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Encyclopedia > Microsoft UI Automation

Microsoft UI Automation (UIA) is a new "royalty-free", "cross-platform" managed code API exposing user interface controls for test automation and assistive technology such as screen readers.[1] It is part of .NET Framework 3.0. In Microsoft Windows terminology, managed code is computer instructions — that is, code — executed by a CLI-compliant virtual machine, such as Microsofts . ... Test automation is the use of software to control the execution of tests, the comparison of actual outcomes to predicted outcomes, the setting up of test preconditions, and other test control and test reporting functions. ... Assistive Technology (AT) is a generic term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices and the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. ... A screen reader is a software application that attempts to identify and obtain what is being displayed on the screen. ... .NET Framework 3. ...

It is intended to be the successor to Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA). Microsoft Active Accessibility is a COM-based technology designed to improve the way accessibility aids work with applications running on Microsoft Windows. ...

Microsoft claims that UIA is cross-platform, however currently, it is fully functional only on Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003, since Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is only available for these platforms.[2] WPF support is not currently on the Mono roadmap.[3] Mono is a project led by Novell (formerly by Ximian) to create an Ecma standard compliant . ...

Microsoft suggests that UIA clients (applications such as screen readers and testing frameworks) are most easily programmed using Microsoft Visual C# or Microsoft Visual Basic .NET, while UIA providers (UI implementations or application controls such as checkboxes) can be written in managed code or in C/C++. Although MSAA and UIA are not fully compatible, UIA providers still expose more basic information to MSAA clients through a UIA to MSAA mapping layer.[4]


  1. ^ Darryl K. Taft, Microsoft Promotes Cross-Platform Accessibility Tech, EWeek (2005-11-28), accessed 2007-02-07; Microsoft, "Microsoft's New Accessibility Model To Be Offered as Cross-Platform Solution for Industry", accessed 2007-02-06.
  2. ^ Microsoft, UI Automation Overview, accessed 2007-02-07.
  3. ^ Miguel de Icaza and Philippe Cohen, "Mono, Mainsoft and Cross-Platform Enterprise Development", Enterprise Open Source Magazine (2007-01-14), accessed 2007-02-07.
  4. ^ Microsoft, UI Automation and Microsoft Active Accessibility, accessed 2007-02-07.



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