Author: admin
Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

There seems to be a bit of controversy regarding QTP’s Smart Identification feature. A cursory Google search tells me that some people consider it utterly useless, while others see it as a useful, indispensable part of their arsenal when creating tests. So I suppose the question is, is it useful, or a waste of time?

First, Smart Identification (SI) is an algorithm within QuickTest that kicks in when, within the code and repository, two elements look the same to QTP. SI then takes a peek at the the object in question, in an attempt to sniff out a property to distinguish an element from its look-alike cousin. If it finds such a property, it will let QTP know what it should be doing with that element. In a nutshell, it’s doing what the tester should have done in the first place: Looking for a good, unique property of an element, so that QTP is able to take a look at the script and immediately know which object on the page it’s supposed to be carrying out the task at hand on.

So getting back to the question at hand, the answer is ‘Yes’, because it can be useful, particularly to someone not particularly familiar with the ins and outs of QTP, ie. a novice, who may not know to how or when to employ the use of descriptive properties. It can also help out as a helpful reminder in case of an oversight. 

And the answer is ‘No’, because the experienced tester should have a feel for when and where to properly describe all the elements used in their test. It’s also a bad idea in case a tester does not know how to read the results correctly, and assumes because their script is ‘working’, they did everything correctly. 

In the end, the usefulness of Smart Identification probably depends on the experience level of the tester more than anything, rather than being a black and white issue.

J9 Test Asset Developer
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