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With version 8 of the automated testing tool TestComplete, the vendor has introduced a new feature called "Keyword Tests" that provides a visual interface for creating automated UI tests without needing to be knowledgeable about writing code (or at the minimum have a minimum knowledgeability at writing code).

In my personal experience with this tool prior to this version, I've been able to perform all sorts of neat tricks and magic acts to be able to automate the testing of applications using what some call "hand coded" tests. I'm starting to work with the new Keyword Testing piece and I'm finding that there are certain things that I just cannot do without having to use "hand coded" scripts.

Does anyone else have experience with this tool and, if so, do you have any suggested restrictions of what can be done easily with keyword tests and what is best done with "hand coded" scripts?

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I'm rather surprised. Is TestComplete not that standard of a tool? Or is the feature so new that no one else has any answers to share? – TristaanOgre May 16 '11 at 17:15
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In my - admittedly limited so far - experience, I've found that TestComplete's keyword tests are useful for rapid automation of self-contained, small, highly modular test items. I have yet to find anything that keyword tests can do that coded tests can't, and I keep finding new things that coded tests do easily that keyword tests either can't do, or can't do without a lot of extra time and effort on the part of the tester.

One thing I find particularly limiting is the inability cleanly integrate user-created objects (which is one of the more powerful TestComplete features in my view) with keyword test structures. Using code, it's easy.

So far the most consistently useful feature of keyword testing that I've found is generating a quick set of handles to components in a previously untested form. The keyword test recorder and parser does seem to run faster than the 'code-generating' recorder.

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Without knowing this tool, I think you describe exactly what keyword testing is... a simplified way of building tests, sacrificing the fine details.

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