Understanding UITest Extensions

The Problem

Microsofts UITest framework, including Test Runner and Coded UI Tests, uses IE DOM for IE Applications, Microsoft Active Accessibility for Win32 and Winforms applications and Microsoft UI Automation for WPF Applications. MSAA for win32 and winforms does not tend to expose detailed property information about a control. On the other hand UIA for WPF gives very rich property information. Of course being a reasonably new framework older technologies or technologies that aren’t directly related to Microsoft may either do not work or do not give very rich information. For example the UITest Framework Uses MSAA for VB6 controls but the richness of the information collected is usually only just enough to find the control, being able to validate specific information like the Checked Property of a check box or the Selected Value of a List is often impossible out of the box. However this is not the end of the world, Microsoft’s forward thinking designed the UITest Architecture to extensible in many areas. This means that it is possible to create technology extensions for technology that is not supported by Microsoft’s UI Test Framework If you are after more information including an nice Excel extension sample this blog post has a collection of information under the Extending Coded UI Tests section.

UITest Extensibility Points


The Goal

So my goal over the next few posts has a dual purpose. The first is for my own purpose, I hope that documenting it will help cement the ideas and concepts in my mind enough for me to be able to start creating my on Extensions. The second of course is to help spread the knowledge. Please let me know if any of my interpretation of any concepts are invalid or need more explanation.

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