Quite simply, data-driven testing improves the test coverage and builds both positive and negative test cases into a single test.
But the question is – what exactly is data-driven testing?
Data-driven testing (DDT) is an automated testing technique, where test scripts are created to run together with their related data sets in a framework. This framework provides re-usable tests to reduce maintenance and improve test coverage. The input and result data values can be stored in central data sources. Testers can use the same test case and run it with various inputs, thus increasing test coverage with a single test. This can be an Excel document, an XML file or a MySQL, etc. It is a time and cost-saving approach that development teams can use since they do not need to test each piece of data manually. Instead, with the help of the right software testing tool, they can automate the testing process. Testers can also change the parameters of the test case so as to using the test case as many times as desired in other instances.
For instance, if your boss has assigned you a task to use a spreadsheet full of information with different users and products they are going to buy and the quality of products, etc. and you need to enter all the data into your system. It would be very inconvenient and time-consuming if you have to create separate test cases for each individual line in the spreadsheet. Thanks to data-driven testing, you are supposed to create a test case only once. And you can add new test cases to the data sources.
Common Tasks Enabled With Data-Driven Platforms
Typically, with a data-driven test performs the following:
- Retrieves the portion of test data from a storage source
- Enters data in the application form and simulates actions
- Ensures verification of results
- Continues testing with the following set of input data
Software testing tools offer special scripting functions and objects that simplify these steps. These objects allow testers to extract data easily from various files, database tables, and Excel worksheets. Organizations utilize automated tests to save time, yet not all tests can be automated. However, data-driven testing can come in handy where there are a number of data sets that you have to run the same tests on.
As a system or application grows in complexity, your tests will grow along with it. Instead of creating a mess of tests, make sure you keep things simple and managed by data-driving similar test scenarios. The results will be a comprehensive, and much-organized test suite. With the right software testing tools, the data-driven testing approach can save your time and money.