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Desktop App Automation

Best Desktop Application Automation Testing Tools in 2024

There are numerous Desktop Application Automation tools in the market, and we have handpicked 6 great tools that you can use for your testing needs

Best Desktop Application Automation Testing Tools In 2024
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Although web and mobile applications are more widely used now, desktop applications still play an integral role for many organizations. So the need to automate desktop applications for testing purposes is still prevalent and we have many test automation tools in the market as well. Being an expert desktop application automation testing company, we have even developed our very own tool for Desktop App Automation called Gyra. Additionally, we also have strong expertise in the other tools from the market. So we wanted to list the best desktop application automation testing tools available as of 2024 and highlight their features so that you can choose the best tool suitable for your needs.

Types of Desktop Applications & Frameworks

But before heading straight to that, we must understand the different types of Desktop Applications and frameworks. So kindly find the list below

  • Win32 Apps – Applications that are created using WinAPI. These applications are typically native Windows GUI apps.
  • Windows Forms (WinForms) Apps – Applications that are created using frameworks like .NET, Delphi, or MFC instead of calling the Win32 API. WinForms was introduced more than 2 decades ago in the year 2001 with .NET 1.0 framework. As WinForms apps perform well in low-configured machines, it is still being used for its performance and lightweight UI.
  • WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) Apps – It was released in the year 2006 to modernize Desktop App development as it enables you to create visually rich UI applications. WPF supports cross-platform application development using Avalonia UI. However, WinForms and WPF are still Windows-centric and there is no official statement from Microsoft yet.
  • Universal Windows Platform (UWP) Apps – UWP was introduced with Windows 10. You can run the Desktop apps developed using UWP on Windows Desktop PCs, Windows Mobile, Xbox, and mixed reality headsets.
  • Java AWT (Abstract Window Toolkit) – It is a heavy-weight platform-dependent API used to create Desktop Applications.
  • Java Swing – Swing is a legacy toolkit used to create Desktop Applications using Java.
  • JFX – JFX was introduced along with Java 8 and it can be used to create rich Java-based client applications. JFX supports FXML & CSS.
  • macOS Apps – Used to create Desktop Applications for macOS using Xcode & Swift programming
  • Electron – Electron is a framework that can be used to develop desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML, & CSS.
  • QT – QT is a C++ framework. You can build cross-platform desktop applications with native user interfaces.
  • Best Desktop Application Automation Testing Tools

    Now that we have seen what types of desktop applications and frameworks are out there, let’s take a look at the highlights of all the tools one after another to help you choose the best desktop application automation testing tool in 2024. We’re starting the list with FlaUI.

    FLAUI
    • FlaUI is a .NET library.
    • Supported Apps: You can automate Win32, WinForms, WPF, & UWP applications.
    • Programming Language: C#
    • It uses Microsoft’s UI Automation framework to access the UI elements programmatically.
    • It supports XPath locators for some properties.
    • It has automation support for the QT framework type.
    • It requires a steep learning curve.
    • It does not support Swing & JFX applications.
    • You can’t perform remote execution like how you do it using Selenium RemoteWebDriver
    • Latest version: v4.0.0
    WinAppDriver (Windows Application Driver)
    • It is a popular freeware library used for Desktop Application Automation Testing.
    • Supported Platforms – Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.
    • Supported Application Types – UWP, WPF, WinForms, and legacy Win32.
    • Prerequisite – You need to enable Developer Mode in Windows Settings before performing execution.
    • You can run scripts on a remote machine.
    • It has its own UI recorder which can generate scripts in C#.
    • You can also attach the already launched application and perform action on it.
    • WinAppDriver Locators – AccessibilityId, ClassName, Id, Name, TagName, & XPath.
    • You can also use Appium’s Windows Driver to send WinAppDriver’s APIs.
    Test Complete
    • It is a well-known commercial tool in the market and it offers two license types (Fixed & Floating).
    • You can automate Win32, WinForms, WPF, Telerik, Electron, Delphi, Qt, Syncfusion apps, etc.
    • Supported Programming Languages – JavaScript, Python, VBScript, JScript, DelphiScript, C#, C++.
    • You can create test scripts in two ways – Keyword Tests and Script Tests.
    • Keyword Tests helps you to create Test Scripts in Table format instead of writing coding. When you record the user actions, Test Complete populates Test Scripts in the Keyword Tests table.
    • Keyword Test is helpful if you are doing POC. But if you are looking to create a robust test suite, go for Script Tests.
    • Another notable feature of Test Complete is you can create BDD tests. If you have your Gherkin feature files in Cucumber Studio, you can easily import them into Test Complete.
    • Latest version 15.65
    Gyra
    • Gyra is Codoid’s Home-grown Desktop Application Automation Testing Tool that is available as a freeware.
    • Supported Programming Language – Java.
    • It is easy to set up as it requires no additional configurations.
    • Execution is fast compared with other tools.
    Ranorex
    • Supported Apps – WinForms, WPF, Qt, Java, Delphi, SAP, UWP, MSAA/UIA, CEF, .NET Core, Office and many more.
    • Supported Programming Languages: C# & VB.NET.
    • Reporting – HTML, PDF, JUnit-compatible reports, & Email.
    • You can analyze GUI objects using the Ranorex spy tool.
    • Latest Version: 11.3.2.
    Squish
    • Supported Programming Languages – Python, Perl, JavaScript, Ruby.
    • Supported Apps – Qt, Swing, AWT, SWT, JFX, macOS, Win32, Winforms, WPF, UWP.
    • Go-to tool to automate QT applications.
    • Latest Release – 7.2.

    Conclusion

    As an automation testing service provider, we understand that desktop app automation is more challenging when compared to web and mobile app automation. Given the additional complexity, choosing the right tool for your automation needs is very important. If you choose the right tool and are able to see success in a Proof of Concept, then you are halfway through. We hope the overview we provided for each desktop application automation testing tool will help you in your decision-making process.

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