Brittle functional test code is a problem

If you’re in functional test automation, you or your team probably write a lot of test scripts. And that takes a lot of time. You have to figure out locators and labels, and ensure everything is just right.

For example, suppose you had to test this simple login page.

Here’s the test script you’d need to write in Java to run in Selenium:


Phew! That’s a lot of code for just a simple page. Even if you’re experienced, it’d probably take you an hour to write.

But what happens when your app updates, and looks like this — broken logo image, overlapping text, new field prompts, and new text for your terms and conditions?

You or your team needs to review all that assertion code to ensure it’s still valid. Every object locator. Every label. And write more brittle assertions to catch the bugs you missed.

Realistically, that could take you an hour or more — for just one screen. For all the screens in your app, those hours will add up to days or weeks. And if your app updates daily or weekly, you might not be able to keep up.

All this test maintenance leaves you less time to write new tests. Less test coverage. And more late-stage bugs that can lead to schedule slips.

Modern apps have complex bugs

Responsive web pages, native mobile apps, and progressive web apps can have all kinds of bugs that can’t be caught with legacy assertion code. These can include overlapping UI elements, elements suddenly appearing or disappearing, improper sizing, and more. Here’s an actual example from Instagram:

overlapped Instagram screen

With all the jumbled text, a user can’t even click on this ad. This blocks ad revenue generation — not something senior management wants to see.

But how would your legacy testing tool even begin to detect these kinds of issues? All it can do is check text values and maybe a few other attributes. So bugs escape, undetected. And you get blamed.

There’s a better way.

Functional testing for modern apps through Visual AI

Applitools provides a fresh approach to functional testing by building Visual AI:

  • Replicates the human eye and brain through computer vision algorithms, to see your app as your customer does.
  • Spots meaningful differences between versions of your app’s user interface.
  • Ignores minor differences that your users don’t notice.
  • Detects unexpected app changes that your traditional testing tools miss.
  • Works out of the box, having been trained on billions of images over 6 years.

Simpler test scripts

Applitools Eyes

With the Visual AI in Applitools Eyes, you no longer write assertions focused on just one object. Instead, one call to our SDK — eyes.checkWindow() — captures your entire web page or mobile app screen, then sends it to our visual AI for analysis.

No more writing line after line of assertion code. Your test scripts become much simpler — and much easier to maintain.

And you can detect all bugs, even complex layout issues like our Instagram example.

Back to our login page example above. Here’s the script to test that page using Visual AI:


Visual AI makes our script a LOT simpler than before. No locators or labels to maintain — yet we find ALL the bugs on our page.

Streamlined maintenance

Visual AI takes a different approach to app changes — whether good (new features) or bad (bugs).

Instead of forcing you to maintain your test scripts by fine-tuning assertions and constantly adding new ones, Applitools Eyes groups all similar changes that it finds across multiple screens of your app.

You then specify whether each change is expected or an unexpected bug, with one button click. Here’s an example:

function testing example

This is a lot quicker than reading through assertion code to update locators and labels. What previously took you an hour for one page now takes seconds for multiple pages. That’s a lot of time saved!

You and your team will shave days from your test maintenance efforts. You can use that time to increase test coverage. Shorten your test schedules. Or get home on time.

Ultrafast cross-browser testing

For web apps, our SDK can send your page’s DOM snapshot to our Ultrafast Grid, where it can be rendered on up to hundreds of web browsers in parallel, in seconds. Each browser can contain different combinations of browser type — Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or IE — viewport size, and user agent string (to simulate mobile devices).

functional testing example 2

This lets you get thorough test coverage of responsive UIs, so you can rest assured that you’ve found all bugs on all browsers and viewport sizes.

Faster debugging

For web app bugs, our Root Cause Analysis displays the DOM and CSS differences that underpin visual differences. This slashes debugging time from hours to mere minutes. Here’s an example of it in action:

Applitools Root Cause Analysis

Integrates with your entire test stack

We don’t believe in rip-and-replace. That’s why we have over 50 SDKs, for all popular test automation frameworks — and some you’ve probably never heard of.

Test Stack SDKs

If you’re already using JUnit, TestNG, or some other assertion library in your test scripts, you can keep using it and incorporate our SDK so you can ensure that it catches all bugs. Then when you’re ready, remove the other assertion libraries so that you have simpler, easier-to-maintain test scripts.

Applitools integrates with all popular DevOps tools and CI systems. So it fits right into your CI/CD process.

CI Integrations

Focus only on what matters

Unlike simplistic pixel-comparison tools, Visual AI doesn’t highlight false positives — fake bugs — that waste your time. And frustrate your developers.

Here’s an example of pixel comparison differences:

Visual AI example 1

Since the horizontal bar changed thickness, everything below it is highlighted as a change. Not very useful, right?

Visual AI example 2

Only the horizontal line and button are highlighted. Exactly what a human user would notice, and no more. This saves time for you and your team, so you can focus on expanding coverage and accelerating test schedules.

Are you ready?

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