Comparing an ATF to Commercial Products: Support for File Uploads/Downloads and Dialog Boxes

Comparison: Support for File Uploads/Downloads and Dialog Boxes

As part of an ongoing blog series, we will delve into a discussion of the differences between an ATF and the various commercial products on the market. This blog series will discuss one area of comparison each week. This week’s discussion Support for file downloads and dialog boxes.

The Commercial tool vendors are able to easily handle file downloads and dialog boxes inside their test cases due to their ability to do record and play and the fact they handle both web and windows applications. This ability does expand the types of test cases that can be automated, but on the other hand this is still record and play and creates some large maintenance issues.

Contrary to many bloggers and open source testers opinion, tools such as the ATF are also able to handle file uploads/downloads and dialog boxes. The problem is that many of these bloggers or testers do not have enough knowledge of the tools they are using and put out false information that influences other users or potential users of open source tools. The reality is that a tool such as WebDriver can do file downloads using the .sendKeys command to type the local path of the file in any file field. The file you wish to download needs to be on the server you are running your tests on, and if you’re using a cross browser tool such as Sauce Labs you can use the built in setFileDetector method to handle a file upload for you. Many testers seem to struggle with dialog boxes while using open source tools such as WebDriver, but the majority of time it’s due to their lack of knowledge of the WebDriver API. The majority of time dialog boxes can be handled through the WebDriver switchTo() windowHandles(), iFrames() or Alert() commands. In the event none of the built in commands handles the dialog box then it’s possible to use either JavaScript or a tool such as Sikuli to handle the dialog for you.

In comparing the support for file uploads/downloads and dialog boxes between the commercial vendors and ATF, the commercial vendors and their supporters have a minimal advantage due to the fact that their record and play or object repository does not care if the file upload/download or dialog is web or windows application based. Experienced users of the available open source tools used in the ATF will easily be able to handle any file upload/download or dialog boxes encountered and will have fewer maintenance issues down the road compared to the commercial tools.

Posted in automation, selenium, testing, Uncategorized

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