External variants allow you to use test data stored in external files. They are applicable to both test data containers and test configurations. They cannot be used for structured parameters.
You can create variants of parameter values in the relevant editors in eCATT. However, if the data is in the appropriate format, you can also upload variants containing test data into a test data container or test configuration from your front-end workstation or its network drives. This is particularly useful if you have a large quantity of existing data. Using the download function provides the files on your front-end workstation in the correct format.
When you upload external variants, you can decide whether all existing variants in the test data container or test configuration (with the exception of ECATTDEFAULT) will be deleted or not. Test data for parameters and variants existing in both test data container and the external file will be overwritten in the test data container during upload.
Instead of permanently overwriting variants in a test configuration, you can select to upload the external variants at runtime. For more information see Using External Test Data During Test Execution.
The file format is TXT. The TXT format is simple and is similar to CATT external variants. It is easy to fill TXT files with data programmatically, or to edit them in a text editor or spreadsheet. Because Excel is often used to edit this type of file, numbers are prefixed with # to prevent Excel from formatting them differently. If you use a normal text editor, you can omit the # but you should be aware that files downloaded from eCATT will contain the # character.
An asterisk (*) denotes a comment line. This must be in the first position on the line (in a spreadsheet, the first position of the first cell).
You can set the default path for upload and download. To do this, choose Utilities ® Settings and then the eCATT and Editor tabs. Then enter the path on in the Variants field.
The parameters must already exist in the test data container or test configuration to which you want to upload the data.
1. In the test data editor or test configuration editor, choose Edit ® Variants ® Download.
The Save as dialog box appears.
2. In the File name field, enter a name for the file.
3. In the Save as type field, select TXT.
4. In the Save in field, browse to the folder where the file is to be saved.
5. Choose Save.
In a test configuration, a dialog box gives you the option to replace references to test data containers with the fixed values.
1. In the test data editor or test configuration editor, choose Edit ® Variants ® Upload.
2. In the dialog box, browse to the folder where the file is stored and select the file.
3. Choose Open.
4. Specify whether the existing variants should be deleted before the external variants are uploaded.