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Making Coded UI Tests Wait For Specific Events During Playback

In a coded UI test playback, you can instruct the test to wait for certain events to occur, such as a window to appear, the progress bar to disappear, and so on. To do this, use the appropriate UITestControl.WaitForControlXXX() method, as described in the following table. For an example of a coded UI test that waits for a control to be enabled using the WaitForControlEnabled method, see Walkthrough: Creating, Editing and Maintaining a Coded UI Test.

Requirements

  • Visual Studio Ultimate, Visual Studio Premium

Tip Tip

You can also add delays before actions using the Coded UI Test Editor. For more information, see How to: Insert a Delay Before a UI Action Using the Coded UI Test Editor.

UITestControl.WaitForControlXXX() Methods

UITestControl.WaitForControlXXX() methods

Description

WaitForControlReady

Waits for the control to be ready to accept mouse and keyboard input. The engine implicitly calls this API for all actions to wait for the control to be ready before doing any operation. However, in certain esoteric scenario, you may have to do explicit call.

WaitForControlEnabled

Waits for the control to be enabled when the wizard is doing some asynchronous validation of the input by making calls to the server. For example, you can method to wait for the Next button of the wizard to be enabled (). For an example of this method, see Walkthrough: Creating, Editing and Maintaining a Coded UI Test.

WaitForControlExist

Waits for the control to appear on the UI. For example, you are expecting an error dialog after the application has done the validation of the parameters. The time taken for validation is variable. You can use this method to wait for the error dialog box.

WaitForControlNotExist

Waits for the control to disappear from the UI. For example, you can wait for the progress bar to disappear.

WaitForControlPropertyEqual

Waits for the specified property of the control to have the given value. For example, you wait for the status text to change to Done.

WaitForControlPropertyNotEqual

Waits for the specified property of the control to have the opposite of a specified value. For example, you wait for the edit box to be not read-only, that is, editable.

WaitForControlCondition

Waits for the specified predicate returns to be true. This can be used for complex wait operation (like OR conditions) on a given control. For example, you can wait until the status text is Succeeded or Failed as shown in the following code:

// Define the method to evaluate the condition 
private static bool IsStatusDone(UITestControl control) 
{ 
    WinText statusText = control as WinText; 
    return statusText.DisplayText == "Succeeded" || statusText.DisplayText == "Failed"; 
} 

// In test method, wait till the method evaluates to true 
statusText.WaitForControlCondition(IsStatusDone);

WaitForCondition

All the previous methods are instance methods of UITestControl. This method is a static method. This method also waits for the specified predicate to be true but it can be used for complex wait operation (like OR conditions) on multiple controls. For example, you can wait until the status text is Succeeded or until an error message appears, as shown in the following code:

// Define the method to evaluate the condition 
private static bool IsStatusDoneOrError(UITestControl[] controls) 
{ 
    WinText statusText = controls[0] as WinText; 
    WinWindow errorDialog = controls[1] as WinWindow; 
    return statusText.DisplayText == "Succeeded" || errorDialog.Exists; 
} 

// In test method, wait till the method evaluates to true 
UITestControl.WaitForCondition<UITestControl[]>(new UITestControl[] { statusText, errorDialog }, IsStatusDoneOrError); 

All these methods have following behavior:

  • The methods return true if the wait is successful and false if the wait failed.

  • The implicit timeout for the wait operation is specified by WaitForReadyTimeout property. The default value of this property is 60000 milliseconds (one minute).

  • The methods have an overload to take explicit timeout in milliseconds. However, when the wait operation results in an implicit search for the control or, when the application is busy, the actual wait time could be more than the timeout specified.

The previous functions are powerful and flexible and should satisfy almost all conditions. However, in case these methods do not satisfy your needs and you need to code either a Wait, or a Sleep in your code, it is recommended that you use the Playback.Wait() instead of Thread.Sleep() API. The reasons for this are:

  • You can use the ThinkTimeMultiplierproperty to modify the duration of sleep. By default, this variable is 1 but you can increase or decrease it to change the wait time all over the code. For example, if you are specifically testing over slow network, or some other slow performance case, you can change this variable at one place (or even in the configuration file) to 1.5 to add 50% extra wait at all places.

  • Playback.Wait() internally calls Thread.Sleep() (after above computation) in smaller chunks in a for-loop while checking for user cancel\break operation. In other words, Playback.Wait() lets you cancel playback before the end of the wait whereas sleep might not or throw exception.

Tip Tip

The Coded UI Test Editor lets you easily modify your coded UI tests. Using the Coded UI Test Editor, you can locate, view, and edit your test methods. You can also edit UI actions and their associated controls in the UI control map. For more information, see Editing Coded UI Tests Using the Coded UI Test Editor.

Guidance

For additional information, see Testing for Continuous Delivery with Visual Studio 2012 – Chapter 5: Automating System Tests

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