Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

TestMonkey: How appropriate

Category: Testing

There are a lot of monkeys making appearances in the Ajax world. Tamarins, Greasey ones, Action monkeys, and now we have TestMonkey from the Appcelerator crew:

TestMonkey is an open source (Apache License) UI test framework we’re introducing today. It’s going to be fully integrated into Appcelerator (with some additional cool features on top if you’re using in an Appcelerator app). Additionally, it’s completely standalone as well and you can use on any web application – appcelerator-based or not.

Our main goal is to create a better UI framework for building out front-end test cases. We’re initially focused on unit tests. However, we’ll introduce higher level testing like use case testing soon. We’re going to offer some really neat features in the coming months to do much more advanced automated testing and quality control. So, stay tuned!


  1. All test suites run inside their own iframe sandbox. so, if you have any weird issues in one test suite or set of specific tests, you won’t screw up the others…
  2. We’re providing a lot of convenience assertions for common UI testing .. thinks like checking for element attributes, element values, checkbox states, etc. are all as easy as pie.
  3. We’re building a super cool UI on top for driving tests and the reporting of tests. Right now it’s pretty limited but we’re going to blow that out. Our goal is to provide as much information about failures, location of failures, expected results, etc. so it’s easy to figure out the issues.
  4. TestMonkey has a clean API and can easily be extended, for example, to create your own assertion helper functions or test monkey plugin for handling results. In fact, our UI driver is simply an implementation of this plugin. You can easily hook into your own system if you’d like to handle results or do interesting things with them.
  5. TestMonkey itself is very small and you don’t need to include anything in your application related to it. Test monkey can load your HTML files up in the sandbox and then your tests can run against the real source, no crazy includes or manually adding of test framework into the real app. It cleanly separates your tests from the real app.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:51 am

4 rating from 21 votes


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Indeed: TestMonkey Is Appropriate and Sweet

I’ve been very impressed with Appcelerator over the past 6 months. PushToTest partnered with Appcelerator and now we have joint customers and a successful Workshop series on building and testing Ajax applications (http://workshop.pushtotest.com) They are a great company to work with.

The Appcelerator platform uses an injection pattern to create Ajax components on the client side and server components in a variety of languages (Java, Ruby, Groovy, etc.) Their Web Expression Language (WEL) tags make it very easy to annotate HTML and deliver Ajax usability without my needing to code in JavaScript.

It is simply sweet to see Appcelerator’s recently emphasis on testing. There’s no reason why the injection pattern should not be extended to support testing. Imagine tagging a form to receive dynamic data at test run time and validate the response. The move to deliver a unit testing framework – and one that is visual at that – is a great first move in an annotated, modern, testing facility for Ajax applications.

The TestMonkey UI is already sweet. If you are used to JUnit and TestNG-style unit test creation then you will find all the usual characters: TestSuites, TestCases, and assertions. This is an Ajax world and TestMonkey delivers a simple, clean, and slick UI to show test operations and results in an Ajax UI. TestMonkey supports Ajax-specific test operations, including assertions for checkbox states and element values.

I’m impressed and look forward to supporting TestMonkey.


Comment by fcohen — October 21, 2008

nice, definitely getting my feet wet with this baby.

Comment by indiehead — October 23, 2008

Approaching shameless plug:
Definitely have a look at IT Mill Testing Tools as well, when looking for UI testing tools. Also a “fully-integrated-with-but-not-only-for” (IT Mill Toolkit), but still a different beast than TestMonkey…

Comment by marc — October 26, 2008

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