Open Source Testing Tools

Last weekend we held the June session of the Indianapolis Workshops on Software Testing. The attendees were:

  • Taher Attari

  • Charlie Audritsh

  • Mike Goempel

  • Michael Kelly

  • Marc Labranche

  • Jeffrey Mexin

  • Patrick Milligan

  • Richard Moffatt

  • Dana Spears

  • Jon Strayer

The topic we focused on for the five-hour workshop was open source testing tools.

I would like to relate some deep insight, but tools being what they are we didn't get a lot of discussion. Five tools were presented by Charlie Audritsh, Mike Goempel, and myself. In general, it seemed to generate interest in those tools and there were targeted questions about applying the tools, but the discussion level was relatively low. Rather then doing a play-by-play of this months meeting I thought I would just share the tools covered and let you do your own research. The tool creators say it better then me anyway.

Here are the tools we looked at:

WATIR stands for "Web Application Testing in Ruby". Watir (pronounced water) is a free, open-source functional testing tool for automating browser-based tests of web applications. Watir drives the Internet Explorer browser the same way an end user would. It clicks links, fills in forms, and presses buttons. Watir also checks results, such as whether expected text appears on the page. Watir is a Ruby library that works with Internet Explorer on Windows.

Web Application Stress Tool
The Microsoft WAS web stress tool is designed to realistically simulate multiple browsers requesting pages from a web site. You can use this tool to gather performance and stability information about your web application. This tool simulates a large number of requests with a relatively small number of client machines. The goal is to create an environment that is as close to production as possible so that you can find and eliminate problems in the web application prior to deployment.

A visual cognition video
This video was part of an experience report given by Mike Goempel. Mike was shown this video at STMR 10 by Cem Kaner and has used it as an example to show project managers some of the drawbacks of scripted manual testing. Cem also shows and explains this video in detail in his course on Black Box Software Testing. Look under "test procedures and scripts" I think...

Firefox Web Developer Extension
Adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools that are useful for helping with test automation, security testing, usability testing, and functional testing.

WebGoat is a full J2EE web application designed to teach web application security lessons. In each lesson, users must demonstrate their understanding by exploiting a real vulnerability on the local system. The system is even clever enough to provide hints and show the user cookies, parameters and the underlying Java code if they choose. Examples of lessons include SQL injection to a fake credit card database, where the user creates the attack and steals the credit card numbers.

Next month we look at assessing test coverage. I'm saving my energy to blog about that. I think we will generate a lot of interesting and useful content at that meeting. If you would like to attend, let me know.