FAQ: Why is my application launch not recorded properly?

In Coded UI Test, we support “Intent Aware Recording” which means recorder tries to capture the intent of the user instead of the raw actions.  For example, say on a Win7 box user does following raw actions –

  1. Clicks on Windows Start button
  2. Clicks on the Search box
  3. Types “calc” in the search box
  4. From the search result, clicks on the “calc.exe” list item

The above steps result in launch of calc.exe application. Instead of recording the above 4 raw steps, the Coded UI Test recorder realizes that the intent of the user & records one launch step.  This makes the recording more resilient as it can be played back on another OS like Windows XP where there is no search box.

To do the “Intent Aware Recording”, Coded UI Test has a separate rules process engine called Aggregator or Action Filter that goes through the raw actions to do appropriate pattern matching.

There are many different ways in which an exe can be launched in Windows and there is non-trivial cost\challenge for doing the same for each way.  We prioritized the list and did the automatically generation of application launch for following –

  1. Launching from anywhere within Window’s Start Menu including search and launch on Vista\Win7
  2. Launching from Desktop shortcut
  3. Launching from Quick Launch

Some missing ones that we have heard folks using and going wrong are –

  1. Launching from Windows Run dialog
  2. Launching from explorer
  3. Other limitation is that it does not work with some applications with splash screen.

We may look at fixing these holes in future release but in this release you should use one of the above 3 supported ways for doing this.

Comments (5)

  1. paiming123 says:

    thank you share with me

  2. Roberto L. Soler says:

    The launch of my own application on WPF doesn't get recorded. I pass the test only with the application already opened.

  3. samuele armondi says:


    Any suggestions on how this might work with click-once appliactions? I am trying to record the launch of a CO app from the desktop but the engine records a double click on a list item rather than an application launch.

    Many thanks,


  4. Sorry for late reply.  For some reason, my blog settings got messed up and I had trouble login in.  In general, the Coded UI Test forum (social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/threads) is better place to post your questions as that is monitored by many folks & you will get faster response.

    Yes, we don't support ClickOnce applications in this release.  This is known limitation.



  5. @Roberto – Do you still have this issue?  If so, I suggest making a post at social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/threads with complete repro steps.