Automate your UI using Microsoft Automation Framework

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Automate your UI using Microsoft Automation Framework.


UI automation is a programmatic interface to the user interface of your application to external applications that may be interested in programmatic communication with your UI. In fact, UI automation is the prime facilitator for accessibility features in Windows where external applications such as screen readers that have no clue about your application, can still interact with your application easily.

I was acquainted with UI automation during my tenure at Microsoft in 2005 when I started working as software developer in test within Visual Studio Team Architects team on a project called Whitehorse. For those who need some background, Whitehorse consisted of SOA diagrams within Visual Studio (you can learn more about this project in the MSDN magazine here). Testing of visual designers in the product test team was done entirely using an internal UI test automation framework built on top of Microsoft Active Accessibility framework.

The UI automation framework is relatively new to Windows platform and successor to Windows Active Accessibility. The framework provides a unified way to discover UI controls in an application built using any of the following desktop technologies: Win32, Windows Forms or WPF.

UI automation has several benefits when used in applications:

  • Accessibility features – UI automation provides accessibility support in your application. Accessibility support becomes even more important when there are matter of legal compliance in the domain your application is used in (e.g. Government regulations).
  • Automated UI testing – UI automation can automate testing for application UI saving time and costs associated with manual and regression testing. Moreover given a set of use cases, UI automation can be used to verify application behavior via scenario tests.
  • Custom controls – If you are authoring custom controls, UI automation support enables end clients of your control to automate your control in their application UI.

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Смотри проект CalculatorTests в TFS project dmd-dev2\Training\Work

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