February 1, 2011 7:50 PM
by Ed Blankenship
Bookmark this page! I’ll be updating this blog post article as I am informed of support for Coded UI testing in each of the products. Let me know if I’m missing any that should be in the list!
If you have been using Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft Test Manager for automated UI testing, you may have experienced some issues with building the Coded UI tests if your application is using third-party components. It has been quite frustrating having been to several customer sites over the past year and running into this issue. My suggestion for anyone that has run into these issues is to open a support case with the component vendor and request that they add the necessary accessibility support to their component libraries. This will allow each of them to track the interest for this type of support in their products and then also provide a way to inform you whenever it is supported.
FYI – This is also the necessary implementation to get the “Fast-Forward” functionality from Microsoft Test Manager to work to record the actions of manual test cases.
There doesn’t seem to be a definitive list of the third-party controls that do or don’t support Coded UI testing at the moment. I have attempted to gather all of the information to provide a one-stop shop for this support. I’ll include links to updates, add-ons, etc. as I receive them.
Accessibility Support for Custom Controls
If you are building custom controls that are for internal use in your organization, you’ll want to make sure you implement the appropriate accessibility hooks to get full support from the Visual Studio Coded UI testing platform. Here are some links for you to get started:
Additionally, there is a tool called the UI Accessiblity Checker (also known as AccChecker) that is available to help you check your controls to make sure that the necessary accessibility implementation is correct. The tool can check for both MSAA and UIA implementations. It even has a plug-in architecture so that third parties can add additional verifications to the tool. All the source code and the binaries are available on the CodePlex site.
Shubhra Maji from the Visual Studio Test & Lab Management product team at Microsoft put together a great “basics” blog post about the different levels of Coded UI support for custom controls: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudioalm/archive/2011/10/28/coded-ui-test-extension-for-3rd-party-controls-the-basics-explained.aspx. The goal for all third-party custom controls should be to get to Level 4 which is the “Intent-Aware” stage.
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Ed Blankenship is a Product Manager at Microsoft for Visual Studio Online. I am an author of a few books, former Microsoft MVP of the Year, and former ALM consultant. I hold Office Hours each week if you are interested in chatting.
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