Abstract illustration of axe Developer Hub stopping code from being shipped because it's inaccessible.

Introducing axe Developer Hub, now available as part of axe DevTools for Web

We’re making some key advancements today to further extend our leadership position in automated accessibility testing.

Firstly, we’re making a minor naming change to axe DevTools HTML in favor of axe DevTools for Web. Second and much more importantly, we’re including an incredible new feature with axe DevTools for Web – we call it axe Developer Hub.

Let’s look at these changes in more detail:

You’re only as accessible as your last release

Accessibility is a moving target. Your digital products can be accessible today and inaccessible tomorrow. Software development teams are always one bad code change away from a poor user experience for people with disabilities. Accessibility program managers will often be haunted by the mantra “You’re only as accessible as your last release.”

What can we do to stay on top and deliver digital inclusion? Accessibility automation can help but you have to figure out how to get that into your automated test suite.

Meet axe Developer Hub

Axe Developer Hub makes it easy to catch accessibility bugs before your customers do. Here’s how:

  1. Change a few lines of code in your end-to-end testing configuration
  2. Run your end-to-end tests as you would normally
  3. Review your accessibility-focused results in axe Developer Hub
  4. Fix the accessibility issues that automation finds
  5. Using Git? Measure changes in accessibility at a per commit and branch level
  6. Using GitHub? Get your accessibility results directly in your PR using a GitHub Action, and optionally block a PR based on low-quality

You’ll notice that nowhere in the above steps do you need to edit your end-to-end tests themselves–it’s just a configuration change. Once your configuration is done, axe Developer Hub is smart enough to add accessibility tests to each end-to-end test.

If you’re into metrics, axe Developer Hub gives you an unprecedented view into changes in your accessibility risk profile. From an automatic tests perspective, you’ll finally be able to see if a code change made your product better or worse for your customers with disabilities. Imagine being able to easily view your product releases and the automatically discovered accessibility issues associated with each. Pretty cool.

Focus equals action

Getting metrics is half the story. Metrics without action is like a car without wheels–it can’t take you anywhere. Axe Developer Hub does an amazing job of keeping developers focused and increasing their productivity.

First, axe Developer Hub results are “deduplicated.” In other words, instead of reporting ten issues for the same failure on the same HTML, we report 1 and let you know about duplicates.

Screenshot of axe Developer Hub report. The report shows an issue which has 2 duplicates. There is a yellow warning at the bottom of the issue report which makes it clear that duplicates are recorded.

Next, we differentiate between new and old issues. Let’s say you’re working on code that has accessibility debt and you have numerous accessibility issues in code you don’t own or are not working on. Unless you’re tasked with clearing this debt, you only care about new issues that were caused by changes you made. Axe Developer Hub makes it easy to see the new issues and drill down into the details.

Screenshot of an axe Developer Hub report. Issues are shown in a table with impact shown as rows (critical, serious, moderate, minor) and issue classification shown as columns (total issues, new issues, fixed issues, previous issues, change in issues). The new issues column is highlighted with a pink border.

A solution for the whole team

We hope you agree that axe Developer Hub is the “easy button” for automated accessibility testing. We’re excited about axe Developer Hub and its benefits to your whole team. Here’s how we expect they’ll respond:

  • Developers will love it because they can focus on new issues related to their code rather than wading through technical debt and duplicate issues
  • Automated testing engineers will love it because it’s so easy to maintain your accessibility tests
  • Your compliance team will love it because they will be able to get amazing metrics associated with each release

The result? Your expensive resources are more productive. That’s an ROI win.

Let’s talk about axe Developer Hub plans

We offer 2 plans for axe Developer Hub: free and paid.

The free plan includes 1 API key. This is a good option for open-source projects or solo developers looking for high-quality accessibility feedback. Sign up for the free plan.

The paid plan comes with an axe DevTools for Web subscription. With this, you get unlimited API keys for each licensed subscriber. This is a great option for businesses. Developers working on multiple projects and making use of different CI/CD tools will be well served.

Contact us to get a free trial of our paid plan. This 30-day trial gives you access to all axe Developer Hub features. Once your trial is complete, you will be downgraded to the free plan.

axe DevTools for Web

Axe Developer Hub is available as part of Deque’s automation toolkit we call “axe DevTools for Web.” We’ve updated the name of this product bundle from “axe DevTools HTML” so it’s friendlier and easier to understand.

Deque now offers 2 amazing automation toolkits:

When companies buy axe DevTools for Web, they have access to all our web automation tools, including:

These tools make it easy to add accessibility testing while you and your teams are coding in the IDE, testing interactively in the browser, and reviewing code in pull requests.

The future is bright – axe advanced rules

So much accessibility automation is built on top of Deque’s market-leading axe-core (1 billion downloads and counting). While proud of our achievements, we’re the first people to ask, “Why can’t we do more with automation?” We’re living in a world of computer vision, machine learning, and AI. What can we do with this new tech? Advanced rules are our answer to these questions.

We’re working on several advanced rules right now and they will be available to run, as a paid add-on, in a future release of the axe DevTools for Web toolkit.

Thanks for the support

We love our community of accessibility professionals who work hard to promote digital inclusion. We believe axe DevTools for Web is the ultimate toolbox for automated accessibility testing. Axe Developer Hub is another leap in the mission to make it easy to catch and fix the low hanging fruit of digital accessibility through automation. Advanced rules show a glimpse of the future of extended coverage. With both, we plan to knock that high hanging fruit down a couple of notches!

Try axe Developer Hub for free or contact sales to learn how axe DevTools for Web could fit into your company’s software development lifecycle.

Photo of Ben Allen

About Ben Allen

Ben Allen is Deque's Product Manager for axe DevTools Linter, axe DevTools APIs & CLI, and axe Developer Hub. Ben has 20 years experience in building software and has been an accessibility program manager for 7.5 years, most recently at GitHub. While at PNC, Ben's team were the inaugural winners of the axe-con "Accessibility at Scale Award" in 2021. Ben loves to learn and claims to be a lifetime student of python, and more recently, ukulele. Sea Shanty anyone?
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