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Supported Configurations

 As the tutorial is full of examples which are best practiced on a live system, one of the very first tasks will be to set up your own test environment. Before we proceed to installation instructions you have to select one of the supported configurations. This doesn't apply to scenarios of static image testing where no special configuration is required.

 T-Plan Robot acts as a client of remote desktop software and as such it is limited by requirements of the particular remote access technology. As it primarily relies on the RFB protocol, it can automate any configuration supported by VNC. VNC software typically operates in a client-server environment where the client and server are physically two different machines or at least two different OS instances. That's why we distinguish two systems in each supported configuration:

There are basically three possible configurations:

  1. Local Desktop Automation.
  2. Single OS with multiple desktops.
  3. Single machine with multiple OS instances (VirtualBox or VMware scenarios).
  4. Dual machine environment (classic client-server configurations).

1. Local Desktop Automation

Single machine environments with one OS instance

T-Plan Robot Enterprise version 3.2 introduced support of automation of applications displayed on the local desktop.

This means that Robot and one or more Applications Under Test (AUT) run on the same local desktop. The automation is of course not limited to the AUT, and it may perform any desktop action that a regular user can do.


  • Single machine scenario with no need of another computer and/or OS.
  • It relies just on the local Java SE installation and it requires no other software to be installed. This allows to use Robot in non-intrusive scenarios where the target system may not be modified.
    In an extremely isolated scenario, the file based distributions of Robot and Java can be copied to an external media(CD, DVD, USB drive) and executed from there to keep the SUT free of any installation.
  • Fast & easy operation.

Please Note: Test script relying on the Local Desktop connection can not be started remotely through a terminal such as telnet or rsh. Use the VNC Server connection for such scenarios instead.

For more information please view our release note topic: Local Desktop Automation

2. Single OS with multiple desktops

Single machine environments with one OS instance

Configurations with a single machine/OS with multiple desktop instances are supported just by Linux/Unix which allow to run multiple VNC servers on a single system. Each server instance runs on its own port and provides a standalone graphical desktop independent from the default system one (the one you see on your screen). The machine in this case serves both as the client system and the SUT. T-Plan Robot typically (but not necessarily) runs on the default system desktop (as is displayed in the picture) and automates a local VNC server instance with the AUT. An example of T-Plan Robot connected to a local VNC server on Ubuntu Linux has been shown in the previous topic.

This configuration is fairly easy to set up:

  1.   Install any supported VNC server and start it.
  2.   Install Java JDK 1.6 and T-Plan Robot Enterprise.
  3.   Start T-Plan Robot Enterprise and connect to the VNC server (typically localhost:5901).

This configuration is not supported by MS Windows where the VNC server attaches to the default system desktop and as such it may run just once. If you make an attempt to connect T-Plan Robot Enterprise (or any other VNC client in general) to a local VNC server within a single Windows system, you will experience so called infinite mirroring effect (see example) which will render the client unusable.

3. Single machine with multiple OS instances

Single machine with multiple OS instances

This configuration takes advantage of virtualization technologies such as VirtualBox or VMware. In this scenario your default OS (called "hosting system" in virtualization terminology) runs a virtual machine (VM) with its own OS (called "hosted system"). You may have noticed an example of Windows Vista hosting a Windows XP system in VirtualBox in the previous topic. The hosting and hosted systems may be any combination of OSes supported by the particular virtualization technology.

The hosting system typically runs T-Plan Robot and plays role of the client system. Though the tool may also run on another dedicated VM instance, this configuration is not recommended with regard to a number of environment specific issues reported by T-Plan Robot users. The hosted system serves as the SUT and runs a VNC server with the AUT.

Configuration instructions:

  1. Install VirtualBox or VMware.
  2. Create a VM and install the hosted OS in there.
  3. Install any supported VNC server on the hosted system and start it.
  4. Configure the VM to make the VNC port visible from the hosting system.
  5. Install the AUT on the hosted system.
  6. Install Java JDK 1.6 and T-Plan Robot Enterprise on the hosting system.
  7. Start T-Plan Robot Enterprise and connect to the VNC server on the hosted system.

Be aware that the client and server roles can not be reversed and the VM can not remote control (and automate) the hosted system. Any attempt to do so would result in the infinite mirroring effect discussed above. If your AUT is too complicated to install into a VM, use a dual machine environment instead.

The same OS factors discussed in the previous configuration apply. If you hosted system is Linux or Unix, you may start multiple VNC servers on the VM to get a number of test environments (desktops) as long as their ports are made visible to the hosted system. If the hosted system is MS Windows, the VM may serve just as one single test environment.

4. Dual machine environment (E.g. PC & PC, or PC & Device)

Classic client-server configuration

This scenario presumes that you have a stable dedicated test server which serves as SUT. This configuration is recommended for automation production scenarios. As the SUT is physically a separate machine, it is easy to keep it in a stable state, make necessary back ups or even set up a routine to restore the system after each test cycle. As the server is connected to the network, it may also serve as a test environment for multiple users (client systems) over intranet or internet. This configuration is also the only one possible when the SUT doesn't meet requirements for running T-Plan Robot Enterprise and thus a single machine scenario can not be used. Configuration steps are as follows:

  1. Install any supported VNC server on the SUT and start it.
  2. Install the AUT on the SUT.
  3. Install Java JDK 1.6 and T-Plan Robot Enterprise on the client system.
  4. Start T-Plan Robot Enterprise and connect to the VNC server on SUT.

Classic client-deviceconfiguration

Figure 4: Dual machine environment
(PC & Device)

Supports testing on:

  1. iOS
    • Apple iOS devices can be automated using our T-Plan Server tool with the iOS Mirror connection. Non-Jailbroken (non-rooted) devices supported.
    • Veency (VNC Server for iOS from Cydia). Requires Jailbroken (rooted) devices.
  2. Android
    • ADB (Android Debug Bridge), allows non-rooted devices to be automated via Google supported framework.
    • Screen Mirroring allows fast automation of the device (like for iOS). Supports non-rooted devices.
    • VNC Server automation of the device. Support for non-rooted (VMLite), and rooted (DroidVNC) devices.
  3. Windows
    • Windows CE devices supported through VNC Server (PocketVNC / MobileVNC)
      • This environment is widely used for POS (Point of Sale) devices etc.
    • Windows 8.1 supported via Project My Screen (Screen Mirroring for Windows devices).
  4. Blackberry / Symbian etc.
    • VNC Server supported.

All functionality common to the desktop tools usage is supported. E.g. Record & Playback, OCR etc.

Platform independence (Java). T-Plan Robot runs on, and automates all major systems, such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix, Solaris, and mobile platforms such as Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile, Windows CE, Symbian.


Analogically with the previous configurations, a Linux/Unix SUT may provide multiple test environments while a MS Windows server just a single one.

The SUT is not limited to computers and it may be in general any device running an RFB 3.3 compatible VNC server, for example a mobile phone.

See for example the screen shots of: the previous topic.


12 December 2014

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