Best way to locate Object in Web UI Automation with Katalon Studio

Despite teams applying manual or automated testing for Web UI projects, renovating object locators for the Application Under Test (AUT) is a required step when adjustments are made to the app because locators are easily broken or unable to identify the target element when the AUT. For testers, it seems like updating locators to new objects is a never-ending task.

Some automation testing tools in the market with different technologies and approaches have provided the market a few solutions to help Testers overcome this obstacle. The two most efficient ways to eliminate the flakiness for locating objects are XPath Generator and Self-healing.

Here are two ways Katalon Studio could help you out of the never-ending task

1. Self-healing

1.1. Definition and the benefits
Self-healing is a natural solution provided by automated testing tools made to iron out the claim of constantly changing the UI of Web applications. Self-healing capability offers a host of benefits for testers and their team: it takes less time and effort to ensure all the functional tests run smoothly and avoids interruption for all executions.

Self-healing benefits

In web testing, one familiar challenge is to cope with changes in the application under test as the product takes on another shape. Web UI testing can be considered an integral part of any web application product. It is what the users first experience, and it also reflects the quality of production for businesses. However, when the UI changes, test objects’ properties also change, causing the tests to fail later on.

(Begin with Web testing? Read this)

When test scripts are quickly impacted by the rapid release and update of the product and its development team, test case maintenance becomes inevitable for testers. For both manual and automation testers, having to go back to old scripts and update new properties to each object is a horrifying task, let alone the fact that Agile development is now the new norm.

1.2. The mechanism of Self-healing
When designing test scripts for Web UI testing, both low-code and code-driven practices, objects of the AUT are bound to a locator to run the test steps successfully. The AUT will not stay the same over time, and each tweak or change made to the UI will be mismatched with the predesigned test cases.

Mechanism of Self-healing

Testers usually expect their test cases to fail as updates are constantly added unless they have had plans for maintaining the test scripts despite future changes — by employing a self-healing mechanism.
1.3. How Self-healing from Katalon Studio helps make testing easier
Katalon, an automation tool that provides an all-in-one testing solution have just released version 7.6 with Self-healing mode and other evaluation. The new Self-healing mode in Katalon Studio is capable of determining test status, detecting errors, analyzing, and offering a solution to heal the broken test automatically. What’s left for our users is to approve the suggested solutions or deal with it themselves.

With Self-healing enabled, testing becomes truly automated — even the Object locator flakiness can be solved easily.

2. Smart XPath Generator

Prior to Katalon Studio version 7.6, users are familiar with the Smart XPath Generator plugin. The plugin is made to recover the broken default locators for testing in batch overnight. This helps ensure regression testing flows without friction, and all key functionalities are not affected.
The XPaths are more resilient to changes in the AUT and more maintainable than those generated by Selenium. This method is available from version 5.7 of Katalon Studio.

However, in the release 7.6, Katalon evaluated the Self-healing feature to do better than its predecessor.

XPaths mechanism from Selenium can locate the element; they are too long and complicated. So SmartXPaths and Katalon Studio could automatically do it for you.

However, the self-healing feature reduces the maintenance task for teams, lowers the failure rate for test runs. This is more advanced and comprehensive to tackle the issue of broken locator during execution. As a successor, the new Self-healing ability of Katalon Studio is an upgrade of the same principle, only better.

Refer to this video on how Self-healing works in Katalon Studio 7.6, for a better decision when to use this feature. If you have any questions, join the forum to discuss and read more tutorials from this category.

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