Test Automation Tool - Rational Robot

I was asked by a friend from Orkut about Rational Robot. So I thought of compiling an article about it so that everyone can share it. So here it goes...

Extracted: wilsonmar.com
1. General-purpose test automation tool for QA teams who want to perform functional testing of client/server applications.
2. Lowers learning curve for testers discovering the value of test automation processes.
3. Enables experienced test-automation engineers to uncover more defects by extending their test scripts with conditional logic to cover more of the application, and to define test cases to call external DLLs or executables.

4. Provides test cases for common objects such as menus, lists and bitmaps, and specialized test cases for objects specific to the development environment.
5. Includes built-in test management, and integrates with the tools in the IBM Rational Unified Process® for defect tracking, change management and requirements traceability.
6. Supports multiple UI technologies for everything from Java™, the Web and all VS.NET controls to Oracle® Forms, Borland® Delphi® and Sybase® PowerBuilder® applications (see
System Requirements page for complete list).

You can find a Rational Global User Group here: Rational Global User Group

Product Functionality Summary
Robot automatically plays back scripts that emulate user actions interacting with the GUI of applications under test (AUT). The validity of the AUT is determined by comparators at Verification Points, when objects of the AUT are compared against a baseline of what is expected.

Robot records several types of scripts:
a) SQABasic scripts (using MS-Basic language syntax) capture the commands equivalent to each user action.
b) RobotJ scripts (using
Java language syntax) These are compiled into .class files containing java bytecode.
c) Virtual User (VU) scripts (using C language syntax) capture entire streams of conversations HTML,
SQL, Tuxedo, CORBA Inter-ORB IIOP, and raw Sockets Jolt protocols sent over the network. These are compiled into dynamic-link library (.dll) files and linked into a .obj compiled from a .c source file which calls the .dll file.

Both types of scripts can be initiated from the Test Manager product. VU scripts are executed from a schedule. A separate IBM product, Rational Suite Performance Studio (LoadTest.exe), plays back Virtual User (VU) script commands to determine an application's performance speed and to detect contention problems caused by multiple users performing actions simultaneously.

Captured scripts typically need to edited to:
a) Add for, while, and do-while loops to simplify repetitive actions.
b) Add conditional branching.
c) Modify think time variables.
d) Respond to runtime errors.
e) Store and retrieve test data to/from datapool files.

There are several ways to create Robot scripts. Scripts can read and write to datapools. As scripts run, Log records are generated into Log Files used to trace script execution conditions.

Robot Scripts
Classic Robot scripts can be created several ways:

1. Robot can automatically create SQABasic scripts by capturing user actions.

# Menu selections replayed using statements such as
Menu "File->SaveAs"

# Mouse clicks are replayed using statements such as
PushButton Click, "Text=OK" RadioButton Click, "name=radio3" CheckBox Click, "name=checkStudent" ComboBox Click, "name=comboCountry", Coords="25,10" EditBox Click, "name=txtQty"

# Keyboard entries are replayed using InputKeys commands.
Alt-P = "%P"
Ctrl-P = "^P"
Shift-P = "?P"

Text is automatically inserted at the top of scripts during recording from default Template File Testproc.tpl in folder TMS_Scripts\SQABas32.

Robot SQABasic scripts are also automatically generated by Rational's TestFactory product after it "maps" the application's objects by examining its programming source code.

TestFactory is part of Rational's TestStudio Suite of products which include Purify, Visual Quantify, and PureCoverage. Getting Started

Using Rational TestFactory
SQABasic Scripts can be read by humans because commands in scripts refer to the names of objects rather than their crytic screen coordinates. Recorded scripts are Human-readable can also be changed manually by a programmer from within Robot or with any ASCII text editor.

# SQABasic scripts have a file extension of .rec
# VU scripts have a file extension of .s
# Watch files have an file extension of .wsh.

2. Enablers allow Robot to detect the properties of objects in the underlying application. This means that objects can be specified for testing even if they are not visible in the application's interface.

# For web testing, running RBTSTART.HTM injects SQA7IETS.OCX, which enables web testing through IE.
# Rational sells additional Enablers to allow Robot to detect the properties of objects developed using VB, Oracle Forms, PowerBuilder, HTML, Java, C/C++, and other integrated development environments (IDEs).

3. Rational Robot can also record detailed mouse movements and keyboard actions in a low-level script stored in binary ASCII format. Before playback, Robot must convert scripts into machine instructions.

4. Compilation of SQABasic GUI scripts creates a file with the same file name as the script source file, but with a file extension of .sbx. Robot automatically recompiles such files when it detects that its script file has changed since the date stamps of its compiled sbx file. This is why you can remove the compile button from the toolbar.
5. Compilation of .c VU files creates an .exe file. This process refers to .h header files installed by default in folder \rational\rational test\include.

Getting Certified in Robot
1. Rational only certifies people in their
Partner program.
2. $295 Certification tests are taken on-line.
3. At the end of Rational's 3-day $1,795 class:
Rational TeamTest Fundamentals for Functional Testing
4. As of this writing, Rational's certification program is managed by Christine Sikorski
RUCertAdmin@rational.com 18880 Homestead Rd. Cupertino, CA 95014 Phone:408.342-4682 Fax:408.863-4331
5. 1-3 day Instructor Certification Assessment Sessions are $1,000 USD.
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About Debasis Pradhan

Debasis has over a decade worth of exclusive experience in the field of Software Quality Assurance, Software Development and Testing. He writes here to share some of his interesting experiences with fellow testers.


  1. Informative article...Anticipating more intricate aspects of Robot.

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