Automation Testing

QTP Overcome IDE Envy with Test Design Studio

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Test Design Studio

Admit it –you have IDE Envy.

We all know that writing test automation scripts is software development – which means that automation engineers must follow the same, solid programming practices used in any other development project. Ignore this truism at your own peril. However – if you spend most of your time using QTP you are most likely suffering from Eclipse/Visual Studio development IDE envy.

If only QTP had a rich developer centric IDE! Well, envy no more, my automation friends! Test Design Studio (TDS) by Patterson is jam-packed with many of the same features found in Microsoft Visual Studio and Eclipse.

Cool Feature Break Down

Advanced Code Editor Control

TDS gives QTP users advanced controls that provide the same editing experience one would find in editors like Eclipse or Visual Studio. Some of my favorite features available are:

  • Immediate syntax checking feedback
  • Automatic bracket highlighting
  • Changes are tracked so you can easily see what lines of code have been modified

Code Metrics

This feature is great if you’re in the middle of refactoring existing code (like I am at present). My old QTP function library was bloated, and I wanted to redo some functionality.

The Code Metrics available are:

  • Maintainability Index – This metric is a value from 0 to 100 that indicates the overall maintainability of the code analyzed.
    • High Maintainability (Green)
    • Moderate Maintainability (Yellow)
    • Low Maintainability (Red)
  • Cyclomatic Complexity – This metric counts the number of paths through code.
  • Lines of Code – This metric counts the real lines of code and excludes blank lines and comments.

In seconds I was able to copy my function library into Test Design Studio and see which functions need more work. Although most metrics are highly subjective, these metrics help provide some objective analysis. I can now go back to my manager and give a fairly good overview on what I changed and what the measurable results from those changes were.

UFT/QTP IntelliSense

TDS adds intellisense, which greatly enhances the speed of writing and reducing spelling errors in VbScript/QTP code.

Documentation Generator

TDS gives you the ability to add XML comments that can then be used to automatically generate documentation. It’s a super time-saver for when you have a large function library and are trying to maintain documentation/wiki.

Web Extensibility Toolkits

Makes creating XML setup files needed for QTP extensibility easier to create.

And much more

These are just a few of the useful features of Test Design Studio. For a full list of functionality, do what I did and download an evaluation copy for yourself!

Do you already use Test Design Studio?

I’m still evaluating TDS, but would love to hear from other automation engineers who are currently using it. Do you love/hate it? Would you recommend it? Leave a comment and let us know!

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  1. I always wonder if QTP have a full fledged,friendly development environment. I think the time is up to envy my fellow friend developers working on a tool like VS.

    I will give this a shot.
    “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
    ~ William Shakespeare


  2. Hi Joe,

    As President of Patterson Consulting and creator of Test Design Studio, I was very pleased when someone pointed me to your review. I was even more pleased to find your glowing remarks. Thank you!

    I also want to open the door for you or anyone else to contact me at any time if you would like to discuss features/functionality. We enjoy working closely with the users of our software, and hope to hear from many of you.


    1. Boyd Patterson » Thank you, Boyd, for a great product. I really think that Test Design Studio will make me more productive when writing QTP scripts. Now if I could only convince my company to buy me a license :) I’m sure I will be contacting you in the future. Cheers~Joe

  3. Hi Joe,

    The XML comments you mentioned for the documentation are also used for the Intellisense. It’s super handy especially if there’s a few of you using the classes and functions you created. The Intellisense also works when you create classes, which QTP doesn’t touch. All around I think it’s a good product that kicked my automation up a notch.

  4. I tried the evaluation version. It has all features as VS\Eclipse and really makes you get the feel of automation.
    But, only issue I feel is that while running the script it launches in QTP.For debugging we need to depend on QTP again.So, it becomes double licensing both TDS and QTP which many companies won’t show much interest in…
    Need to figure out a way :)

  5. I used Test Design Studio at my previous job for coding and it made my life way better. It has tons of nice features that silly HP doesn’t provide. Static code analysis, xml comments and code snippets are my favorite!

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