The Synthetic Classic scripting team may use third-party tools when troubleshooting and recording scripts. These tools provide insight into what objects are downloaded when a page loads, as well as their content. This is useful when the script requires the creator to find page contents not provided by the base page source — embedded page content from third-party providers.
It is also important to have a tool that displays HTTP request and response headers, along with POST data content and cookie information.
What types of tools are useful when scripting transactions (aside from the Windows Recorder)?
Third-party tools can range from free browser extensions and plugins to applications that require a license.
Look for supplemental tools that provide the following information:
- A Document Object Model (DOM) breakdown of the site – Many development tools highlight different elements on a page and give the information needed to script actions against them (i.e. form/field names). There are a number of Firefox extensions that provide this type of breakdown (e.g. Firebug and WebDeveloper). HTTPWatch is an Internet Explorer extension that provides the entire page content.
- HTTP header / POST content information – This information is useful when comparing the request/reply headers and POST data between the Windows Recorder and Internet Explorer. In some cases, comparing the two can pinpoint where the script needs modifications. HTTPWatch for IE provides these details. LiveHTTPHeaders is a free alternative that's available for Firefox..
- Element identification tools – These are needed for identifying the specific target of an interaction. Examples of these tools are Firebug or FireQuery in Firefox and IE Developer Toolbar in IE.