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  1. #1
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    A poll: How many of you use the \".pln\" for automated tests?

    Twice now, I have worked with clients that started using using the ".pln" format instead of the ".t" format as their main framework for automated testing. Both times, we encountered problems and buggyness which forced us to abandon the ".pln" format and go back to ".t" for all but manual test plans. Are more of you having these problems? How many of you use the ".pln" format for heavy-duty automated tests? Whenever I start using the ".pln" format I get partner.exe crashes and other weird behavior that I never see when I stick to the ".t" form exclusively. Most recently, I found that the statement "testcase EnterOrder" in the ".pln" resulted in the runtime error "testcase 'enter' not found". This occured with both Silk 5.02 and 5.03 and it demonstrates a flaky parser error, since "TestcaseEnter", without a space, is a SilkTest builtin function. I also find that running from ".pln" files sometimes results in testcases being compiled during runtime when they are called from the plan. This means that a simple syntax error in a testcase might not be detected until halfway through a long test run. I also hate it that the ".pln" does not let me jump to definitions with the "control-period" trick.

    The ".pln" format is attractive because is helps to enforce a separation between testcase execution, test data, and GUI code. But with some self-disipline, the same separation can be achieved using only ".t" files. Have any of you found any other practical benefits in using the plan format? How many of you stick to the ".t" format exclusively ?

    Thanks,

    ------------------
    Rob Kapteyn
    Rob Kapteyn, CSTE
    RobKapteyn@gmail.com

  2. #2
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    Re: A poll: How many of you use the \".pln\" for automated tests?

    I gave up on .pln so long ago that I don't even remember how get it to work.

    I create the test cases and debug them on an individual basis within a .t file, I strip code from previous test cases and create robust appstates from them and than I create a main loop within the .t file to execute everyting in the manner and order I want.

    I gave up on .pln files because at the time it did not support data driven test cases. I am not sure if this is still true. The other thing I found out was that it was just as easy for me to create my own error handling in many cases. I also have no problems tracking progress of the applications using the history file from the results.

    So the short answer is no, I do not use .pln, and when my customers ask for it as a deliverable I deliver the working testcases .inc files and Global functions with the understanding that they are welcome to integrate them into a .pln file if they please.

  3. #3
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    Re: A poll: How many of you use the \".pln\" for automated tests?

    I use the plan as a manager of many of my tests. I like the test attributes feature so that I can mark tests by query or select individual tests for execution, without having to edit .t or .inc source.

    I have run into limitations in passing data down from the plan level to the testcase level, especially when passing down large lists of records. I get around this by externalizing my data (usually records) in CSV files and use my own wrapped functions for FileReadValue / FileWriteValue.
    Steven Tyler
    Manager - Performance Engineering

    Kronos Incorporated
    tel: +1 978 947 4219

  4. #4
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    Re: A poll: How many of you use the \".pln\" for automated tests?

    For 5 years I have used .pln files heavily and was quite surprised to read about the problems you two users have encountered with them. The .pln file is by far an exceptional tool for organizing and managing script development and execution.

    We start by taking the MS Word or MS Access test plan kind of info that our manual testers have (we're transitioning to automation so our processes are a bit strange at times) then summarize it in a .pln file. At that time I (as the Autoamtion Lead) can start assigning scripting tasks and gathering script completion info without manually counting anything.

    My script developers often use the main program in a .t file, but only for development/debugging. When the testcase is really done they link it into the test plan. The timing helps me gather script development stats very accurately.

    All official executions go through the .pln so we can manage the results and provide mgmt with their stats.

    I can't say enough good and beneficial things about .pln files.

    PS: Maybe the root of the issues here is training. If that's the case then maybe you should hire some time with a true Silk Organizer guru such as John Green. He is a big advocate of Silk Organizer and by far the most knowledgeable person I've ever encountered in regard to Silk Organizer. His sessions at a few QUESTs a few years back (when he worked for Segue) were absolutely the most valuable ones I ever attended.

  5. #5
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    Re: A poll: How many of you use the \".pln\" for automated tests?

    I've been using them without any problems. By data driven, you just mean that you are passing the testcase some parameters? If so, it hasn't been a problem. I can't imagine how I would be able to pick and choose which tests to run if I were limited to .t files.

  6. #6
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    Re: A poll: How many of you use the \".pln\" for automated tests?

    I have used the Organizer (.pln) all along and have not run into any major problem using it. You may just have to read up on it a little bit more and give it another try!

    As long as you're not one of those who would rather see the "Classic Editor" in the SilkTest documentation instead of the "4Test Editor" and who would not work with anyone unless they use the Classic Editor, then you too should have no problem using the Organizer. Believe it or not, Segue hired one of them.

    [This message has been edited by Gilbert (edited 08-09-2000).]

  7. #7
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    Re: A poll: How many of you use the \".pln\" for automated tests?

    I again would side with the above. I have used it for 2 years and found metrics produced from it talk louder than me!!!

    Mgmt love to see it and it is extemely useful when hopping between this bit and that bit of the AUT when creating testcases. Testcase creation is never a top to bottom thing but with the ability to drop down then up the neccessary section you are sure to know where everything is.

    I also found it useful for delegation manual testplans as it all can realte to one carefully written .t with no actual code in it.

  8. #8
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    Re: A poll: How many of you use the \".pln\" for automated tests?

    ...on the data driven cases and parameters, yes one can pass parameters via the PLN file, but one cannot keep lists and have them passed using a loop statement, e.g.

    <code>
    for (i=0; i&lt;ListSize(MyDataList); ++i)
    MyTestCase(MyDataList[i])
    </code>

    You can, however, call such a .T file in its entirety from the PLN file, though we just use suite files.

    [This message has been edited by Matt Sullivan (edited 08-20-2000).]
    <BLOCKQUOTE]<font size=1 face=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]quote:</font]<HR]It doesn't matter if I go to heaven or to hell, I have friends in both places.<HR]</BLOCKQUOTE]

  9. #9
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    Re: A poll: How many of you use the \".pln\" for automated tests?

    I have used the plan for many years now. I use the plan to help my group organize our plans & to better understand the test steps & results that we get from the resulting .res file. This tool have been effective when I report monthly testing metrics.
    Brian Schweickert, CSTE & CSQA

  10. #10
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    Re: A poll: How many of you use the \".pln\" for automated tests?

    I use .pln file without any problems while executing my scripts

    And Thanx Sullivan for that Script, Please mail me to baseer@britannica.com such interesting scripts. I will be very thankfull to you

 

 
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