Simplifying GUI Test Automation with Ranorex

Graphical interface (GUI), is part of an application that’s visible to the user. GUI objects include elements like menus, buttons, icons, text boxes, lists, dialog boxes, etc. GUI Testing is important as it is performed to ensure that the visual aesthetics of an application are as per specifications and to verify if the elements are visible to and interactable for a user. It also makes sure that the visual elements like fonts and pictures suit the planning specifications.

Automating GUI tests is often complex and tricky as user behaviors are often unpredictable. Consequently, having an all-in-one GUI testing tool can be quite handy. There are multiple such tools in the market, one of which is Ranorex.

About Ranorex tool

Ranorex Studio is an end-to-end, all-in-one GUI test automation tool that was introduced to the market in 2007 by Ranorex GmbH. It provides solutions on different environments, for multiple devices and applications, facilitating automated tests of Web, Mobile, and Desktop applications.

Ranorex does not have a scripting language of its own, but it is based on Microsoft’s .Net framework and supports only C# and VB.NET to edit test recordings or create custom tests.

Ranorex Studio is one among the foremost comprehensive automation tools, supporting a good range of environments, specifications, and settings. Its tech support involves:

  • Windows OS 7 through 10 and Windows Server 2008 through 2016
  • Windows desktop technologies, including .NET, ActiveX, Delphi, Java, Telerik, and Microsoft Office apps
  • Mobile testing on Android and iOS
  • Cross-browser testing on all major browsers
It’s considered more suitable for web-based applications.

That being said, it is considered more suitable for web-based applications.

Ranorex usage distribution among different platforms; Source: Ranorex Studio survey

Market Share and Popularity

A data-driven market research company, Enlyft, whose data for Ranorex usage (goes back as far as 3 years and 10 months), has found that Ranorex is being used by 1,928 companies worldwide. Moreover, it’s often getting used by companies with 50-200 employees, which generates around 10M-50M dollars in terms of revenue.

Ranorex Market Share and Competitors in Software Testing Tools; Image source – Enlyft

Compared to other popular test automation tools on G2 Crowd, a review platform, Ranorex outperforms in 4 out of seven categories: simple use, quality of support, simple doing business with, and product direction.

Ranorex Studio, TestComplete, Selenium IDE, and Apache JMeter compared at G2 Crowd

Pros of using Ranorex

  • Cross-Browser Testing: Ranorex can test and validate web applications across popular browsers including Chrome, IE, Safari, and Firefox.
  • Cross-Platform Testing: Ranorex can test and validate applications on different platforms: Desktop, Web, Mobile.
  • Inbuilt reporting system with built-in support to convert the native Ranorex report to pdf.
  • Screenshots of the failed steps are automatically added to the report with a link to navigate from the report to the step and the element object where it has failed.
  • Unique object repository that maps the element GUI image to the element locator, for future updates and references.
  • Ranorex supports image verification and comparison with expected images.
  • Ranorex tests can be executed from any specific step and on any specific page/module of the AUT.
  • Built-in support for various data sources for data driven testing. User can easily connect to SQL databases or read data from Excel or CSV files, and even create local data tables for data handling.
  • Supports iOS automation on windows system without requiring Xcode or its components.
  • Ranorex API can be integrated with Visual Studio for creating Test Framework without the help of Ranorex Studio. However, this would not allow the users to record and play tests.
  • Testers can create user codes and custom actions to be performed and use them in the tests along with the recordings.
  • Selenium grid can be integrated to run tests parallelly.
  • Support to integrate Appium.
  • Inbuilt support for various mobile based gestures and actions like BACK, HOME, DEL, MENU, SEARCH, ENTER, TOUCH, DOUBLE TAP, LONG TOUCH, TOUCH START.
  • Tests can be executed from the command line.

Cons of using Ranorex Studio

  • Ranorex license cost is very high.
Ranorex License Valuation; Image Source: Ranorex
  • Ranorex is not supported on MacOS since it is based on .NET technology.
  • The screen should be active while the tests run, else some actions and failure screenshots in reports will be messed up.
  • Does not support headless browser mode.
  • Element locators added to the object repository are not efficient and need to be updated.
  • The software specifically has no commands that simulate the following actions on mobile devices:
    • Accessing the media files from the internal/external SD card of the device.
    • Power On/Off key
    • Volume Up/Down
    • Camera Button
  • Installation, deployment, and launching of iPhone applications cannot be automated. In iPhone, the Ranorex RxServiceApp must be launched manually to initiate the AUT.

As we’ve discussed during this post, Ranorex has its own pros and cons, yet the advantages win over the cons. In a way, Ranorex makes testing much easier with its codeless approach and can be highly efficient in those environments that need continuous testing and faster feedback. Thus, it might be safe to mention, Ranorex may be a go-to framework for GUI testing for beginners. In the upcoming blog, let us read about testing APIs with Ranorex.

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