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Data Driven Tests Used as Step

We have covered how a single level test behaves. But what if there are tests nested as steps within a data driven test? Or if a data driven test is used as step in another test?

One of the great features of Test Studio is that you can reuse common tests as steps in other more complex test scenarios. When this is combined with the data driven testing approach, Test Studio becomes both complex and powerful.

And to make this even more exciting, a nested test in Test Studio can use the data source bound to its parent test without having its own data source.

In this article you can find the possible combinations for data driven and nested tests and what to expect from their execution flow.

Note

Each nested test in Test Studio can use a test property called 'InheritParentDataSource'. Once this is set to true, all data bound steps in the child test will take the data from the parent test's data source.
Thus, if there is no column with that name or the parent test has no data source, the nested test will fail to find the binding details.

Data Bound Test A Calls Test B

This combination can be considered as the baseline because the execution outcome is similar to the results generated in the end-to-end scenario using the built-in data table. The only difference is that one of the steps is a nested test.

In this scenario, the data source definition for Test A will propagate down to Test B and will be available for use by Test B if the InheritParentDataSource property is enabled for the nested test. This is useful, if you want to have one large data source, supplying data to all the tests in a chain.

For this execution Test A will run X times (the number of iterations) calling Test B for each iteration. If Test B uses the data parent data source, it will have access to the current iteration's value.

Example:

  • A data source is attached to Test A.
  • Test A has three rows in the data source, which results in three iterations.
  • Test A has data-bound steps.
  • Test B is called as a step within Test A.
  • Test B uses InheritParentDataSource set to true.
  • Test B is bound to columns from Test A's data for text entry and/or verification purposes.

Execution Outcome:

Test A will be executed three times. For each iteration of Test A, Test B will be executed as a step once and will use the values for the current iteration from Test A.

Test A Calls Data Bound Test B

In this scenario, Test A will execute only once. It will call Test B (as a test step), which will execute X times as defined by the data source. This is useful if you want Test A to perform an operation once (a login for example), then execute a sequence of data driven tests.

Example:

  • Test A has 3 steps: login, test as a step (Test B), and logout.
  • Test A is not using data bound steps.
  • A data source is attached to Test B.
  • Test B has three rows in the data source, which results in three iterations.
  • Test B performs text input to search a product, and verification.
  • Test B's actions are data-bound to its own data source.

Execution Outcome:

Test A will be executed once. When the test run gets to the test as a step (Test B), this will be executed three times in a row (defined by its data source), and then the test will proceed to the next step in Test A.

Data-Bound Test A Calls Data-Bound Test B

In this scenario, Test A will execute X times according to the number of rows in its data source and call Test B X times. Test B will in turn execute Y times according to number of rows in its data source before returning to Test A. In the end, Test B will execute a total of X * Y times. This is useful if you want to perform the same data driven test in different environments (alternate login IDs, for example).

Example:

Same as the second example above, except that Test A is also data-bound to allow for multiple logins with different usernames and passwords.

  • Test A has 3 steps: login, test as a step (Test B), and logout.
  • A data source is attached to Test A.
  • Test A has three rows in the data source, which results in three iterations.
  • Test A has data bound steps.
  • A data source is attached to Test B.
  • Test B has two rows in the data source, which results in two iterations.
  • Test B performs text input to search for a product and verification.
  • Test B uses InheritParentDataSource set to false.
  • Test B's actions are data-bound to its own data source.

Execution Outcome:

Test A will be executed three times. For each iteration of Test A, Test B will be executed as a step with the number of iterations defined in its own data source - twice, for this example. Then, Test A will proceed to its next step followed by the next iteration. That said, Test B will be executed twice for each of the three alternate logins in Test A - altogether six times for the overall Test A run.

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