties as well as how they support automation of system test cases that have previously been conducted manually. The time to develop and the size of the automated test cases as well as their execution times have been evaluated. Results show that there are only minor differences between the two tools, one commercial and one open-source, but, more importantly, that visual GUI testing is an applicable technology for automated system testing with effort gains over manual system test practices. The study results also indicate that the technology has benefits over alternative GUI testing techniques and that it can be used for automated acceptance testing. However, visual GUI testing still has challenges that must be addressed, in particular the script maintenance costs and how to support robust test execution.
Copyright disclaimer


  author =    "Emil Börjesson and Robert Feldt",
  title =     "Automated System Testing using Visual GUI Testing Tools: A Comparative Study in Industry",
  year =      "2012",