Improve Test Automation with Keyword-Driven Testing

Keyword-driven testing is a concise, flexible way for developers to perform automated testing while reducing maintenance costs and achieving more testing with less effort.

Java Automation Testing

What Is Keyword-Driven Testing?

Keyword-driven testing is a testing framework of functional automation that divides test cases into four different parts. This serves to separate coding from test cases and test steps to enhance automation. Keyword-driven testing divides the test cases as follows:

  1. Test steps
  2. Objects of test steps 
  3. Actions on test steps 
  4. Data for test objects

A keyword-driven test includes high- and low-level keywords and features keyword arguments, which are then used to describe the action of a test case. It can also be referred to as table-driven testing or action-word-based testing.

Introduction to keyword-driven testing

There are three main components of keyword-driven testing:

  • Keywords: The vocabulary or phrases used to identify tests
  • Compiler: Keyword aggregator and syntax checker, much like an Excel spreadsheet
  • Automation core framework: This helps in design organization and the implementation of testing activities, easing the execution and reporting of tests

To perform keyword-driven testing, the first step is to identify a set of keywords and then associate a corresponding action to these keywords. In this style of testing, all actions, like the opening or closing of a browser, a mouse click, keystrokes, and others, are described by a keyword, such as “openbrowser”, “click”, etc.

More Benefits of Keyword-Driven Testing

Keyword-driven testing can have many benefits for software development teams, including:

  • Conversion capability: Keyword-driven testing converts multi-device keyword tests into scripted tests.
  • Reusability: Because tests are associated with a corresponding keyword, it makes the tests repeatable with minimal effort.
  • Simplicity: It’s easy to understand the results of a keyword-driven test because it is looking for a specific action.
  • Cost efficiency: Implementing keyword-driven testing early in the development process allows teams to save time and money and avoid having to fix problems down the line.

Data-Driven Testing vs. Keyword-Driven Testing

Data-driven testing focuses on iterations of a set of data and its uses as user input. It consists of both the procedure (the set of steps that must be performed) and the data. Alternatively, keyword-driven testing forgoes locators in favor of keywords to target the element within the software getting tested.

Keyword-Driven Framework: How Does It Work?

Using action words to represent users’ behaviors, keyword-driven testing separates the actual steps to perform each action. Relevant keywords and all necessary data are listed in an action table to create a test case. 

Keyword-driven testing can be manual or automated. Additionally, keyword-driven testing allows everyone on the team to participate in the creation of test cases regardless of development experience. 

To perform keyword-driven testing, you must:

    1. Identify low- and high-level keywords: Break the application into functions that can be categorized hierarchically as either low-level or high-level.
    2. Implement the keywords: Connect the keywords with their appropriate data values, typically in a table.
    3. Create test cases: List relevant keywords in an action table along with the necessary data.
    4. Create a driver script: Write reusable scripts that will handle different sections of the test flow.
    5. Execute automation test scripts: Execute the driver script with any necessary parameters and receive results.

Integrations & Tools for Keyword Test Automation in Ranorex

Ranorex Studio supports various integrations that allow you to perform an array of tasks—including test management, defect tracking, continuous integration, source control, and others—to make it easier for you to build a complete keyword-driven testing toolchain.

Efficient, modular tests

Shareable Repository of UI Objects

With a functional repository of user interface objects, you can automate tests more easily without the need for high-level development knowledge.

End-to-end testing


Selenium WebDriver is integrated into the Ranorex Studio automation framework to make it easier for everyone on the team to create tests to be executed on Selenium endpoints, without the need for programming knowledge.

Broad technology support

Test Management Tools

Ranorex Studio makes it easy for you to save and run testing scenarios without the need for any additional work. Our testing tools and integrations make it easy to reduce maintenance and increase team participation.

End-to-end testing

Defect Tracking

Defect tracking allows you to hone in on what issues there are with your program and address them all without the need to search for the defect yourself. Ranorex Studio not only discovers failures in the test run but also presents them to you in the test report for easy navigation.

Broad technology support

Source Control

Ranorex Studio provides you with source control to enable your development teams to efficiently manage changes to your code and subsequent versions.

Instant productivity

Continuous Integration

With continuous integration, you can find and address bugs more quickly, improve the quality of your software, and reduce the validation time as well as new software update release times.

Simplify Keyword-Driven Tests with Ranorex

Ranorex is the most comprehensive framework for keyword-driven testing. Given the number of tools available at your disposal, Ranorex’s comprehensive framework gives you everything you need to make your automated testing a success.

Choose Ranorex for flexible keyword-driven testing

Codeless Test Automation

By providing you with a record-and-play interface, zero coding is needed for you and your team to create and run robust testing. Everyone can participate in the testing process and have input.

Fully Integrated Development Environment

Ranorex Studio provides you with several integrations to expand your usage. Integrations include Selenium, Jira, Jenkins, and others.

Improve Test Automation with Keyword-Driven Testing

If you are ready to make the most of keyword-driven testing for your software development, try out Ranorex Studio. With an array of functional tools for a variety of tasks, Ranorex Studio makes automated testing easy, even for those without a programming background. Contact us today for a free trial of Ranorex Studio.

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