HP Lean Functional Testing (LeanFT) –A Sneak Peek

Automation Testing Published on:

Luckily, at the last minute I was able to get a ticket (thanks Malcolm!) to HP Discover in Las Vegas, and I'm glad I did. During the conference, HP announced the new and soon-to-be-released automation tool, Lean Functional Testing (LeanFT), which I think is going to be an automation game changer.

Essentially, Lean Functional Testing (LeanFT) combines the best of both the vendor-based and open-source worlds by morphing Selenium with some key functionality currently found in UFT.

[tweet_box design=”default”] combines the best of both vendor-based and open-source worlds by morphing Selenium with some key functionality found in UFT.[/tweet_box]

Why yet another automation tool?

HP built LeanFT from the ground up to address the growing modern automation demands of continuous testing, mobile and dev-ops. What's really cool is that LeanFT fits into your developer's ecosystem, so your developers can still use their favorite IDEs, programming languages and unit testing frameworks, not to mention the added benefit of access to HP Web/Windows-based technologies that Selenium does not provide.

Remember — Selenium is only for browser-based testing and does not handle non-browser-based popups and windows. This is a major issue, as most experienced testers working in an Enterprise environment will tell you. Quite often, our test scripts have to deal with more than just web-based interactions.

An Automation Dilemma

For example, many end-to-end workflows deal with Windows or Windows-based applications or pop-ups. Cobbling together a solution using Selenium and some other libraries to automate these non-browser-based features is difficult and often less than reliable.

I, for one, work automating a modern AngularJS application, around which I created a Selenium/Java automation framework. Still, over the past few months more and more new functionality has been introduced that requires our Web apps to integrate with some thick client applications.

You can imagine my automation dilemma.

Our company's goal is to try automating as many tests as possible, and most of these integration tests could not be handled within the current framework. So what do you think happened? Rather than creating a bunch of manual tests, we ended up creating a second framework in UFT to handle those particular types of tests.

This approach caused all manner of confusion because I had to ensure that we used the right framework for the right tests as well as maintaining two separate code bases — a real nightmare scenario. LeanFT solves this issue.

With LeanFT, I can now use my existing Selenum/Java framework and still be able to handle these integration-type tests!

UFT automators are no longer second-class citizens

Using LeanFT provides its users access to a bunch of new tools that make testing in Selenium much easier — like the object identification center (think QTP GUI spy), which allows you from Visual Studio or Eclipse IDE to quickly spy on objects and identify unique values to use for your object identification.

Also — in another non-HP-like move, if you have an existing UFT license, you automatically have access to LeanFT at no additional cost. You'll now have the option to create UFT, LeanFT scripts or a combination of both.

The main features of LeanFT

Here are the main features and functionality that I was able to gather at the conference that LeanFT will include:

Main Features:

•    IDE support for Visual Studio and Eclipse

•    Write scripts in real modern languages C# and Java

•    Support for Web, Standard Windows, .NET/WPF, SAPUIS, Mobile, Java

•    Integration with:

•    Git, SvN

•    Jenkins, TFS

•    Cucumber, jBehave

•    ALM

Main Functionality:

•    Object Identification Center – like the UFT Spy is a tool for object identification related stuff

•    Application Models – are abstractions of your application under test that provide your tests with an interface to the application and it object

•    HTML Run Report

•    Insight Mode

Now I know many of you are thinking what does this mean for me if I'm a UFT user? Do you have to move over to LeanFT?

LeanFT does not replace UFT

A key point to keep in mind is that LeanFT does not replace UFT! They are two separate products that address different issues. Your situation and organization will dictate which tool you choose.

Basically HP talked about three main users they thought about DevTesters, Test Automation Engineers and Subject Matter Experts and what their different requirements are to help explain how each tool fits with each user type.


This is the technical tester who is probably already using Selenium with C# or Java but is missing some of the functionality they had to leave behind when they moved over from UFT. These users are the target audience for LeanFT

Test Automation Engineers

These are the users that have already built automation framework in UFT and have some knowledge of other languages but have been perfectly happy with UFT. They will most likely continue to use UFT but based on projects might dabble with LeanFT.

Subject Matter Experts/Business Testers

These are your non-technical users who most likely will not have a need to LeanFT. They will continue to use tools like Business Process Testing (BPT) and Script less keyword driven approaches to automation.

For the users that most likely would not be using LeanFT don't' worry HP also made some other announcement about enhancement to UFT 12.5 that I will cover in another post.

And once against if you already have a UFT license you do not have to choose one of the other. You can mix and match depending on your projects needs.


If you've been torn between sticking with UFT or jumping over to Selenium now you have a better option –LeanFT. You can leverage your exiting UFT experience and knowledge and move to the same development environment your developers are using. This will significantly shorten your learning curve in having to pick up Selenium.

Most important you no longer will you feel like a second-class developer's citizens being stuck with lame VBScript. You'll now have the power of using Java or C# and be able to use the same unit testing frameworks and tools as your dev's.

Bonus this should help foster better collaboration between you and your developers.


Want to Hear More?

To hear all about LeanFT and some of my key take aways from HP Discover listen to my latest TestTalks podcast episode 55.

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  1. Wow, this is really awesome. Thanks for letting us know Joe. Finally, HP has made a move in the right direction. They were so stubborn and silly with their old business model. Finally they are adapting to the latest IT trends and making their products useful for the rest of us to use. It’s especially wise of them to move to a product that supports other languages besides VBscript, which is only being kept alive by UFT users.

  2. It sounds amazing and giving me a lot of expectations from this tool. It seems that it will resolve my all current issue which I am facing with selenium and no need to write lots of code for handling unexpected pop ups. Feel great as it has integration with all other tools as well. Looking forward to jump on it.

  3. Very Interesting.

    1. Lean FT supports BDD/TDD frameworks. What does that exactly mean in the implementation efforts ?
    2. Integration with Jenkins. What does that exactly mean ?
    3. If LeanFT is really good & I want to move all my existing UFT scripts, what do I do ?

    1. Since leanFT is really just an API that you import into your Java or C# projects it can co-exist with all the other libraries like BDD tools like Specflow,Jbehave or Cucumber JVM. You would use Jenkins just like you currently to with your C# or Java projects. Currently there is no automatic UFT to LeanFT convertor.

  4. Thanks Joe, for this insight.

    Will this LeanFT tool set provide me to migrate my existing IBM RFT ( Java Framework) to UFT ?

    We have our current automation using IBM RFT (utilizing Eclipse IDE) , can we leverage with UFT+LeanFT , and migrate our current java framework to LeanFT ?

  5. Very nice article Joe. I fall under the second set ‘Automation Engineer’ for a long time and recently moved to ‘DevTester’ with Selenium. And I have been looking for the continuous integration features in UFT for some time. This is great to see about the tool LeanFT which is providing these good features. Can we do parallel scripts execution (similar to Selenium Grid) using LeanFT?


    1. Hi Chandra, Yeah I think LeanFT is really cool and is going to solve lots of issues. I does not work with Selenium Grid :( I think HP is workng on their own “Selenium Grid” solution that will work with it

  6. Hi joe.. Thanks for your information.. I have one query that whether LeanFT can able to automate cefsharp(chromium embedded framework) winforms application?..

  7. Hi,

    I am working on leanft, but i am facing “replay exception factory” error most of the times.I have tried but i could not solve this error

    Please can anyone help me!!!

    If this is not the right place to ask questions ,can you please tell me where can I ask issues that I am facing while working with leanft.

    I would really be a great help, If any of you can suggest something


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