Data-Driven Testing

What Does Data-Driven Testing Mean?

Data-driven testing (DDT) is a methodology in which iterative repetition of the same sequence of test steps are performed with the help of a data source in order to drive the input values of those steps and/or the expected values while verification steps are performed. The environment settings and control in the case of data-driven testing are not hard-coded. In other words, data-driven testing is the building of a test script to execute together with all their related data sets in a framework, which makes use of reusable test logic. Data-driven testing provides advantages like reusability, repeatability, separation of test logic from test data and reduction of the number of test cases.


Techopedia Explains Data-Driven Testing

The data sources used in data-driven testing can be Excel files, CSV files, datapools, ADO objects or ODBC sources. In data-driven testing, the following operations are performed in iteration:

  • Retrieving the test data
  • Entering the data in the required area and simulating other actions
  • Verifying the results
  • Continuing the testing with the next set of input data

There are some advantages associated with data-driven testing. It helps in improving the test coverage as test scripts can be created simultaneously along with application development. Redundancy and any other duplication of automated testing scripts get largely reduced due to inputs and verification processes as well as due to the modular type of design. Considering the cost aspect, data-driven testing is cheaper for automation although it is more expensive in the case of manual testing. In data-driven testing, better error handling is possible and the test scripts are more robust.

However, there are a few drawbacks associated with data-driven testing. Greater expertise of scripting language is required, and a database is required for all the test data at all times.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.