Eggplant Functional

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eggPlant Functional
Developer(s) TestPlant
Development status Active
Operating system Windows, Linux, OS X (test controller); any system with VNC connection (system under test).
Type Test automation, System Automation
License Proprietary

Eggplant Functional, stylized as eggPlant Functional, is a black-box GUI test automation tool, originally developed by Redstone Software starting in 2002. Redstone was acquired in 2008 by a UK-based company called TestPlant.

Its approach uses image matching technology as opposed to looking to the object-level of the application being tested. This allows for system-wide automation of a system-under-test as opposed to an application-specific solution. It also means that the technology used to build the application to be tested does not matter, nor does the system that the application runs on.


eggPlant Functional is a two-computer system, consisting of a controller machine, where scripts are authored and executed, and a system-under-test which runs a VNC server. eggPlant Functional connects to this VNC server via its built-in viewer via TCP/IP. The system-under-test can be any system that has a VNC server for it. Originally Mac-only, the controller environment/IDE is now available on Linux and Windows using GNUstep.[1]

Scripting is accomplished using a proprietary scripting language called SenseTalk, an English-like language that is easy to use. SenseTalk is used in conjunction with a "guided record" mode,[citation needed] meaning the scripter teaches eggPlant Functional to navigate a system and verify a set of test steps.

In 2011, TestPlant made an announcement to launch eggPlant Functional v11, the revised version of the successful eggPlant Functional. The new version integrates Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine backed by ABBYY expected to hit the market in August 2011. It’s compatible with Mac, Linux and Windows version.[2] The same year ‘eggPlant Manager’ launched to impart more credibility to existing eggPlant test environments. Other notable achievements of 2011 include the US Patent received on eggPlant granted by US Patent and Trademark Office,[3] and the launch of eggPlant mobile testing solutions enabling network providers, application developers and manufacturers to test software and applications on wireless devices like tablets and smartphones.[4]


The testing tool, eggPlant Functional uses intelligent image recognition algorithms to "see" the display screen of the computer being tested. For this, the software secured a US patent for its "[m]ethod for monitoring a graphical user interface on a second computer display from a first computer"[5] for its GUI testing tool. This also enables it to run without need of human intervention. This brought it to the attention of UK Trade & Investment, specifically its defense and security arm, the DSO.[6]

eggPlant Functional can be run from any operating system to any platform, technology, or browser. It can be used for mobile testing, cross platform testing, rich internet application testing, and performance testing.[7] The company also offers a free trial download of eggPlant Functional.[8]

Version 11 added the integration of the OCR engine, Mac OS X Lion Support, and Sense Talk Scripting.[9]

eggPlant Functional also can test mobile devices[citation needed] it has solutions for non-jailbroken devices including Android and iOS where it can test up to iOS 6.[citation needed] iOS 7 requires a SDK to be compiled into the application.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "''Testplant Announces Windows support, 04/06/2010". TestPlant, LLC. 04/06/2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "''Newswire Today'', TestPlant Updates eggPlant with OCR and Support for Mac OS X Lion,07/26/2011". 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  3. ^ amirg. "''Testing Excellence'', Software Test Industry First: TestPlant Granted US Patent for eggPlant, 26 January 2011". Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  4. ^ "''BloomBerg Businessweek'', TestPlant Limited Launches Eggplant Mobile Testing Solution,02/14/2011". 2011-02-14. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  5. ^ "''United States Patent'', Method for monitoring a graphical user interface on a second computer display from a first computer,January 11, 2011". Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  6. ^ "''UK Trade and Investment'', London technology company granted US patent for groundbreaking new interface tool,April 15, 2011". 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  7. ^ "''Test Plant'', QA Automation and Software Testing Product,September 06,2011". Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  8. ^ "''Test Plant'', eggPlant, September 06,2011". Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  9. ^ "''Test Plant Press Release'', TestPlant updates industry-leading robotic test tool, eggPlant, with optical character recognition (OCR) and support for Mac OS X Lion, July 25,2011". 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 

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