Testing Java Applications - Overview

Applies to TestComplete 15.65, last modified on June 26, 2024

TestComplete lets you create and run automated tests for Java applications and applets. This topic explains the basic concepts of Java application testing.

Supported Java Technologies

TestComplete lets you test Java applications that use the following technologies:

  • Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 7, 8, 11 and 17 (OpenJRE or Oracle JRE)

  • 32-bit and 64-bit JRE

  • Java Web Start applications (.jnlp)

  • AWT, SWT, Swing libraries

  • Swing UI controls


Support for Java applet and Web Start has been removed from Java version 11.

TestComplete also supports testing of JavaFX applications.

Requirements for Java Testing

Creating and Recording Tests for Java Applications

With TestComplete, you can record and play back user actions in Java applications, or you can create tests manually from scratch. Usually, it is easier to record the test first and then modify and enhance the recorded test.

When you record a test, you interact with the tested Java application as an end-user would: navigate through the application’s screens, fill out forms and so on. TestComplete captures all actions you perform in the application and adds them to the test.

A test consists of a sequence of operations that define various interactions with objects in the tested application. For example, in the sample test below you can see that item selection from a combo box is represented by the ClickItem operation, clicking a button - as the ClickButton operation, and so on.

Sample keyword test recorded against a Java application
Sample keyword test recorded against a Java application

JavaScript, JScript

function Test1()
  var fileChooserDemo;
  var fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel;
  var fileChooserDemo_1;
  var panel;
  fileChooserDemo = Aliases.java.frame0.RootPane.FileChooserDemo;
  fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel = fileChooserDemo.Panel.FileChooserDemo_InsetPanel;
  fileChooserDemo_1 = fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel.Panel.FileChooserDemo_1;
  panel = fileChooserDemo.Panel1;


def Test1():
  fileChooserDemo = Aliases.java.frame0.RootPane.FileChooserDemo;
  fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel = fileChooserDemo.Panel.FileChooserDemo_InsetPanel;
  fileChooserDemo_1 = fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel.Panel.FileChooserDemo_1;
  panel = fileChooserDemo.Panel1;


Sub Test1
  Dim fileChooserDemo
  Dim fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel
  Dim fileChooserDemo_1
  Dim panel
  Set fileChooserDemo = Aliases.java.frame0.RootPane.FileChooserDemo
  Set fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel = fileChooserDemo.Panel.FileChooserDemo_InsetPanel
  Set fileChooserDemo_1 = fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel.Panel.FileChooserDemo_1
  Call fileChooserDemo_1.Keys("New")
  Set panel = fileChooserDemo.Panel1
  Call panel.ComboBox.ClickItem("Metal")
End Sub


procedure Test1;
  var fileChooserDemo : OleVariant;
  var fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel : OleVariant;
  var fileChooserDemo_1 : OleVariant;
  var panel : OleVariant;
  fileChooserDemo := Aliases.java.frame0.RootPane.FileChooserDemo;
  fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel := fileChooserDemo.Panel.FileChooserDemo_InsetPanel;
  fileChooserDemo_1 := fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel.Panel.FileChooserDemo_1;
  panel := fileChooserDemo.Panel1;

C++Script, C#Script

function Test1()
  var fileChooserDemo;
  var fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel;
  var fileChooserDemo_1;
  var panel;
  fileChooserDemo = Aliases["java"]["frame0"]["RootPane"]["FileChooserDemo"];
  fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel = fileChooserDemo["Panel"]["FileChooserDemo_InsetPanel"];
  fileChooserDemo_1 = fileChooserDemo_InsetPanel["Panel"]["FileChooserDemo_1"];
  panel = fileChooserDemo["Panel1"];

The recorded tests can be modified and enhanced in a number of ways to create more flexible and efficient tests. For example, you can:

  • Add new operations, reorder operations and modify their parameters.

  • Delete or disable unneeded operations (for example, superfluous recorded operations).

  • Insert checkpoints for verifying objects and values in the tested application.

  • Create data-driven tests that run multiple test iterations using different sets of data.

Refer to the following topics to learn more about creating and enhancing tests:

Task See topic…
Creating tests using recording Recording Tests
Creating tests manually Keyword Testing and Scripting
Simulating user actions Working With Application Objects and Controls
Running tests Running Tests
Launching applications automatically at the beginning of the test run Adding Java and JavaFX Applications to the List of Tested Applications, Adding Java Web Start Applications to the List of Tested Applications and
Running Tested Applications
Creating checkpoints for verifying application behavior and state Checkpoints
Running multiple test iterations using data from an external file Data-Driven Testing

About Test Types

There are two major test formats in TestComplete:

  • Keyword tests - visually configured tests with grid-based editing interface. Best suited for novice users and those without programming knowledge.

  • Scripts - code written in one of the supported scripting languages. May be better suited for advanced users.

You select the test type when creating a test and cannot change it later. However, you can mix keyword tests and scripts within the same test project and call them from each other.

TestComplete also includes additional test types, such as low-level procedures, unit tests, and so on. You can use them to address specific testing needs. However, most automation is typically done using keyword tests and scripts.

About Java Object Identification and Name Mapping

Each object in an application has a number of properties, such as its location, text, type and so on. Some object properties are persistent and unchanging, and therefore can be used to locate objects in applications and differentiate among various objects.

When you record a test, TestComplete captures all windows and controls that you interacted with during the recording session and adds them to the Name Mapping project item (also known as the object repository or GUI map). For each captured object, TestComplete does the following:

  • Selects a set of properties and values that uniquely identify the object in the application and saves them to Name Mapping as the object identification criteria. These properties will be used for locating the object during subsequent test recording, editing and run sessions.

  • Generates an alias (name) that will be used to reference this object in tests. By default, TestComplete generates aliases based on object names defined in the application by developers.

  • Automatically captures and adds images of the mapped objects to the Name Mapping repository. This helps you understand which window or control one or another mapped object matches.

The following image shows sample Name Mapping for a Java application:

Sample Name Mapping for a Java application

Here, the combobox object is identified using two properties - AWTComponentAccessibleName and AWTComponentIndex. These properties holds the object accessible name and the object index as they are defined by the application developers in the application’s source code. However, Java application objects can also be located by other properties, such as their class name, text and so on -- whatever best identifies a specific object.

If needed, you can modify the default Name Mapping generated by TestComplete. For example, you can:

For more information, see Name Mapping.

Keep in mind that the object hierarchy in Name Mapping mirrors the object hierarchy in the tested application. When locating an object, TestComplete takes into account its entire parent hierarchy. If any object in the parent hierarchy cannot be found using the specified property values, the target object cannot be located as well. That is why it is important to select unique and unchanging properties for object identification.

About Support for Java Controls

TestComplete recognizes individual controls of Java applications and lets you interact with them both at design time and during test recording or playback. It also simplifies testing of Java applications’ user interface, since it includes special features used to test the most frequently used Java controls.

For detailed information on support for Java application controls, see Support for Java Applications' Controls.

Using Native Java Methods and Fields in Testing

TestComplete makes visual objects of Java applications available for testing, that is you can recognize these objects, interact with them and work with their native members. TestComplete gets access to all the internal elements of the application. All private, protected and public methods and fields become available to it.

TestComplete cannot get access to the internal methods and fields of Java objects if the tested application was launched with the -verbose or -verbose:class command-line argument.

TestComplete also provides you with the JavaClasses object that allows you to call routines, which reside in Java classes, from scripts. To call these routines, you should first add the desired class name to the project’s Java Bridge options. Classes added to the Java Bridge list, as well as types and type members defined in these classes, become available in scripts and are displayed in the Code Completion window as child objects of the JavaClasses object. For detailed information on calling routines from Java classes, see Calling Functions From Java Classes.

For detailed information on how to address exposed methods and fields from your tests, see Accessing Native Methods of Java Objects and Addressing Objects in Java Applications.

Viewing Object Properties, Fields and Methods

To see what operations (methods) are available to objects in your tested Java application, as well as the object properties, fields and their values, you can use the Object Browser or Object Spy. The available properties and methods include those provided by TestComplete, as well as native object fields and methods defined by the developers in the application’s source code.

You can view object properties, fields and methods both at design time and at runtime when the test is paused.

For more information on using the Object Browser, see Object Browser and Exploring Applications.


TestComplete includes a sample test project that demonstrates how to test Swing Java applications:

<TestComplete Samples>\Desktop\Orders\Swing\TCProjects

Note: If you do not have the sample, download the TestComplete Samples installation package from the support.smartbear.com/testcomplete/downloads/samples page of our website and run it.

Where to Go Next

For further information about automating tests with TestComplete, refer to the following sections:

See Also

Testing Java Applications
Requirements for Testing Java Applications

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