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Descriptive programming

Descriptive programming

When and Why to use Descriptive programming?

Below are some of the situations when Descriptive Programming can be considered useful:

1. The objects in the application are dynamic in nature and need special handling to identify the object. The best example would be of clicking a link which changes according to the user of the application, Ex. “Logout <>”.

2. When object repository is getting huge due to the no. of objects being added. If the size of Object repository increases too much then it decreases the performance of QTP while recognizing a object.

3. When you don’t want to use object repository at all. Well the first question would be why not Object repository? Consider the following scenario which would help understand why not Object repository Scenario 1: Suppose we have a web application that has not been developed yet. Now QTP for recording the script and adding the objects to repository needs the application to be up, that would mean waiting for the application to be deployed before we can start of with maki! ng QTP scripts. But if we know the descriptions of the objects that will be created then we can still start off with the script writing for testing Scenario 2: Suppose an application has 3 navigation buttons on each and every page. Let the buttons be “Cancel”, “Back” and “Next”. Now recording action on these buttons would add 3 objects per page in the repository. For a 10 page flow this would mean 30 objects which could have been represented just by using 3 objects. So instead of adding these 30 objects to the repository we can just write 3 descriptions for the object and use it on any page.

 4. Modification to a test case is needed but the Object repository for the same is Read only or in shared mode i.e. changes may affect other scripts as well. 5. When you want to take action on similar type of object i.e. suppo! se we have 20 textboxes on the page and there names are in the form txt_1, txt_2, txt_3 and so on. Now adding all 20 the Object repository would not be a good programming approach. How to use Descriptive programming? There are two ways in which descriptive programming can be used

1. By creating properties collection object for the description.

2. By giving the description in form of the string arguments.

1. By creating properties collection object for the description. To use this method you need first to create an empty description Dim obj_Desc ‘Not necessary to declare

 Set obj_Desc = Description.Create

Now we have a blank description in “obj_Desc”.

Each description has 3 properties “Name”, “Value” and “Regular Expression”.

obj_Desc(“html tag”).value= “INPUT”

When you use a property name for the first time the property is added to the collection and when you use it again the property is modified. By default each property that is defined is a regular expression. Suppose if we have the following

description obj_Desc(“html tag”).value= “INPUT” obj_Desc(“name”).value= “txt.*”

This would mean an object with html tag as INPUT and name starting with txt. Now actually that “.*” was considered as regular expression. So, if you! want the property “name” not to be recognized as a regular expression then you need to set the “regularexpression” property as FALSE

obj_Desc(“html tag”).value= “INPUT”

obj_Desc(“name”).value= “txt.*” o

bj_Desc(“name”).regularexpression= “txt.*”

This is how of we create a description. Now below is the way we can use it

Browser(“Browser”).Page(“Page”).WebEdit(obj_Desc).set “Test”

When we say .WebEdit(obj_Desc) we define one more property for our description that was not earlier defined that is it’s a text box (because QTPs WebEdit boxes map to text boxes in a web page). If we know that we have more than 1 element with same description on the page then we must define “index” property for the that description Consider the HTML code given below


Now the html code has two objects with same description. So distinguish between these 2 objects we will use the “index” property.

Here is the description for both the object

For 1st textbox:

obj_Desc(“! html tag”).value= “INPUT”

obj_Desc(“name”).value= “txt_Name” obj_Desc(“index”).value= “0”

For 2nd textbox:

 obj_Desc(“html tag”).value= “INPUT”

 obj_Desc(“name”).value= “txt_Name”

obj_Desc(“index”).value= “1”

! Consider the HTML Code given below:

We can use the same description for both the objects and still distinguish between both of them

obj_Desc(“html tag”).value= “INPUT”

obj_Desc(“name”).value= “txt_Name”

When I want to refer to the textbox then I! will use the inside a WebEdit object and to refer to the radio button I will use the description object with the WebRadioGroup object.

Browser(“Browser”).Page(“Page”).WebEdit(obj_Desc).set “Test” ‘

Refers to the text box Browser(“Browser”).Page(“Page”).WebRadioGroup(obj_Desc).set “Test” ‘

Refers to the radio button But if we use WebElement object for the description then we must define the “index” property because for a webelement the current description would return two objects. Hierarchy of test description: When using programmatic descriptions from a specific point within a test object hierarchy, you must continue to use programmatic descriptions from that point onward within the same statement. If you specify a test object by its object repository name after other objects in the hierarchy have been described using programmatic descriptions, QuickTest cannot identify the object.

For example, you can use Browser(Desc1).Page(Desc1).Link(desc3),

since it uses programmatic descriptions throughout the entire test object hierarchy. You can also use


since it uses programmatic descriptions from a certain point in the description (starting from the Page object description). However, you cannot use


since it uses programmatic descriptions for the Browser and Page objects but then attempts to use an object repository name for the Link test object (QuickTest tries to locate the Link object based on its name, but cannot locate it in the repository because the parent objects were specified using programmatic descriptions).

Getting Child Object: We can use description object to get all the objects on the page that matches that specific description. Suppose we have to check all the checkboxes present on a web page. So we will first create an object description for a checkboxe and then get all the checkboxes from the page

Dim obj_ChkDesc

Set obj_ChkDesc=Description.Create

obj_ChkDesc(“html tag”).value = “INPUT”

obj_ChkDesc(“type”).value = “checkbox”

Dim allCheckboxes, singleCheckBox

Set allCheckboxes = Browse(“Browser”).Page(“Page”).ChildObjects(obj_ChkDesc)

For each singleCheckBox in allCheckboxes singleCheckBox.Set “ON” Next

 The above code will check all the check boxes present on the page.!

To get all the child objects we need to specify an object description i.e. we can’t use the string arguments that will be discussed later in the 2nd way of using the programming description. Possible Operation on Description Object Consider the below code for all the solutions

Dim obj_ChkDesc

Set obj_ChkDesc=Description.Create

obj_ChkDesc(“html tag”).value = “INPUT”

obj_ChkDesc(“type”).value = “checkbox”

Q: How to get the no. of description defined in a collection

A: obj_ChkDesc.Count ‘Will return 2 in our case

Q: How to remove a description from the collection

A: obj_ChkDesc.remove “html tag” ‘would delete the html tag property from the collection

Q: How do I check if property exists or not in the collection? !

 A: The answer is that it’s not possible. Because whenever we try to access a property which is not defined its automatically added to the collection. The only way to determine is to check its value that is use a if statement “

if obj_ChkDesc(“html tag”).value = empty then”.

 Q: How to browse through all the properties of a properties collection?

 A: Two ways 1st:

For each desc in obj_ChkDesc


 Value=desc.Value R

E = desc.regularexpression



For i=0 to obj_ChkDesc.count – 1

 Name= obj_ChkDesc(i).Name

Value= obj_ChkDesc(i).Value

RE = obj_ChkDesc(i).regularexpression


2. By giving the description in form of the string arguments. You can describe an object directly in a statement by specifying property:=value pairs describing the object instead of specifying an object’s name.

The general syntax is:

TestObject(“PropertyName1:=PropertyValue1”, “…” , “PropertyNameX:=PropertyValueX”)

TestObject—the test object class could be WebEdit, WebRadioGroup etc….

PropertyName:=PropertyValue—the test object property and its value.

Each property:=value pair should be separated by commas and quotation marks. Note that you can enter a variable name as the property value if you want to find an object based on property values you retrieve during a run session. Consider the HTML Code given below:

 Now to refer to the textbox the statement would be as given below

Browser(“Browser”).Page(“Page”).WebEdit(“Name:=txt_Name”,”html tag:=INPUT”).set “Test”

And to refer to the radio button the statement would be as given below

Browser(“Browser”).Page(“Page”).WebRadioGroup(“Name:=txt_Name”,”html tag:=INPUT”).set “Test”

If we refer to them as a web element then we will have to distinguish between the 2 using the index property Browser(“Browser”).Page(“Page”).WebElement(“Name:=txt_Name”,”html tag:=INPUT”,”Index:=0”).set “Test” ‘

Refers to the textbox

 Browser(“Browser”).Page(“Page”).WebElement(“Name:=txt_Name”,”html tag:=INPUT”,”Index:=1”).set “Test” ‘

 Refers to the radio button

 Reference: . “Mercury QuickTest Professional, User’s Guide, Version 8.0.1”

   Author: Tarun lalwani ‘s document about D.P 


February 14, 2008 - Posted by | Descriptive programming, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,


  1. QTP Scripts


    Comment by Snig | May 21, 2008 | Reply

  2. This is by far the best description of descriptive programming I came across.

    Comment by Mouli | September 2, 2010 | Reply

  3. There is something I’m missing here.

    Since when does ‘Descriptive Programming’ mean the same thing as ‘Dynamic Object Recognition’?

    Comment by paul | September 15, 2011 | Reply

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