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This guide explains how to get started with FEST's Swing module.

Before you start

Before starting to write any test, please do the following:

  1. Read about writing EDT-safe GUI tests.
  2. Download the latest version of the Swing module from the project's download page. The file name should be similar to fest-swing-{VERSION}.zip, where {VERSION} is the latest version of the module.
  3. Include the file fest-swing-{VERSION}.jar and its dependencies in your classpath.

Writing your first GUI test

When writing GUI tests, use the fixtures in the package org.fest.swing.fixture. These fixtures provide specific methods to simulate user interaction with a GUI component and also provide assertion methods that verify the state of such GUI component. Although you could work with the FEST Robot directly, the Robot is too low-level and requires considerably more code than the fixtures.

There is one fixture per Swing component. Each fixture has the same name as the Swing component they can handle ending with "Fixture." For example, a JButtonFixture knows how to simulate user interaction and verify state of a JButton.

For our first test, let's assume we have a very simple JFrame that contains a JTextField, a JLabel and a JButton:

The expected behavior of this GUI is: when user clicks on the JButton, the text of the JTextField should be copied to the JLabel.

The following sections describe the steps necessary to test our GUI.

Creating a test from scratch

1. Enable checks for EDT access violation

FEST provides the class FailOnThreadViolationRepaintManager that forces a test failure if access to GUI components is not performed on the EDT. You can find more details here.

2. Create a fixture for a Frame or Dialog

Depending on the GUI to test, create a fixture to handle either a Frame or a Dialog in the "setUp" method of your test. The "setUp" method is the method that initializes the test fixture before running each test method:

  • setUp method (JUnit 3.8.x)
  • a method marked with @Before (JUnit 4.x)
  • a method marked with @BeforeMethod (TestNG)

The following example uses a FrameFixture:

It may seem a little weird the way we create a new instance of MyFrame. Since creation of a frame triggers a "paint" action, we need to create the frame in the Event Dispatch Thread (EDT.) More details about the EDT and Swing threading can be found here.

3. Clean up resources used by FEST-Swing

FEST-Swing forces sequential test execution, regardless of the testing framework (JUnit or TestNG.) To do so, it uses a semaphore to give access to the keyboard and mouse to a single test. Cleaning up resources after running each test method releases the lock on such semaphore. To clean up resources simply call the method cleanUp in the FEST-Swing fixture inside:

  • tearDown method (JUnit 3.8.x)
  • any method marked with @After (JUnit 4.x)
  • any method marked with @AfterMethod (TestNG)


4. Write methods to test your GUI's behavior

Start using FEST-Swing fixtures to test your GUI. FEST-Swing fixtures simulate a user interacting with a GUI in order to verify that such GUI behaves as we expect. For our example, we need to verify that the text in the JTextField is copied to the JLabel when the JButton is clicked:

As you probably guessed by now, in our example we look up UI components by their unique name.

Putting everything together

The following code listing shows the whole test that verifies the described GUI is behaving correctly:

Alternatively, extend a FEST-Swing test case

Starting with version 1.1, FEST-Swing provides a base test case class, to simplify creation of GUI tests. The following code listing provides the same functionality as the example from the previous section, with less code, thanks to FestSwingTestngTestCase:



When using a base TestCase, do not create a new Robot. The base TestCase creates one for you. If there is more than one Robot in your test, only the first one will have access to the screen, while the rest will block till they get the 'screen lock'. A Robot can be created manually or indirectly using the constructors FrameFixture(Frame) or DialogFixture(Dialog). Please use the overloaded versions that take a Robot as parameter, passing the already created Robot (by calling the method robot().)

See also: