Struggles and discoveries using te52 – Day 19 of 30 Days of Testing


Today I decided to try out tellurium 52. It’s a web-based simple automation tool. The main features of te52 are:

  • It’s free (this is always a plus!)
  • Tests are written in “Plain English”
  • Cross-browser testing
  • Scheduling

It sounded great, so I got my hands dirty.

In the start, it can be confusing on how to write a test in “Plain English” when web elements are way more complex than that. I write Selenium tests, so for me this more business-orientated way of writing tests was both something new and challenging.

Trying to write my own test, I found out that there is a Tellurium Chrome extension which works rather the same as Selenium IDE: you can record your browser activity and get a “pre-made” test. I have had my share of disappointments with Selenium IDE, so I did not expect much from a recording tool, but… it was way worse than I expected.

The extension would constantly crash and make the whole page which I was recording unresponsive. I would often blame the sites for being not te52-friendly and changed the sites for my test idea multiple times.  Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 6.14.15 PM

After a lot of struggles with the extension and eventually inspecting web elements manually, I created a test for Urban Outfitters Quick View: open Quick View, assert that Add to Bag is visible and take a screenshot.

My final test “script” looked as follows:

For the url
When the mouse is moved over the first “Kimchi Blue Katrina Polka Dot Shirt Dress” image
When the first Quick Shop link is clicked
Once the “action-buttons ng-scope” div is present
Then the text “Add to Bag” is present
Then take a screenshot

As you can see, plain English definitely is very easy to understand and implementation details are hidden. Definitely, test could be even more obvious if my elements were chosen wiser wouldn’t be as specific (but I made them to be so to get it done!). The screenshot was successfully taken and saved displaying the Quick View:

Some final observations about the tool:

  • Idea is very good: you get to do quick checks online which are written in an easy to understand language and anyone could check them out.
  • Different browsers support is still very weak. To run tests online in the simple way you can do it only on Chrome, Firefox and IE11 (Tellurium grid). And, this is what I got trying to run it on Firefox:
    Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 6.57.05 PM.png
  • Chrome extension is a pain to use: it crashes and freezes the whole page. You should be quite familiar with inspecting elements in order to write tests in te52 and cannot rely on the extension to help you.
  • Import from Selenium IDE works: I tried to import Selenium IDE recorded scenario and it worked fine. Did not dare to import real Selenium test.
  • Some web elements are not easy to capture. This is a constant struggle with web UI testing – it changes, it’s dynamic, implementations very much differ from site to site. However, some of elements which Selenium IDE grasped fine did not get recognized on te52.

In the end, I have had quite a few struggles with te52 and I think it still has room for improvement. This table demonstrates it well:

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 6.28.59 PM.png

I may use it in the future for scheduled automated smoke checks of UI as it allows to take screenshots easily, run tests on the regular basis and it all is for free. However, at this moment I don’t feel that I’m ready to bother with a lot of limitations that te52 still has.



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