Adding and Removing Containers from the Automation Hierarchy

In general, the automated testing feature reduces the amount of detail about nested containers in its scripts. It removes containers that have no impact on the results of the test or on the identification of the controls from the script. This applies to containers that are used exclusively for layout, such as the HBox, VBox, and Canvas containers, except when they are being used in multiple-view navigator containers, such as the ViewStack, TabNavigator, or Accordion containers. In these cases, they are added to the automation hierarchy to provide navigation.

Many composite components use containers, such as Canvas or VBox, to organize their children. These containers do not have any visible impact on the application. As a result, you typically exclude these containers from testing because there is no user interaction and no visual need for their operations to be recordable. By excluding a container from testing, the related test script is less cluttered and easier to read.

To exclude a container from being recorded (but not exclude its children), set the container's showInAutomationHierarchy property to false. This property is defined by the UIComponent class, so all containers that are a subclass of UIComponent have this property. Children of containers that are not visible in the hierarchy appear as children of the next highest visible parent.

The default value of the showInAutomationHierarchy property depends on the type of container. For containers such as Panel, Accordion, Application, DividedBox, and Form, the default value is true; for other containers, such as Canvas, HBox, VBox, and FormItem, the default value is false.

The following example forces the VBox containers to be included in the test script's hierarchy:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!-- at/NestedButton.mxml -->
<mx:Application xmlns:mx="">
<mx:Panel title="ComboBox Control Example">
<mx:HBox id="hb">
<mx:VBox id="vb1" showInAutomationHierarchy="true">
<mx:Canvas id="c1">
<mx:Button id="b1" automationName="Nested Button 1" label="Click Me" />
<mx:VBox id="vb2" showInAutomationHierarchy="true">
<mx:Canvas id="c2">
<mx:Button id="b2" automationName="Nested Button 2" label="Click Me 2" />