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Revision as of 09:20, 2 February 2016 by (Talk | contribs) (UI tests)

The Eclipse Platform is tested during every build by an extensive suite of automated tests. These tests are written using the JUnit test framework. This page contains links to information about how to run and create automated tests for the platform.

Correctness tests

The majority of automated tests are testing for program correctness. A test failure on these tests implies that program behaviour is not as expected by the tests.

Getting the required bundles

Check out the test plugin containing the tests you want to run, along with any prerequisite plug-ins. Here are some plug-ins you will likely need:

  • org.junit - The JUnit test framework
  • org.eclipse.test - The basic infrastructure for running Eclipse tests
  • org.eclipse.core.tests.harness - Various utility pieces used by many tests
  • org.eclipse.core.tests.runtime - Tests for the runtime component
  • org.eclipse.core.tests.resources - Tests for the resources component
  • org.eclipse.ui.tests.harness - Various utility pieces used by UI tests
  • org.eclipse.ui.tests - Tests for the Eclipse UI

Running tests from within Eclipse

Correctness tests can be run from within the Eclipse IDE using a "JUnit Plug-in Test" launch configuration:

  1. In the Package Explorer, select the test or test suite you want to run. Each test package typically contains a TestSuite class that contains all the tests in that package. Suites from multiple packages are then aggregated into higher level suites. Here are some useful suites to know about:
    • org.eclipse.ui.tests.UiTestSuite - runs all UI tests
    • org.eclipse.core.tests.runtime.AutomatedTests - runs all runtime tests
    • org.eclipse.core.tests.resources.AutomatedTests - runs all resource tests
  2. Select Run > Run...
  3. Choose the "JUnit Plug-in Test" category, and click the button to create a new test
  4. On the "Main" tab, select the appropriate application for that test. Here are some important applications to know about:
    • [No Application] - Headless Mode - for running headless core (runtime, osgi, resource) tests
    • org.eclipse.ui.ide.workbench - for running UI tests
  5. Click Run.

Using EasyMock

In the Eclipse Galileo release the utility EasyMock was added to the platform test framework. EasyMock is used to create fake implementations of objects in order to test units of functionality in isolation from other objects. See the EasyMock documentation for more details.

To use EasyMock in your tests, simply load the org.easymock bundle from the Orbit repository. There is a convenience easymock.psf project set file in the org.eclipse.test bundle to facilitate loading of this bundle.

Note that EasyMock requires Java 5 or greater. You will not be able to run tests on JDK 1.4 or earlier if you are using EasyMock.

Support for JUnit4

During the Helios release the platform is moving to support JUnit4 in the test framework in addition to JUnit3. For more details on this transition see Eclipse/Testing/JUnit4 Changes.

Testing on Java 7

In some Java 7 implementations, the order of methods returned by java.lang.Class#getDeclaredMethods() is not consistent across runs. This method is used by JUnit to discover test methods, which means test order may change across executions. Generally each test method should be coded to not depend on test execution order, which also makes it easier for people to run individual tests when debugging and get consistent results. In some rare cases separate tests rely on each other, in which case you can use the test suite to hard-code a test execution order. There is also a convenience class that you can use or copy for this purpose.

Session tests

Session Tests in Eclipse are tests that require that a new Eclipse session be launched for every test case run. Thus, they have additional requirements regarding controling the environment test cases are run (VM, set of plug-ins available, configuration, instance location, command line parameters) and how results are communicated back to the test runner.

Performance tests

See the Performance Tests How-to

Profiling performance tests

It can be very useful to capture profiling data for performance tests, to help track down where the time is going. To ensure you are profiling exactly the same code paths that are running in the automated performance tests, you can attach a headless profiler to the performance tests within the test suite. Here are steps to attach a headless YourKit agent to a performance test. The resulting snapshots can later be opened for analysis from the YourKit client:

  1. Download the tests for the build you are interested in (available from same download page as the build itself).
  2. Unzip the test framework, and follow the instructions in the readme.html to configure your tests
  3. Create a properties file (let's say with the following contents:
  1. Invoke the performance test and specify the properties file location:
 runtests "" -properties <yourtarget>

If your performance test is a session test, a more complex spell is needed in your file:


This instructs the Session Tests framework to specify the provided vm arguments on each nested invocation that runs the session test. Note the session test framework override mechanism requires escaping '=' characters with '==', separating multiple arguments with a ';' character rather than a space, and omitting the leading '-' character.

The above options will instruct the profile agent to start CPU sampling immediately on startup, and to save a performance snapshot on exit. YourKit supports various other options for configuring the headless profile agent.

API tests

The Eclipse project also runs an suite of API tests during builds. These tests capture problems such as breaking API changes, and correct evolution of bundle version numbers. For more details on these tests, refer to PDE/API_Tools.

UI tests

The table below gathers pros and cons of tools making UI testing easier. It should help developers to choose the most appropriate tool.

UI testing tools
Tool License Recorder Pros Cons Remarks/Comments
Window Tester

Open Source


  • Stable
  • creates JUnit tests, can be launched along with other tests
  • easy API
  • good documentation
  • OpenSource
  • very easy to modify generated code
  • large footprint when creating tests (around 60MB for WindowTester plug-ins)
  • sensitive for focus changing, very hard to debug these UI tests (i.e. changing focus to the host Eclipse causes exceptions)



  • Designed specially to test Eclipse-based apps - plugins
  • Supports SWT/JFace, Platform, IDE, GEF, and GMF
  • Contexts for AUT state modeling
  • Let you to run any subset of your tests in any order
  • Realtime Eclipse code instrumentation and Runtime Intelligence
  • Modern Eclipse-based IDE
  • BDD-style scripting language (Eclipse Command Language)
  • Maven/Tycho plugin, Ant/CLI tool, and RCPTT Server to distribute test runs in the Cloud
  • Works on OSX 64, Linux 32/64, Window 32/64
  • Eclipse 3.5-4.5 and upcoming releases.
  • Part of Eclipse Foundation.

Commercial, free license available for Open Source projects


  • very robust test automation based on "soft" events at Windows/Gtk level
  • support for native dialogs like FileDialog
  • excellent component recognition, including automatic naming for Eclipse/RCP components
  • supports testing combined SWT/Swing applications
  • tests are batch and thus ant-runnable producing a detailed run-log and XML and HTML reports
  • Jython or Groovy scripting available
  • comprehensive manual and tutorial available online; mailing list with searchable archive
  • very responsive support
  • Eclipse/SWT support limited to Windows and Linux, both x86 and x86_64, Solaris Gtk support available but no Mac
  • QF-Test is Java application but not integrated into Eclipse
  • tests don't compile to JUnit
  • replaces the org.eclipse.swt plugin (corresponding patches are available, could be applied automatically as part of daily builds)
  • also supports GEF/GMF
  • also supports web testing

Open Source, EPL

Tests specified by drag & drop without need to record.
Recording is possible as well.

  • Supports Swing, SWT/RCP/GEF, JavaFX, HTML and iOS applications
  • Works on Windows, Unix/Linux and Mac
  • Black-box testing - no source code needed to execute tests
  • Robust, high level test automation without any coding effort
  • Incorporates best practices of software development into tests
  • Suitable for agile processes because tests can be written before an app is available
  • Robust object recognition heuristic
  • Tests can be run from command line for continuous integration
  • Since 2015 there is also a programmatic API for writing tests using Java to be executed via e.g. JUnit
  • Extensible to add support for own components / actions
  • tests don't compile to JUnit
  • does not support combined SWT/Swing applications
  • not extendable without knowledge about RCP-Programming
  • few elements missing, like loops and if-conditions
  • Tests are written into XML format at back-end.
Eclipse Project



  • eclipse project, still being improved
  • easy API, simple to get started with
  • open source, hosted at
  • small tool, less than 1 MB (including source)
  • very modular, good test coverage, easy to contribute fixes and enhancements
  • long responses on important bugs e.g. 271132
  • cannot test native dialogs (File Dialogs, Color Dialogs, etc) see 164192
  • Leverages SWT/Eclipse capabilities to perform most operations. Support for new things is highly dependent on capabilities offered by SWT/Eclipse bug 164192
Automated GUI Recorder



  • ability to provide your own Widget Resolver
  • open source
  • seems pretty stable, used by TPTP to do UI tests
  • large footprint when creating tests (probably around 50MB - TPTP Platform and TPTP Test Tools)
  • test descriptions only in XML, verification points in Java can be added though
  • didn't find any way to test absence of a dialog
  • can't run tests in debug mode
  • provided as is (because IBM pulled resources out of TPTP)




  • looks nice and powerful
  • got nice features
  • excellent screenshot visualiser identifies and highlights both mapped and unmapped UI components with mouse-over
  • scripts in various languages (VBScript, JScript, DelphiScript, C++Script, C#Script)
  • command-line support, see TestComplete Command Line
  • is implemented using COM technology
  • works only on Windows
  • RCP application launched from TestComplete test did not exit cleanly, zombie process remained.




  • lots of nice features
  • tests SWT, Swing, Web, and a lot more
  • scripts in various scripting languages (JavaScript, Python, Perl or Tcl)
  • support for native dialogs
  • good documentation
  • responsive technical support
  • Eclipse and Ant integration
  • component recognition doesn't seem to handle JFace widgets very well; getting any script to work involves a lot of trial and error
  • their symbolic object naming strategy is very unclear; component names can even change in the same script
  • expensive: 6900 euro for single edition license

The table is in progress. Feel free to update it, if you know useful features or serious limitations of the mentioned tools. You are also welcome to add new tools.

More we know about those tools, easier to choose the best one.

Notes on what you should be evaluating on

  • CI support -- ability to run tests from command line/ant
  • Cross platform support -- developers use a variety of platforms -- windows, linux, mac
  • Scripting capabilities -- vendor script/Java/jruby ?
  • Reporting capabilities -- html/xml/push to database ?

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