Oracle Flow Builder

Oracle Flow Builder is a part of Oracle Functional Testing of Oracle Application Testing Suite (a.k.a OATS) and it is popularly referred as OFB.

Oracle Flow Builder is a keyword driven component based, easily maintainable online automation testing framework. It is created by following the best practices which is best suited for the testing of Oracle EBS Applications.

People who are interested to learn the framework details can refer to the article Insights of Oracle Flow Builder automation testing framework.

This article helps us to understand as why there was a need to come up with a solution Oracle Flow Builder and in what ways it give peace of mind to Oracle EBS Application customers during Upgrades or Patch uptakes.

Oracle Flow Builder has been introduced to market with EBS starter kit comprising of 2000+ components and 200+ automated business scenarios as a free offering. These test assets are basically spread across different Oracle EBS Functional products of Release R12.1.3 along with Oracle Application testing suite 12.3.0.1.

Need of hour:

Most of the customers of Oracle EBS Application take a step back when there is need to testing, one can learn in what cases testing is required at about Oracle EBS Application testing article.

Let’s first understand what are the activities and other factors involved here.

Regression and new feature testing activities:

  • They need to spend time and effort on writing test cases / scenarios for existing and new business scenarios.
  • They need to execute the same set of test cases each time there is an upgrade or major bug fixes etc.
  • They need to test if the new features or enhancements are working properly as expected.

The Investment factor:

In order to perform testing, there is involvement of human resources and also the areas to cover in the testing increases as time passes by, Testing is either done by the existing Business Analysts within their business hours or the customers need to hire an in house team to take care of regular testing activities.

Though customers realize testing is very important, they take a step back fearing the money involved in it and taking a risk of not performing the test activity to the extend required.

Oracle EBS Application product QA team has envisioned in giving a better solution to its customers which drastically reduces the money they need to invest in testing activities and importantly reduce the chances of risk happening in form of breakdown in functionality of the application or the system itself. This can lead to a critical Impact as their environments have the mission critical or the business critical data, information, workflows, etc. which in turn would need to invest higher cost to solve the problem, there might be even cases when they cannot recover and lead to shutdown of business .

Customers can now have more peace of mind as the risk is mitigated by performing appropriate testing stint.

It is now globally accepted that the more the automated testing is less is the testing cycle, more is the accuracy in testing and larger is the testing coverage. To know more details go through the article necessity of automation testing in software testing.

This was the hour of need to provide a solution.

How did the Oracle EBS Application product QA team offer the solution?

They have come up with two major entities which is readily available for adoption by customers and reap in huge reduction of investment for performing the testing activity, the entities are, framework which runs around keyword based components and the pre build automated test assets; the customers now need not invest money in building their test assets but rather invest a very less percentage in the customization of these components to bring them inline to the customizations present in their application.

The free pre build automated test assets which comes along with Oracle Flow Builder covers up the automation of quite a good number of functional areas which are spread across Oracle EBS Application. These are termed as Starter packs with respect to each EBS Application release.

Now if the customers need to get more automated test assets and want to get more advantage they could simply purchase the advance packs with respect to each release at a highly affordable pricings. Also, now the customer can build new end to end business test scenarios with the components and component sets which are already available. In case there are no components available already to meet their requirement they can quickly create and use them.

What is the inline automation tool to perform the functional automated testing?

Oracle Flow Builder’s framework has the capability to generate test automation scripts of openscript tool, which is a functional automation testing tool of Oracle that comes along with Oracle Application testing suite. This tool is also called as the oracle functional testing tool.

This is the best affordable tool to automate the Oracle EBS forms and many other technologies which fall under the hood of Oracle EBS Application. The pricing of this tool is in variably low than any of its competitors.

With all the offerings of Oracle Flow builder, I.e. it’s robust automation framework and pre build test assets brings down the customer’s investment on testing activities and helps them to take a step forward to perform testing and reduce the chances of risk being happen which is like breakdown of functionality of the application and the operations of the organizations.

Comments (47)

  • Hi,
    Is there any optimal way to use the flow builder generated script for regression testing for different types of data without going for flow builder again, I thought data table concept will be solution for this kind of scenario, but 70% generated script need to be changed, is there any way to reduce the percentage of changes?
    Thanks In Advance.

    Reply
    • Author

      Hi Hari,
      Firstly, thanks for asking your query in my blog.

      If my understanding is clear, you were looking to utilize the Oracle Flow Builder generated scripts to work with excel or csv as a datatable or databank to have iterations of test data.
      There are several ways to handle this, giving you a few solutions here.

      Solution 1:

      This solution will keep the current architecture and framework benefits Intact without bringing the excel or other things in to picture.

      Copy the flows based on as many iterations you are looking for and give test data accordingly. Based on my experiences I feel that most of the times we create scripts and provide data for several iterations and do not make any changes for further more executions, mostly people tend to execute with the same test data.

      Solution 2:

      Generate scripts through Oracle Flow Builder and manually change all the scripts to support to excel or csv files as input providers, but this is very error prone and cumborsome way of doing.

      Solution 3:

      Once the scripts are generated through Oracle Flow Builder, one can write a parser to read the generated scripts and convert them to support to databank or datable. But this solution needs a good programming skills and understanding of various cases in the script code.

      Solution 4:

      If there is any highly skilled person who can understand the database structure of Oracle Flow Builder can directly write code to generate scripts which will take input from databank and datatable, but this needs a very high understanding on the schema of Oracle Flow Builder and knowledge on possible cases that are used in component code.

      I hope this will give some understanding of how it can be achieved, there can be more ways too.

      do let me know in case you have more queries.

      I hope there are more articles which can interest you and your friends, kindly refer them all.

      Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    If UI was changed how to make the all OFB components change quickly and correctly ? if we cant access database ,how to update all component easily and quickly?

    Thanks,
    Ding

    Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    Just wanted to know if we can upload custom functions into Oracle Flow Builder . If yes can you please point me to the documentation which helps me to import few functions into OFB and use there.

    Regards,
    Moin

    Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    Thanks for writing this – very helpful!

    Do you know where I can see which specific flows are included in the Oracle Flow Builder EBS R12.1.3 Starter Pack, without installing the software? I have a client that is curious about which flows and component come with it, and can only find high-level Product Family and Product information.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Chris

    Reply
  • Good Day!

    I would like to know if there are any documentation on how to use each properly use each keywords.

    There are keywords that are not properly explained how to use.
    Like the NAVIGATE, in the guides it only says object not required but I can’t understand how to use it properly in FlowBuilder to create a good result in OpenScript.

    So what I did is, after exporting the script into Openscript, I manually insert NAVIGATE keyword which is not advisable as it will only be overwritten once I update my component.

    Thanks!
    King

    Reply
    • Author

      I am glad you reached out to me, let me know if you can get over a screen share and lets understand in more detail what are you looking for, I can help you out on this.
      Looks like you need to add some keyword combination in the component to have it properly.

      Reply
      • Hi,

        I can’t use any screen share app as our network in my workplace is strict.
        Atleast can we know how to properly use all Keywords or Function Name.
        Like NAVIGATE and VERIFY.

        Reply
        • Author

          That’s sad to know, or can you video record your scripts and share the video, so that I can see and tell what exactly is happening and what can be done kind?

          Reply
  • Hi,

    We are facing difficulty in debugging the scripts in Openscript(OFT). Could you please let us know how to debug the recorded script?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Author

      Thank you so much for reaching out to us as how to perform debugging activity in Oracle Application Testing Suite, I am in the process of writing an article for the same.

      But in case you are in urgent need, you can reach out to me @ testingtools.co@gmail.com and we can get on to a screen share or a call if possible, I can guide you.

      Until then, what I would suggest is, there are option in tree view of OpenScript, where you can select a particular node and right click and select option like “Playback from here” and if you want a pause the execution at a particular statement, you can right click on left most vertical bar and select “Add Breakpoint” .

      Once the break points are added, script will pause when you execute the script, now if you want to run line by line, you can open the eclipse view “Debug” and double click on a specific node by name “iteration”, remember to use tree view for this option, so once you click on iteration in debug view, you will have options on right side of the view to “Step In”, “Step Out” etc.. which will help to execute steps one by one.

      Hope this gives you some understanding, will write one detailed post on this with relevant screenshots soon.

      Hope this helps, in case you still have difficulty please do comment here, we can discuss further.

      Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    Thank you for the suggestion. Its working now as Expected.

    Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    One more query, performance of Openscript is reduced while recording and playback as well. Could you please let us know if any settings need to be changed in order to improve the performance?

    Thanks in advance:)

    Reply
    • Author

      Hi Kavitha,

      I have encountered similar issues, i.e. the tool performance degrades when scripts are run for long time, this was more prominent in earlier versions of OATS, it has now improved in latest versions. But even for this kind of situations I would recommend you to go through 2 ways to maintain stable performance of OpenScript.

      I hope following the steps mentioned in the article improves the performance of the tool, kindly let us know in case any of these things does not work for you. We can debug and understand.

      Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,
    We have observed in Openscript that the memory usage of one script if Childscripts are used with associated assests is around 40MB whereas if it is a simple record and playback script then the memory is 6MB and also the Playback is fast compared to the script with child scripts. But if we go for record and playback there is no reusability concept and script maintenance will be high. Is there any way to reduce the memory consumption of the scripts with child scripts incorporated?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Author

      Hi Kavitha,

      Thank you so much for posting your query on Oracle Application Testing Suite, and about the memory usage level related topic.

      You are the right place of “Oracle Flow Builder” one of the important aspect that was considered while developing the design and architecture of “Oracle Flow Builder” concept or framework is how to reduce number of child scripts and yet have easiest way for debugging the scripts with all other main advantages of Oracle Flow Builder.

      When it comes to Oracle Flow Builder, all scripts that get generated looks like complete record and playback kind of a script, but still we have all the advantages of re usability of code, stability of scripts.

      Why it was chosen to have record playback kind of an approach is, if script fails , you can easily identify where exactly the script failed and understand if its a script issue or a functional issue. Which other wise automation engineers would fall in trap to debug the issue.

      But, the beauty of Oracle Flow Builder is still that re usability is taken care as everything is in form of Components and are shared across all business flows of testing.

      Hope I had cleared your queries, kindly let me know if you have any more queries.

      Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    We are facing an issue when running the scripts from OTM. OTM is installed in Server and we are accessing it from our local machine. When we execute the scripts from our local machine it isn’t working. Will the scripts run in our local machine or server where the OTM is installed? and could you please let us know the settings to be done before executing scripts in OTM?.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    I have a query regarding Oracle Flow Builder.
    In your previous comments, you have suggested to go for Oracle Flow Builder to reduce the memory usage of child scripts.
    My question is, can we install oracle flow builder on Windows OS ?
    Because as far i have searched for the system requirement to install OFB, everywhere they have mentioned about Linux OS.

    Reply
    • Author

      Hi Aisha,

      Firstly thanks for reaching out to me, I am glad that you have read the article about Oracle Flow Builder and asking for queries. Its a very good thing even other readers of testingtools.co will be aware of these things and knowledge is shared across each other 🙂

      Coming to your query, yes what you read about is true, Oracle Flow Builder is a portal with inbuilt keyword driven component based automated framework , this portal can be installed on Linux machines, once installed it can be accessed over Windows Machines where you want to execute your scripts. Post installation you would get a url, using which you can login with the credentials given during installation and browse through all the components, component sets, flows for Various Oracle EBS Application releases like R12.1.3, R12.2.4, R12.2.5 etc..

      You can then download the flows from Oracle Flow Builder and then execute them in the windows machines.

      Hope this clarifies your query, in case you have further queries, please feel free to post your queries in form of comments 🙂

      Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    Currently we are using UFT and planning to move to OFT for which we need to migrate the existing UFT scripts to OFT scripts. As far as i know, Openscript executes the script with the help of JWG file which is generated by Openscript.

    Is there any way to auto generate the jwg file externally without using openscript ?

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • Author

      Hi Aisha,

      This is a very interesting need and we also had this requirement for our projects, though there is no direct way to create the OpenScript script dynamically, we have followed below approach to create a template script and then use it further for dynamically creating scripts.

      1. Create a sample functional automation script using OpenScript tool
      2. Identify the list of all files that got created when ever you created the script using OpenScript tool.
      3. Identify the list of all files where the path of the script and script name is part of the file or file name.
      4. Replace all those places with a generic name or with some placeholder.
      5. Delete the “.jwg”” file

      Now you are ready with a folder and can be used as a template to create any new scripts in future.

      Whenever you want to create a new script:

      1. You have to first copy the template folder and edit the script.java file to your desired contents using any file editor or through and code generator that you are using to generate the OpenScript script dynamically.
      2. Edit all the places where you have the placeholders and replace with desired values, this could be automated too with small java code or other languages which you are aware of.
      3. And the last step is to create the “.jwg” file dynamically, you need to use the bat file “osclti” present in “C:\OracleATS\openScript\” folder with “compile” command option. Once you execute these commands the “.jwg” file gets generated automatically.

      I know its little too much of work, but this is a one time activity that you have to do. It has worked like a charm for us and even the Oracle Flow Builder uses a similar approach internally to generate the scripts when ever you right click and select “Generate OFT Script” on any flow in the tool.

      Please do revert to me in case of any queries, I would also come up with a detailed post of how to use “osclti” bat file for compiling the scripts with examples.

      I hope this had given you some insights and provided a solution for your requirement.

      Thanks,
      Srinivas P.

      Reply
      • Hi Srinivas,

        Thanks a lot for the information on the JWG files.
        Could you please let us know when will the article be posted for the JWG file?

        Regards
        Aisha

        Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    Do we have any feature in OFT to add all the objects to object library without recording like how we have in UFT?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Author

      Hi Kavitha,

      Unfortunately there is no such way available with Oracle Application Testing Suite, But may I know why would you need such kind of a feature or functionality?

      Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    Updating the script.java file in notepad(not openscript) will not update the .jwg file. Is there any way to update the .jwg file when script.java file is updated?

    Steps:-
    Create a script in Openscript. Now folder will be created will all the supported files(.java,.jwg,etc).
    Open the script.java file in notepad and write the code and save it
    Now when I run the script in cmd, will not work as .jwg file is not being updated.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Author

      HI Kavitha,

      There is an utility provided by Oracle for OATS to compile the scripts without actually opening the OpenScript tool, i.e. “osclti” which is present @ “C:\OracleATS\openScript” folder , I am writing a separate article for this to give more details as how to use with detailed examples for easy understanding.

      You could explore the above option by opening command prompt and change directory to above folder and type commands like “osclti -help” and it would give you more details. There are 3 things which “osclti” utility can perform. Please follow the help provided.

      In case of any queries, please feel free to share with us in form of comments, we would be more than happy to help you 🙂

      Thanks,
      Srinivas P.

      Reply
      • I tried this command and jwg file is getting created under the script folder. I also tried running the same jwg file and working as expected. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on jwg file.Please let me know once you publish an article on the same?

        Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    One more query with respect to triggering the execution from OTM.
    We have one dedicated server where Oats is installed. We are accessing OTM from Virtual machine where openscript is installed.
    The scripts that we want to execute from OTM we are placing them in server and it is shared.
    created a repository in OTM which is pointing to the scripts added in server.
    Created the repository in Openscript in VM pointing to the server where the scripts are placed.
    Created a new test in OTM and selected the script that I want to run.
    When I run the test I am getting the error “Connect to Helper Service failed. Caused by: java.net.ConnectException occurred. Error Message:Connection refused: connect”. We dont know where are we going wrong. Could you please let us know if any settings to be done in VM or in the server where OTM is installed?

    One more thing we observed is that under Results Detail of OTM,execution is failed and IE browser where it is trying to launch the application is displayed as IE10 whereas IE version installed in VM is IE11.
    Is it trying to execute scripts in Server where OTM is installed but I want to execute my scripts from VM?

    One more thing both “oracle.OATS.openscript.IEToolbar.openscripttoolbar” and “Openscript BHO” addons are enabled in Virtual machine IE as well as Server IE.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Author

      Hi Kavitha,

      Is it possible for you to go on a screen share? as this needs a little bit amount of debugging, it may not be solved so easily to my knowledge. Please let me know if its fine by you, can reach out to me at testingtools.co@gmail.com

      Thanks,
      Srinivas P.

      Reply
      • Hi Srinivas,

        Sharing the screen will be bit difficult for me. Could you please let me know weather we require something called as OATS Agent installed in local machine where we need our scripts to run(for my case agent will be VM and through that I am connecting to OTM(installed in server).)because i dont have anything like OATS Agent installed in my local machine.

        Thanks in advance.

        Reply
        • Author

          Yes you need to have Agent Installed in your machine as where you want the scripts to be executed, that is the Child VM. You can install the OATS software.

          Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    Currently only openscript is installed in child VM so if I have to install only the OATS Agent in VM what is the procdure that I need to follow?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Author

      Try double clicking the setup.bat file again and now when you install select custom option and chose only the agent and proceed with the installation.

      If the above step does not allow to install only the agent, i would request you to do a clean uninstall of OATS and install again, better to select all options this time that is a complete install and you will get a agent installed as well.

      Once this is done, you have to add this VM to server where OTM is installed and then you should be good to go ahead.

      Reply
      • Hi Srinivas,

        Thanks for taking your time and replying to the query. I searched in all the folders inside installed dir but couldn’t find the setup.bat file. Could you please let me know as to where will I be able to find this file?

        Thanks,
        Kavitha

        Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    OATS Agent is installed successfully and service is running but I am not able to add the agent in OTM Server. I am getting the error “The System specified cannot be accessed by OTM server.Please ensure that target machine is available”. Could you please let me know the reason behind this?

    IS there any configuration to be done at the agent level? IF yes then could you please guide me through this?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    I am now able to communicate with the Agent machine from the OTM Server but while trying to run the scripts in OTM it shows me a message in the Results window as “There is no report for this test”.
    My scripts are added to the shared folder in server and created a repository in OTM pointing to this path. Also created a repository in Openscript(VM) which also points to this folder. Is there something else to be taken care of before proceeding with the execution?

    I want my execution to take place in the VM(Agent machine)

    Thanks in advance. Waiting for your reply

    Reply
    • Author

      Is it possible to send me screenshots @ testingtools.co@gmail.com ? may i know what is the status of the script execution?

      Reply
    • Author

      Hi Kavitha,
      Thanks for sharing the screenshot to me as requested.

      Looks like you have successfully connected to the VM and even the execution is getting triggered but is failing as per the below reference screen shot:

      OTM Execution errors out as cannot get connection from helper after 120 seconds

      When you were executing the script, were you able to see the execution happen? if not it would be difficult to debug and understand what exactly is happening. I would request you to do following “3 simple steps to view test execution triggered by Oracle Test Manager

      Once you trigger you can debug the execution, hope this helps. In case it does not, please do let me know

      Thanks,
      Srinivas P.

      Reply
  • Hi Srinivas,

    Thanks for taking your precious time and replying to my queries. I tried starting the service from command prompt but seems like the agent service is not getting started. What could be the reason for this?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Author

      Can you share with me the error you are getting? Did you see if the OATS agent is stopped in services?

      Also, on the other hand did you try executing the script normally once in the same system from OpenScript and not from OTM? share your observations for that.

      Request to kindly write the comments in the relevant article 🙂 so that in future if any one has a similar issue they can get details in the same article?

      Reply
  • Yes after executing the command in command prompt for stopping the agent service I checked it in services but the agent service is not started.

    I also tried executing the script in open script. It’s working.

    Reply
    • Yes after executing the command in command prompt for stopping the agent service I checked it in services but the agent service is not started.

      I also tried executing the script in open script. It’s working.

      Reply
      • Author

        As part of first step the services are stopped and as part of second step, it will start a service but it will not reflect in the services window.

        That’s strange to know, as per my article if you see the last command prompt, if your command prompt matches to it, it means the service is up, after which you can open the Oracle Test Manager and trigger execution in the machine where this command prompt is open and running the service.

        Please do confirm if you had done all this and still didn’t see the execution happen? or have you not tried this yet?

        Reply

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