Original Debuts Tool for Testing Lotus Notes Apps
May 17, 2005 Alex Woodie
In the world of software testing, there has never been a way to automate testing of Lotus Notes applications. That is about to change with the introduction of a new version of TestGUI from Original Software. Last week the English software house announced TestGUI 4.0, which Original says is the first and only tool of its kind to automate the testing of Lotus Notes applications.
TestGUI is an automated testing tool designed to enable non technical quality assurance (QA) team members to ferret out bugs and other design glitches affecting Windows GUI applications. Instead of relying on pixel-specific screen record and playback functions, the software is capable of finding problems by capturing and analyzing individual screen components for an expected result, which makes testing faster and more accurate, Original says.
The software connects with the screen components in three different ways, including Microsoft‘s Component Object Model (COM) and ActiveX technology, traditional Windows classes, and Microsoft’s Accessibility controls. While Microsoft’s Accessibility controls were originally developed to help people with disabilities interact with computers through the use of things such as screen readers, Colin Armitage, Original Software’s CEO, realized they had other uses, too.
“We discovered that it could be used to talk to the content of applications,” Armitage says of the Accessibility controls. “With .NET, there is now a standard for every form of visual control, whether it’s a text box or drop-down list box. Accessibility protects you from all that.”
Armitage realized that he could use Microsoft’s Accessibility controls to bring testing to a platform that was, heretofore, off limits to automated testing tools: IBM Lotus Notes. “Lotus Notes has supported Accessibility for some time,” Armitage says, but “nobody has taken advantage of this. Nobody in the world is doing it.”
With TestGUI 4.0, Original now provides Notes shops with the capability to streamline the QA process. Like it does for traditional GUI applications written in a .NET language or 4GL environment, TestGUI provides object and screen component interrogation, capture of object properties, screen input and events, and offers automatic verification of content against expected results.
Prior to TestGUI 4.0, regression testing of Lotus Notes applications was a manual process, by necessity, Armitage says. With an estimated 110 million Notes users around the world, this has to rank as one of the biggest untapped markets for automated testing tools, which makes both Original Software and IBM happy.
“One of the key areas for improvement in iSeries development shops as reflected in the iSeries developer road map is improving developer productivity,” says Doug Fulmer, an IBM iSeries sales executive. “Clearly automated testing tools like TestGUI for Domino applications are on exactly the right path. It frees up valuable developer resource to do their main job–solving the company’s business problems using IT.”
At this point, Original does not provide testing of Domino applications and databases, due to the proprietary nature of the Domino data store, Armitage says. Any testing of a Domino back-end must be done through the Notes interface.
TestGUI 4.0 is available now. Pricing is set at $4,500 per concurrent user. For more information, visit www.origsoft.com.