Sunday, January 1, 2012

Introducing WebTestingExplorer

My friend and I recently started working on a new open-source project, WebTestingExplorer (hosted on We are setting out to do a high-quality, industrial-strength implementation of some of the ideas we worked on in graduate school at the University of Maryland, specifically applied to web application testing. The super-high-level idea is to incrementally "explore" the web user interface, simultaneously looking for bugs and generating test cases. Although the project is in a very early state, the current implementation can do a few useful things, such as:
  • Detecting unexpected HTTP status codes and Javascript errors during exploration.
  • Generating and replaying regression test cases, looking for differences in state.
A few tenets we have adopted are:
  • Most everything regarding the exploration and test case replay process is configurable.
  • Configuration is done primarily via code, not command-line arguments or XML files.
  • The application-under-test is inherently "testable" (or we can make it so), such as having unique id's for important HTML elements, and hooks that enable reliable timing of actions.
If you are interested in automated test case generation and/or web application testing, feel free to start playing with it and sending feedback through the Google Code project. Although the primary vehicle for project communication will be the Project Wiki, I hope to blog here about some of the interesting issues we encounter. So until next time...

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