When testing computer software, the term “data-driven testing” (DDT), also referred to as “table-driven testing” or “parameterized testing,” is used to describe testing that uses a table of conditions as test inputs and verifiable outputs, as well as the process where test environment settings and control are not hard-coded. In its most basic form, a test involves the tester providing inputs from a table row and anticipating outputs from the same row. The table typically contains values that relate to input space boundaries or partitions. The test configuration is “read” from a database in the control approach.
The design of test scripts to execute with their associated data sets within a framework is known as data-driven testing. Reusable test logic is provided by the framework to cut down on maintenance and increase test coverage. Values for input and output (test criteria) data can be kept in one or more databases or central data sources; the actual structure, tools, and format depend on the implementation.
The information includes variables that are utilized as output verification values as well as input values. Data can be collected from an active system using a bespoke tool or sniffer in advanced (mature) automation setups. The DDT framework then plays back the collected data to create an effective automation testing tool for regression testing.
For repeatable testing, automated test suites include user interactions with the system’s user interface (GUI). The “before” image reference database is used as the starting point of each test. The “new” GUI version replays the “user interactions,” which creates the “post test” database. Using a tool, the reference “post test” database is contrasted with the “post test” database.
The test script contains codes for navigating through the programme, reading data sources, and reporting test status and data.
Data Driven Testing
A platform for testing automation called the Data Driven Framework receives input values from data files and stores them in test script variables. It allows testers to create one test case that includes both positive and negative test instances. A data-driven framework can employ any single or multiple data sources, including xls, xml, and csv files, as input data.
Benefits of Data-Driven Testing
Among the many advantages of data-driven testing are the following:
- Permits an application to be tested for regression using various sets of data values.
- In a single file, test and verification data can be organized independently of test case logic.
- Depending on the tool, the test scripts might also be kept in a single repository. The texts are, therefore, easy to read, amend, and manage.
- Actions and functions can be applied to different tests.
- Some tools generate test data automatically. When huge amounts of random test data are required, this helps save resources.
- Data-driven testing is a technique that can be used at any step of the development cycle. Most often, numerous data-driven test cases are consolidated into a single process. However, it can be used in a variety of test cases.
- Enables developers and testers to readily distinguish between the logic of their test cases and scripts and the test data.
- Test cases and scripts can be streamlined by performing several runs of the same test cases.
- Any changes to the test script have no impact on the test data.
Data-Driven Testing Drawbacks:
Data Driven Automation Testing has some drawbacks, including
- The implementing team’s proficiency with automation determines the test’s quality.
- High-level technical proficiency is necessary. A tester might need to pick up a completely different coding language.
- There will be more writing. The major themes are script management, test infrastructure, and test results.
- A text editor like Notepad must be used to create and maintain data files.
Technique for TDD
The TDD approach consists of just six easy steps:
1) Create a test case: Based on the criteria, create an automated test case.
2) Carry out each test case: Carry out each of these automated test cases on the code that is presently being written.
3) Create the application to execute those test cases: If the test case fails, create the appropriate code to make it run correctly.
4) Run test cases once more: Run the test cases once more to ensure that all the test cases created thus far have been implemented.
5) You can choose to refactor your code. But in order to make your code more readable and reusable, you should rework it.
6) For new test scenarios, repeat steps 1 through 5: Till every test case is executed, repeat the loop for the other test cases.
Compared to behaviour Driven Development, the term behaviour Driven Testing (BDT) is less widespread in software testing and development (BDD). Tests in behaviour-driven testing are frequently more focused on user behaviour than on the technical prowess of the product. BDT is the best choice when you want to highlight your company’s perspective and the requirements of the product.
BTD uses relatively simple language to communicate the product concepts so that everyone on the team, including the non-technical men, does not miss anything. Thus, those in charge of business analysis and product management may actively participate in the testing process. As more organizations consider behaviour-driven testing as a solution to their automation and collaboration problems, it is gaining traction.
Several QA teams have successfully used the BDT framework in diverse domains. Additionally, it serves as the foundation for more successfully and conveniently deploying data-driven testing.
Why Did behaviour-Driven Testing Start?
Since test automation began, it has significantly advanced to new ideas, framework designs, and tools. The rationale for the evolution of automation frameworks has been their poor usability, rigidity, and high maintenance costs. Frameworks for testing have evolved:
Core frameworks > Record and Playback > Data-driven > Keyword driven > Hybrid > Behaviour driven testing.
It might be challenging for non-technical individuals, such as business analysts and management personnel, to read and comprehend the test cases when using these frameworks. However, behaviour-driven testing can deal with it. Writing test cases in plain language has made it easier to communicate. It is a relatively recent agile software development methodology that encourages collaboration between developers, quality assurance (QA), and business partners in order to close the gap between business and IT alignment. Through discussions with stakeholders, the scenarios are constructed to develop a clear knowledge of the intended behaviour.
behaviour-Driven Testing Benefits
- Collaboration: Through the Behaviour Clarification Reviews, it strengthens ties between business analysts, QA, and developers. Effectively explaining the requirements is another benefit. The acceptance criteria are checked by BAs and testers.
- Simple Review and Feedback: No development expertise will be needed because the test cases will be written in human-readable, natural language. Business analysts can actively take part in developing the automated test cases, assess them, and offer suggestions for improvement.
- The Focus: The right focus is on requirements and the business perspective, not on testing the technical implementation as much as possible with BDT.
- Greater return on investment: It has been noted that software behaviour persists longer than implementation. Therefore, behaviour-driven tests are simpler to adjust and produce a higher ROI. The BDT tools are open source as well, which further reduces the price.
- Not anymore expensive to maintain: Through the use of the “step reusability” function, BDT code redundancy can be reduced. Therefore, it costs less to maintain these tests.
Procedure For BDD
The 6 steps of the BDD methodology’s process are also very similar to those of TDD.
1) Describe the behaviour of the application: The product owner, business analysts, or quality assurance specialists describe the behaviour of an application in straightforward English-like terminology.
2) Create the automated scripts: These straightforward English-like expressions are then translated into code tests.
3) Execute the functional code: After this, the behaviour’s functional code is put into action.
4) Determine whether the conduct is effective: Test the behaviour to discover if it is effective. If successful, go to the following behaviour; if not, correct the functional code’s defects to obtain the desired application behaviour.
5) To make your code more readable and reusable, refactor it or reorganise it.
6) Repetition of steps 1–5 will add new behaviours to your application.
Implementation of Behaviour Driven Testing
Numerous open-source BDT frameworks that support various platforms and a variety of programming languages are readily available. Since the BDT layer is built on top of a bespoke foundation, there are just layers to add. The specified when-then style steps for the behaviour-driven tests are expressed in plain language. Of course, one’s preferred programming language must be used to implement these procedures. The process for behaviour-driven testing is outlined below:
- A formal User narrative is written by a business analyst.
- Based on the user story, the tester creates the scenarios.
- The business team reviews scenarios.
- Automation engineers write the step definitions for the scenario steps.
- The QA team automates scenarios.
- Run the automated scenarios and make any necessary bug corrections.
- Regression testing is executed through automated tests.
- The user approves the program (Acceptance and Quality Criteria met)
Difference between BDD vs TDD
- A development method called “behaviour-driven development” puts more emphasis on the behaviour of a software programme.
- Using the test-driven development methodology, a software application’s or product’s implementation of a feature is given more attention.
- QAs, clients, and developers all take part in BDD.
- Programmers take part in TDD.
- Typically, BDD generates an executable specification that fails because the required feature is missing, then writes the simplest possible code to enable the specification to pass, resulting in the implementation of the desired behaviour in the system.
- The main idea behind TDD is to create a test case that fails because the desired capability is missing, update the code to make the test case pass, and then create the feature in the system.
- Unit testing is the core focus of TDD.
- A scenario is used as the first input in BDD.
- The TDD process begins with the test case.
- A team methodology is BDD.
- A development practice is TDD.
- Simple English is the language used in BDD to write application behaviour and scenarios.
- An initial input for BDD is a scenario.
- The test case acts as the TDD’s initial input.
- Collaboration between all stakeholders is necessary for BDD.
- Collaboration is only necessary amongst developers while using TDD.
- The BDD methodology is effective for developing user-driven projects. For projects involving API and third-party technologies, TDD is a useful strategy.
- BDD uses a number of tools, including Cucumber, Dave, JBehave, Spec Flow, Concordian, BeanSpec, and others.
- Some tools used in TDD include JBehave, JDave, Cucumber, Spec Flow, BeanSpec, FitNesse, and others.
KEY FEATURES OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TDD & BDD
|Test Driven Development||behaviour Driven Development.|
|The full for TDD is Test Driven Development.||The full form of BDD is behaviour Driven Development.|
|A test case is first written in the procedure.||Writing a scenario based on the anticipated behaviour is the first step in the process.|
|TDD concentrates on the implementation of the functionality.||BDD focuses on how an application behaves for the user.|
|The writing of test cases is done in a programming language.||Scenarios are written in plain English, which makes them easier to read than TDD.|
|The test cases in TDD are significantly impacted by changes to the way the application works.||The functionality modifications have little effect on BDD scenarios.|
|Only between developers must they work together.||All the interested parties must work together.|
|Possibly a better strategy for projects involving third-party tools and APIs.||Possibly a better strategy for projects that are influenced by user behaviour. For instance, an application system or e-commerce website.|
|Tools that support TDD include JUnit, TestNG, NUnit, and others.||BDD is supported by a number of tools, including SpecFlow, Cucumber, MSpec, etc.|
|People with programming knowledge can only understand tests in TDD,||Any person including the ones without any programming knowledge can understand tests in BDD.|
|Your tests are less likely to contain problems when you use TDD.||When compared to TDD, it is challenging to track bugs in tests.|
How Are You Testing?
Product managers, developers, and test engineers work together in BDD to generate specific illustrations of desirable functionality. There is a lot of communication prior to any implementation. A lone developer can carry TDD out without the assistance of product managers or other stakeholders.
Cloud-based testing platforms like LambdaTest offers online Selenium Grid that lets you perform automated data driven and regression testing on 3000+ real browsers and operating systems. The major benefit of using a reliable online Selenium Grid like LambdaTest is that it doesn’t require additional software installations on your local machine. The web browsers on VMs in LambdaTest have pre-installed versions of Adobe Flash, Adobe Shockwave, etc., making it easy to test rich web applications.
How Do They Cooperate?
It’s crucial to remember that BDD and TDD aren’t incompatible; many Agile teams employ TDD without also utilizing BDD. However, BDD ensures that most of the application’s use cases function at a higher level and offer a higher level of assurance.
For instance, a development team might use BDD to develop higher-level tests that validate the behaviour of an application. Since these components might be used elsewhere throughout the application, developers may create separate unit tests as they implement the specifics to ensure the robustness of the components.
The TDD and BDD principles are successfully merged into a single framework for Ruby applications with Rspec.
Agile development companies have largely embraced test-driven development, and a variety of technologies are available to aid in team collaboration. Sadly, there aren’t as many tools available for behaviour-driven development because it requires collaboration between technical and business teams.
A BDD test management system called HipTest was developed to close the gap and make continuous testing simpler. Business teams may develop and update features with ease thanks to scenario editors that are simple to use, and creating tests is made easier thanks to connections with automation frameworks and CI/CD pipelines.
The features’ use of plain-text language and the aggregated data from the integrations contribute to the creation of living documentation that technical or business teams can refer to. Business users, for instance, can confirm that a specific feature has been created and is still operational as of the most recent CI run.
The good news about BDD is that it doesn’t involve changing any existing TDD procedures; rather, it merely calls for a small investment in more communication, which can cause less uncertainty and higher levels of product trust.
The Bottom Line
Over the past few years, test-driven development has replaced traditional software development methodologies as the industry standard. The technique guarantees that software may be routinely issued without issues and lowers the number of bugs that enter production.
Beyond TDD, behaviour-driven development represents a development in which business objectives can be more effectively shared with developers. BDD helps eliminate any ambiguity regarding acceptance criteria, spot possible issues with user stories early, and guarantee that the application performs as expected for end users by bridging the gap between business and technical teams.
Choices between TDD and BDD might be very challenging. While some may just claim that TDD provides higher code coverage, some may suggest that BDD is superior for discovering flaws. Neither approach is superior to the other. Which method to use is a decision that must be made by the individual and the project team.