This proposal has been approved and the Eclipse RCP Testing Tool project has been created.
Visit the project page for the latest information and development.

RCP Testing Tool

Friday, February 7, 2014 - 10:34 by Wayne Beaton
This proposal is in the Project Proposal Phase (as defined in the Eclipse Development Process) and is written to declare its intent and scope. We solicit additional participation and input from the community. Please login and add your feedback in the comments section.
Parent Project
Proposal State

Currently functional and UI tests for Eclipse-based applications are not wide-spread because of high costs of creation and maintenance of a test base. Black-box testing tools like Borland Silk, Jubula or Rational Functional Tester can be used by non-programmers, but do not provide enough control over application under test, forcing users to make state preparation logic and awaiting of asynchronous operations indirectly (like import projects into workspace via File menu, wait for operation completion by monitoring UI changes). SWTBot/JUnit tests provide a full control, but can be used only by experienced programmers.

The next-generation UI testing tool should take the best of both worlds – allow non-programmers to create functional tests, and be fully aware about application's platform internals, hiding this complexity from end users. As a result, this leads to significant reducing of test base creation and maintenance costs.


The scope of RCP Testing Tool is to provide a best-possible support for testing of Eclipse-based applications.

  • Test case creation productivity – ability to record user actions at the same level of efficiency as manual script creation, ability to capture initial/final application state into reusable models for further state restoring/verification.
  • First class support of Eclipse technologies – testing tool should be aware about key concepts of Eclipse Platform, including but not limited to Workspace, Workbench, Preferences, Debug API, as well as understand the underlying UI structure, like parts of Eclipse Workbench (views, editors, toolbars) and structure of GEF/GMF/Graphiti diagrams.
  • Intelligent runtime – automatic wait of UI-triggered background asynchronous operations (including jobs, display async/timer execs, decorations, databindings, text reconcilers, text hovers, and so on)
  • Reliable results – elemination of false negatives and false positives by isolation of test cases from each other, independence on screen size/operating system, etc.
  • Maintainability – test case artifacts should be easily modifyable to reflect UI changes and be version control system friendly
  • Extensibility – provide APIs for extending tool in order to support custom widgets, contexts, reports and async primitives.

RCP Testing Tool allows create and execute test cases for Eclipse-based applications with minimal effort. The minimal required configuration of applications under test is as simple as browsing for a folder for binary AUTs or choosing a PDE launch configuration for AUTs from sources. A typical workflow to create a test case which should work in most cases looks like this: capture an application state, record test actions, add assertions. More complex activities including test parameterization, extracting common pieces of functionality into reusable actions, writing test cases manually before UI, and test case debugging are also available. Developers can extend the tool's functionality to add record/replay support of custom widgets and capture/apply support of custom aspects of an application state.


  • Eclipse Command Language (ECL) – a general-purpose scripting language which is inspired by TCL and Powershell. All statements in ECL are commands with arguments and input/output EMF object pipes. Commands can be connected by pipelines and accept other commands as arguments.
  • ECL UI commands – a set of ECL commands for identifying UI elements and performing actions. Current command set supports most of SWT widgets (including a special support for JFace viewers) and GEF/GMF support.
  • Contexts Framework – the goal of contexts in test case execution cycle is to make sure that an application under test is in expected initial state, which allows to eleminate a state preparation logic from test code and easily capture/restore an application state. Various context types can be created to represent various aspects of an apllication state. Existing set of contexts includes contexts for workspace, workbench, preferences and launch configurations. For instance, if a test case goal is to check a completion in an editor, then Workspace context can be used to ensure that required resources are present in workspace and Workbench context can open an editor prior a test case execution.
  • Verifications Framework – a scope of verifications is to provide a fast way for ensuring a final application state. Comparing to assertion of individual properties of UI elements, verifications work by comparing models representation. Current set of verifications includes verifications for Styled text editors (allowing to assert a whole textual contents of an editor along with all styles), Table/Tree (allowing to assert items with text, style and icons) and Error Log verification.
  • Async operations monitor – during test case execution an operations monitor keeps track of all starting jobs, scheduled async display execs and timer execs, to make sure that all effects triggered by UI operations has been finished before an execution of a next operation.
  • Test case recorder – automatic recording of ECL commands describing user actions with special rules to avoid recording of unnecessary actions.
  • Test case IDE – full-featured IDE for test case development, execution and debugging.
Why Here?

RCP Testing tool, Jubula, and SWTBot can be used for functional testing of Eclipse RCP applications, however there are significant differences between approaches and target audience. SWTBot's aim is to provide flexible extensible APIs for experienced Eclipse programmers, Jubula's aim to provide support of wide range of platforms without requiring a coding experience or API knowledge. RCP Testing Tool's goal is to provide best possible support only for Eclipse Platform and Eclipse technologies via deep integration with internals of underlying technologies.

This project is not related to the EASE scripting in e4.

The tool itself will be built on top of Eclipse Platform with heavy use of AspectJ, PDE and EMF. As a testing tool, RCP Functional Testing will support SWT, JFace, GEF, GMF and RAP technologies. Single-sourced Eclipse/RAP applications can benefit from using the same test base for RAP and Desktop versions.

We think that existing projects may benefit from various RCP Testing Tool components, in particular ECL and Contexts.

Project Scheduling

Q1 2014 – Initial contribution.

Project Leads
Ivan Inozemtsev
Andrey Sobolev
Igor Zapletnev
Initial Contribution

Xored Software Inc is going to publish the code from their commercial tool Q7.