Beginning with Cycle 2.4, Cycle now has the ability to interact with native Windows applications by using the WinAppDriver (WAD). These new native app steps allow Cycle to interact with Windows applications without relying on desktop steps that are not tied to a specific running application or using image matching. Native app steps support testing Universal Windows Platform (UWP), Windows Forms (WinForms), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), and Classic Windows (Win32) apps on Windows 10 PCs.
Steps on setting up WinAppDriver and Cycle can be found at the following link:
Using Cycle’s native application steps is the preferred method when testing windows applications. The following conditions are good decision points when deciding whether or not to use native app steps instead of using the traditional desktop steps and image matching
Cycle desktop steps and image matching steps will interact with Windows applications, but these steps have limits that can result in negative test results. These limits should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to use native app steps.
Desktop step limitations:
Image matching limitations:
Desktop steps and image matching can be utilized to test Windows applications, but their limitations tend to make them less reliable that terminal steps and web steps. The native app steps are much more in line with the precision provided by web steps and are the preferred option for interacting with Windows 10/Windows Server 2016 applications.
Native app steps are very similar to the existing web steps. There are four locator types that can be used to identify objects on the screen (id, automationID, name, and controlType). Your ability to identify specific objects within the application will be dependent upon how the application developer assigned these attributes to the objects during development.
You may find that you need to use a combination of locator types to identify specific objects. In these instances, you can use the xPath locator to identify a specific objects using locators and other objects in relation to the specified object. The usage of the xPath locator type is similar to web steps.
Usage of native app steps requires a technical approach to feature writing. These steps are not as simple as image matching where Cycle allows the user to capture images to use for matching.
If you are comfortable developing web features using element locators and xPath, then you will be able to use the native app steps without much trouble. Less technically inclined users may find using native app steps as a challenge until they are able to become comfortable with evaluating object locators and determining how to uniquely identify those objects.
Inspect.exe is a tool than can be used to evaluate and identify application objects during feature writing. This is very similar to using the inspect feature within the Chrome web browser. Inspect.exe is part of the Windows SDK and you must install the Windows SDK in order to utilize the tool.
The link below describes how to install Inspect.exe:
The link below describes how to use Inspect.exe to identify application objects: