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Testing Tools >> Micro Focus/Borland/Segue SilkTest

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Reged: 10/01/01
Posts: 133
Loc: Worcester
Any SilkTest Classic concerns going forward
      #638496 - 08/12/10 09:01 AM

I recently installed SilkTest Classic 2010 and read the release notes.

I noticed some interesting things which concerned me about the future of SilkTest classic.

1 - Note: SilkTest Classic will continue to be supported. However, new features are included in SilkTest
Workbench rather than in SilkTest Classic. Refer to the SilkTest Workbench help for details about new

2 - Classic Agent Support
Note: Applets are not supported on Internet Explorer 8.
SilkTest Classic

We have a large SilkTest infrastructure build on 4Test, testing our product which is a Java Applet (Swing) within a browser. We have hundreds of functions, frame files and thousands of testcases.

We were going to begin looking into IE8 but from what I read it's not supported with the Classic Agent and we cannot record the object via the Open Agent.

Is anyone else concerned about SilkTest Classics future? I assume there are many of you other there with large infrastructures in place based on 4Test and Classic Agent.

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Reged: 11/14/06
Posts: 11
Re: Any SilkTest Classic concerns going forward [Re: tfaron]
      #638650 - 08/13/10 09:11 AM

The SilkTest agent allows you to switch between classic and open agent dynamically. In the short-term you can adopt this approach on an as-needed basis. Long-term I'd be looking at a full conversion strategy.

It seems pretty clear that all new enhancement work will be done on the open agent platform. Will the Silk/4Test IDE be phased out eventually as well?

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Reged: 07/23/99
Posts: 981
Loc: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Re: Any SilkTest Classic concerns going forward [Re: scottro123]
      #638679 - 08/14/10 06:33 AM

Sure. There are employers out there who would say "We've been using Visual Studio 2003 or 2005 and it's working great so why should we upgrade to Visual Studio 2010." or "We don't have the budget to upgrade to the newer version of Visual Studio.", for example.

So if the latest version of SilkTest requires the latest Visual Studio to work properly, then you're in trouble IF the other option "Visual 4Test" is taken out.
Each time Microsoft make major changes to Visual Basic or C#, if you decide to use them for scripting, your scripts will be affected.

It will be nice if MicroFocus keeps Visual 4Test in SilkTest now and in the future.

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Reged: 06/30/99
Posts: 539
Loc: Fremont, CA, USA
Re: Any SilkTest Classic concerns going forward [Re: tfaron]
      #639334 - 08/19/10 07:39 AM

I have been using SilkTest with 4Test for over 15 years (wow, how time flies!) The framework I have is huge. Total test cases is around 10,000.

However, I have been noticing that there hasn't really been any changes to 4Test as a language in 15 years (a few methods added on here and there) and not much changed with the Silk IDE (they added tabs and a few other minor features, but compared to other IDE's, Silk's is lame). I have also noticed that recently, all changes are going into Open Agent rather than Classic Agent (from a business point of view, I think that is the right direction Micro Focus should be going).

On top of this, I have been getting allot of complaints that the automation regression tests take a long time to run. Part of this is network lag (testing a browser application). However, a good deal of this is the 4Test language, which is a runtime interpreted language, which is inherently slow. Also, I do a great deal of File IO (creating files during running). In 4Test, IO Data is written out a byte at a time, which is also very slow.

Due to all of the above, I am currently thinking about moving to Silk4J. The debugger there is feature packed, it is a bytecode compiled language (fast), IO Data can be buffered to improve performance (fast), and, it is a true Object Oriented language.

This will come with a price - in terms of time. I am not even thinking of starting the migration until 2011 (do to resource constraints). However, I am starting now in looking into how I want to architect the framework and looking into possible issues we might have with Silk4J.

The of 2010 also looked good, but I choice not to go that route. Using Java, we can also integrate some API testing along with the UI functional testing. Also, since all developers here use Java, it would help everyone if we are all using the same programming language.

David Genrich

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Reged: 02/02/09
Posts: 126
Re: Any SilkTest Classic concerns going forward [Re: davidgenrich]
      #639416 - 08/19/10 08:32 PM

Classic Agent will be the history one day.
I believe Micro Focus will put all efforts on Open Agent.
This is why I am also thinking about how to move all my classic scripts to open agent.

while, an interesting thing for Silk4Net is:
it must work with Visual Studio 2010. But since 2010 version, Visual Studio has a new components - CodedUI. This component is designed for automation testing. I have basically checked this components and it can fulfill most of tasks what Silktest can do.
so I wonder, when I have Visual Studio 2010, it it neccessary to use Silk4Net anymore?
Is Silk4Net killing itself?

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Reged: 06/30/99
Posts: 539
Loc: Fremont, CA, USA
Re: Any SilkTest Classic concerns going forward [Re: Study2009]
      #639534 - 08/20/10 08:23 AM

CodedUI - I didn't know about that. I just googled it and it does seem like it can do, but can it do Web UI's? It seemed it was more for Win UI's.

Another reason I am thinking about Silk4J is because I can design the framework to have all agent calls wrapped in my own methods. I do this now with 4Test and Classic Agent. What this means is I have a Page Class, that wraps all the Silk calls - such as

Page.ClikOnLink (tag, page)
wObj = Page.GetLink (tag, page)
Page.SetTextFieldText (tag, setText, page)
sText = Page.GetTextFieldTest (tag, page)
wObj = Page.GetTable (TagInTable, TagType, page)

So, doing this same thing with Silk4J, we can later look into the public domain UI testing classes (such as Selenium ), with very little changes to the automation framework.

David Genrich

Edited by davidgenrich (08/20/10 08:52 AM)

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Reged: 03/19/08
Posts: 90
Re: Any SilkTest Classic concerns going forward [Re: davidgenrich]
      #639815 - 08/24/10 12:40 AM

I had the same condern, but I was assured from Borland/Microfocus that 4test will survive and continue to be supported in future. Any new open agent enhancements will be accessible from 4test client. That makes switching away from my classic code easier for me, because I can do it step by step.

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Reged: 10/04/01
Posts: 128
Loc: NC, United States
Re: Any SilkTest Classic concerns going forward [Re: ST_PowerUser]
      #639892 - 08/24/10 09:13 AM

I spoke to support and told that in the next release (possibly) end of this year, ST will include some sort of utility that'll convert classic agent code to open agent. I was told that MicroFocus shares the concern and it is dev's top priority at the moment.

I currently have thousands of cases so it is worth to wait for me. Open agent is much faster support any kind of browser FF version even though it is not mentioned in doc but I did try it (including spoon for those who know what that is)'ll put ST head to head with QTP because of object recognition capability.


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Reged: 07/27/01
Posts: 25
Re: Any SilkTest Classic concerns going forward [Re: gram]
      #643014 - 09/21/10 01:39 PM

A silver bullet conversion tool from classic to open agent is never going to happen. Don't rely on it. It's really not that hard to do the work yourself, but it does take time. Depending on the complexity of your work you might find issues where you've put in workarounds that don't work with the Open Agent, which you'll have to take up with support. So far, from what I've seen though, the conversion is very possible.

I do worry about SilkTest classic not being around anymore. Are they going to offer another silver bullet conversion from classic to workbench? I doubt it.

Do yourself a favor and get up to speed on MS UI Automation. That's the future IMO.

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Reged: 09/12/10
Posts: 40
Re: Any SilkTest Classic concerns going forward [Re: thesilkman]
      #643026 - 09/21/10 04:23 PM

I wouldn't personally rely on a migration tool. Nothing will ever work 100% for every situation out there. However, I think it's in our best interest to look at the Open Agent. The performance gains on the open agent on long running test cases is great, not to mention the AJAX support.

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