I'm building an application at the moment and something I want to do is document input validation rules and system/error messaging in a readable format so that it can be used for SIT/UAT etc.

Currently I'm just using an excel table along the lines of the following which doesn't seem ideal:

Form  |  Section  |  Field Name  |  Rule  |  Valid Data  |  Message

Checkout | Personal Details | First Name | Required | - | Please enter your first name
Checkout | Personal Details | First Name | Format | A-Z,a-z,-,' | Please limit your name to valid characters (A-Z,a-z,-,')

Are there any standards or good examples for documenting validation rules and system/error messaging?

  • I've something similar in the past (although I don't have an example around). Consider adding things like max length, target db table+column, etc May 14, 2014 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


Using Excel or a database does have the benefit of being available for use in automated test cases down the road, from which you can pull expected values. Added to source control or posted to a sharepoint site for easy transfer within the proper audience, this is a flexible and useful way to document these expected messages.

However, if you're looking for alternatives, you could always set the message, rule, and other pertinent information in the test case itself as a parameter row.

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