In case you haven’t heard of it yet, Watir is the greatest thing to hit automated functional testing since…well…ever. Watir (pronounced “water”), or Web Application Testing In Ruby, is an open source automated functional testing tool powered by Ruby. My company has been living off QuickTest Pro, and it is not much of a leap to Watir. Much like QTP, it automates an instance of Internet Explorer and navigates its way around your web site, however unlike QTP, it doesn’t hijack your computer when you do it; with Watir, the IE window doesn’t have to be the foreground window, so you can get something else done while your test is executing. Watir also allows various checks much like QTP, but though programming includes the capability of checking much more, such as object hierarchy or object style. (Yes, Watir can make sure that your validation messages are red!)
Your money manager will love Watir, too. Our switch from QTP will save us thousands of dollars per year from Mercury’s annual support costs. For a moment, I think our company president’s pupils turned to dollar signs like a cartoon.
If you are like me, and spend your QTP days in ‘Expert’ view (Source code), you will pick Watir up quickly. I even find it better than QTP. Additionally, since it is just a source code file, edited in Notepad if you like, it can be stored in your favorite source control application AND (this is a big ‘and’) your developers can execute the automated tests themselves without proprietary software like QTP. Its easy integration with NUnit will also tie your automated functional tests in with applications like Nant and CruiseControl.
Read all about Watir
Read Bret Pettichord’s (a Watir creator) blog entry