Farm Development

Automated Model Based Testing of Web Applications (GTAC 2008)

Last year at the Google Test Automation Conference (GTAC) 2007, the talk by Atif was one of my favorites. He had been working on a system of model based testing for desktop GUI applications (affectionately called GUITAR) and hinted that he will be applying the work to web applications next. Now, at GTAC 2008, here is a taste of what his dept. has been up to. The talk is by Oluwaseun Akinmade and Prof. Atif M. Memon. Both are at University of Maryland.

The idea of automated model based testing hints at a future where software can be used to figure out how to test itself. That is, when software is modeled in a way that exposes inputs, outputs, event handlers, and end-points, then introspection can be done to find all possible interactions within an application and test them. Yes, it is one step away from artificial intelligence. This is fascinating to me but I think it still needs a lot of work. Atif is asking for as much feedback as possible from industry professionals to find out how this can best be used in the real world.

Here are my notes from the talk:

  • Re: Automated Model Based Testing of Web Applications (GTAC 2008)

    Is there a standard model language to describe MBT model? ASML or XMI? TestOptimal uses SCXML.

  • Re: Automated Model Based Testing of Web Applications (GTAC 2008)

    I don't know of any standard, no. IIRC, Atif and co. had created a custom XML schema for this. I think.

  • Re: Automated Model Based Testing of Web Applications (GTAC 2008)

    This might help understand our custom XML schema.

    I have been busy migrating GUITAR to sourceforge. The site is Before I clean and migrate the code, I have been setting up a structure for the web-site and add templates for all files. We'll also have coding/documentation standards.

    One of the tasks that I started yesterday was a formal description of the .GUI files that we use for the GUI structure. The existing description, and was incomplete and not standard.

    As a starting point, I have made a XMLSchema for the GUI Structure. It is at

    It would be great to hear your thoughts on this schema.



  • Re: Automated Model Based Testing of Web Applications (GTAC 2008)

    The GUI Xml schema looks great, it's certainly a good start.

    Two questions below:

    1) I was wondering how you would describe the dependencies between GUI components, e.g. a checkbox or menu item may enable or disable other GUI components.

    2) Assuming this schema is to be used to create the state machine model and generate the test sequences, what's your vision of generating the test sequences from this xml schema?

    - Yaxiong

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