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Category Archives: Canopy

Open 2 Test

On a proof of concept I was working on for a new prospective client, I have had to get my hands on the Open 2 Test framework. This was an Open Source initiative sponsored by my (NTT DATA) organisation few years back and I never actually bought the value it could bring to an organisation. The main advantage as portrayed by the team is the interoperability across test tools (i.e. you could run the same test script using QTP or Selenium without any(?) changes hence prevents the organisation from any vendor lock-in. But seriously this alone doesn’t convince me to go learn a new scripting syntax, new tool etc. But when I looked at the tool hands on, I realised the true benefits of this tool.

This is a not a tutorial, but just discuss the key benefits of this framework. For detailed tutorial, there are many documentation available on the web site ( ).


The first thing that comes on top is the simplicity of the scripts. It uses a tabular form and works with s/sheet. The following screen shot shows a simple script.

This simple script launches a web browser (configurable), and performs a click and checks for values of couple of div tags. As can be see, it is very self-explanatory once the convention is understood, which is very minimal as well. This is a significant step when compared to the tool specific scripting languages. And the fact this can be done using s/sheet means, even business users could be trained to directly script tests rather than a need for a specific testing tools team.


Another key feature is the ability to extend the keywords and functionalities of testing as required by individual application and environment. For example, on the POC I was working on, there was a requirement to test for a specific text, which gets updated via an Ajax call. The use case was like adding a book to the shopping basket and it invokes an ajax call. And once the book has been added to the basket (at server), the ajax call updates the text on a particular (progress bar like) div tag to Item added to basket. The time lag between invoking the request and finally the text getting updated is unknown due to the nature of the ajax request. This need a wait function that need to wait till a particular text is updated on the div tag. This is supported by the underlying Selenium web driver. Hence I have introduced a new action keyword (waitfortext), which will wait until the element text changes to an expected text. There is an option to specific maximum timeout.

Looking at the source this was very straightforward as below.

It finds the element using one of identifiers or xpath. And then simply invokes the webdriver method to wait for its text value to be the one expected. (with max time limit)

Maintainability & Re-usability

Another key concept it uses is the decoupling of web elements and a logical identifier. In the test script you could refer to the web page elements using logical identifiers and then link these to the specific web elements using another s/sheet called Object repository. This gives a maintainability advantage and also allows re-usability. You maintain a s/sheet as below where you could associate logical names to the web elements.

Then object name would be used in the scripts, which prevents script updates whenever a page element changes. Also this enables re-using the object name across pages and serves as a complete data dictionary.

Open Source

Above all others, the framework is open source and very light weight. This allows complete freedom in terms enabling changes and customising as per specific needs. I don’t have to explain lot about the benefits of open source. However one down side is it doesn’t have a very active community, probably because of less awareness. But there is a small team still actively works on it and publishes periodic updates.


It is quite awesome, but it is due to its age, a bit old school. Now a days there are other open source alternatives available. .Net Canopy being one. But its ability to work with test scripts on s/sheet and be able to load & process data from s/sheet makes it very useful indeed. Perhaps this will require a bit of modernisation to be able to work with latest web technologies.


  • Conceptually strong
  • Open source
  • Others as above. (Simple, Extensible, etc)


  • Bit old style (although this could be improved)
  • The open source code isn’t very clean


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