Resources for UI Automation and simulating user input

An important part of my job is to be able to interface our product with third party UI’s. Typically, I know virtually nothing about the UI before I begin the project, only that I will need to enter data into different fields.

Over the years, I’ve accumulated a list of my “goto tools” to help me assess each application. Behold:

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UIAutomationLib on GitHub

I created a new repository on GitHub called BitCollectors.UIAutomationLib which contains an XML driven .NET library for automating keystrokes and mouse clicks on just about any UI.  I’ve used this on several applications, including apps running through Terminal Services and Citrix.  It’s quite powerful, but I’m not claiming it’s the best solution for native Win32 apps (although it might be the easiest to use).  If you’re interfacing with a native Win32 app and you don’t mind writing a little code, you might want to look in to using Microsoft’s UI Automation framework.  Their framework lets you get a handle on a control and populate a text box or simulate a button press directly on the control.  My library simulates key strokes and mouse clicks, so it doesn’t really work at the control level.

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