Preparing your JSF webapp for testing

Be it load&performance testing, be it unit-testing, it seems that all related tools have some problems with JSF’s dynamic ID-attributes.

With dynamic ID I want to indicate that the ID of a certain input-field or a button/link can change if

  • no fixed id is specified (id=…)
  • the page-structure changes (eg. conditionally rendered components in templates)
  • real page-changes (new requirements, refactorings)

I would say a testable JSF web-application has fixed ID’s for all input- and command-components. Pure output-components like h:outputText do not need a fixed ID.

So far this is the most important testability-criteria. Of course most things can be done otherwise. But it sure is more hassle. The load&performance test-tools are more dependent on the ID-attribute because it determines also the NAME-attribute. I consider the better testability more important than the minimal time-saving by not specifying the ID-attribute.

2 Comments on “Preparing your JSF webapp for testing”

  1. cronzhong says:

    Hi Ajesse,

    I’m currently using Selenium RC for performance test in JSF pages, but I have two problems to use it. Could you help me?

    1. in rich:modal dialog, after click a ajax behind checkbox, the dialog don’t render,

    I have tried several method, but failed
    1 try to pause(10000) after click the ajax component
    (x)no response
    2 try to waitForPageLoad
    (x)no response
    3 try to waitElementPresent
    (x)no response
    4 try to while(true) + waitForCondition + isElementPresent
    (x)no response, while loop will not end
    5 try to modify selenium-api.js, and use isElementPresentOrNull
    (x)still no response

    2. also in rich:modal dialog, after click the , it cannot call blah, so bloked the main workflow.
    JSF page:

    java code

    seleHelper is an instance of my helper class.
    in my helper class:
    public void clickElementByXPathIdNoWait(String id) {;

    private String getXPathStringById(String id) {
    return “xpath=//*[contains(@id,’:” + id + “‘)]”;

    public void waitElementPresent(String id){
    String xps = getXPathStringById(id);
    StringBuffer sb = new StringBuffer();

    public void waitForCondition(String script){
    selenium.waitForCondition(script, timeout);

    Thanks very much

  2. ajesse says:

    Unfortunately not. So far I have successfully worked against AJAX. I just do not believe there is need for such a thing in a web-application. That means also, that I never have to test AJAX-stuff.
    Isn’t Richfaces from JBoss? Then JSFUnit might your ticket for a successfull testing-story. They have explicit support for RichFaces.

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