Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Oracle APEX 5.1, ATAF and automated testing

Oracle APEX 5.1, ATAF and automated testing

ATAF - Why not giving it a chance?

Step 1. Configuration and installation – hands on experience

Back to everyday work with some spare time to try out what I picked up from this year’s KScope17. 

Among many great sessions I taken with me, one that I decided to try out now is ATAF – APEX test automation framework.

Writing and maintenance of testing scripts is something none of us like doing but it is something that can safe heaps of time later in the project. I am hoping that we do not have to go into why you want to automate your testing and all the benefits it brings.

From my developers perspective, having to deal with maintenance of scripts that I created in Selenium wasn’t most exciting thing but over time it has proven to be a challenge and was taking way too much of my project time. This is why I got excited about Simon’s project and ATAF. If it could reduce the time needed just from maintenance perspective I think we have something good in our hands.

After spending roughly a week with ATAF I decided to write down initial thoughts and how it all went.

Please note this is my personal view about ATAF and your experience might be slightly different. Any ‘negative’ comment (if any :) ) is only meant to be a constructive criticism to help make this a better tool for all of us.

Download and documentation
Good thing is that Simon and the team made an effort to make it publicly available on Github https://github.com/schunt1/ATAF

After you get the source there is a Documentation folder giving you all necessary information about how it works and how to install ATAF.

As per documentation there is an option for you to install ATAF in your existing scheme or installing it on its own.

I decided to install it in its separate schema as I have too many workspaces I need this for so wanted to reduce multiple installations.

Basically it consisted of creating a new DB schema with create view grant, new workspace and running install.sql script. Installation was pretty easy and it did require a recompilation of all objects as per documentation. Installation script did need a "/" at the end otherwise it just hang in my SQL session.

Again following the documentation there was not much to do here. There were some additional view changes to support running from separate schema.
Only addition was that ATAF schema required grant execute on DBMS_LOCK package.

First run
After ATAF application was imported into my workspace, this is where things started to go slightly off the rails. Do not get me wrong, nothing that you will not able to fix but it did need some additional interventions.   
Basically things were hooked up to hardcoded theme number 42 which is a default value for all default testing data. In my case I was using custom build theme with ID 40000 so had to make some changes to original scripts. I am expecting that most people with Universal theme (42) would not have to do the same.

Changes and comments
Application pages I had to change:
Page 1 – fetch returns multiple rows error

Page 2 – Select LOV invalid

Page 3 – Actions did not see my Interactive Grid JS buttons

Page 18 – LOV needed a change
Files updated to fix above issues:









To align with my domain needed to do this update
update ataf_selenium

set target = replace(target, 'ords', 'apex/lbs')

where theme_number = '40000'

and target like '%/apex/%';

As you can see it wasn’t all smooth sailing but now that I am actually able to run ATAF I am pleasantly surprised. 
I was able to create my dummy testing scripts which ran perfectly fine in Selenium after just 2 days of work which is pretty good in my eyes without having to know a single line of ‘Selenium scripting’.
Challenges and still to come
Since I am still in early days learning ATAF and all of its features it did take me a while to get running. I also think that initially there will be a learning curve for all to grasp how it all works. 

After a day or so of using ATAF I was able to add test data and framework made it easy to loop through my test-cases which nice to see. 

Selecting menus, buttons and entering page items was not a problem.

If I can point anything as challenging, I am still learning how is it best to create new actions that will do custom validations in my 5.1 apps. 

Also it will be interesting to see how I will survive with my xpath selector knowledge as I am more used to class selectors. 

But hey feeling about ATAF is positive and I think this is all that matters. 

To summarize, hope more of us will give ATAF a go and would love to see what others make of it. 

In next couple of days I will try my best to dedicate more time figuring out some new things in ATAF and putting it all together for Part 2 of this post.

Happy Apexing,


  1. Hi SLino,
    Did you try to automate your test execuetion in ATAF?

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