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Feature Friday - How Global Variables Can Bring Relief to Your Test Automation Issues

Blog
July 29, 2022

The dog days of summer, a time when it is so hot that even dogs lie around on the ground or in their dog houses, panting their breaths away. As heat waves stretch across the Northern Hemisphere, everyone is seeking shelter and relief from the sun. Relief comes in many fashions. Although we here are Qyrus do not offer relief from the heat, we do offer relief from those pesky test maintenance issues, which will hopefully tone down the heat and pressure of your releases! Today on Feature Friday, we will talk to Tim and Parth about what a global variable is on Qyrus and how it can help bring relief to your test automation issues.

Tell us more about global variables and its use cases.

Tim:
Global Variables are things that store values that are used constantly or consistently across many test scripts. It helps testers maintain these values much easier. And, these values can be synthetically generated to ensure you are not creating a bias in your testing. Lastly, Qyrus allows the user to create multiple profiles of these global variables. This allows for users to use the same variables but store different values for those variables.

Parth:
Imagine this… what if you are using a single value across dozens of test scripts and that value changes? Think of a URL for example. Well, if you hard-coded the URL into every test script, you’d have a lot of work on your hands. However, utilizing global variables, you can put that URL to a global variable and just maintain it in one spot.

Tim:
Let’s be realistic, though, there’s testers out there who deal with hundreds of test cases, let alone dozens. And with the ability to synthetically generate data to a global variable, users can use global variables to test across large amounts of scenarios. You can synthetically generate names, numbers, emails, UUIDs, and much more.

Parth:
On top of that, the ability to create multiple profiles lets users test across multiple environments, such as a QA, staging, or dev environments. And honestly, the list of use cases can go on and on.

Wow, that’s a lot! Global variables seem to have a wide variety of use cases along with many smaller complimentary features that can help bolster testing. With all of those capabilities, we want to know more about how they might impact testing overall.

What is the overall impact on the testing process that is seen from global variable usage?

Parth:
Well, Global Variables would impact many things such as test building, execution, reporting, and maintenance. In terms of building, it makes it simpler in that you don’t have to constantly hardcode values into the script. For execution and reporting both, global variables allow you to test across different environments using the same script. And of course, maintenance is the primary impact.

Tim:
And in all those areas, the usage of global variables makes everything more efficient. You get wider test coverage overall, being allowed to synthetically generate data and test across multiple environments. And there’s a large amount of effort reduction.

Global variables are versatile in their usage. As you’ve heard, it can do many things, and have an impact in many areas of testing. Now that we know this, let’s learn more about how different personas might use this feature.

How might using global variables help testers, developers, and business technologists? What value can this feature bring? 

Tim:
Well, with regards to testers, they could use this to generate data during runtime for usage in test scripts. They also can test against multiple environments such as a dev or a staging environment. And overall it would provide value in terms of maintenance.

Parth:
And a developer would get similar value out of global variables as a tester. For business technologists, it could help with their general understanding of test scripts, overall coverage, and maintenance of test scripts.

Does the same or similar functionality exist without Qyrus, and how do competitors address similar problems?

Tim:
Well, without Qyrus, a tester would have to have a high degree of coding skills and knowledge in order to not only write an automation framework but also implement these global variables. And even then, they would have to be able to synthetically generate data. That’s not a small task by any means.

Parth:
And other competitors of ours have similar functionality, but not the all-around functionality that we provide. Again, we can generate data for usage in runtime, and we have multiple environment profiles that can be created.

So, it’s not something that’s completely new, but it’s something that we here at Qyrus have taken and evolved into something better. We’ve added numerous capabilities and complimentary features that make global variables something that empowers testing every day.

How do you see this feature impacting day-to-day operations across organizations?

Parth:
Yes, as mentioned before, it really boils down to the maintenance aspect. It allows users to have a single point of maintenance for their values used across multiple scripts. And this obviously would have an impact on their day-to-day.

Tim:
And the fact that we can synthetically generate data means that testers no longer have to use some 3rd party tool to do so or they don’t have to hardcode random values into their tests every run. And the fact that you can use multiple profiles promotes reusability of test scripts.

Well, hopefully this Feature Friday has helped to cool your concerns on synthetic test data generation, managing data across environments, and more! Hopefully this Feature Friday has convinced you to try out our Free Trial! With it being so hot out, we won’t keep you any longer. Enjoy the weekend and stay fresh during these dog days of summer!

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Authors

Tim Miller
Tim Miller
Senior Consultant, Qyrus
Parth Patel
Parth Patel
Senior Consultant, Qyrus

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