Given the number of platforms applications now need to be able to run on, it’s little wonder that mistakes and errors that compromise the graphical experience of the end user appear all too regularly in production. Keeping up with all the various nuances of each platform is just too much to ask of the average developer. To even those odds, Applitools has developed Applitools Eyes, the latest release of which extends the reach and scope of user interface testing in addition to providing expanded third-party tool integrations, enhanced analytics and team collaboration tools.
Version 10 of Applitools Eyes extends the company’s mission to employ artificial intelligence (AI) to enable organizations to consistently deliver a better application experience, said James Lamberti, chief marketing officer for Applitools.
Testing of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) is becoming more complex because the front-end of each application is increasingly made multiple microservices. Any change to the application requires developers to test each individual microservice and associated content that gets rendered on any number of platform. Applitools Eyes automates that testing process in a way that enables organizations to deliver applications faster without compromising the user (UX) experience, said Lamberti.
“AI makes it easier to identify where the UX is broken,” he said.
Much of the AI focus on DevOps these days tends to be on automating back-end testing. But Lamberti said it’s already been proven AI has a significant role to play in automating UI testing as well. To spur awareness of that requirement, Applitools also announced an Application Visual Management initiative, an attempt to create a new category of tools for visually testing graphical user interfaces.
Lamberti noted that functional tests today are automated, and the visual elements of an application are still conducted manually. That invariably leads to errors that conspire to impede application release cycles no matter how much time and effort may have been invested in continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) processes.
Applitools claims to have already executed almost 100 million visual tests using its visual AI engine to analyze billions of individual UX elements. Version 10 of Applitools Eyes adds improvements to the Layout Algorithm for dynamic content use cases as well as dashboards to make it easier to discover the root cause of a UI issue. Development teams, for example, can review visual test execution status and baseline status updates, bugs squashed and coverage levels specific to individual tasks and test assignments.
Bugs discovered by Applitool Eyes can now also be programmed to automatically generate a ticket with a bug tracking tool such as Jira.
In addition, integration with collaboration tools from Micro Focus as well as Slack is planned for March.
Developers are often especially challenged when it comes to application usability. Application Visual Management may provide a much-needed framework for capturing UI best practices that would enable developers to avoid the same issue over and over by, for example, enabling a testing tool to make specific recommendations about where to place specific functions on a screen. There may even come a day when AI builds the application. In the meantime, when it comes to building applications end users will actually embrace regularly, most developers need all the help they can get.