WATIR stands for “Web Application Testing in Ruby”. Watir is a free, open-source functional testing tool for automating browser-based tests of web applications. It is pronounced water.
I began experimenting with Watir over the weekend. I run a database-driven web site for a local non-profit group and have been looking for a good way to functionally test the site with a minimum time investment in a particular framework. I’ve had bad experiences with HtmlUnit and HttpUnit in the past and wanted a way to code the tests in Ruby. I’ve been told that the state of Watir a year ago was really awful, but apparently they’ve made lots of improvements since then because I didn’t have any trouble getting up and running.
Couple Watir with ActiveRecord and you have a powerful way to verify that data on the backend is getting written and updated correctly from your web application.
I highly recommend you check out Watir for your next project. If you end up using it, feel free to share your thoughts about it by posting a comment here or e-mailing me directly. I’d enjoy hearing from you.