Automating Interactive Applications in the Network Environment

Published: July 01, 1992


Don E. Libes


Many programs demand to be run interactively. Word processors are good examples, but may network applications (e.g., ftp, telnet) share the same fault. They cannot be run non- interactively. Expect is a software tool designed to control interactive programs. Expect needs a script that resembles the dialogue itself but which may include multiple paths through it. Expect can run any program locally or remotely in order to automate a task. Expect successfully deals with interactive programs and is particularly useful in a networked environment in which dissimilar machines must communicate. Expect solves the problem of stick the password in the script as well as several other long-standing problems with traditional work-around in these areas. Expect also provides the needed support for regression testing, network and computer load generation, and conformance testing in a networked environment. In practice, Expect has entirely relieved numerous computer scientists and network managers of tasks that previously has to be performed by hand. The investment in writing Expect scripts is a minimal one-time cost. Expect itself is free and in the public domain. Expect is in use in over 100 companies as well as virtually every university in the U.S. and many overseas.
Citation: The International Communications Association Journal
Pub Type: Journals


Expect, interactive applications, network environment, regression testing, conformance testing
Created July 01, 1992, Updated February 17, 2017