Sunday, March 16, 2008

AutoCAD 2009 Action Recorder


I have spent the last weeks testing the new AutoCAD version, 2009. One of the greatest new feature for me it the Action Recorder which realize one of the top requests of all times.

This tools, on its first release, is capable of recording your actions and commands inside AutoCAD and then generate some kind of rich script as the below picture:

I think this tool will help a lot our daily testing procedures once it allow us to create several scripts easily. The major advantage in this case is the strict interaction with AutoCAD native commands and their features.

One negative point is regarding dialogs. In this case you cannot automate the dialog interaction. This is not good once the dialog interaction may be more than 50% of your testing procedure. When the action recorder finds a dialog it stops for the user interaction and then resumes.

The Action Recorder tool is very interesting and I'm sure it will evolve a lot on the next versions and maybe we will see some dialog interaction and a part of its features.

We can think on building some test procedure now with a mix of Action Recorder and other automation tool. I think one will complete each other as the testing tools have the dialog automation well resolved and the Action Recorder has AutoCAD specific features well resolved too.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008



I have started to play around with UISpy tool mentioned at the previous article link (

This tool is part of Windows SDK and it is included into the WinSDKNetFxTools-x86.msi package which can be installed alone. I recommend you do download the ISO image of the SDK and extract it to be able to install only this package.

Below is a screenshot where I have started my AutoCAD and navigate into the Command Prompt control. The UISpy tool highlights the selected control at the application Windows helping you the proper identify the desired object.

Once you click the proper element, the most right portion will display the Automation information about the selected element.
With this information you may create your own classes to help the UI Test application to proper communicate with this element.
More over the next week...stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008



I have found a great article from MSDN Magazine written by John Robbins:

It show you how to create your own testing framework and how to use it. The better aspect, it was created under VS2005 and with C#.

This way you can create your own procedures and as the "script" is placed inside VS2005 you can use everything .NET offers to you.

Read the article and download the samples source code. I will explore it in more details and get back soon.

The first idea that came to my mind is to develop some kind of AutoCAD Test framework (in C#.NET) and then use it to quickly build AutoCAD GUI test cases...


Interesting article


I'm advancing on my research. I have found an interesting article about testing tools with a great table listing some of available tools:

Maybe some of you have experienced a little bit with these products. Please, share your experience with us.


Monday, January 14, 2008

GUI Test Tools


I have played around last week with some test tools and one of them I would like to discuss more about. It is called AutoIt ( and it seems to be very interesting.

It is free and has a lot of script samples, support COM, has its own GUI functions to create temporary dialogs for your tests and much more.

I think this could be a good start to study how to use it with AutoCAD to allow us to test our applications exactly the way we expect our users will use.

I will study it more and if anyone have some experience using AutoIt with AutoCAD maybe it is time to share with us.




I have decided to create this Blog to discuss about how to test your AutoCAD applications (AutoLISP, VBA, .NET or ObjectARX) against AutoCAD interface.

I have done this for years myself or through my development team but today I think this could be done through a better and easier way.

Here I would like to hear all suggestions from you and how are you doing this today, the results and how this can be done effectively with AutoCAD.

Best regards.