Understanding the Basics of Data Driven Testing

Effective software testing is integral to high quality software product development. Thanks to the advent of test automation, today software testing has indeed come a long way and evolved into a more precise process. Today, you have the new age test automation tools that are power packed with the most advanced feature to help the QA teams overcome every challenge they are facing.

Not just test automation tools, today you have various concepts and testing frameworks as well, and data driven testing is one of the widely used test automation frameworks we have today. Most new age test automation tools are based on data driven testing and QARA Enterprise is one of them. Let us have a look at the basics of data driven testing.

What is Data Driven Testing

Let's begin with what Wikipedia has to say "Data-driven testing (DDT) is a software testing methodology that is used in the testing of computer software to describe testing done using a table of conditions directly as test inputs and verifiable outputs as well as the process where test environment settings and control are not hard-coded."

Moreover, data-driven testing involves the construction of test scripts that execute in a framework with their associated data sets. This is a testing methodology that focuses on using multiple data sets to execute test cases so as to ensure the desired outputs every time. Data values for input and result (test criteria) can be stored in one or more central data sources or databases; the format and organization can vary depending on the implementation.

Data for automated tests should be stored in special storages that allow sequential access to a set of data, such as Excel sheets, database tables, arrays, and so on. Data is frequently kept in text files and separated by commas, or in Excel files and shown as a table. This makes it simple to change them. You may simply alter the file in any text editor or in Microsoft Excel if you need to add new data (in case of hard-coded values, you should modify both data and code).

When it comes to data storage, you can utilize a text file such as a CSV file for simple instances. More complicated tests may necessitate the use of XML to provide additional information to the test data.

When to Use Data Driven Testing

The following are the instances where Data Driven Testing is recommended.

  • Same test steps repeated several times in different tests
  • There are obvious contradictory set of paths you're testing
  • Need to test multiple variations of the same data
  • Different data is expected to generate different outcomes for a test
  • Multiple tests are run in parallel on the same system

Benefits of Data Driven Testing

Here are some of the key benefits of Data Driven Testing:

  • An automated technique, it comes in helpful when you have a large number of data sets to test on
  • Eliminates the need to create a separate test for each data set value, which can save a lot of time, particularly when it comes to hard-coded values
  • Keeps data separate from functional tests, allowing you to run the same test script for multiple combinations
  • Allows you to develop test scripts with minimal code, as all of the information is already defined,
  • Improves test coverage and eliminates unnecessary test script duplication
  • Allows testers to devote more time to exploratory testing while boosting application maintenance flexibility

Want to implement Data Driven testing with QARA Enterprise? Visit www.qaratest.com and we'd be pleased to talk with you about implementing data-driven test automation in your organisation to improve productivity and speed-to-market.