UFT (QTP) Review

With UFT 14.51 Micro Focus continues to improve and expand functionality


Last year I had the honor to attend the Micro Focus ADM Conference in Dallas, Texas. Participating with other users in a round table discussion, we spoke of what we loved most, and least, about the UFT automation tool feature set.

The results of this meeting can be seen in UFT 14.51. Micro Focus continues to show they are listening to their user base. They are committed to making changes large and small that makes UFT more user-friendly and efficient. Here is a quick dive into product changes, some undocumented, in 14.51.

Parallel Test Execution adds isolated execution

With a ParallelRunner utility, scripts can be executed on up to four different browsers simultaneously. Execution can be performed from a command prompt:

or by referencing a JSON formatted file.

Parallel execution was introduced in UFT14.50, but there was one drawback: It was difficult to handle events that caused conflicts when executed simultaneously. For example, if multiple tests attempt to perform an LDAP validation with identical credentials, UFT 14.51 resolves this with isolated execution using the ParallelUtil object. This tells other concurrent tests to pause so that the current code segments can execute without any overlapping interference.

You can see a demo of UFT 14.51 Parallel Execution in this short video.

'Open in Repository' speeds Object Repository access

A small change is in the context-sensitive right-click menu makes day to day work in scripts and the repository much easier. In prior versions, users could only jump to the Object Properties… dialog - which has no edit functionality- and then click on View in Repository in order to edit an object.

Now with the addition of the Open in Repository option, a path without the extra mouse click is provided. Users can now jump directly from the code to edit a problem object in the repository. This continues to reduce the "Clickitis" of UFT.

'Go to Definition' jumps to the function between linked libraries.

In prior versions the Go to Definition option only allowed users to jump from the Main Script to a library, or to a function within in the same library. The only way to jump to a function declared in another library was to search the entire project. Now users can jump to function definitions between external libraries.

Spy has a new Hover Mode

Users have long awaited the Object Spy to detect objects that appeared only when the mouse is floated over. This is a switch found at the top of the tool interface, and a message appears indicating the new mode is operational when activated. 
As a reminder, the Spy tool has undergone a lot of improvements in recent releases. It can display the properties of two objects at the same time for comparison. And it's no longer modal, so the user can now move the main IDE window freely, and even edit code, while the Spy tool remains open.

You can see these features in this short video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DHL1qSLCRE

Count and percentages of Pass, Fail and Warnings

The tally of Fail and Warnings in the Results Viewer now report a count and percentage of reported Pass results. 

Users can quickly identify tests with a large count failure from those with a single faults from a high-level standpoint. This greatly addresses the prioritization of maintenance when multiple tests in a test suite have failed. 

Persistent Watch List with Undocumented Methods Revealed

Set variable or object property in the Watch list and save the test. Restart UFT, reload the test and view the Watch window. All tracked variables and objects will return without retyping.

The Watch window holds another surprise. Many, if not all, undocumented methods are now displayed including .Highlight, .HighlightAllMatchingChildren, .Init and .MakeObjVisible.
An additional issue has been resolved where only a partial alphabetical list of object properties was retrieved due to a timeout.  

More support for StormRunner Functional with new AOM Methods and Properties  

StormRunner Functional uses Amazon Web Services to create virtual test labs for testing Web and Mobile devices:

Operating systems: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Ubuntu

Browsers: IE, Chrome, Firefox

Browser versions: Latest version, Beta, Prior Versions

Six Different Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 to 800 x 600

One of the major advantages of StormRunner Functional is that it spins up virtual environments only for the run time duration. Add the ability to run tests concurrently and this makes testing in the cloud significantly faster. 

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

UFT is a licensed product, but it has some advantages that make it a viable choice over other open source options.

The first cost advantage becomes evident when Micro Focus tools are combined with StormRunner Functional to run tests in the cloud. SRF runs under Amazon Web Services, spinning up test environments on an as-needed basis. This allows Micro Focus to offer customers a flat rate charge, instead of a pay-by-the-minute plan. This offering can be very attractive to budget-conscious users who have had the surprise experience of paying for machine instances that were inadvertently left idle for days or weeks in the cloud.

UFT has another advantage with the choice of VbScript as its programming language. It's easy to learn and quick to write test scripts. Where Java and Selenium require a much higher level of code density, complexity and multiple third-party support tools by comparison. The ROI of using an open source tool can be lost when the time and manpower needed to get up and running quickly is lost to a high learning curve and the lack of an on-demand customer support line.

Lastly, successful automation projects expand from an initial proof of concept application to other applications under other technologies. So another advantage to consider is the number new and legacy web technologies, including terminal emulators and Windows thick clients supported by UFT.

This makes UFT the “everything and the kitchen sink” of automation tools, with an easy to learn language, a solid history, and extensive support resources.

Initial Setup

Setup remains straight forward taking about 30 minutes to complete, including one system restart. The tool installs the bare minimum of add-ins. To add more takes less than 10 minutes.

Room for Improvement

With this release, the list of good features dominates over those on the desired list. But there are a few changes I'd still like to see.

A user is forced back to the main script during debugging. 90% of code development and issues occur in function libraries. So having the tool jump back to the main script from it's last line of execution is problematic making debugging overly tedious. Fortunately, this is the only remaining source of "Click-itus" in the product.

No RegEx support of integer properties. From an advanced user perspective, if the tool allowed for the RegEx "[1-9]\d+" in the Height and Width properties, a collection of visible objects could be returned. This would eliminate the additional code to search the outerhtml properties of all returned objects for textual cues like "DISPLAYED".

Other Solutions Considered

I have worked QTP/UFT and Selenium/Serenity engagements; however, I do compare functionality of other tools in my spare time, including Micro Focus LeanFT, TestProject.IO, SmartBear TestComplete, MABL and AutoBloks from the creators of Test Design Studio at Patterson Consulting .

Other Advice

Be sure to have new automation engineers trained beyond basic YouTube videos. Avoid on the job training. This will prevent rookie mistakes, producing more robust scripts and less maintenance. Micro Focus tool training is available from both Orasi and RTTS.

Use of Solution

I have worked with QTP/UFT for 16 years.

My projects over the years have included the tool along with the use of ALM (aka Quality Center or Test Director), Business Process Testing (BPT), and TAO for SAP.

Conclusion

Micro Focus' Unified Functional Testing tool is returning as a major contender in the test automation field. This release continues to show a real commitment to adding more ease of use and providing more functionality to users.

Disclosure

I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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2 Comments
Don IngersonConsultantELITE SQUADTOP 5

A very well-written article that clearly shows the new features. However, it would be really helpful if UFT had a Print button like QTP did to allow the user to print out their code directly to the printer.

18 February 19
Paul GrossmanReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Thanks Don!

You make an excellent point!

While I personally have not printed code for several years, it is something missing compared to other IDEs. Both Eclipse and IntelliJ have a Print Code functionality.

Eclipse has a basic print from a the active window.

IntelliJ has the significantly advanced capability over Eclipse with printing selected text, the active window, or the entire project. UFT certainly should include this functionality in upcoming releases.

18 February 19
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