With version 3.0 Eclipse became a powerful platform that can be used as base of homegrown development. The Rich Client Platform (RCP) forms a good basis to create applications based on plug-ins that are built upon SWT and JFace. The use of new technologies is often depending on their testability. Tests are in modern software development an indispensable mean to ensure the quality of an application. Also graphical interfaces are testable. For older technologies (e.g. Swing) there is a series of test tools that have different features and prices. They have in common that test runs can be recorded and replayed to guarantee the same behavior also in later versions. What about the testability of RCP applications, are there corresponding programs?

In this article three tools will be presented that enable the testing of rcp applications. The steps are described that are necessary to record tests (capture) and replay. Also the differences between these single programs should be taken into account.


Comparison of the tools: QF-Test, WindowTester and AGR (Automated GUI Recorder)

All programs are able to capture the processes in a graphical interface and to replay them. Initially this works with all candidates relatively fast and invites you to test. For every software there is a starter tutorial available, which is even very extensive for QF-Test as well as its detailed documentation. Another aspect is the support. For the two commercial products QF-Test and WindowTester the authors help gladly in case of challenges and questions. At AGR (Automated GUI Recorder) the mailing list of the TPTP project is the main way to ask questions. AGR (Automated GUI Recorder) is licensed under EPL and can be adapted and extended to individual needs. If you don’t want to do this, there will be no advantage in this possibility. There is a big difference between QF-Test and the other two programs. QF-Test is a complete package that takes care of all details, among others the generation of documentations and test execution in batch mode. WindowTester and AGR (Automated GUI Recorder) make use of ther tools for that as Ant, Junit and TPTP. The advantage of QF-test is a central documentation which talks about all parts of the software. On the other hand lots of developers know Ant and Junit very well and don’t need documentation very often.

The goal of making you wish to test Eclipse RCP applications should be achieved by this article. To get an impression of these tools try their trial versions. Since the tools’ functionalities and purchasing costs differ a lot, you should get a systematic overview for your decision. You can also contact us for an opinion which is independent to a large extend

The whole evaluation report can be found here (German PDF only).

Evaluation Report:Testing of Eclipse RCP-Applications - April 2007, Steffen Schäfer, OIO.

(Original German texts and citations are translated into English.)