Desktop applications remain an important part of our daily lives, and as such, they must be tested thoroughly before any release to ensure they perform optimally. To this end, desktop app automation testing is crucial. It is a process that can involve using automated testing tools and frameworks to verify the functionality, scalability, reliability, usability, accessibility, compatibility, and other critical aspects of the application.
Desktop automation testing ensures that the application works efficiently in different environments and infrastructures, and the interaction between different components within the application and its interaction with the host environment are tested. Additionally, it is essential to perform installation and uninstallation tests to cover testing requirements.
Given the importance of desktop testing, it’s vital to choose the right testing tool – one that will best satisfy your requirements. Here, we discuss the top 5 desktop testing tools:
TestRigor is an AI-powered test automation tool that uses machine learning to aid in creating and executing test cases automatically. It is a no-code tool, and offers test automation for desktop, web, and mobile applications. It supports various testing types, including functional testing, regression testing, and visual testing. It is also cloud-hosted, which means the infrastructure is taken care of for you. It can also be purchased as an on-premise solution if required by the company. It is SOC2 certified, meaning that you don’t need to worry about data security with this tool.
One of the best features of this tool includes the ability to write all tests from scratch entirely in plain English commands. Tests are also much more stable compared to other tools and require very little maintenance.
Additionally, TestRigor provides a range of features that make it easier for testers to manage the testing process, including support for parallel testing and integration with popular test management and issue management tools, as well as CI/CD providers.
TestRigor also includes a range of reporting features allowing testers to quickly monitor the testing process and identify potential issues.
Overall, testRigor encompasses a set of robust capabilities and allows to build complex desktop tests even for non-programmers. It also checks all of the boxes when it comes to its feature set, thus making it to the top of this list.
Katalon Studio is a powerful test automation solution for web, mobile, and desktop applications, built on Selenium and Appium frameworks. For desktop applications, it supports the Windows platform through WinAppDriver integration, enabling testing of UWP, Classic Windows, and Windows Forms applications.
Key features for desktop testing include Object Spy, Object Repository, built-in keywords, data-driven testing, Test Recorder, test execution and scheduling, and CI/CD tool integration. Object Spy simplifies identifying and capturing UI elements, while the Object Repository enables organized storage, management, and reusability of test objects. Built-in keywords streamline test case creation, and data-driven testing allows test execution with varying input data sets. Test Recorder simplifies test case creation, and test execution and scheduling support both parallel and sequential runs.
The main advantages of Katalon Studio are its ease of use, cross-platform testing capabilities, extensibility, active community, and cost-effectiveness. The intuitive interface, comprehensive documentation, and active user community make it accessible for users with varying levels of expertise. Katalon Studio’s ability to test web, mobile, and desktop applications within one framework enhances efficiency. The tool can be extended through plugins and integrates with popular CI/CD tools. A free version with extensive features is available, making it affordable for small businesses and individual testers, while enterprise plans offer additional features and support.
Ranorex Studio is a software development tool that offers test automation for desktop, web, and mobile applications. It was introduced in 2007 by Ranorex GmbH and built on Microsoft’s .NET platform, with support for standard programming languages like C# and VB.NET. It supports a wide range of environments, specifications, and settings, including Windows OS, .NET, ActiveX, Delphi, Java, Telerik, and Microsoft Office apps.
Ranorex Studio is a great option for automated testing in continuous delivery with the constant testing demand and prompt feedback on results. It supports various testing tools that can be integrated, such as popular continuous integration (CI) and test management (TM) tools. The integration with Selenium WebDriver provides Ranorex with the ability to map objects, manage timeouts automatically, identify dynamic web elements intelligently, and perform testing on Linux and macOS.
Compared to other popular test automation tools, Ranorex outperforms in four out of seven categories, including product direction, ease of doing business with, ease of use, and quality of support. Ranorex Recorder enables script-free tests with keyword-driven testing, making test creation codeless. Moreover, it has a user-friendly UI and a smooth learning curve that makes it approachable to the market.
Ranorex also features a built-in image comparison feature that automatically detects any change in the UI. This feature is useful when a tested item changes its screen position within the GUI, where text-based automation may not work correctly, leading to inaccurate results.
In summary, Ranorex Studio is a comprehensive automation tool that provides solutions for multiple environments, devices, and applications. Its codeless test creation, smooth learning curve, and built-in image comparison make it an approachable tool for automated testing in continuous delivery and DevOps environments.
Appium for desktop is a powerful open-source GUI application combining two essential Appium toolset components, the Appium Server and Appium Inspector. The Appium Server ensures test automation of applications. At the same time, the Appium Inspector is used to inspect and obtain all specifications about an app’s UI element. Appium for desktop helps create more straightforward test scripts, sets up a quick test server, and sets up the Appium environment with the desktop installation of Appium.
One of the significant advantages of using Appium for desktop is HeadSpin Remote Connect, which allows users to test their applications on thousands of real devices connected to carrier networks worldwide. With this feature, app developers can select from various mobile and tablet devices and access and debug their apps on real devices remotely from their desktops without the need for local team support or SDK. Users can also run multiple manual and automated tests in parallel on concurrent desktops and devices without delay.
Appium for desktop offers several benefits to app developers, including access to all features of Appium, better application analysis with the Inspector feature, the ability to switch between native application view and web view, greater context handling and element access, enhancements in the test script build-up, the use of desired capabilities and preset configurations for convenient usage, and a code generator and action recorder.
The Appium desktop client/server offers a GUI that allows users to see logs, set options, and start/stop the server. There is no need to resort to the node package manager for installing Appium because it comes together with Appium for desktop. The Appium Inspector is a standard procedure used to uniquely identify a desktop application’s UI elements, working with real devices or simulators. The action recorder of Appium helps users record user actions and produce test codes, making it easier for users to create a new Test Class and paste the code into Eclipse to review the errors.
In conclusion, Appium for desktop is an excellent option for app developers seeking to create easier test scripts and gain access to all features of Appium for desktop applications. With its powerful combination of the Appium Server and Appium Inspector, app developers can set up a quick test server and gain access to a range of benefits, including HeadSpin Remote Connect, which allows users to test their applications on thousands of real devices connected to carrier networks worldwide. Appium for desktop is a powerful tool that can help app developers create robust and efficient desktop applications that meet their specific testing requirements.
WinAppDriver is an open-source testing framework for desktop applications, which was created by Microsoft. It can be considered as a UI testing framework that is similar to Selenium’s WebDriver API. WinAppDriver has a list of libraries to integrate into a test runner supporting Appium, enabling the creation and execution of test scripts with programming languages such as C# and testing frameworks like MSTest and xUnit from Visual Studio.
WinAppDriver is an Appium-compatible server that supports testing of Universal Windows Platform (UWP), Windows Presentation Foundation (UPF), Windows Forms (WinForms), and Classic Windows applications. Although WinAppDriver officially supports only Windows 10 applications, it can be used to automate a desktop application installed on a Windows 11 machine. With 3.1k stars and 1.3k forks, the latest version of WinAppDriver is 1.2.1, and while the complete code is not open-source, the tests, samples, and related tools are.
WinAppDriver has many advantages for developers, including the ability to customize their preferred programming language and test runner, and the reuse of test scripts for applications on Android or iOS. The usage of the WebDriver protocol also offers flexibility when writing tests. Furthermore, WinAppDriver uses familiar locator strategies used in automation with Selenium and Appium, and allows the utilization of methods and design patterns such as findElement, findElements, sendKeys, and Page Object Model (POM).
Overall, WinAppDriver offers several reasons to choose it for Windows desktop application automation, including its open-source nature, usage of the widely used WebDriver protocol, support for integration with best CI/CD tools like Jenkins and GitLab, and familiar locator strategies used in automation with Selenium and Appium. Additionally, it is easy to use for those familiar with Selenium and Appium, allowing for the flattening of the learning curve.
Comparison and Conclusion
In this article we’ve shared our perspective on Katalon Studio, Ranorex Studio, Appium, WinAppDriver, and TestRigor as test automation tools. All of these tools offer various features and benefits, but they also differ in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.
TestRigor is an AI-driven, no-code test automation tool for desktop, web, and mobile applications, supporting various testing types and offering cloud-hosted or on-premise solutions. It enables no-code plain English commands, stable tests, and low maintenance, and provides parallel testing, integration with test management tools, and CI/CD providers. It is one of the most straightforward tools on the market to use for end-to-end desktop test automation.
Katalon Studio is a good test automation tool with a user-friendly interface, easy setup, and configuration, and support for various testing types and platforms. It offers automated UI testing using Selenium on Windows 10 PC and supports various programming languages, making it easy for developers to integrate their existing codebase into the tool. Katalon Studio also provides built-in plugins for popular tools like JIRA and Git, making it easier to manage the testing process.
Ranorex Studio is a comprehensive automation tool that provides solutions for multiple environments, devices, and applications. It supports various testing tools that can be integrated, such as popular continuous integration (CI) and test management (TM) tools. Ranorex Recorder enables script-free tests with keyword-driven testing, making test creation codeless. Moreover, it has a user-friendly UI and a smooth learning curve that makes it approachable to the market.
Appium for desktop is a powerful open-source GUI application that offers several benefits to app developers, including access to all features of Appium, better application analysis with the Inspector feature, the ability to switch between native application view and web view, and a code generator and action recorder. The HeadSpin Remote Connect feature allows users to test their applications on thousands of real devices connected to carrier networks worldwide, providing greater flexibility and convenience in testing.
WinAppDriver is a Windows Application Driver that allows users to automate Windows applications, suitable for both experienced and novice automation testers. It is compatible with Appium and Selenium, and it is easy to set up and use, providing a smooth experience in automating Windows applications.
In conclusion, each of these tools has its own strengths and weaknesses, and users should choose a tool that best suits their testing needs. Katalon Studio, Ranorex Studio, and Appium for desktop are suitable for a wide range of testing types and platforms, while WinAppDriver is specifically designed for Windows application testing. TestRigor is an AI-driven tool that offers unique features for reducing time spent on test creation and maintenance.
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