Visual tests and scripts usually contain constant or literal data values, which automatically enter data into an application's open fields or multiple-choice controls. When testing such applications, the visual tests and scripts use the same data field names and data values for each transaction.

To repeatedly play back visual tests and scripts using data other than the literal data, you must modify the visual tests or scripts to use different data values.

ActiveData testing enables you to leverage existing data as input for powerful, comprehensive application testing solutions. With ActiveData, you can perform multiple transactions against test applications using a different set of data for each transaction without writing complicated code or compromising existing data.

You can write new data to existing data files without having to edit those data files manually.

Using ActiveData, testers can input valid or non-valid data into the test application and verify the results. This means fewer visual tests or scripts are needed to carry out a series of test conditions and less maintenance overhead.

Note: If an error occurs while opening an ActiveData file, use error handling to continue the test execution.

Visual Tests

With visual tests, you can use ActiveData where you use local variables. Substitute input with data from an ActiveData file, or create repetition logic to cycle through a series of input steps and substitute recorded data with data from an ActiveData file. You can also write any data created in a visual test, such as the contents of an expression, to an ActiveData file and use it for testing.

Select ActiveData files to use with a visual test in the ActiveData property of the visual test's <<Start>> step, or select a step and choose Insert > ActiveData.


With scripts, you can insert ActiveData where you use local variables. However, unlike with visual tests, no wizard is available. You must manually insert the data.

Keyword-driven tests

With keyword-driven tests, you cannot simply use active data for the entire test. You can however use active data within the visual tests or .NET scripts that implement the individual keywords. To use active data within such a keyword, refer to the topics that describe using active data with the implementing type of the keyword.