Monday, April 28, 2008

Data Driven Approach

Data driven scripts are those application-specific scripts manually coded in the automation tool’s proprietary language and then modified to accommodate variable data. Variables will be used for application under test input and execution of program selections. This allows the script to drive the application with external data supplied by the test engine. Most of the automation tools are having the feature to convert a recorded script into data driven script. The tools such as Silktest, WinRunner and QuickTest Professional are using Excel file as data file format.

Though these methodologies recommended by conspicuous experts are powerful but the utilization of the advantages propounded by these methods in the Test Automation architecture is under question.

Limitations of Data Driven Approach:

  • Multiple data files are essential for this approach and hence the maintenance of these files becomes a nightmare. Each and every Test Case requires inputs and verifications from different files.

  • Testers should carefully enter the data if anything at all changes in all the required files.

  • Script processing errors are common if a proper attention is not given to the file formats.

  • The process of coding and maintaining the tests was tedious and time-consuming. It took a lot of time to create all these tests because there was no modularity and therefore no code reuse.

Due to the ineffective usage of these methods, data driven scripts still contain the hard coded and sometimes very fragile recognition strings for the window components they navigate. When this is the case, the scripts are easily broken when an application change or revision occurs. And when these scripts start breaking (not necessarily just a few). We are sometimes talking about a great many, if not all the scripts, for the entire application.

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