FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

General


What is Usetrace used for?

Usetrace is used to automate functional end-to-end UI testing on web sites/apps, i.e. to check that the features which are visible to end users work as expected. Usetrace includes regression testing, monitoring and performance, and load testing.


Usetrace does not require programming. How are the automated tests made?

Usetrace’s automated tests are called traces. Traces are visual descriptions of the user paths through the application under test. Traces are made by interacting with your site as your users would. A trace includes steps like clicks on buttons and checks (elements which are visible on the page, e.g. text). Usetrace records these interactions into routines that can be reused, thus building a highly maintainable automation test suite for your application’s user interface.


What are the main features and capabilities of Usetrace?


Do I need a test server?

You can run your tests also against your own laptop or development computer. See Tunneled connection to learn how make your web server publicly accessible.


How long does it take to set up Usetrace for an existing web project?

You should be able to create your first trace in 5 to 10 minutes after registration. To see how to create your first trace, see our 3-minute “First Trace” tutorial


We’ve had bad experiences with Selenium. Does Usetrace really work?

Our customers have had similar experiences with Selenium before trying Usetrace. Read a customer story and see how Usetrace differs from Selenium.


My server is behind a firewall or my network is restricted. Can I still use Usetrace?

Yes, if your server is connected to the internet you can use Usetrace. See the Network Instructions.


Usetrace is a startup. Can I rely on you?

We’ve had paying customers for close to three years now, and several investors (individuals, institutes and companies) are backing our financials. Usetrace is also being continuously developed to further enhance robustness and ease of use as well as to add new platforms.

Usage


How do I set the starting URL?

To set the default base URL for all your traces, start by exiting the Editor. Then, write your base URL on the upper left corner next to the Usetrace logo.

To set the base URL for a specific trace, see the instruction on Custom base URL.


Where do I find my ProjectID?

Sign in to your Usetrace account and navigate to Settings > Project.


When I create a trace, how do I know when it’s complete?

All your interactions are recorded and become steps in your trace. It is recommended to complete each trace with a “Check” to ensure that the feature functions. For example, a trace checking the functioning of login should include these steps: clicking the login button, filling in the login form, clicking “login” and creating a check for “logged in as…” After you have a “Check” in place, click on “Run trace” to test that the entire trace works. Watch tutorial First Trace to see how to automate testing for login.


What constitutes a “success” or a “fail” for any given trace?

If a trace can be ran through, it is considered as a success. If any one step fails, the entire trace run is considered a failure.


How do I change the browsers in which my traces are run?

You can change your enabled browsers under Settings->Project. To change the API call browsers, see HTTP Rest API for documentation.


Can Usetrace handle hover menus?

Yes. To learn how to automate hover menus, take a look at “Step types”.


How do I create a check for a randomly generated text?

Start by creating a check step. Then, press “Configure locators” on the check step and scroll down to “Check for: Text”. Finally make sure the word “random” is included within the field. See tutorial Random User to learn how to create a trace in which you type and check random text.


How do I type the same random string in two different text fields?

To learn how to create random strings, read “Step types”. If you use the same input string in multiple text fields, Usetrace will use the same randomly generated string for all the referred text fields.

How do I get / put data to REST APIs or external servers?

You can talk to your APIs via JS-step inside your trace. Here’s an example Javascript


How do I block Google Analytics?

Usetrace browsers come from the IP address “54.194.0.202”.

In Google Analytics, you can filter this IP out by 1) going to Admin -> Account -> All Filters -> + NEW FILTER

2) or by going to Admin -> Filters -> New Filter -> Exclude IP address 54.194.0.202 and on the same page in Apply Filter to Views: Add the wanted available views to Selected views.


Why do I get the error message “Could not click an element on the page”?

There are three possible reasons for this error.

First, the locators may not match. See “Configure locators” in the step which failed and verify that the locators are correct. Usetrace locators are css, id, name, xpath and link_text. See the W3School documentation for CSS and XPath to learn how to write these locators manually.

Second, the locators may match too many elements. Hence, Usetrace does not know which element to click. Write more specific locators for your step.

Third, the locators may match but the clicking fails. This may happen, for instance, because the element is covered by another element or the element is not visible.


Can I export my traces to Selenium?

Currently you can export your project (with all your traces) to JSON.


How do I change my password?

To change your password you need to logout, go to https://usetrace.com and click the “LOG IN” link. Then click “Forgot your password?” Then enter your email and click reset. You will get an email with the password reset link.

You can also go directly to https://team.usetrace.com/#reset-password and fill in your email.


Is the iframe element supported by the recorder?

Usetrace transparently handles iframes (even nested iframes) and you don’t have to worry about them when recording traces.


How can I undelete a trace that I accidentally deleted?

Navigate to tracelist and from bottom of the page, browser to the recently deleted traces. From that list, you are able to undelete traces.


Is there a way to mask credentials of the application under test from traces?

You can mask any input data using trace parameters. Expand the parameter tab of the step you want to mask. Replace the sensitive credential in the default value field with a placeholder value (any value). Now, note the parameter name, this is the parameter you need to define in an API call to execute traces. See from API docs how to define parameters for trace runs. Using this method, your credentials are not stored inside Usetrace cloud, but passed only inside API calls.

Usetrace and other testing methods


How does Usetrace differ from Selenium?

We’ve built on top of Selenium. Usetrace is modular in a similar fashion as programming parameterized modules: traces use reusable routines. Usetrace combines the benefits of programmable tests with the ease of record & playback.


Why would I use Usetrace instead of Cucumber or RSPEC+Selenium (or some other framework for a different language)?

Most teams don’t have the required skills for scripted test automation. Even the teams which have these skills struggle to have time for testing: when software is released daily, scripted tests constantly lag behind development. A simplified testing tool which allows easy test creation and maintenance without programming is needed. However, traditional record & playback tools in inadequate for agile teams due to their maintenance burden. Therefore, Usetrace brings concepts from scripted testing available to non-programmers.


How does Usetrace differ from Rainforest QA?

In Usetrace, you define modular tests by using your own site. The tests (or traces) are represented visually like cartoon strips. Usetrace tests are executed automatically and in parallel, and you can follow test execution live in your browser. An average test run completes in 10-20 seconds. Error screenshots and detailed reports can be e-mailed or sent to your team chat (e.g. HipChat).

In Rainforest QA, on the other hand, you define tests by writing instructions for human testers. The reports only tell if a test was successful or which steps succeeded and failed. It takes close to half an hour for a two-step test to complete in five browsers.


Is Usetrace a replacement for tools like Watir?

Yes. Usetrace tests software end-to-end like Watir and Selenium; however, Usetrace does not require programming skills.