Wednesday, 29 July 2009

ICT Conference and Excellence Awards 2009

Just thought I would write a quick note about the ICT Conference and Excellence Awards being held at the National Motorcycle Museum, Bickenhill, Birmingham on 10 November 2009.

If you haven’t been before, the conference is the largest technology focused conference within the West Midlands, and is currently in its 6th year. The conference seems have built in popularity each year, culminating in 420 delegates attending last year.

In the organisers own words, “The purpose of this exciting event is to provide SMEs with unrivalled access to technology partners, thought leaders, business innovators and support organisations. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to network with like-minded individuals in the region.”

nFocus have attended this conference for a few years running, and having won at the awards previously with their Virtual Test Service, will be going back this year. We hope to see some of you there.

The theme for this year’s event is “Competing in the New World – Innovating your way to success” and if you would like to attend, you can do so by sending an email to Still not made up your mind? You can view the initial programme by clicking here.

And the ICT Excellence Award categories for this year include:

  • Best Innovative Product

  • Best Innovation Service

  • Best Added Value Product

  • Best Added Value Service

  • Best Added Value Project

  • Most Improved Business

  • Best Knowledge Transfer Project

Here’s some key dates for the diary, if you would like to enter your organisation for these awards, you have until 28 September to put in an initial entry. If you are shortlisted you will be notified by 2 October, and then be invited to give a presentation to the panel of judges on 14 or 15 October.

For more information on the event you can ask us about our experiences by leaving a comment below or visit:

Friday, 17 July 2009

What's the deal with Coded UI tests in VS2010?

So I was intrigued as to what was in VS2010 from an automated UI testing perspective, I'll be looking into this in more detail but some of the specs look pretty good. It’s great to hear that it is going to have some silverlight support but I think we are going to have to wait till closer to RTM to find out what support for which types of apps actually make it in.

This video shows the proposed platform support but there are a few “Best efforts” statements nevertheless, Brian Keller demos the Coded UI testing functionality.

It looks like it is going to be really powerful with some great features like the “Video Recorder” which could change the face (and size) of execution logs forever!

We are going to be installing the Beta here at nFocus to see what the little nuances are and we will report back on our findings.

Monday, 6 July 2009

nFocus Axe's Selenium

I've been working on getting Selenium to work with Axe for a couple of weeks now and I am pretty happy with the results so far, so I thought that I would share with you this practical walkthrough of how to get the two to talk together. Firstly, it is fair to note the versions that I have been running with, Axe : version, Selenium RC : version 1.0.1, Java : version 6 update 14

To start with, you are going to have to download and install all these tools. In order to get Selenium RC up and running, you are going to need to download and install Java, like I said, I'm using version 6 update 14, typing:

"java -version"

in a command prompt reveals :

Once you have Java and Selenium RC installed (you only need to unzip Selenium into your desired location), then you need to fire up the Java server, I created a little batch file containing the command "java -jar selenium-server.jar" and saved it in my

"C:\Program Files\Selenium\selenium-remote-control-1.0.1\selenium-server-1.0.1"

directory calling it "StartServer.bat". Finally I created a shortcut to this on my desktop and a simple double click will start the Selenium server running on the default port of 4444.

Now you will need to get Axe ready to deal with Selenium, firstly, we are going to need to edit the AxeConfig.xml file in the Axe program directory, we need to add a "tool" entry for Selenium, in the file, you will find an xml snippit file "AxeConfigSnippit.xml", you can insert this into your "AxeConfig.xml" file. The first thing to note about this tool entry is that it handles some of the actions performed while using the "New Project Wizard" like copying template files into the new project and some of the actions responsible for building and running the tests in Selenium (the <build> and <run> sections). You will notice that in the build/postbuildarguments, I have used a number of parameters like:


These are so that the ThoughtWorks dll's are referenced during the compilation and copied over to the scripts directory where the final Axe tests are built to. In order for this to work, you are going to need to copy the ThoughtWorks dll's (where they exist will depend on where you installed/unzipped Selenium RC) into the Axe program files directory. For me that looks like :

copy "C:\Program Files\Selenium\selenium-remote-control-1.0.1\selenium-dotnet-client-driver-1.0.1\ThoughtWorks.Selenium.Core.dll" "C:\Program Files\Odin Technology\Axe"
copy "C:\Program Files\Selenium\selenium-remote-control-1.0.1\selenium-dotnet-client-driver-1.0.1\ThoughtWorks.Selenium.IntegrationTests.dll" "C:\Program Files\Odin Technology\Axe"
copy "C:\Program Files\Selenium\selenium-remote-control-1.0.1\selenium-dotnet-client-driver-1.0.1\ThoughtWorks.Selenium.UnitTests.dll" "C:\Program Files\Odin Technology\Axe"

I copied them here just to make the process of building and compiling easier.

The rest of the files that are included in the zip file are as follows :

C:\IntegrationFiles\samples\OdinPortal\Config\Selenium.BuildConfig.xml C:\IntegrationFiles\samples\OdinPortal\Config\SeleniumChrome.RunConfig.xml C:\IntegrationFiles\samples\OdinPortal\Config\SeleniumFireFox.RunConfig.xml

With the exception of the AxeConfigSnippit.xml file, all of the other files should be copied into their counterpart Axe (Program Files) directories e.g. :

copy "C:\IntegrationFiles\ActionMap\Selenium.ActionMap.xml" "C:\Program Files\Odin Technology\Axe\ActionMap"

Note also that you will have to create the "Selenium" directory as this will not currently exist:

C:\Program Files\Odin Technology\Axe\Templates\Selenium

With all this in place, you should be able to fire up the OdinPortal sample and kick off a few tests in the different browsers (assuming you have all of them installed).

Next week we will be putting together a tutorial on how to create a new Axe-Selenium project to run some tests against google.

The files to support this entry can be downloaded here....

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Google Test Automation Conference 2009

Google have announced that the 4th Annual Google Test Automation Conference will be taking place on the 21st and 22nd of October at Google's Zurich office, Switzerland.

In their own words, "Google Tech Talks are designed to disseminate a wide spectrum of views on topics including Current Affairs, Science, Medicine, Engineering, Business, Humanities, Law, Entertainment, and the Arts."

Boring stuff over...the basis of the conference is to solve software engineering challenges through the use of tools and automation (just as an aside, this is one of our areas of specialism). This year's conference is specialising in testing web applications, services and systems. The conference is also hoping to cover mobile device application testing. All sounds very exciting, and interesting to us, so we are going to send a few delegates.

I thought you may like to take a look at the keynote presentation from last year's GTAC, presented by (surely) one of Google's newest employees, James Whittaker. The presentation is titled, "The Future of Software Testing", and in my opinion, is definitely worth a watch.

If you plan to present at the conference you should probably take note of August 1st, by this date you need to have submitted your proposal, with Google hoping to accept or decline the proposal by the 8th of August.

If you're looking to attend you may like to take a look here.

And finally...If you have any further questions, feel free to email and ask me or the team at, or contact Google directly at