To markFailedAndStop or Not To markFailedAndStop?

Based on the criteria of the original tests I set up several months ago, if an object was missing, that was a critical error and needed to be flagged. Since we were making heavy adjustments to the code base, anything missing needed to be checked. Things have changed quite a bit, so if an object is missing, should the situation be handled within an IF statement  or does a missing object represent a much larger problem and the test has to be flagged as an Error?

This continues on from the idea of checking for the existence of an object without throwing an error. Using a Custom Keyword is was possible to suppress the error and not fill the log with False Positives.

Taking that a step further, it seems we could check if an object exists and continue on with the test if needed or exit out of the test completely.

Using the example from before, let’s say we want to count the number of Tasks a user has. If a user doesn’t have any Tasks to display, that’s not a critical error. They may not have made any. We could handle that within the IF statement and not try to count something that doesn’t exist.

Conversely, what if we tried to create a Task, but the New Task button was missing. Now we have a problem. We want to perform an action and piece of functionality is missing. And if the New Task button is missing, attempting to run code to fill in a series of input fields, then confirm it was saved won’t work and will lead to multiple errors. It would be better to mark the test as failed when we first notice the New Task button is missing.

We could handle both of those conditions within a single Custom Keyword. We can check for our object and if it’s a critical object, stop the test on failure. We can add a “critical” flag and handle both.

Our previous "verifyObjectPresent" method would be extended to create the following:

//Function to determine if an item exists on the page using WebUiCommonHelper.findWebElement
boolean verifyObjectPresent(String objectReference, boolean critical) {
    try {
        return true;
    } catch (Exception e) {
        if (critical==true){
            log.logWarning("The object with the name, " + objectReference + " was not found. Execution Halted.")
            KeywordUtil.markFailedAndStop("ERROR: The object with the name, " + objectReference + " was not found. Exiting Test.")
        } else {
            log.logWarning("The object with the name, " + objectReference + " was not found.")
            return false;

We are now accepting “boolean critical” as a parameter. If the object is missing and this is true, we note the missing object and execute, “markFailedAndStop.” If it’s not a critical object, the name of the object is noted, but execution continues. Control then returns to the Test Case to handle a non-critical missing object.

A call to the Custom Keyword would look like the following:

    boolean elementVisible=CustomKeywords.'commonCode.verifyObjects.verifyObjectPresent'('Blog/text-blogTitle', false)
    if (elementVisible==true){
        blogTitle = WebUI.getText(findTestObject('Blog/text-blogTitle'))
        log.logWarning('Blog Title: ' + blogTitle)
    log.logWarning("Test Complete")

If the blog title exists, get the text of that object. If it doesn’t, take the appropriate action based on the critical parameter. If it’s a critical object, mark the tests as failed and exit.

I like this approach because it removes a lot of redundant check, so I plan to make adjustments to replace my standard “verify” based calls with this method. I can now decide how to handle a missing object within a single method and if it’s a real problem, stop the code.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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