Working with Models in Eggplant AI

An Eggplant AI model is a simple visual representation of the application, interface, or website that you want to test. The model helps you coordinate test activity and includes representations of the aspects the UI that you're testing. Note that models don't have to be complete or complex to be useful.

This page describes the basics of model creation, versioning, and manipulation.

What Is a Model?

Visually, an Eggplant AI model resembles a flowchart, but functionally, it's more like a road map. User journeys can go in any number of directions to, from, and between the states and actions you define. When you run your model, user journeys are defined on the fly by Eggplant AI algorithms.

A model in Eggplant AI

States and Actions in the model represent UI elements and transitions. States are things such as screens in your application, pages on a website, or even dialog box windows. Actions take place within states, and also can move users between states. When you run the model, Eggplant AI automates possible user journeys through the states and actions you've set up.

Outline a Model

Before you build a model in Eggplant AI, consider the parts of the interface that you want to test, and how those parts are connected. Making a brief outline or sketch of the possible states and actions encountered by users in your interface helps organize your model. You can do this initial planning in the Eggplant AI workspace.

The granularity of your model is up to you. You can have a single Login action that performs all the steps a user takes to log in—enter username, enter password, click OK—or you can make a separate action for each of those steps. Things that aren't new screens or pages, such as panels in wizards and hover-over menus, can be considered states, too.

If you're testing a travel website, for example, a user might first connect to the website. When a user connects, the first page they see is the home page. From the home page, there are several places a user can visit next: search, my account, cars, flights, hotels, and restaurants. From any of those pages, a user might choose to return to the home page, or move to a different page. At some point, the user exits the site.

Step by Step: Build a Model

Each page or screen a user can visit is a state in your Eggplant AI model. Use actions to represent clicks or taps or other activities a user can perform in the state or that take users between states in the model.

Although all element names must be unique, you should establish a consistent and meaningful naming convention for your elements. For example, an action called home might take users to a state called Home page, and an action called flights would take users to a state called Flights page.

Follow these instructions to build your model in Eggplant AI UI:

  1. Go to File > New Model to create a new model. A new model begins with one state that has the type Start and is named Initial. You can change the name of this state in the State properties tab in the right pane.
    The Initial state in Eggplant AI
    Note: When you first log in to Eggplant AI, the Model tab display a new model with the Initial state. You can use this model to begin developing rather than creating a new model.
  2. Click Save Model in the toolbar (disk icon The save model button on the Eggplant AI toolbar) or go to File > Save Model to save the model and assign it to a group. Groups allow different users to access a model.

    The Save Model dialog window in Eggplant AI

    Note: You can't run a model until you've saved it. The model name can't contain spaces and the only permitted special characters are underscore (_), tilde (~), and hyphen (-). After you give your model a name and save it, Eggplant AI automatically saves your model whenever you make a change.
    Important: Eggplant AI doesn't support concurrent editing of the same model. If another user edits a model that you have currently opened, Eggplant AI will warn you to save your model with a different name.
  3. To add a new state, right-click in the workspace, then select New State from the context menu. You can also click the New State button (Click the plus button to create a new state in your Eggplant AI model) in the toolbar or go to Edit model > New Action. Normal states have purple backgrounds.
  4. To add an action to a state, select the state, right-click inside it, then choose New Action from the context menu. You can also click the New Action button (The New Action button on the toolbar in Eggplant AI) in the toolbar or go to Edit model > New Action. Normal actions have gray backgrounds.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to create as many states and actions as you need.
  6. Connect actions to states by using the Action Properties tab. Select an action, then connect it to the appropriate state by selecting a checkbox in the Connections from action menu.

    Connecting an action to a state in Eggplant AI

    Connect actions to states using the Connections from action menu in Eggplant AI.

    You can also have global actions in your model. Global actions are actions that could be performed at any point during a user journey, such as a rotate on a mobile device or a search on a shopping website. For information about global actions, see Create Global Actions.

  7. To model an action that returns a user to the previous state, create a new action. With that action selected, choose Previous from the Type drop-down list in the Action Properties tab. The shape of the action changes to an octagon when the Previous type is chosen.
  8. Define an exit point for the model by associating an action with the predefined Exit state in the Connections from action menu.

    An action associated with the Exit state in Eggplant AI

  9. Save the model.

When you are ready, click Play (Click the Play button in the Eggplant AI toolbar to run a model) on the toolbar to run your model. However, note that until you connect SenseTalk snippets to your actions, the model won't be working against your actual system under test (SUT).

Note: If you're a new user, you might want to create a model using the new model wizard in Designer, which is available in Eggplant AI 3.0 and later.

Adding Complexity to a Model

The complexity of the model you build can change as your testing requirements change. You can add representations of user actions like entering passwords and making selections on a page, or add variables to states or actions. For example, if you're testing a mobile app with a swipe action, you can define the directions in which that swipe can occur using variables.

If two or more actions must occur in a certain order, you can make them sequent. In the Action Properties tab, set the type for the first action in the series to normal. Set the type for all subsequent actions that need to execute in order to sequent. Connect those actions in the order you want them to run. When you change an action's type to sequent, the action's shape changes to an oval. You also can use sequent actions to create loops.

In this example, Action10 executes before Action11, which then must execute before Action12 can execute.

Sequent actions in an Eggplant AI model

You can define the importance of states and actions in a model by adjusting their weights in Eggplant AI. When you run a test that has weighted elements, the learning algorithms in Eggplant AI adjust to hit those actions and states more or less often in the test case, according to their weighting.

Using the predefined Exit state is the simplest way to end a test run, but you can define your own end points using things like action limits. A model will exit when it reaches a state with nothing left to do, excluding global actions. If all actions in a state fail the preconditions you've set for them, or all actions in a state have passed their execution limit (or a combination of these things), the model will exit.

Add Snippets to a Model

You can add snippets to your model if you've integrated Eggplant AI with Eggplant Functional. Snippets are small pieces of SenseTalk code that you can associate with actions or states in your model. When you run an Eggplant AI model that has associated Eggplant Functional snippets, the model executes on your system under test (SUT) as it runs in Eggplant AI.

For complete information about using SenseTalk snippets, see Eggplant AI Integration with Eggplant Functional and Linking Eggplant AI Models to Snippets.

Model Versioning

When you explicitly save a model (by clicking the Save button or going to File > Save Model) anytime after the initial save, you can create a new version name of the model. Add a tag name in the Create a version tag window. Click Cancel if you don't want to create a new version; when the model automatically saves, any changes you've made save to the active version.

Create a version tag in Eggplant AI

New feature: Model versioning is available in Eggplant AI 2.2 and later.

You can revert to previous versions of models. Go to File > Model History to choose which version to open.

Revert to a previous version of a model using the Model History tab in Eggplant AI

Versions are preserved when you switch between them; reverting to another version doesn't overwrite the version that you switched from.

Working with the Model Tree

The Model tree to the left of the workspace shows your model in tree form. Actions display below their associated states.

The Model Tree in Eggplant AI

When you create a new model, the Model tree is automatically populated with four states:

  • Initial state is the starting point of your model.
  • Error state is called whenever the model detects an error. This might be caused by the failure of an in-model check or by a failure within a SenseTalk snippet.
  • Cleanup state is the last state called in the model, which occurs after Exit or Error states. You can use the Cleanup state to tidy up the SUT prior to the next state, that is, for closing applications, etc.
  • Exit state terminates the model.

You can use the Model tree to move an action from one state to another, or to move an action from a state to the main workspace, which makes it a global action. Select the action you want to move, then drag it to a new location. The highlight on the selected action turns green when you hover over a location where that action can be placed.

You can perform the same actions in the Model Tree that you perform in the workspace. Right-click in the Model tree to open the context menu, from which you can add actions, states, and variables to your model. You also can delete items, add or remove breakpoints and clear the console from the context menu.

 

This topic was last updated on December 06, 2019, at 11:57:39 AM.

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