Test Authoring: Using Built-in Keywords in Katalon to Create Automated Tests

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3 Chapters30m
This chapter explains the concept and motivation behind keyword-driven testing. It further explains how Katalon supports this method and the benefits of using built-in keywords compared to the Record and Playback approach.
Implementing Keyword-driven Testing with Katalon

Katalon supports three methods to create automated tests: Record and Playback, using keywords in the Manual Mode, and scripting in the Script Mode.

Record and Playback is a great solution to start for beginners and non-programmers. But to improve the test quality as time goes on, they should learn how to use the built-in keywords in the Manual Mode and ultimately get down to scripting to have more control over the test design.

This course will help you get started with the built-in keywords in Katalon.

In three chapters, you will learn about:

  • The concept of Keyword-driven testing and how Katalon supports this method
  • The basic steps and best practices for capturing and storing test objects
  • How to use built-in keywords and statements to create basic and more complex automated tests
  • What, why, and how to create and use custom keywords

Chapter 1 - Implementing Keyword-driven Testing with Katalon

Implementing Keyword-driven Testing with Katalon


Hi and welcome to Katalon Academy! In this first chapter, we'll introduce the concept of keyword-driven testing and how you can implement it with Katalon. Let's start with the methodology! More businesses are applying test automation solutions to ensure software quality, especially when they have frequent releases. This isn't a trend anymore; it's the best practice.


To automate tests, writing and maintaining test scripts are among the most important and challenging tasks. These are normally taken care of by automation experts with sufficient programming experience. The pressure is always on creating new scripts to build up the automation system and increase the automated test coverage. So, the experts would always be busy writing scripts. On the other hand, manual testers, even though they have deeper product knowledge, are being left behind because they cannot write scripts efficiently. So, where can we find the balance in this situation?


That's when the method of keyword-driven testing, sometimes called action word-based testing, becomes extremely helpful since it separates the coding from the test design. A keyword-driven test comprises a sequence of keywords representing a user flow on an AUT. These keywords are mapped with corresponding functions written by the engineers with programming skills. The testers with better product understanding can then use the keywords to create automated test cases or test scripts.


Keywords and test data can be stored and maintained in a separate source like a spreadsheet. When a test is triggered to run, the test scripts will refer to this resource to read all the keywords, data, and run the corresponding functions. And since the keyword functions can be implemented separately, the two groups of programmers and testers can work more independently, boosting the whole team's productivity.


Keyword-driven testing is a great solution for automated testing implementation for teams with few programmers. But, building a keyword-based testing framework from scratch is not easy and time-consuming. Teams need to have an expert who has enough knowledge to plan the framework setup, implementation, management, and maintenance. Writing the keyword functions is another major concern since programming skills are required. The reality is that not every team has enough resources for this.


A common solution is to use a ready-made automation tool that includes pre-written keywords which the functions have already been built as a part of the tool. Testers can start using these keywords immediately to create automated test cases. This removes the requirement for an expert to build everything from scratch, saving time and resources.


With Katalon, users are equipped with a significant list of built-in keywords and other components (like the Page-object-model Repository and Web Spy for capturing test objects) to help you easily design tests and minimize maintenance. You can download Katalon Studio for free and start using it immediately. No heavy setup is required. For the benefits, the keyword implementation and complexity have already been handled by Katalon. Tests can be created and modified earlier, easy to read and understand even by non-programming people. Keywords can be reused consistently across many test cases. The maintenance becomes lighter. All the developed keywords are stored in one place. When you maintain or update a new keyword, all the tests using it will be automatically updated.


Using pre-built keywords is a great low-code solution to create automated tests. But what about Record and Playback? Should beginners keep using it, or should they switch to using keywords? As you know, Katalon also supports Record and Playback. It is probably the easiest way to automate tests, requiring no coding experience. It captures manual actions on an AUT and then converts them to a list of keywords in the Manual mode and test scripts in the Script Mode.


Frankly speaking, recorded tests are ideal to start with simple tests. But in the long-term, they are fragile, easy to break, when dealing with frequently-changing UI, dynamic elements, or complex test scenarios. If you have no clue how to use keywords to at least modify tests, they can easily break, or you can end up with a lot of duplicated codes by, for example, recording a bunch of tests for the same scenarios with different data inputs.


Record and playback is great for you to start and learn. But as time goes on, you should know how to use keywords and ultimately get down to scripting to have more control over test design. As you use keywords in the Manual mode, you can switch back and forth to the Script mode to get more familiar with the code. That's it for the first chapter. You've learned about the keyword-driven testing method and got an idea of how you can apply it with Katalon.

Chapter 2 - How to Use Keywords in Katalon to Create Automated Tests

Chapter 3 - Creating Custom Keywords in Katalon: Why and How


Materials include

  • 30-minute on-demand course

  • Lifetime access

  • Certificate of completion

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