Pros & Cons of Keyword Driven Testing

Testing is a vital element of software development as it enables you to measure software quality. Today, testing can be performed manually or with the help of tools available in the market. Test automation has come a long way in the past few years. There are a variety of test automation methodologies that can be used to test the software applications, but most of the organizations have started their automation efforts with the help of data-driven approach and improved their efforts into so called “Keyword-driven test automation”.

Keyword-driven testing or table-driven testing is suitable for both automated and manual testing. It is nothing but a sequence of operations, in a keyword format, that simulate user actions over the tested application. This approach is highly recommended when you are carrying out test automation projects from scratch. Of course, keyword-driven testing is quite easy to create, but like any other thing, it has some drawbacks too! Do you know what are the pros and cons of keyword-driven testing? Let’s explore more about it.

Keyword-driven Testing – Pros

·         Keyword-driven testing helps you reduce the overall sensitivity associated with the maintenance caused by the SUT.

·   Improves the chances to use the same code again. Moreover, you will need only one script to manage the entire implementation process created.

·         With the help of detailed description of the way of executing the keywords, it is very to perform the test for anyone. This the reason keyword-driven testing is used for both manual testing and automated testing.

·         It is very easy to take glimpse of all the operations as all of them are available in the form of a spreadsheet in Excel or in any other format of your choice. Moreover, all the user interface objects will be stored in the external files, which reduces the risk of loss of data.

·         No matter what you want, whether you want to add, edit or delete the existing test cases and test suits, you can easily get over it with the help of keyword-driven testing. Moreover, you don’t need to be technically sound in order to perform any of these activities, which showcase the amount of flexibility offered by it.

·         Ease of adding new operations to the system. You can also manipulate the existing operations on the go.

·         In case you are moving towards any other testing tool, it will need a small amount of code to be conversed while allowing all the test cases to remain in the same form.

Keyword-driven Testing – Cons

·     The tester will require to have proven expertise in the scripting language of the test tool in order to create customized functions and utilities needed for a specific application.

·         It requires more time to market as compared to the conventional testing methodologies.

·         You may need to learn some special formats and keywords for creating the customized utilities needed for the application. As learning such things will require some time, it will heavily affect on the test plan development. However, you may face such issues at the beginning only.

Final verdict…


With the help of keyword-driven testing, you can easily cut-off the need of having specialists that can help you cover the system with autotest on the go. Moreover, if you have knowledge of MS-Excel, it is enough for you. Have you tried using keyword-driven testing? How was your experience? Share your views or opinion in the comments section…!

About the Author: Prashant Chambakara is a test automation and software testing technology enthusiast and works with TestingWhiz. He loves to participate and contribute to the tech/testing communities through blogs, articles, and conference speaking engagements.

November 6, 2014

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