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Procedure using a variable

Have a look at the last test step 'Check final price' of our two test cases.

Two almost identical         test steps
Figure 24.1:  Two almost identical test steps

They perform the same action, however, with different data. Even though it is only one node, it makes sense to pack it into a procedure. We may want to adapt the hard coded values 30,049.00 € and 26,100.00 € to a different format so that the check will also work when the format of the price field changes to a different currency. And we do not want to implement the same algorithm twice. (If you wonder about the the two dollar signs: This is what QF-Test records for a dollar sign. For replay it does not matter whether you use one or two dollar signs.)

  • Action Select the 'Check text' node in the first test case.
  • Use »Operations«-»Pack nodes«-»Sequence« or use the [Ctrl-Shift-S] shortcut to pack it into a sequence.
  • Name the sequence checkFinalPrice. The procedure name follows the Java convention to run the words together and start the single words with capital letters. On the other hand QF-Test allows the use of spaces in procedure names, so you are free to name it as you like.
  • Press [Ctrl-Shift-P] for the quickest way to transform the 'Sequence' node into a procedure, as you learned at the end of the last chapter. You see the sequence is replaced by a call to the 'checkFinalPrice' procedure.
  • Double click the procedure call node to jump to the procedure definition.
  • Open the procedure node to see its content.
Procedure with hardcoded value
Figure 24.2:  Procedure with hard coded value

As expected, the check is now located in this procedure. However, it is valid for one price only, i.e. $30,049.00. Since we want to use the same procedure for the second test case as well we need to make the price a variable and pass its value as a parameter from the test case to the procedure.

In the next example we will start by defining a parameter for the procedure. Additionally, we will set a default value for the parameter. Default values are most useful when the parameter usually has that value and you do not want to specify it every time you call the procedure. Even though this does not hold true for the price it is a good example to demonstrate to you how a default parameter works and how to overwrite it with another value.

Let's define the parameter and add a default value:

  • ActionSelect the procedure 'checkFinalPrice'
  • Press the Add new row "Add new row" button belonging to the table 'Parameter default values'.
  • Enter price as name for the parameter.
  • Enter $ 30,049.00 in the value field.
  • Click the 'OK' button.
The details of the 'Procedure' node
Figure 24.3:  The Details of the 'Procedure' node

The next step is to replace the value of the 'Text' attribute of the 'Check text' node by a reference to the variable.

NoteVariable syntax: When working with variables you need to bear in mind that in some places you need to tell QF-Test the name of the variable and in others you want to refer to the value of the variable. In the Name column of the Parameter default values table of the 'Procedure' node QF-Test expects the name of a variable. It is price, which is why you typed the word price.

In the 'Text' attribute of the 'Check text' node details QF-Test expects a character string for comparison with the text of the UI element. As we want to use a value stored in a variable, we have to tell QF-Test not to use the entered string as plain text, but to interpret it as a reference to the value stored in a variable. In QF-Test this is done by enclosing the variable name in $(). In our case the variable reference is $(price). If you did not put the variable name into $(), QF-Test would compare the price (a number) shown in the UI element to the string price, which is obviously nonsense.

  • ActionSelect the 'Check text' node in the procedure 'checkFinalPrice'.
  • Type $(price) in the 'Text' attribute of the 'Check text' node details.
  • Click the 'OK' button of the node details.
'Check text' node
Figure 24.4:  'Check text' node
  • ActionPlay Run the first test case.

It should execute without an error.