Is it possible to access more than 255 columns of Datasource (Excel) using Coded UI, currently I am using VSTS 2013 and found that Coded UI is not able to access more than 255 columns from the DataSource. Is there a way to overcome this limitation? I don't want to split my test case in two parts, also I have to use Excel as DataSource.

  • Why not just use a datatable as source and fill it with data from your excel? Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 15:49
  • If you have a new question, please ask it by clicking the Ask Question button. Include a link to this question if it helps provide context. - From Review Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 16:10
  • Can't use that or you can not allowed to use Database, as I have already created many cases using Excel and in addition to it, I have customized Excel (like binding it with same lookup value as in application, to have dropdowns for selection), Color Coding, Rules for dependent column values etc. Is there a way (lets say some plugin or extension or new version of Coded UI) which can eliminate this column size issue?
    – Dhiman
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 16:37
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    – Kate Paulk
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


One possibility is to include delimited fields within the Excel cells. I normally use CSV ("comma" separated values) for the data source file but the conversion to and from an Excel spreadsheet is easy. A simple example with pipe ( |) delimited field within the CSV would be:


Here five CSV (Excell) cells are separated by commas. Two of them have pip delimited sub-fields. Giving nine fields in total.

To use the above fields you might do something like:

string[] SFC = TestContext.DataRow["SFC1|SFC2|SFC3"].ToString().Split('|');
string[] SFD = TestContext.DataRow["SFD-3"].ToString().Split('|');

string ValueOfFieldA = TestContext.DataRow["SFD-3"].ToString();
string ValueOfSFC2 = SFC[1];
string ValueOfSFD3 = SFD[3];

Using a field name like SFC1|SFC2|SFC3 may be useful for documentation, but naming all the subfields may be excessive. Having a shorter field name such as SFD-3 gives the hint that three fields are expected.

Note that the array indexing in SFC[1] and SFD[3] should probably be preceded by a check that the elements actually exist.

  • looks a good option to me, this way I can reduce the total number of columns so that they fall under 255.
    – Dhiman
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 14:52

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