AutoBlackTest: Automatic Black-Box Testing of Interactive Applications Automated blackbox GUI specifications enhancement and test data generation · Mohammad Ali AutoBlackTest: a tool for automatic black-box testing · Leonardo. Why is automation important? Because black box testing is very broad, and. AutoBlackTest: Automatic Black-Box Testing of Interactive Applications Test Automation, Q-Learning incomplete, and the generated test cases necessarily . We define the utility of actions in Section V. In step multiple GUI states, possibly.

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For many years, black box testing has been a powerful and popular approach in software testing. The appeal of black box testing is that it exposes where a system breaks from the user’s perspective.

A black box test “doesn’t care” about the specifications behind the system, or how exactly it was implemented. It looks at the actions a user should testinng able to perform, and asks the question, “what happens when a user tries to uatomated that? Does it really work?

A big advantage of this approach is that it can expose gaps in the system. For example, take a simple login screen, and the specifications to which it was built:.

A white box test plan would go over the specs and make autobkacktest they black-bo implemented correctly:. You’ve probably noticed what’s missing here no validation that the password is correct! So while all 5 white box tests could pass, in reality the system would be broken.

A black box test plan would ignore the specs and just test the user story: Test 1 would pass, but Test 2 would fail and expose that the system does not actually check the password at all.

Note in reality there would be many more than 2 tests; we would need to test many possible usernames and passwords to see black-bod and when the system falls down. This is a challenge of black box testing covering all relevant user workflows and inputs. In this simple example it’s quite easy to see the gap in the system, because we are so familiar with login forms. But even in slightly more complex systems, it might not be immediately obvious that something in the spec or implementation is incorrect.

White box tests can verify the implementation but can’t make sure the user story is fulfilled. That’s what black box tests are for. Although black box testing is not formally part of the agile methodology, it is strongly related. A basic tenet of agile development is that software should not be built to a set of meticulous specifications which are supposed to represent what users need.

Rather, developers should quickly build something simple that provides value to a user, release it and allow users to actually use it. Then they can add more capabilities that provide even more value, in an iterative manner, verifying that each new capability really provides value for users. Black box testing fits in perfectly with agile because the tests are planned in accordance with the user story.

So they test the value users receive, rather than verifying the implementation, as in the white box approach. Because of the need to make sure that users are really receiving the autoblacitest promised by the software, many powerful testing tools have emerged, which make it easy to do black box fog in an automated and repeatable manner.

Why is automation important? Because black box testing is very broad, and ideally, should test all automates inputs and auromated conditions. In reality it’s never possible to test all the options. But in autoblackttest to increase test coverage as much as possible, it is desirable to automate tests. When tests are automated, automatfd possible to run many more tests covering many more inputs and conditions, with the same limited testing resources.

Today, there are three primary types of software applications that are developed and tested, and three main approaches to do black box testing:. Some tools provide a scripting language that allow testers, with some technical knowledge, to write a series of instructions that describe what user operations should be performed in the test. For example, go to a certain URL, click the “login” button, and type in the username “john” and the password “”. It is then possible to “run” or “execute” the test script, and those operations are automatically simulated on the application under test, as if a user performed them.

A test script must also perform validation checking if the interface functioned correctly and if the test passed or failed. To this end, testers add assertions to their test scripts code that checks if the expected result occurred. For example, a login test could end with an assertion that the title of the next page is “Welcome John”.


If it isn’t, the test will fail. Some tools provide a graphic interface in which testers can define which user operations should be performed in the test. Testers either pick and choose elements of the software application and possible user actions, or perform the user operations directly themselves and “record” them, generating a testing script behind the scenes. Here too, like in coded scripting, testers need to implement assertions that verify the expected results of the test. In most cases the validation part of the test cannot be “recorded”, so it is necessary to specify it using a complex set of rules or by writing code.

A new set of tools go about it a different way: Then, when the system is under test, user inputs are simulated and another screenshot is taken. The visual UI testing tools then compare the first and second screenshots, and report differences between the two images, which might represent bugs. Visual UI testing is different from the other two approaches because it provides a built-in system for validation, without requiring the user to explicitly define what output they expect or what might go wrong.

A visual UI testing system can report on everything that goes wrong on a screen at one time even unexpected errors. On the other hand, testers need to explicitly define the simulation part how to click through to the right place in the interface and insert the user inputs.

There are hundreds of testing tools out there. In this post we cover 5 powerful and popular tools used by pro testers. The below breaks down these 5 tools and shows which technical approach each of them uses and which applications they are able to test.

Black Box Testing

The 5 testing tools surveyed in this post, broken down by technical approach and apps tested. Selenium AKA “Webdriver” is a downloadable open source tool that does browser gor. Selenium contains a variety of drivers for almost all web browsers.

Selenium automatdd you write test scripts in the programming language of your choice e. When the user reaches a page on which there is a desired outcome, you need to perform validation, by writing custom code that checks what is on the page and performs an “assertion”, checking if the desired outcome is there. For example, after logging in with user “David”, you can assert whether the site shows “Welcome David” at the top of its interface.

By design, validation is not part of the Selenium project, and can be performed by testers in their native programming language. Selenium provides built-in commands that let the test scripts perform different user actions such as click, scroll, type text, navigate to different URL, wait, autoblacktset. This is a GUI application that lets you press “record”, go to the web browser, perform user actions, and a test script will be produced automatically with all those user actions.

AutoBlackTest: Automatic Black-Box Testing of Interactive Applications | Mauro Pezzè –

Of course it’s not foolproof, and you’ll need to re-run your recorded scripts and tweak the code to make sure it does exactly what you want. Selenium IDE also allows you to define assertions for validation of test results, by defining conditions on code elements that exist in the page. The beauty of Selenium is that once you have a test script, the same script can be executed again and again on different browsers, facilitating cross browser testing of the same page or feature.

Selenium can facilitate black box testing by simulating a user’s workflow in the browser, thus testing if a certain user story, represented by that workflow, works correctly. Selenium is a popular tool with millions of installations, and is probably the most common way black box testing is done today for web applications. The concept of cross browser testing, which is a common use of Selenium, is closely related to black box testing.

Selenium’s support for numerous browsers and platforms makes it possible to accurately simulate users’ journeys through the interface, on the real platforms they are likely to use. In today’s multi-platform environment it is not sufficient to test if we have implemented all the features of the websites correctly white box testing ; we need to make sure that real users on their actual computers are able to access and use those features black box testing.

A main weakness of Selenium is that to use it, testers need to be proficient in writing code. Many professional testers are not expert coders and for them Selenium will have a steep learning curve. Some of this complexity can be overcome by using Selenium IDE. Want to do black box testing with Selenium? Here’s what you’ll need to get started:. Appium is an open source tool that aims to be an open standard for automated testing of mobile websites and apps.


It builds on the success of Selenium as a de-facto standard for browser automation, and allows testers to write scripts using the familiar Selenium API with some additions for mobile such as a “swipe” commandwhich will work on mobile sites and apps. Like Selenium, Appium is built and supported by a large open source community. Another important feature of Appium is that it is fully cross platform, supporting both Android and iOS, native apps and websites accessed through a variety of mobile browsers.

Appium allows testers to write scripts in almost any programming language. Appium does not provide validation or assertions as part of the project, but requires users to write custom code to validate that the simulated user actions succeeded or failed. Like Selenium, Appium can facilitate black box testing by simulating a user’s workflow in a mobile app or a website accessed via a mobile device browser.

Due to Appium’s support of both major mobile operating systems, iOS and Android, and numerous browsers, it can be used to accurately test if users are able to perform actions on their actual devices. Another downside of Appium is that it is relatively difficult to set up. Appium is a relatively new project and this may improve as new versions are released. Want to do black box testing with Appium? Applitools Eyes disclosure we built it: Unlike Selenium and the other tools we review on this page, Applitools Eyes focuses on the validation aspect of testing it provides a convenient way to check if, given a certain user workflow or input parameters, the user interface is functioning properly or returning the correct output.

Applitools Eyes works by recording an initial screenshot of the user interface when it is functioning correctly called a “baseline”. Then, testers to simulate a user action, capture another screenshot of the application under test, and compare it to the baseline.

It is possible to view all the differences between the current screen under test and the “baseline” representing the correct functionality any of these differences could represent bugs or incorrect functionality. Unlike other types of test validation such as assertions in test scripts Applitools Eyes does not require the tester to explicitly define which problems they expect to find in the user interface. Rather, it exposes any changes visible to the user and lets the tester “approve” them, saying that these changes are acceptable, or “reject” them, indicating that these changes represent a bug.

Applitools Eyes allows testers to manually simulate user actions and then capture a screenshot for comparison with the baseline. For automated testing, it integrates with tools like Selenium, Appium and QTP, enabling testers to simulate user actions via these other tools, and then trigger visual validation via the Applitools Eyes API.

Visual UI testing is the most distilled form of black box testing, because it operates solely based on what the user sees, with no reliance or consideration for how the application is implemented. The power of black box testing is that it tests the system from the user’s perspective, making it possible to uncover unexpected failures.

Visual UI testing does exactly that it identifies any difference in the user interface compared to a known baseline, even if that difference was not explicitly defined as an assertion in the test.

Visual UI testing enables testers to uncover hundreds of changes or possible bugs in one user interface screen using one validation step which would require manually coding or defining hundreds of individual assertions using other testing tools.

This makes it possible to dramatically increase black box test coverage, testing many more possible user workflows, inputs and expected outputs. Applitools Eyes makes visual UI testing practical by helping users focus on the visual differences that are most relevant for the current test, whether they are “cosmetic” or minor design changes e.