IntroductionDuring functional testing projects, after we create tests for a certain application, we need to review them with the rest of the team (developers, analysts, project managers etc). We may use a test management tool to document the test cases and then export them into an easily distributable format like MS Excel or PDF. Sometimes, we may also create the tests in Excel directly specifying the test name, description, parameters and other data in the spreadsheets. And then finally, we may automate a part (or all) of the tests.
So after the tests are automated and when executing the tests, we need to specify which tests to run and the test data (parameters). In Quality Center, it involves creating a test set (kind of like a test suite) and then adding tests to it. If they are automated in QTP which integrates with QC, they can be executed by running the test set. But we have started using Selenium WebDriver for its cross browser capabilities and that means we need to specify the tests in a format that can drive the Selenium tests. We use TestNG as the framework for test execution, assertions and reporting.
Extending TestNGTestNG is a great framework for test execution and its input can be in form of an XML file that specifies which tests to run, where to find the test classes/methods, test parameters and a whole lot of other features that gives you a fine grained control over each test execution. However for our UI functional tests, we wanted to be able to specify the tests and test executions in an easily distributable format (like MS Excel) as mentioned above. The good thing is that TestNG provides the capability to extend it so that its input can be created and executed programmatically. So this way, the test specification in Excel files can be parsed and driven through TestNG. And this is exactly what excel-testng does. It externalizes all Excel parsing and TestNG XmlSuite creation so that the focus can be in creating the test classes and methods. Once that is done and Excel specifications created, all that needs to be done is to provide a main method that does this:
With ExcelTestNGRunner class, you just specify the input location of the Excel file(s) that constitute the test specifications and then call the run() method, which parses the excel file using default parser (an instance of ExcelSuiteParser) into XmlSuites, creates a TestNG object if not already created and then runs them. After that TestNG takes care of test execution and reporting.
Excel Test SpecificationExcelTestNGRunner parses each worksheet in the Excel file(s) into a separate suite using the included parser (ExcelSuiteParser). Each suite can have suite level parameters specified in the worksheet and the test specifications that specify which tests will be run, their name, description, parameters and the test classes. Here's what a test suite in Excel looks like (a demo spreadsheet can also be downloaded from here and can be used as a starting point):
|Specifying TestNG tests in Excel File|
To retrieve the tests that will be executed, it looks for the 1st row containing "Id" in the 1st column. This will be the header row, below which each row is a separate test. The header row and tests must have columns specifying Id, Test Name, Test Parameters and Test Configuration (which specifies the classes containing the Test methods). If "Id" is left blank, the test will not be added to the suite. Finally, it parses each row under the header row into a TestNG XmlTest and adds it to the suite. The test specifications are provided as:
- Test Name: generated by concatenating Id & Test Name
- Test Parameters: retrieved from "Test Parameters" column and need to be provided in valid properties (<key>=<value> etc.) format. You can also specify functions as parameter values and then add the logic to parse and evaluate the functions in your test classes (maybe a Base Test class)
- Test Classes: specified under "Test Configuration" column as classes property. Currently, you can only specify a single test class of which, all @Test annotated methods will be executed as a part of this test execution. I'm going to add the ability to select the test methods in later releases.
Customizing InputIf your test cases are specified in Excel but in different format, there are 2 levels of customizations you can do with ExcelTestNGRunner on how to parse the input spreadsheet(s):
- Custom Parser Map (currently not implemented): You can use the in-built parser but specify your own parser map, which tells the parser where it can find the suite and test data
- Custom Parser: You can create your own parser by implementing IExcelFileParser interface. You need to parse the spreadsheet file and return a list of TestNG XmlSuites.
Putting it together
You can see the project at https://github.com/randomsync/excel-testng-demo for a complete working demo of excel-testng to parse the input test specifications in Excel. It uses Selenium WebDriver to automate the testing of basic Google search functionality.
Update (3/12/2012): I'm now using google code to host this project because of the provision to host the downloadable jars, javadocs and wiki easily. I'll keep it synced with github but you can find the project documentation and downloads there.