Scripted and scriptless GUI testing for web applications: An industrial case

Axel Bons, Beatriz Marín, Pekka Aho, Tanja E.j. Vos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Automation is required in the software development to reduce the high costs of producing software and to address the short release cycles of modern development processes. Lot of effort has been performed to automate testing, which is one of the most resource-consuming development phases. Automation of testing through the Graphical User Interface (GUI) has been researched to improve the system testing.
We aim to evaluate the complementarity of automated GUI testing tools in a real industrial context, which refers to the capability of the tools to work usefully together.
To address the objective, we conduct an exploratory case study in an IT development company from The Netherlands. We select two representative tools for automated GUI testing, one for scripted and another for scriptless testing. We measure the complementarity by measuring the effectiveness, the efficiency, and subjective satisfaction of the tools.
It can be observed that the scripted tool performs better in detecting process failures, and the scriptless tool performs better in detecting visible failures and also reaching higher coverage. Both tools perform in a similar way in terms of efficiency. Additionally, both tools were perceived to be useful in the survey performed for the subjective satisfaction.
We conclude that scriptless and scripted testing approaches are complementary, and they can improve the effectiveness compared to manual testing processes performed in an industrial context by detecting different failures and reducing the effort and time to find these failures and to reproduce them.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107172
Number of pages16
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Early online date13 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Case study
  • Complementarity
  • Scripted testing
  • Scriptless testing


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