UI Test - Any improvements?

Posted 2 years ago by Avatar eric


i know that i've already asked this question before but i would like to know if your team have put any effort in allowing the DockingFramework to work with MS UI Tests?

During beta release i tried it and found out that it was not working and i spoke to Bill Henning in order to try and make this feature work. Sadly i was inconclusive at that time.

I would like to reiterate the importance for my company to be able to perform automated UI tests and sadly since we bought the actipro controls we had to disable all our existing UI tests and stop creating any new ones because of the lack of support for it.

Their seems to be 2 problems so far:

  • Depending on the layout, the recorder (or the snooping tool) is not able to locate any control inside the panels.
  • When the layout is right, the controls inside the panels can be found but during playback the control can no longer be found.


Please (pretty please) put some efforts to fix this issue and allow us to start making UI tests again.

(I'm quite surprise to see that we seem to be the only one asking for this, isn't UI test an important part of software development?)





Comments (13)

Posted 2 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA

Hi Eric,

We did put a lot of work in that area when building the new 2016.1 version.  We made the object model simpler, have a set of automation peers for the entire UI layout, and also tried to give various automation info to controls so that they could be identified easier for UI tests.

That being said, it seems like MS UI tests still can have trouble finding third party controls, even with the UIA configured properly.  And there is not much documentation out there at all for control developers on supporting MS UI Tests.  Anything that is out there seems to be geared for WinForms, where each control has its own window handle.  Unfortunately none of that applies in WPF. 

We are happy to continue working with you since this has been something we've wanted working properly for a long time.  I would suggest you reply to the old private support ticket we had going with you and we can continue talking there.

Actipro Software Support
Posted 2 years ago by eric

Thank you for your reply and i really do appreciate the effort that you've put in this matter.

I understand your struggle and know that sometimes trying to makes things work with MS tools can be a difficult task :)

That being said, have you guys tried to post for help on this matter on their forums? This may provide insight on how to setup controls properly for it.

Maybe they have some kind of documentations/guidelines to follow?

Anyhow, i would be more than willing to help testing and debugging this with you guys to make it work (when my time allows it).

I will continue this discussion on the forum (or maybe even the chat room if you guys have any dedicated to the docking framework).

Once again thank you for your support :)

Posted 8 months ago by eric

Hi there again,


so 2 year after this post, i reiterate my company need to be able to produce UI Tests.

It was on the back burner for a while, but now recent interest have resurface.


We would like our developpers to use the UI tests in order to automate our Manual test cases. But with the current Actipro architecture, we are not able to perform those UI tests. In some cases, we cannot even extract a control located inside from a docking panel using microsoft assertion tool.


The ability to be able to recorde UITest will become very important for our company. (and very soon 1-2months).

Posted 8 months ago by Tina Röder



i also have to deliver a comprehensive GUI test automation for software that was made by my company with ActiPro within the next weeks.

The software is constructed by a ribbon and dockpanels. Unfortunately, nearly one simple click is not possible to test reliably with Coded UI.


Would you recommend to buy and install the WPF Controls 2017.2 package? One improvement is "Updated the docking window container UIA hierarchy to better support Coded UI Test." Does this solve the problems with Coded UI?

I wanted to test it by myself with the trial version, but got a trojan when I downloaded it from a website. So I´m relatively unsecure if I should do a download again.


Or do there exist already some workarounds for ActiPro and Coded UI, especially for ribbons and dockpanels?


I would be very pleased, if you could help me or give me some tips or a secure and clean trial version of the new WPF controls package (Docking/MDI 2017.2).


Thank you and kind regards,


Posted 8 months ago by eric

Hi Tina,

i was using V17.2.0662, on this version the recording and playback seemed to be kind of working but it was recorded as mouse coordinates and not UI control interaction.

Although the big issue is that in some panel the control could not be extracted and threrefore not way to create assertion to verify its properties.


Indeed there seem to be a new version, let me test with it, i'll let you know if it helps. 

Posted 8 months ago by Tina Röder

Hi Eric,

be careful with the trial versions, there exist problems with nasty trojans at the moment. Windows 10 Defender is able to detect it.

I will also receive a clean version today (until now i used V16.1.632.0), but i´m not experienced with Coded UI. So i´m happy if you would share your findings with me.

Posted 8 months ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA

Hi all,

In v2017.2 build 665 we made major updates to the UIA hierarchy to better support Coded UI Test.  I think those changes finally solved the problems that were present in previous versions, at least for the customer we were working with at the time who was using Coded UI Test.

As far as the Defender results, we were just made aware of that yesterday.  We've fully scanned our build server and builds 664 and others after build 665 and all are clean.  I believe it's showing up as a "false positive" caused by the obfuscation of the particular design assembly it's triggering on.  That being said, today we are hoping to try and make a small hotfix to the build that won't trigger the false positive.

Actipro Software Support
Posted 8 months ago by Tina Röder

Hi, thank you for this information.

Posted 8 months ago by eric

Hi again Tina,

i sadly don't have the time to test with the newest version today (as it required all my other external components to be updated as well in order to ensure that it doesnt load the old dlls). 


BUT... i manage to find that my problem is not caused by Actipro dlls. It is caused by the TabControlWithItems which item tabs are not visible.

We had a code like this (not sure why) where we hide the tablitem. The MS Test was not able to go inside this control with tab item header hidden.


<!--The 'General' tab item.-->
<TabItem Header="{Resx tbiGeneral_Header}" Visibility="Collapsed">
<ContentControl prism:RegionManager.RegionName="{x:Static local:RegionNames.BlaBla1}" />

<!--The 'Template' tab item.-->
<TabItem Header="{Resx tbiTemplate_Header}" Visibility="Collapsed">
<ContentControl prism:RegionManager.RegionName="{x:Static local:RegionNames.BlaBla2}" />


So far my initial test is working and is able to extract the correct control.


FYI, give uid name to your control of interest.

Posted 8 months ago by Tina Röder

Hey, thank you for this hint. I will try it as soon as i test the new version.

[Modified 8 months ago]

Posted 8 months ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA

Good news... Build 665 has been generated again and the new compile doesn't appear to have the same false positive issue with Windows Defender.  Please let us know if you run into any similar issues.

Actipro Software Support
Posted 8 months ago by Tina Röder

Yes, I could download and use without being notified by Windows Defender!

Can you tell me, if  the new Docking & MDI-package is already included in the WPF-Studio?

Posted 8 months ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA

Hi Tina,

Yes, WPF Studio includes all our WPF UI control libraries.

Actipro Software Support
Information The latest build of this product (2018.1 build 0674) was released 1 month ago, which was after the last post in this thread.

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