Record a manual test script with Rational Quality Manager 4.0

Create manual tests faster using Rational Functional Tester automation

Rational Quality Manager can use Rational Functional Tester to record a user's gestures on the application and automatically convert them into English natural language. Exploratory testing, documentation, and agile test teams that perform manual testing can use this capability and combination to write manual test scripts faster and easier.

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Vaibhav Srivastava (vaibhav.srivastava@in.ibm.com), Execution Component Team Lead, Rational Quality Manager, IBM

Author photo: Vaibhav SrivastavaVaibhav is the Execution Component team lead for the Rational Quality Manager development team. He was the Feature lead for Manual Test Script Recorder and works in the IBM India Software Lab. He is a contributor to the OSLC Automation specification and an IBM developerWorks contributing author.


developerWorks Contributing author
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Shinoj Zacharias (shinoj.zacharias@in.ibm.com), Technical Lead, Rational Functional Tester, IBM

author photoShinoj Zacharias is a Senior Software Engineer in the Quality Management division of IBM Rational software. He is the technical lead for IBM Rational Functional Tester and has been leading support for packages applications, Adobe Flex, and the Simplified Scripting and Manual Test Script Recorder features.



02 October 2012

Also available in Portuguese

Overview

Starting with Version 4, IBM® Rational® Quality Manager can use the recording capabilities in Rational® Functional Tester Version 8.2.2 to build manual scripts in English natural language format. This makes creating a manual test script quick and easy, because you can use this integration to record your gestures on the application and convert them into English natural language statements. In addition, screen captures are taken automatically, so you can show the UI element involved, which removes any ambiguity. Because these statements are automatically generated, they provide standardization for manual tests, which have been more freeform, traditionally.

Several kinds of teams can take advantage of this capability:

  • Teams that perform exploratory testing can automatically document the steps that the users performed.
  • Agile manual testing teams will save a lot of time in building tests.
  • Geographically distributed test teams can provide a common language that testers use to elaborate test designs.
  • Documentation teams can create user tutorials just by performing actions on the application.
  • Agile team developers can document the steps for validation.
  • Teams working on mature products can write manual regression tests.
  • Teams authoring translation verification tests benefit if those tests depend entirely on application screen captures and direct mapping to test step descriptions.

Prerequisites

To use this script recording capability, you must have access to Rational Quality Manager 4.0 or later, along with Rational Functional Tester 8.2.2 or later.

Table. System requirements and necessary permissions
ProductVersionSystem requirementPermissionsDownload
Rational Quality Manager 4.0 or later See the link in the Resources section User should be able to create or save test scripts.
The user ID with adapter is connected must have permissions to register adapter and save lab resources and tasks.
See the Get products and technologies section in Resources for a link to download Version 4.0.
Rational Functional Tester 8.2.2 or later See the link in the Resources sectionUser should be able to start the recorder See the Get products and technologies section in Resources for a link to download Version 8.2.2.

To have this integration work successfully, you must have this setup:

  • Rational Quality Manager is installed on a server machine with a project area created. For the example in this article, you can use the Sample project area, JKE Banking (Quality Management), which is available included when samples are created.
  • Rational Functional Tester is installed on your desktop or laptop computer (client machine) where the application on which you intend to record is accessible.
  • The machine on which Rational Functional Tester is installed must be able to access the Rational Quality Manager server.
  • The client machine should have a supported browser installed where Rational Quality Manager can be used. See Resources for a list of supported browsers and details. For this example, we used Mozilla Firefox 10 ESR for running Rational Quality Manager Version 4.0.
  • The application that you want to record on should be either:
    • A web application built using HTML, Dojo toolkit, or with Java applets
    • A Java application (SWT, Swing, AWT, Eclipse-based)

Web applications can be recorded on a variety of web browsers supported by Rational Functional Tester 8.2.2. Detailed information can be found in the help documentation. The Rational Functional Tester recording capability works on the Microsoft Windows platform only, so the client machine must be a Windows-based operating system.

For the example in this article, you will record a manual test for www.ibm.com, using Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 (see HTML Support in the Rational Functional Tester information center for a list of other supposed browsers and versions).


Configure the adapter on the client machine

The adapter communicates information between the Rational Quality Manager server and Rational Functional Tester. The Rational Functional Tester adapter for Rational Quality Manager gets installed along the Rational Functional Tester installation on the client machine.

One of the first steps to enable the manual test script recording capability is to start the Rational Functional Tester adapter on the client machine and connect it to the Rational Quality Manager server.

  1. On the Microsoft Windows client machine where you have installed Rational Functional Tester 8.2.2, navigate through All Programs > IBM Software Delivery Platform > IBM Rational Functional Tester > Adapter to Rational Quality Manager > Configure Adapter.
Figure 1. Rational Functional Tester Adapter configuration window
Tabs for Connection Information, Adapter Console
  1. In the Connection Information tab, enter the following information:
  2. Server URL in this format (substitute information for your system where there are italics):
    https://servername:port/contextRoot
    This must match the Rational Quality Manager server public URL of the server. For example:
    https://mycompany-vm0923.co.in:9443/qm

    Only the Rational Quality Manager server public URL must be mentioned in this area. The server machine's IP addresses, localhost, or any other values apart from public URL will not fetch the desired results.
    1. Enter your Rational Quality Manager username and password in the fields provided.
    2. Using the drop-down menu, select the project area where you want to connect the adapter. For this example, select JKE Banking (Quality Management).
    Tips:
    • Users must have Rational Quality Manager licenses assigned and should be part of the JKE Banking (Quality Management) project area.
    • An adapter can connect to only one project area of Rational Quality Manager at a time. Ensure that you connect the adapter to the correct project area.
    1. Leave the rest of the fields the same, and click the Start adapter button.

After the adapter is connected to Rational Quality Manager, the Rational Functional Tester adapter will display a "Connected" notice similar to the one shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Rational Functional Tester Adapter connected to Rational Quality Manager
RFT adapter connected to RQM server
  1. To save the fields you have entered in the adapter, click the Apply button. The tool will remember the entries for further use.

Now you have successfully connected the Rational Functional Tester adapter to the Rational Quality Manager server, and your client machine is ready to start the recording session.


Record a simple manual script

Manual scripts are a set of written steps or instructions written that a tester can read later during the test execution cycle to perform those actions on the application. This section guides you through creating a simple manual script by recording your actions on the application.

Start the recording session

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox or another supported browser. Enter the URL in the address window to get to the Rational Quality Manager login screen:
    https://mycompany-vm0923.co.in:9443/qm/web/console

Note:
That URL is based on the assumption that your Rational Quality Manager server public URL is https://mycompany-vm0923.co.in:9443/qm.

  1. Enter your user credentials in the login window, and click Login.

Because this is a new server and it has only one project area, you will be logged into the project area directly.
Tip: If there is more than one project area on the server where you have access, you will need to select the project area from there, and then enter the Rational Quality Manager project area. The selected project area should be the one where you had connected the Rational Functional Tester adapter in the earlier step.

  1. After you have logged in to the Rational Quality Manager project area, select Construction > Create Test Script.
Figure 3. Navigate to create a test script
Path: Construction to Test Script under Create
  1. When an empty test script page opens, confirm that the script type is Manual.
  2. In the top-right corner of test script page, click the red icon that says Record Manual Test.
Figure 4. Record Manual Script icon (red circle)
Record manual script action
  1. The Record Manual Script dialog window (Figure 5) shows the list of available adapters that can record.

If a Rational Functional Tester 8.2.2 adapter is busy recording a script or executing a test, then those adapters will not show in the list. Only the available adapters will show in this view. If you have started a Rational Functional Tester 8.2.2 adapter that is not showing in this window, see the Troubleshooting techniques section.

  1. For the images that are being automatically captured during recording, you can choose the location where the images should appear and the format in which they get rendered. Choose these options, as shown in Figure 5:
    • Image Location: Expected Result column
    • Show As: Thumbnail
Figure 5. Selections for the recording session
Adapter selection for recording
  1. Click OK.

Depending on the version of browser that you are using and your settings, the browser might automatically minimize. We will explore the user settings in a later section of this article.

Configure the application for the recorder

At this point, you have initiated the recording session on the selected adapter. When the adapter receives the information from the Rational Quality Manager server, it will communicate with the Rational Functional Tester to start the recorder. After that, the recorder will try to capture any actions that you perform on the client machine.

In this section, you will configure the application to start with the Rational Functional Tester recorder.

  1. On the client machine, wait for the recorder to appear. The recorder will automatically start on the machine where the adapter is running.
  2. When the recorder window appears, the screen will be highlighted with an orange box that signifies that the recorder is ready to record on the application.
Figure 6. Rational Functional Tester, Recording pop-up window
Recorder toolbar
  1. For the purpose of this example, use www.ibm.com as the application for recording. To start the application from the recorder, select the Start Application icon, third from left: Start application button
  2. In the dialog window, choose Edit Application to open the Application Configuration Tool.
Figure 7. Configure the application to test
Application Configuration Tool window
  1. Click Add , select HTML Application as the application type, and click Next
  2. Enter http://www.ibm.com as the URL, and click Finish.
  3. Chose Internet Explorer as the browser to start with, and click Apply.
Figure 8. Add application details
Window to edit the configuration
  1. Click Finish to close the configuration tool.

This is a one-time activity to configure the application with the Rational Functional Tester recorder. If you want to record again on the same website, you will not need to repeat these steps.

Figure 9. Start Application window
Select an application from the drop-down menu
  1. Click OK inn the Start Application window to start Internet Explorer and start loading www.ibm.com.

Record your actions on the application

In the previous steps, you configured the application (www.ibm.com) to work with the Rational Functional Tester recorder. After opening the application in another instance of Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, you are ready to record. In this article, you will follow a scenario where you log on to ibm.com and searches for the "rqm" product. Then you look at the Rational Quality Manager features and, finally, move on to register at ibm.com to learn more about the product.

  1. After ibm.com has opened in the browser, use the Search window to search for rqm.
  2. On the new page, click Download Rational Quality Manager software to go to the developerWorks Rational Quality Manager product page.
  3. Navigate to look at the features of the software, and then click Request a Quote.
  4. Pause the recording to verify what is happening by clicking the Pause icon on the recorder. Bring the Rational Quality Manager UI in focus to see what it shows.

Notice that the steps that you performed on the application are sent live to the Rational Quality Manager UI. Also notice that the screen captures are taken automatically during this process, which helps you provide the expected screens of the application.

Figure 10. Recorded manual script
test script during recording
  1. After you have checked the Rational Quality Manager UI, go back to the application and continue. Reminder:Resume the recorder.
  2. Back on ibm.com, click Register n the top-right corner of the page, enter the information required for registration, and close the dialog window.
  3. At this point, you have completed the steps for this part of the scenario. Use the Stop button on the recorder to stop the Rational Functional Tester recording session.
  4. In the Rational Quality Manager UI, you should now be able to see all of the steps that you performed on the application (ibm.com), stated in English natural language. There will be corresponding screen captures that were taken automatically.

The rich image on [cursor] hover feature will show the images in full-size formats so that users can verify which application controls were used. During test execution time, this gives testers clear information on what result to expect. For example, the image in Figure 11 shows the when user entered engineer in the Job Title field.

Figure 11. Images with rich hover capabilities highlight objects that the user interacted with
Recorded Script with mouse-pointer Hover feature
  1. After you have verified that the statements are properly created, be sure to Save the test script.

Tips:

  • While recording a session, using a mouse helps generate better statements.
  • At this point, the script is as good as a hand-typed, manual script. It has all necessary abilities, but you can modify, format, create keywords, add test data, or perform other actions that you could with a manual script.

Explore advanced options in the recorder

So far, you have authored a manual script with minimal effort by using Rational Functional Tester automation. The process described allows users to capture the flow seamlessly while navigating on the application.

In this section, you learn about some of the advanced options available in the recorder so that testers can create test scripts with even more clarity. The numbers in Figure 11 refer to the numbered actions that follow.

Figure 12. Rational Functional Tester Recording view details
Recording screen segment with numbers for icons
  1. Stop recording. In general, you use this after you have completed your tasks on the application.
  2. Pause recording. While recording the steps in your scenario, if you need to perform an action that you don't want to record, you can use this action to temporarily halt the recording session and show a Resume option. Only after you click Resume will the recorder start to record the actions that you perform again.
  3. Start application. This starts an application that you had configured earlier with the Rational Functional Tester recorder or when you want to configure a new application.
  4. Insert verification point. When you want to explicitly highlight a section of the application and mention in the test script that, during execution, this section must be verified, you can use this action. For example, if you want to verify that the logo of the application is always present, by using this action, you can take an Image verification point and the statement generated will be similar to "Verify the ibm.jpg logo," with a screen capture of the . Similarly, you could have a data verification point where statements would be generated such as "Verify the 'firstname' label."
  5. Insert manual step. While recording a manual script, statements are generated automatically, based on the user's actions on the application. However if you would like to manually enter a note or comment in between the generated statements, you can use this action.
  6. Help. This opens the contextual help for the recorder.
  7. Expanded mode. This action can be used to expand the Rational Functional Tester recorder. While recording on the application, the recorder will display the recorded statements here. It will also display the ignored actions (for example, an action on unsupported domains or objects).

Inserting verification points

You can use the recorder to insert verification points for most of the controls.

  1. Click the Insert Verification Point toolbar button shown in Figure 13 to launch the Verification Point Wizard.
Figure 13. Recorder monitor with verification point options
second icon selected in the toolbar
  1. To capture a verification point on any control, click the object finder icon in the wizard, hold the mouse button down and drag the icon to the object that you want the verification point for, and release the mouse button.
Figure 14. Verification Point Wizard
Wizard with Object Finder to select the control

The next page in the wizard helps you in taking the data or image verification point for the control that you selected with the Object Finder. You can take a data verification point to verify the label of the button or the text of the control and list of elements of the combing box, for example. The image verification point can be used to verify the image of the control or screen or a region of the screen.

Figure 15. Select the type in the Select Verification Point window
Select image or data verification point

Inserting steps manually

While recording a manual script, statements are generated automatically based on the user's actions on the application. However, if you would like to enter a note or comment manually in between the statements automatically generated, you can use this action.

  1. Click the Inset Manual Step toolbar button in the recorder monitor.
Figure 16. Recorder monitor with Insert Manual Step option
Insert manual Step icon selected
  1. Click Insert Manual Step, enter the text, and click Insert.

The text that you enter in the Enter manual step text field gets inserted into the recorded step.

Figure 17. Insert Manual Step dialog window
Enter the words manually in the text field

Other actions available in Rational Quality Manager

You have seen how to create a new manual script by recording, but to ensure that the scripts are up-to-date with the application changes, you might want to modify the scripts generated. The same capability can be used for modifying the manual test scripts, which are not generated by the recorder and are essentially hand-typed.

You can use the inline recording capability of Rational Quality Manager to modify the manual test script and insert statements and images through recording.

  1. Inside the test script editor, there is an edit option for each step. Choose the Edit option on the steps to expand the drop-down menu, as shown in Figure 18, and start the recording session.
Figure 18. Insert steps into an existing manual script
Inline recording action
  1. After you initiate this action, follow process explained previously for recording on an application

In other situations, while creating the test case, you might want to record a test script and link it to the test case. You can do so by initiating the recording from the Test Case Design section or the Test Scripts section of the test case.

Set project and user preferences

By default, the manual test script recorder is enabled in Rational Quality Manager project areas.

Disable manual test script recording in a particular project area

Administrators have rights to disable this feature by following these steps:

  1. Log in to the project area as an administrator and navigate to Manage Project Properties from the top-right corner of Rational Quality Manager user interface.
  2. Under Manual Script Preferences, you can disable the recording actions.
Figure 19. Project properties for a manual script in Rational Quality Manager
Properties menu, Manual Script Preferences option
  1. Check Disable recorder option for creating manual test script, and click Save to disable that ability.

Modify your individual preferences

This will prevent users from using the recorder in that particular project area.

There are some preferences that have been provided for individual users. These are applicable to the format in which images are captured and the location where they are stored. After logging into the Rational Quality Manager, the logged-in user's name is displayed in the top-right corner.

  1. Click the menu beside the user name to open it.
  2. Select My Preferences for Quality Management in that menu
  3. Under the user preferences, chose Recorder Preferences to modify user preferences.
Figure 20. User preferences for recording
Preferences window

Troubleshooting techniques

Adapter not available in Rational Quality Manager

Entering the server details in the Rational Functional Tester adapter requires attention to detail. If the adapter's connection details are not correct, the adapter will not show up properly on the Rational Quality Manager server.

  1. To verify that the adapter is connected correctly, open the Adapter Console by selecting Execution >Adapter Console from the drop-down menus.
Figure 21. Rational Quality Manager Adapter Console
Adapter console view

The status indicator (circle) in the Health column for the adapter must appear green. If it does not, the adapter is not connected properly to the Rational Quality Manager server.

  1. In that case, review the Configure the adapter on the client machine section of this article.

Health shows green but the adapter is not visible during recording

The adapters listed in the Name column (see Figure 22) as available for recording need to meet three criteria:

  • The adapter must be for Rational Functional Tester Version 8.2.2 or later (an adapter in an earlier version will not show in the recorder's adapter selection list).
  • It should be successfully connected to the Rational Quality Manager server, and the adapter health indicator should be green.
  • When you are recording the script, the adapter must not be performing any other task (such as running a script or recording another script).

The adapters will be listed as available only if they meet those criteria.

To clear the pending tasks for a specific adapter:

  1. Select the adapter in the Adapter Console, and the click the Clear Tasks action. This will show a window that lists the pending tasks by the adapter.
  2. Click OK to clear the adapter's tasks.
Figure 22. Adapter Console view, Clear Tasks option
Clear Tasks pop-up window, Yes or No options

See the Resources section for a link to a troubleshooting guide.


Summary

In this article, you saw how to create a manual script easily while documenting the actions that you take on the application. This saves a lot of time in writing a manual script, which traditionally has been a big problem for testers. The unambiguous English natural language statements, along with automatic screen captures of the application, also simplify the problems that testers face during test execution.

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