Master’s Thesis: GUI Testing in TouchGFX

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Master’s Thesis: GUI Testing in TouchGFX

Our new software developers, Jesper Gaarsdal and Jacob Sønderskov, have recently earned their Degrees in Technical IT at Aarhus University School of Engineering. They wrote their Master’s Thesis, Automated GUI Testing on Low-Resource Embedded Systems for Mjølner. This post is a presentation of their results and offers a look at what the future might bring for automated GUI testing.

In our Master’s Thesis, we hypothesized that it would be feasible to perform automated GUI testing on low-resource embedded devices.

The result was a working proof­ of­ concept prototype, capable of automating GUI test scripts on a simulator, and on physical devices running TouchGFX applications.

A New Approach to GUI Testing

During our thesis, it became glaring that embedded GUI testing was a field of limited research. However, by combining approaches to GUI testing and embedded integration testing, we arrived at a solution with low resource consumption as well as high maintainability and extensibility.

The design of our prototype greatly resembles our initial conceptual design presented in a previous blogpost.

The framework is partitioned into a host and a target side. The host manages test specification, validation, and reporting, while the target side executes instructions from the host on the Application Under Test (AUT).

The partitioned architecture significantly reduces the resources necessary for the test framework, only requiring around 15 KB ROM/Flash and 10 KB of RAM.

A Flexible Framework for Remote Test Automation

The main part of the framework is TestGFX. We developed this layer to enable the Robot Framework to automate and validate TouchGFX applications.

The Robot Framework provides flexible means of test specification, relying on test libraries, which are useful for isolating application­ or platform­specific implementation from the framework. At the same time, it increases the general extensibility of the solution.

A Valuable Addition for TouchGFX

Even though the prototype framework does not yet support all features of TouchGFX, and the synchronization between the host and target is not yet completely reliable, we are satisfied with the results of our Master’s Thesis and excited about the opportunities it creates for a dedicated GUI testing tool for TouchGFX applications.

We believe we have provided a sound basis for future works that could be further developed to fully support TouchGFX GUI testing. Moreover, with additional features, such as record/playback, this framework would be a valuable addition to TouchGFX.

by Jesper Gaarsdal & Jacob Emborg Sønderskov

  • fredag sep 12, 2014