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Test Automation Tools – A New Discovery: Axe November 2, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in QA.

When it comes to testing,  automation has always appealed to me.  I’d blogged the other day about learning Selenium, and now that my blog posts are going to Twitter, which is going to Plaxo, one of my Plaxo friends, Kirk Franks (a QA guru-type) saw it and clued me in about Axe.  (I’m always so excited when I learn something new due to the social media connections!)

Anyway, Kirk wrote on my Plaxo wall:

Have you seen this tool that sits on top of Selenium, WatiN, WatiR, QTP, Robot, Silk Test, etc? It generates tool native script and test documents for these tools, can drive tests through the tool, and makes your test repository tool agnostic. And you don’t have to have programmers creating tests and frameworks.
Kirk Franks, 2 days ago


So I took a look at the Odin Technology Website and Axe looks like a very interesting product!  This product allows for those that don’t have intimate knowledge of the automation tool to still create the basic scripts using excel spreadsheets.  I would guess it would be comparable to using an IDE to generate your code.  It makes it a lot easier for those that don’t have a developer background to create scripts.  For those that do have knowledge of the scripting language, I’m guessing you can still go in and modify the generated scripts or add updates in the native language, though I haven’t confirmed this yet.


Now, I happen to be someone that likes the technical details, so I still want to dig in and learn the native tools (in my spare time… yeah, right.)  But I would think, whether you’re a programmer or not, it would save a lot of time to at least start with the scripts generated by a tool that would sit on top and define a common language for all automation tools.  It still a benefit if you do have the detailed knowledge of the native tool (QTP, Selenium, etc.) because that would allow you the advantage of being able to better troubleshoot or do some more advanced automation.  It just would give the ability for those people that don’t have that knowledge to still be able to create test cases.


This tool definitely seems like a useful one for those that are automating.  As I try and learn “all things QA,” I’m adding on my list of tools I want to explore further.  Thanks to Kirk for making me aware of this!


1. Mark C - November 2, 2009

Hi Yvette!
Great write up – you’re a fantastic writer on all kinds of subjects!!!! 🙂
Reading this note about editting test cases in Excel reminded me of a tool I used several years ago called Fitnesse (http://fitnesse.org). It may have morphed, but back then, it was Wiki-driven – meaning, you created a table of test cases (inputs and expected results) on a wiki page. Certainly there are lots of levels of testing, and testing of a variety of code, but this seemed like a novel approach to unit testing especially lower-level code.

Cheers, Mark

yvettefrancino - November 2, 2009

Thanks, Mark! Yet another tip and another tool that I can’t wait to check out!

2. Mark C - November 2, 2009

Hmm.. that’s interesting. WP filtered out my XML tag: </flatteryspam> (Let’s try elements… there should have been lt and gt around that.)

yvettefrancino - November 2, 2009

Yes, your last comment was at risk for being considered as “flatteryspam” what with all that flattery, not to mention the exclamation marks and the real tell-tale sign… a happy face! 😉

BTW, I want to find a way to get rid of the flatteryspam filter. I am all for any and all flattery. FlatterySpammers…. I’m all yours!

3. Duncan Brigginshaw - December 2, 2009

Hi Yvette,

Thanks for your kind words about our product Axe, it’s great to hear word is spreading! Please get in touch with us at Odin if you would like to get hold of a copy, either direct to me or through info@odintech.com.

Many Thanks.

yvettefrancino - December 3, 2009

Excellent, Duncan! I’ll be in touch as I’d love to get a copy of Axe!

4. Greg Spindler - December 4, 2009

Hi Yvette,
Further to the comment from Duncan Brigginshaw, BIZEXC is the USA distributor for the Axe product. I would be more than happy to give you a run through on the product (when you have the time).

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