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GUI Test Automation Squish Tool Suite Delivers Reliable And Proven Solutions For Test Automation

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froglogic is the innovative firm behind the cross-platform and cross-technology GUI test automation tool Squish and the cross-platform code coverage analysis tool Squish Coco. We sat down with Reginald Stadlbauer, CEO and co-founder of froglogic to learn more about the company and its future:

Reginald Stadlbauer

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to froglogic?

A: We (Harri Porten and myself) started froglogic in 2003 after having worked at Trolltech (now The Qt Company) and seen the demand for a cross-platform GUI Test Automation tool. At this time, the predominant test automation tool was Mercury’s (now HP) WinRunner, which was not only very expensive and very hard to use, but also limited to just Windows.

Coming from Trolltech, we knew that there is a software market beyond just Windows which also needs professional tooling. This made us start froglogic and develop Squish, initially a GUI testing tool supporting applications written using Qt only, but on any platform where Qt was available (Windows, Linux, several Unices, Mac OS X).

We were in the fortunate position to be quite alone in this niche. We quickly attracted interest and were able to sell the first Squish licenses only a few weeks after we released Squish 1.0. Renown companies such as the largest chipmaker in the world were among our first customers.

Soon our customers started asking us whether they couldn’t use Squish also to do the automated testing of other applications they had, which weren’t written using Qt. So we extended Squish adding support for testing Web applications, Java GUIs, Tk apps, native Windows applications, iOS Apps, Android Apps etc. in the versions to come. By today, Squish supports automated testing of user interfaces of pretty much an GUI technology on any platform out there.

In ca. 2010, while the Squish GUI tester continued and continues to grow, we wanted to add another product to our portfolio. This then became Squish Coco, which we released in 2011. Squish Coco is a code coverage analysis tool allowing to understand which lines, statements, branches, conditions, decisions, etc. of your application’s code have been tested.

While we initially focused mostly on the Desktop, Web and Mobile markets, in the last 2-3 years we started to see a big transition in the embedded industry. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, customers also expect the same kind of user experience from embedded user interfaces. In addition, many embedded devices are connected to cloud services today so smartphone Apps and Web applications can interact with the embedded systems.

Qt and QML from The Qt Company is one of the prime technologies which is being used to build these next generation user interfaces. Since our Squish GUI Tester has extremely good support for Qt and QML and also supports remote test automation, it is very well suited to automate the testing of these new kinds of user interfaces on embedded devices.

Typically, embedded systems are used a lot in safety critical environments (Medical, Automotive, Aerospace, etc.) which requires much more quality assurance. With the combination of the Squish GUI tester allowing to automate many of these complex tests and Squish Coco to monitor the code coverage of the testing, we offer a tool suite catering very well to the needs of embedded software projects.

Today froglogic is still privately owned with ca. 30 employees. We are profitable and organically growing. We continue to work on our vision to provide the tools needed to automate as much as possible of the software testing process. Seeing how dynamic the development tools market is today, we see a bright future ahead of us.

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Q: Could you explain the function and advantages of the cross-platform and cross-technology GUI test automation tool Squish?

A: Parts of this I already answered above. In short, the Squish GUI Tester is a cross-platform, cross-technology, cross-device GUI test automation tool which supports all major desktop, mobile, web and embedded user interface technologies.

Squish provides dedicated support for each of the GUI technologies. GUI controls are identified with a very reliable object based approach unlike fragile approaches such as image based or OCR based testing.

In addition to powerful scripting support in Squish, one of its key features is its integrated support for Behavior Driven Development (BDD). Squish is the only GUI test automation tool in the market fully integrating BDD. Several large organizations, who base their whole development processes on BDD, chose Squish as their company-wide test automation tool for this reason.

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Q: How does froglogic differ from its competition?

A: In general, Squish’s wide support for technologies and platforms differentiates us from the competitors. We see that in most organizations applications are developed on many different platforms using different technologies. Being able to use the same GUI test tool for all applications is a major advantage of Squish.

In addition to that, Squish is the only tool in the market which really supports Qt and QML applications which are now heavily used in embedded systems.

And finally, like I mentioned above already, Squish’s built-in BDD support also differentiates us from the competitors making our offering pretty unique.

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Q: What are your plans for next six months?

A: We are adding several new features to the Squish GUI tester such as GUI coverage analysis, improving visual verifications and interactions, automated GUI style checks, centralized reporting and advanced test result analysis, just to mention a few.

For Squish Coco we will extend its language support to also understand QML/JS code in addition to C, C++, C# and Tcl. In the next weeks we will release Squish Coco 4.0 which then supports the MC/DC and MCC coverage levels. This will make Squish Coco fit to be used with strictest safety standards at an affordable price.

Q: More generally, how do you see the automated embedded HMI testing developing, and where do you place yourself in the industry?

A: I think we are only at the very beginning of a transition in the embedded industry towards more complex and modern user interfaces as well as connected devices. Our tools provide a good solution for a very specific test automation challenge in these development projects. I expect this to be a market for us to further grow and invest in.

We are glad to already have exposure to many of these projects esp. in the Automotive market. What we see there allows us to further improve our products and identify existing gaps to fill.

Overall I see ourselves in a very strong position already and we continue to work every day to further strengthen this.

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