Use Selenium to Automate Windows with WinAppDriver

If you have ever found yourself in the position that you needed to automate a Windows application as part of your day to day automation testing you might well have come across AutoIt or gone down the CodedUI path. Now however, those good folk at Microsoft have made WinAppDriver which makes use of all the usual Selenium goodies… from the horses mouth:

Windows Application Driver is a service to support UI Test Automation of Windows Applications. The service design subscribes to the Mobile JSON Wire Protocol standard. If you’ve been looking for better support for using Appium to test Windows Applications then this service is for you!

The GitHub page has some good code samples to get you started (so I won’t bore you with any of mine), such as manipulating the Windows calculator. As you will see though the driver is still in beta but has come a long way recently and to help my foray into using it it now supports WCF applications.

Finding locators is pretty easy with the tool they suggest (Inspect) which is not too dissimilar to Spy++ if you have ever used that. Further to that I have found that the accessibility id locator works best for me (so far anyway!).

After installing the WinAppDriver executable, you can also run remotely which looks good but it does seem to only like being run on Windows 10 so you may need to take that into account if you don’t have the resources already in place.

If you decide to give it a whirl and encounter problems I would have a look at the issues page – chances are someone else has encountered it and a fix may already be underway.

Now obviously with WinAppDriver, this is only ever going to work with windows so I wouldn’t ever go recommending that this is used in the same project as your usual Selenium web based tests.

Until next time, have fun experimenting with WinAppDriver.




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