Keyword Driven Testing

Software testing is a very exhaustive procedure that aims towards delivering a product that is perfect from all standpoints. After intensive rounds of testing only a software gets to see the light of the day. Amongst the many tests performed during the course of getting the software released, one test is Keyword Driven Testing.

What Is Keyword Driven Testing?

Keyword Driven Testing makes use of keywords to symbolize a functionality. In other words, simple actions like "open window", "close window", "select a menu item" etc., are selected keywords in order to execute a progression of operations. For example, if the keyword is "Select Menu", then this keyword defines a set of actions that need to be executed in selecting the menu.

Stages In Keyword Driven Testing

Ideally speaking, there are just two stages in Keyword Driven Testing. These are:

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  • Design And Development Of Keywords – the first stage of Keyword driven Testing is to design the set of actions that would denote each keyword. This means that all the actions that will have to be performed under a single keyword are sequentially identified and laid down.
  • Execution Of Keywords – the second and final stage is to execute the keyword commands. The final execution can be either manual or automated or a combination of the two, depending on the situation. These commands are executed in a set and precise order which is determined in the design and development stage.

Advantages Of Keyword Driven Testing

The benefits or advantages of Keyword Driven Testing are:

  • One Document For Every Keyword – since the keyword defines an entire sequence of operations that need to be performed, a single keyword is enough to chart the whole course. This means that instead of writing all the steps repeatedly, a single keyword at a time can be used to guide the way towards completion of the test.
  • Almost Anybody Can Perform – as the keywords have been already defined, corresponding to a set of actions that need to be taken, this test can be performed by almost anybody. Specialist knowledge is not required in order to perform the Keyword Driven Test.
  • Allows early Automation – Keyword Driven Testing allows for early automation even before a stable software or build is delivered. This makes it easier to perform other tests using these keywords. It not only saves time but also raises the efficiency level by reducing the testing time.

Disadvantages Of Keyword Driven Testing

  • Developing Keywords Is Time Consuming – developing and defining the keyword is a time-consuming task. Also, it leaves no scope for error as a misrepresented keyword can cause fatal or extreme errors. Hence, the critical care that needs to be exercised makes for more time to be spent in developing the keywords.
  • Might Act As A Restriction – in the case of technically abled testers, these predetermined keywords might act as a restriction. It occurs if the keywords prevent the testers from making use of their technical knowledge and years of experience while driving the test.

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The pros and cons of Keyword Driven Testing actually determine the extent to which it can be automated. Depending on one's need, this test can be conducted manually and as a combination as well. But, Keyword Driven Testing makes a structured path for driving the test and as such it makes the software well tried from all angles.

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