Web Application Testing in Ruby – from Barcamp Delhi

We had some very cool stuff showcased at Barcamp Delhi 2006. One technology that impressed me was Watir – Web application testing in Ruby. Angrez Singh of Persistent Systems presented a talk on this. Watir is an open source web application functional testing tool. It drives IE like a user will do by clicking links, filling up forms etc automatically and shows the results. It currently supports IE.

Angrez has written Ruby scripts which enable this thing to drive FireFox. Great! He is using JSSh to control FireFox from Ruby. Here and here are more discussions about this.

In the demo, he actually showed how Watir was automatically filling up yahoo mail login page and driving the browser to do a login. It was cool. It was slow, though. When asked, he said that it is because of JSSh which is slow in transmitting messages. I also think so. The culprit has to be the middle man. Later I asked him what all it entails to support more browsers and how easy it is. So, he said that one needs to write Ruby scripts which will drive the browser and also a browser plugin or something which will let Ruby drive the browser.

Frankly, I was impressed by the power of this tool. Ruby itself is getting hotter day by day. And now a powerful web application functional testing tool built in Ruby. Good. This is one thing I am surely going to play around with for some time.

3 thoughts on “Web Application Testing in Ruby – from Barcamp Delhi

  1. There is also SWExplorerAutomation (SWEA) (http://webunittesting.com).
    It has more features and much more reliable than Watir. SWEA supports frames (cross domain), windows and html dialogs, AJAX pages, file downloads, page capturing to image and more. The SWEA test recorder generates NUnit tests.

  2. The problem with Watir is that you will have to learn it’s language, there is no compiler, IDE or syntax checker. When you are starting out, it would help if it can tell you the syntax errors before actually running the script.

    There is a free web automation software called Newbie, http://www.mynewbie.net, that does the same thing. It automates IE using Pascal scripts and comes with an Editor, IDE, debugger and compiler. They are working on a plugin to Firefox using jssh.

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