CAPTURE-REPLAY

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Pattern summary

Capture a manual test with an appropriate tool and replay it to run the test again

Category

Design

Context

This pattern can be useful to develop one-off disposable scripts. It should not be applied for long lasting, maintainable automation, except as a stepping stone to provide very short "building block" scripts to be edited into something more useful.

Description

You can capture your manual test with an appropriate tool and replay it when you want to rerun it. Capturing a manual test can also be useful to be an "audit record" of the testing that someone has done manually, for example if a business user comes in to do some testing. A small captured script can also be useful to support a bug report.

Implementation

With a so called capture-replay tool you can record a test in the script language of the tool while you perform it manually. By running the script you can let the tool perform the test automatically

Potential problems

This pattern can be very useful to automate actions that are repeated very often and almost never change, for instance set-ups.
If you capture a test not only as a script but also as video clip you can get the information you need to automate it even if testers have no time to support you.
Beware: If you want your automation scripts to be easily maintainable, you should avoid creating them solely using capture-replay: every small change in the SUT can force you to record the test again and you will get BRITTLE SCRIPTS or TOOL-DRIVEN AUTOMATION

Experiences

If you have used this pattern and would like to contribute your experience to the wiki, please go to Feedback to submit your experience or comment.

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