Recording Modes

Badboy offers two different recording modes that you can use. These are:

  • Request Mode (the default mode)
  • Navigation Mode (activated using toolbar button or by holding down Ctrl-Alt while recording)

You can see which recording mode is being used by looking at the 'N' button on the Toolbar:

Request Mode

In this mode Badboy records the HTTP requests that are sent by the browser to the server, including all their parameters and other information. In a simplistic sense, you can think about Requests simply as URLs, such as the address for your web page. There are advantages using this mode:

  • Requests are independent of the layout and appearance of the web pages you are testing. This means that if the layout of the web pages changes your test will still work.
  • Requests work excellently with Badboy's Load Testing features and they also can be exported to JMeter for doing load and stress testing. Although Badboy can load test pages using Navigations, they do not work as efficiently - so if you need to do load testing at very high levels then recording your tests with Requests may work better for you.

However there are also some important disadvantages:

  • In some cases Requests can be more difficult to get working. This is because Requests completely replace the information sent by the web page to the server with the recorded HTTP information. Sometimes web pages put information into the page which has to be specially calculated for each time a user goes to the page. In that case, Requests need to have their Parameters changed to use variables after you record them (see Using Variables for more information).
  • While Requests are independent of the page layout and appearance, this can sometimes be a drawback. For example, imagine that you edit a page and accidentally delete the "logon" button. You would probably like your test to fail so that you could find and fix the problem. However when you use Requests this will not happen! Instead, Badboy will play the Request the same way regardless of whether the logon button is there or not. Of course, you could explicitly check whether the Logon button is there by using an Assertion (see Assertions), but to do that you would have to create the Assertion in advance - it would be very laborious to check every item you record this way. Instead, Navigation Mode can help you overcome this problem.

Navigation Mode

In this mode Badboy will record which browser element you clicked on. When you play back, rather than replaying the HTTP request that was sent previously, Badboy will find the original browser element that you clicked on when recording and simulate a click on it.

Navigation Mode has the following advantages:

  • For some pages it is much easier to get working. This is especially true for complex pages such as Logon pages. The reason is that the Navigation is replaying the interaction to the browser and letting the browser do the work of creating the request.
  • Because Navigations explicitly exercise the user interface they are much better at catching problems if the interface is broken. In the example above for Request Mode, if you had recorded your "logon" button as a Navigation your test would fail if somebody deleted the button from the page.

The main disadvantage of Navigation mode is that you often cannot use this mode for running load tests. This is because the Load Test engine runs without displaying any user interface, and hence it cannot execute Navigations. Another disadvantage is that your tests will depend on the correct items being present in the user interface to work. Thus if your main goal is to just test that the functionality of your web site works without caring about the user interface, Request mode may be better.

The difference between these two modes is very important. The choice you make in recording will have a big effect on how well your scripts adapt to changes in your web site. See below for more information on deciding which mode you should use.

For more information on Navigations, see the Navigations topic.


Badboy Documentation Generated on Mon Dec 29 22:28:42 EST 2008