Control Identifiers in UI Browser

What is a Control Identifier?

A control identifier in TAP Studio is a feature that allows the identification of UI elements through their address and attributes captured as XML fragments. The UI element's identification is executed to perform specific activities in an automation project.

We can think of the UI element identification process achieved through control identifiers as a physical address. In order food delivery man to arrive at your address in time, he needs to know a specific path that must contain structured and hierarchized details such as Country, City, Zip Code, Street Name, Street Number, Floor, Apartment Number.

Similarly, the UI Browser module under TAP Studio requires a detailed path to a specific UI element within the user interface, in order to identify it precisely.

Structure of a Control Identifier

User interfaces are developed using multiple containers nested one inside the other. Let’s take the example of a control identifier for the Google search bar, and try to understand the meaning of the structure.

In the below case, the robot identified 3 containers:

a. the last container, is the GUI element representing the search box.

b. the second container is a higher hierarchy including the search box.

c. the first container is the highest level container, the Google website opened in Microsoft Edge browser.

Each container is formed by tags and attributes.

Tags correspond to a visual element on the screen. Example of tags are:

  • window

  • html (web page)

  • ctrl (control)

  • webctrl (web page control)

  • java (Java application control)

Attributes of each container are displayed on the right side of UI Browser page. Every attribute has a name and a value.

How to define a Control Identifier?

Control Identifiers are generated automatically every time we use an activity that interacts with GUI elements and define the specific UI element as identifier.

Each activity that interacts with GUI elements has the field identifier in the input section.

Click on the + button and then click on the UI element to be identified and then the control identifier is generated automatically in UI Browser.

Also, don't forget to set a comprehensive name for your identifier.

A second method to define a control identifier is directly from UI Browser, click on Point To Control.

How to reuse Control Identifiers?

A unique feature of TAP Studio is that each defined identifier is added in a nomenclator.

In this way, once you defined a control identifier, you can re-use it as input for other activities that interact with GUI elements.

How to remove a Control Identifier?

To remove a control identifier, go in UI Browser, select from the identifiers' list in the left part the one you want to remove, and click the minus button