Screenshot recording

Debugging blindly can be tedious work, especially when your test tool does most of its work through the user interface. Moreover, bugs can sometimes be hard to replicate when single-stepping through a test procedure. To address this problem, TestArchitect allows snapshots to be automatically taken of the AUT’s display at various critical points during test execution. By letting you observe the display state of the AUT at each stage of the test, you can have a better grasp of where and how a test, or application, is going wrong.

Suppose you executed a long automated test that contains a good deal of interaction with the interface of the application under test, such as mouse clicks, keyboard input, menu item selection, etc. When viewing the generated test result, it may be difficult to understand why some fails, errors or warnings have occurred. It might be easier to identify the problem if the test result were accompanied by snapshots of the screen’s display just before, during and after any interactivity between the test and the AUT’s UI. This is the function of TestArchitect’s screenshot recording: it captures screenshots during test automation attendant with each UI-interactive action. These screenshots help you better visualize what took place and more easily debug many of the problems that occurred.


Screenshots captured during test automation

With screenshot recording enabled, TestArchitect captures screenshots during test execution. It effectively snaps pictures for each UI-interactive action and posts all or some of them to the local test result.

Due to the potentially huge size of a full set of captured screenshots, TestArchitect handles the captured images in the following manner:

See below for a full discussion of the rules regarding screenshot retention.

Results display

Screenshots captured during testing are displayed in the Result Details and Failure/Error Summary tabs of local test results.

The Result Details tab is only available when local test results are viewed on a web browser.

Screenshot viewer display

On the web browser, when you click a captured screenshot in the Result Details tab, the screenshot viewer, appears.

The screenshot viewer incorporates a number of functions (below).

  1. Fit screenshot to the Image Viewer panel (full screen)
  2. Go to the previous recorded UI-interacting action
  3. Go to the next recorded UI-interacting action
  4. Click on the action name to launch TestArchitect Client, displaying detailed description of the UI-interacting built-in action.
  5. Click on the action line number text launch TestArchitect Client, displaying the corresponding line in its execution context.

Video playback

TestArchitect doesn’t only snap pictures. When you have screenshot recording enabled. TestArchitect creates a video of snapshots from important points during the test and stores it at the end of the test run as a video (.mp4) file on your machine.


Screenshot capture and retention rules

With screenshot recording active, TestArchitect always captures screenshots of the entire desktop screen.

Screenshots are useful for debugging, but one problem is that TestArchitect generally must capture a screenshot before it can determine whether or not it provides useful information. For example, it’s only when a check window exists action fails that you suddenly have a need to know what the screen looked just before the click action that preceded the check. Hence the automation must capture a lot of screenshots, but it also makes it a practice to “thin the herd” as it proceeds, removing all unnecessary images.

To deal with issues of utility, performance and disk usage, and to avoid taxing the user with an excess of unnecessary screenshots, TestArchitect observes a set of rules that determine when screenshots are captured, which screenshots are retained, and which ones are logged. Two factors cause TestArchitect to discard certain screenshots on the fly. In some cases, TestArchitect automatically discards screenshots moments after they are taken, depending on subsequent test conditions, when it determines that they have no value. In other cases, TestArchitect throws away screenshots that the user has specifically indicated he/she does not want.

The rules are as follows:


Capturing screenshots during test execution
With screenshot recording active,TestArchitect captures screenshots during test execution for each UI-interactive action. Depending on your settings, it retains some of these screenshots and logs them to the generated test result.

Capturing screenshots in Web Testing
TestArchitect currently provides two ways of capturing screenshots:

Related information

Exporting local test results to an HTML file

Result Details tab

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