Applies to TestComplete 14.50, last modified on August 05, 2020

There are several ways to refer to objects in .NET applications. If you use Name Mapping in your test project, you can refer to application objects using their names specified in Name Mapping. For objects not in Name Mapping, you can use the naming syntax that directly includes identification properties and values of these objects. This topic explains both approaches.

Note: The information in this topic applies only to GUI objects. To learn how to refer to non-GUI objects that are not displayed in the Object Browser, see Accessing Non-Visual Objects in .NET Applications.

About Object Names in the Object Browser

You can explore the object structure of the tested application in the Object Browser. Here is a sample view of the .NET application hierarchy displayed in the Object Browser:

A view of a .NET application in the object tree

Click the image to enlarge it.

Here, the Process("Orders") branch of the Sys object corresponds to your tested .NET application and the other objects correspond to the application’s windows, controls and objects.

To refer to an individual object in the tested .NET application, select the needed object in the Object Browser or Object Spy. These tools display the selected object’s name above the member list. From the right-click menu, you can copy this name to the clipboard and then insert it into your test.

Copying the object name from the Object Browser

Click the image to enlarge it.

You may notice that this name is different from what you see in the object tree on the left of the Object Browser. This is because the name displayed at the top of the panel uses object aliases if they are defined, whereas the object tree uses the naming syntax that includes identification properties. The differences between the two object naming syntaxes are explained in the Addressing .NET Objects Using Name Mapping and Aliases and Addressing .NET Objects Without Name Mapping sections below.

You can also learn object names in different syntaxes by looking at the following object properties:

  • MappedName - the object’s fully-qualified alias (including aliases of all parent objects). This name is used by default for the object in your tests. Note that if the selected object is not in Name Mapping, this property is empty.

  • Name - the object name that includes its identification properties. This is the same name you see in the Object Browser’s object tree. For an explanation of this syntax, see below.

  • FullName - the object’s fully-qualified name in the syntax that includes the identification properties. This name consists of the object’s Name property value and the Names of all of its parent objects. See below.

Addressing .NET Objects Using Name Mapping and Aliases

By default, TestComplete uses the object names from Name Mapping (the object repository) to refer to objects in .NET applications under test. These names are called aliases. When you record a test, TestComplete automatically adds the recorded objects to Name Mapping and generates aliases for them.

You can see available object aliases and add new aliases in the Name Mapping editor.

Sample Name Mapping for a .NET application

Here, Mapped Objects and Aliases display the hierarchy of mapped objects and their aliases, respectively. The fully-qualified alias that can be used to refer to an object is displayed in the top right part of the Name Mapping editor (see the image above). It starts with Aliases and includes aliases of all of the object’s parent objects separated by dots (in VBScript, JScript, Python and DelphiScript projects) or square brackets (in C++Script and C#Script projects). For example, in the image above you can see that you can refer to the OrdersView object using the following name:

JavaScript, JScript

Aliases.Orders.OrdersView

Python

Aliases.Orders.OrdersView

VBScript

Aliases.Orders.OrdersView

DelphiScript

Aliases.Orders.OrdersView

C++Script, C#Script

Aliases["Orders"]["OrdersView"]

You can copy object aliases from the Name Mapping editor to the clipboard and use them when manually adding test operations over the tested application’s objects.

The following example shows a sample item selection operation on the OrdersView control specified by an alias:

A keyword test operation over a .NET object addressed using its alias
Note: For simplicity, keyword tests do not display the Aliases identifier at the beginning of object aliases.

Also, keyword tests may not display intermediate objects in the application’s object hierarchy. To view the full name of an operation’s target object, double-click the operation or increase the Maximum depth option in Keyword Test Editor - Groups options.

JavaScript, JScript

Aliases.Orders.OrdersView.ClickItem("Samuel Clemens", 0);

Python

Aliases.Orders.OrdersView.ClickItem("Samuel Clemens", 0);

VBScript

Call Aliases.Orders.OrdersView.ClickItem("Samuel Clemens", 0)

DelphiScript

Aliases.Orders.OrdersView.ClickItem('Samuel Clemens', 0);

C++Script, C#Script

Aliases["Orders"]["OrdersView"]["ClickItem"]("Samuel Clemens", 0);

Note that the fully-qualified mapped name for this object is the following:

JavaScript, JScript

NameMapping.Sys.Orders.MainForm.OrdersView

Python

NameMapping.Sys.Orders.MainForm.OrdersView

VBScript

NameMapping.Sys.Orders.MainForm.OrdersView

DelphiScript

NameMapping.Sys.Orders.MainForm.OrdersView

C++Script, C#Script

NameMapping["Sys"]["Orders"]["MainForm"]["OrdersView"]

Since the MainForm object is of no interest for our test, we exclude it from the path to the OrdersView object in the Alias tree, so the object hierarchy becomes shorter. Using aliases lets you make your scripts shorter and more readable.

For more information about using Name Mapping and aliases, see Name Mapping and Access Objects by Aliases.

Addressing .NET Objects Without Name Mapping

Your tests can work not only with applications and objects added to Name Mapping, but also with any other running applications, their windows and controls. These objects can be addressed using a syntax that directly includes identification property values:

A keyword test operation over a .NET object that is not in Name Mapping

JavaScript, JScript

Sys.Process("Orders").WinFormsObject("MainForm").WinFormsObject("OrdersView").ClickItem("Samuel Clemens", 0);

Python

Sys.Process("Orders").WinFormsObject("MainForm").WinFormsObject("OrdersView").ClickItem("Samuel Clemens", 0);

VBScript

Call Sys.Process("Orders").WinFormsObject("MainForm").WinFormsObject("OrdersView").ClickItem("Samuel Clemens", 0)

DelphiScript

Sys.Process('Orders').WinFormsObject('MainForm').WinFormsObject('OrdersView').ClickItem('Samuel Clemens', 0);

C++Script, C#Script

Sys["Process"]("Orders")["WinFormsObject"]("MainForm")["WinFormsObject"]("OrdersView")["ClickItem"]("Samuel Clemens", 0);

To learn the exact syntax for referring to a particular object, use the Object Browser - the object tree and the FullName property of objects always use this naming syntax. See the About Object Names in the Object Browser section above.

Let’s have a closer look at this notation and its components.

  • The notation starts with the Sys object that represents the operating system.

  • The next object, Process("Orders"), represents the .NET application with the file name Orders.exe.

  • Further objects represent windows and controls in the .NET application.

    The default and most commonly used syntax for these objects is as follows:

    WinFormsObject(NativeName)
    VCLNETObject(NativeName)

    • The WinFormsObject notation is used for objects in .NET applications that use Windows Forms GUI framework; the VCLNETObject notation - for .NET applications that use Borland VCL.NET GUI framework.

    • NativeName is the object name defined by the application developers. This name is specified by the object’s:

      • WinFormsControlName property in Windows Forms applications.

      -- or --

      • NativeClrObject.Name property in Borland VCL.NET applications.

    Other possible syntax for .NET objects is as follows:

    WinFormsObject(NETClassName, Caption, [Index])

    VCLNETObject(NETClassName, Caption, [Index])

    Instead of the object’s native name, it uses its .NET class name (specified by the ClrClassName property value), text and (optionally) index among sibling objects with the same class and text. This syntax is and should be used in the following cases:

    • TestComplete cannot determine the object name that is specified in the application code.

    • There are several objects with the same name.

    For more information about .NET object addressing syntax and its parameters, see the description of the WinFormsObject and VCLNETObject notation.

For examples of this syntax applied to objects in your tested .NET application, examine your application in the Object Browser. You can also copy this syntax from the Object Browser and paste it to your test to avoid having to type it manually.

Remarks
  • The WinFormsObject and VCLNETObject notation is used for .NET GUI objects of any type - forms, buttons, combo boxes, grids, and so on. The word Object here does not mean that TestComplete does not identify the object type. Just the opposite, TestComplete supports many different types of .NET GUI objects and provides high-level methods and properties for automating operations over them. See Support for .NET Applications' Controls for more information.

  • If the Use native object names for TestComplete object names setting is disabled in your test project, TestComplete uses the WinFormsObject(NETClassName, Caption, [Index]) rather than WinFormsObject(NativeName) notation for .NET objects by default. For example, it uses this notation in the Object Browser and also during the test recording when Name Mapping is not used.

    Note, however, that this setting only affects the default object naming syntax used in TestComplete panels and dialogs. When creating tests manually, you can use both the WinFormsObject(NativeName) and WinFormsObject(NETClassName, Caption, [Index]) notations equally well, regardless of this setting.

Combining Mapped and Unmapped Object Names

You can combine aliases specified in Name Mapping and the WinFormsObject (or VCLNETObject) notation when referencing an object hierarchy in tests. For example, you can use aliases for parent objects and the WinFormsObject (VCLNETObject) notation for child objects:

JavaScript, JScript

Aliases.Orders.OrderForm.WinFormsObject("ButtonOK").ClickButton();

Python

Aliases.Orders.OrderForm.WinFormsObject("ButtonOK").ClickButton();

VBScript

Aliases.Orders.OrderForm.WinFormsObject("ButtonOK").ClickButton

DelphiScript

Aliases.Orders.OrderForm.WinFormsObject('ButtonOK').ClickButton();

C++Script, C#Script

Aliases["Orders"]["OrderForm"]["WinFormsObject"]("ButtonOK")["ClickButton"]();

However, keep in mind that aliases must always precede the WinFormsObject (VCLNETObject) notation in the object hierarchy. Aliases cannot be used after the WinFormsObject (VCLNETObject) notation within the same statement. That is, the following statement is invalid:

JavaScript, JScript

Sys.Process("Orders").OrderForm.ButtonOK.ClickButton();

Python

Sys.Process("Orders").OrderForm.ButtonOK.ClickButton();

VBScript

Sys.Process("Orders").OrderForm.ButtonOK.ClickButton

DelphiScript

Sys.Process('Orders').OrderForm.ButtonOK.ClickButton();

C++Script, C#Script

Sys["Process"]("Orders")["OrderForm"]["ButtonOK"]["ClickButton"]();

See Also

Testing .NET Applications
About Testing .NET Applications
Support for .NET Applications' Controls
Accessing Native Properties and Methods of .NET Objects

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