Thursday, 20 June 2013

A free test tool a day - Foxe XML editor

Foxe XML editor
I needed to create some test data for an application. The data in an XML file was to be imported in the application under test. I wanted an application that I could run without installing and showed me a physical overview. I found this simple XML editor and used it. And I like it.

What does it do?
It has a tree view and the XML and you can view the data and edit data in the XML. If something is wrong with the data, the tree view will display that. I use it at this moment  in combination with Excel, in which I create the data for testing a specific feature. So in fact I'm using the tools of tools also (MS Excel).

In Excel I create some test data in the first tab. The overview, group, block, chapter numbers on the top are used in the "screen" test data, just by using simple formulas as ="Chapter "&B6&", lesson "&B7.
On the second Tab in Excel I've got the XML with simple formulas as above filled in the XML that I first copied out of Foxe XML editor.

This looks like this at the moment.

I put the colors there for readability. And now I can copy & paste it into Foxe.

Very simple and effective to quickly create some test data. You don't have to be an XML expert to do this and this tool helps a bit by showing a tree view and possible problems in the XML.

How does it look?

  • On the left there is a representation of the XML in a tree
  • You are seeing green icons, one with red, one with a yellow dot. Apparently something is wrong with the red and yellow items.
  • Just double click on a tree branch and on the right the section higlights for easy searching.
There are some tools, for example XHTML validation and you can even script with this tool, but I didn't research that yet. 

So, very good tool for the "I'm a new tester in XML", but also usable with script features for researching XML files for the more experienced. See their website for more info and a video introduction.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A free test tool a day - Perlclip

Even since I learned about this tool from Michael Bolton, I have it ready somewhere in a tools directory or I download it again from the James Bach website (
Great for filling up fields with data and keep track of the number of characters you put in there for example (this is the simplest form for using it)

What does it do?
With this small tool you can create strings easily to test edit boxes or testdata files.

Counterstring 255 (I use this one the most) creates for example:

The star to the right of the number is the x character in a pattern, so you can check for length of fields, memo fields, import file data length that is really imported into a database...

That kind of stuff.

The readme file with the tools has great examples for what you can do with this great little, light fantastic tool. Another example: just download it and read the readme:

'$allchars' produces a string that includes all character codes from 1 to 255 (0 not included).

!"#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789:;<=>?@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[\]^_`abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz{|}~€‚ƒ„…†‡ˆ‰Š‹ŒŽ‘’“”•–—˜™š›œžŸ ¡¢£¤¥¦§¨©ª«¬­®¯°±²³´µ¶·¸¹º»¼½¾¿ÀÁÂÃÄÅÆÇÈÉÊËÌÍÎÏÐÑÒÓÔÕÖ×ØÙÚÛÜÝÞßàáâãäåæçèéêëìíîïðñòóôõö÷øùúûüýþÿ

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

A free test tool a day - Rapid Reporter

Rapid Reporter
This is a tool I use very often the last few years to help me logging my Exploratory testing sessions. I love this  tool because it is very simple and effective. And also because you don't have to install it. 

What does it do?
With this tool you enter one text lines in a small Window that is placed somewhere on your screen, you can drag it anywhere. The text you enter is placed in an Comma Separated Value file, so you can read what you tested after you've finished. It has a time clock for 90 minutes (default setting, I never changed this), so you can time box your exploratory session. And that's it. A test log is created on your disk, so you won't be bothered to switch to notepad, excel or something else you are using. 

If you never create test logs for your ET it is a great tool to start doing that, because of the easy way to do it. I use it to create checklists afterwards, us it as a reproducing report for bugs to give to developers, and for future reference. What did I do the last few days? In my current project I will use the logs as input for developers to create automated test scripts.

How does it look?
When it's started, it is a very small Window with a few buttons and one field to enter notes.
  • There is a button for creating a screenshot on the left (for example, to capture the moment)
  • There is also a button where you can enter specific notes for the complete test session you are doing
  • There is a slider on the left where you can set transparency of the app, so it will not attract attention too much when your are concentrating on the software you are testing.
  • The blue bar is a progress bar for the timer of 90 minutes and will fil the edit box. After 90 minutes you still can continue and it will not make you stop.
  • With the arrow keys [up] and [down], you can select a specific log type. The picture says "Test:". With the arrow [up] key it goes to "notes", with the arrow [down] key it goes to "Check:"
  • There is also "Bug" for example, this bug: option will show red in a HTML file you can create of the logfile.
How do I start?
Just go to the website where you can download the tool and read the instruction manual. It is very simple and easy to use it.