Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Fun with jWebUnit and Canoo WebTest

For the past few days, I've been messing around with jWebUnit and Canoo WebTest at my "day job". I say messing around because I've mainly been trying to overcome perceived bugs with both projects. I'm used to using Ant and both of these libraries "just work".

The problem I had with jWebUnit is that the setOption(selectName, optionLabel) didn't work for me. This turned out to be some sort of conflict with SiteMesh, and when I commented out the SiteMesh <filter-mapping>, everything worked as expected. This is quite strange since I use SiteMesh+jWebUnit with Equinox. I tried to reproduce the problem with Equinox by adding a <select> with <option> elements, but it all worked fine there. I'd blame it on Maven, but I was running my tests from IDEA. As a workaround, I subclassed SiteMesh's PageFilter and stopped processing when the user-agent.startsWith("httpunit"). This is very similar to the JCIFS and jWebUnit workaround we're using.

Before I figured out the jWebUnit/SiteMesh issue, I decided to try my favorite UI testing tool: WebTest. Since we're using Maven, I figured the Maven Canoo Webtest Plugin would be the way to go. This took me about a day to get working (so much for the ol' 10 minute test). Most of the problems where related to the fact that setting the properties didn't seem to have any effect. I ended up writing my web-tests.xml much like I would with Ant - with taskdefs and importing for the properties to take effect. Last night, after I couldn't get webtest to click a button, I decided to try the same XML file with Ant. I dropped it into AppFuse, changed a few settings and voila! - it all worked! "WTF?" I thought to myself. Turns out the Maven Plugin is from October 2004 and is based on build 543. I ended up rebuilding the plugin to build 733 and then everything worked fine. Here's the patch.

Now that I got them both working, I'm leaning towards using jWebUnit because I can use Java to get the last inserted id (for fullying CRUDing an object). With Canoo, I'd have to use our query interface, add a feature to sort by id (or somehow get the last record added), then click on it to edit the new record. To make matters worse, the API we're talking to right now let's us add records, but we can't fetch them back - no matter what we query by. We've tried both the web services interface and the EJB one with the same results.

Ahhh, the life of an enterprise developer - trying to make 3 systems talk to each other and all of them have broken (or non-existent APIs). For one system, we're actually going through their web interface with httpclient to do CRUD on records!

Posted in Java at Mar 01 2005, 05:09:59 PM MST 5 Comments

The URL for Canoo WebTest should be

Posted by Michael Schubart on March 01, 2005 at 09:23 PM MST #

Doh! Thanks for spotting that Michael.

Posted by Matt Raible on March 01, 2005 at 09:29 PM MST #

Isn't Selnium: supposed to be better for automated tests?
Just curious!
It would be nice to have a real open source replacement (in java) for the Rational Robot (Test Suite).

Posted by Ahmed Mohombe on March 02, 2005 at 05:00 AM MST #

Selenium doesn't to frames AFAIK. There's probably other stuff it doesn't do either so it pays to test your testing framework.

Posted by Glen Stampoultzis on March 02, 2005 at 04:04 PM MST #

Ahmed, I've actually heard that Selenium is the replacement for jWebUnit. It looks cool and supposedly you can automate it via CruiseControl. Someday I might dig in and learn more about it, but Canoo WebTest is working pretty good for now.

Posted by Matt Raible on March 07, 2005 at 02:02 PM MST #

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