Using Descriptive Programming(DP) In QTP

On recording any object using QTP, QTP adds the test object to the Object Repository. While running a test, QTP finds the object in the Object Repository and uses the stored test object’s description to identify the object in your application/website. Only after the object is found in the Object Repository, QTP can perform methods on those objects.

We can also instruct QTP to perform methods on objects without referring to the Object Repository. This is possible with the help of Programmatic descriptions or descriptive programming.

This implies that descriptive programming is very helpful if you want to perform an operation on an object that is not stored in Object Repository.

Descriptive Programming is also useful to perform the same operation on several objects with certain matching properties e.g. suppose there are 8 check boxes on a web page with names as chk_1, chk_2 and so on. So it’s not a good idea to put these in an Object Repository. With the help of Descriptive Programming you can Set these check boxes ON or OFF according to your application needs.

If you are dynamically creating test objects during the run session then also Descriptive Programming goes a long way to help you. Suppose in a web site you have to generate a list of all the customer's email addresses, who brought iPhone from you, based on the geographical information you provided and then after the email addresses are provided as checkboxes you have to send a rebate letter to them. You don't know how many check boxes will be there based on the geographical information you provided. So in this case, you can use a Descriptive programming to instruct QTP to perform a Set "ON" method for all objects that fit the description: HTML TAG = input, TYPE = check box.

Descriptive programming can be done in two ways:

Static: We provide the set of properties and values, that describe the object, directly.

Dynamic: We have to add a collection of properties and values to a description object and then provide the statement with the description object's name.

Static is easier but Dynamic provides more power, efficiency, and flexibility.

We will see examples of both static and dynamic type of descriptive programming in QTP.

First let’s take a look at Static:

This below example uses Descriptive Programming to open Flight Application and does not use object repository at all. So one of the other advantages is you can copy this script and Run this from any other machine (other than on which it was created) and it is supposed to work fine.

For this time just read the script and move on, you will better understand it as you read more.

[ I have given Example 1a's recorded version (which uses Object Repository)in Example 1b just for your comparison of the two so that you can better understand both ]

Example 1a: uses DP
We can describe the object directly by specifying property: =value pairs.

SystemUtil.Run "C:\Program Files\Mercury Interactive\QuickTest Professional\samples\flight\app\flight4b.exe"
window("Title:=Login").WinEdit("AttachedText:=Agent Name:").Set "sachin"
window("Title:=Login").WinEdit("AttachedText:=Password:").Set "mercury"
window("Title:=Flight Reservation").close

Examle 1b: uses OR

SystemUtil.Run "C:\Program Files\Mercury Interactive\QuickTest Professional\samples\flight\app\flight4a.exe","","C:\Program Files\Mercury Interactive\QuickTest Professional\samples\flight\app\","open"
Dialog("Login").WinEdit("Agent Name:").Set "sachin"
Dialog("Login").WinEdit("Agent Name:").Type micTab
Dialog("Login").WinEdit("Password:").SetSecure "476a9c021bc5a7422cf5a84ad08503823abcbaae"
Window("Flight Reservation").WinMenu("Menu").Select "File;Exit"

Note: When using programmatic descriptions from a specific point within a test object hierarchy, you must continue to use programmatic descriptions from that point onwards within the same statement. If you specify a test object by its object repository name after other objects in the hierarchy have been specified using programmatic descriptions, QTP cannot identify the object.

For example, you can use the following statement since it uses programmatic descriptions throughout the entire test object hierarchy:

Browser("Title:=Mercury Tours").Page("Title:=Mercury Tours").WebEdit("Name:=Author", "Index:=3").Set "Sachin"

Above line uses Descriptive Programming for all objects like Browser, Page, WebEdit.

You can also use the statement below, since it uses programmatic descriptions from a certain point in the description (starting from the Page object description):

Browser("Mercury Tours").Page("Title:=Mercury Tours").WebEdit("Name:=Author", "Index:=3").Set "Sachin"

Above line uses Object Repository for Browser object and Descriptive Programming for Page and WebEdit.

However, you cannot use the following statement, since it uses programmatic descriptions for the Browser and Page objects but then attempts to use an object repository name for the WebEdit test object:

Browser("Title:=Mercury Tours").Page("Title:=Mercury Tours"). WebEdit("Author").Set "Sachin"

QTP tries to locate the WebEdit object based on its name, but cannot locate it in the repository because the parent objects were specified using programmatic descriptions.

If the same programmatic description is being used several times then we can assign the object to a variable:
E.g. in the above Example 1a script, window("Title:=Login") is being used several times so we do this:

Set var = window("Title:=Login")
SystemUtil.Run "C:\Program Files\Mercury Interactive\QuickTest Professional\samples\flight\app\flight4b.exe"
var.WinEdit("AttachedText:=Agent Name:").Set "sachin"
var.WinEdit("AttachedText:=Password:").Set "mercury"
window("Title:=Flight Reservation").close


We can use 'With & End With' Statement like below:

SystemUtil.Run "C:\Program Files\Mercury Interactive\QuickTest Professional\samples\flight\app\flight4b.exe"
With window("Title:=Login")
.WinEdit("AttachedText:=Agent Name:").Set "sachin"
.WinEdit("AttachedText:=Password:").Set "mercury"
End with
window("Title:=Flight Reservation").close

Now let’s take a look at the dynamic type:

Understand it like this – A Property Object is a property name and value. We use Description object to return a Properties collection object containing a set of Property Objects. Then only in place of an object name, returned properties collection, can be specified in a statement.

For creating Properties collection "Description.Create" statement is used.

Set Myvar = Description.Create()

Once Property Object (Myvar) is created, statements to add, edit, remove and retrieve properties and values to or from properties objects can be entered during the run time.

Lets take a complete example of this: [these extra values (height & width) are not important in our example. Our example can run without height and width properties. I have just added those in order to make you understand this]

SystemUtil.Run "C:\Program Files\Mercury Interactive\QuickTest Professional\samples\flight\app\flight4b.exe"
window("Title:=Login").WinEdit("AttachedText:=Agent Name:","height:=20","width:=119" ).Set "sachin"
window("Title:=Login").WinEdit("AttachedText:=Password:").Set "mercury"
window("Title:=Flight Reservation").close

Now modifying the above script using Description.Create.

Set myvar= description.Create()
myvar("AttachedText").value="Agent Name:"
SystemUtil.Run "C:\Program Files\Mercury Interactive\QuickTest Professional\samples\flight\app\flight4b.exe"
window("Title:=Login").WinEdit(myvar ).Set "sachin"
window("Title:=Login").WinEdit("AttachedText:=Password:").Set "mercury"
window("Title:=Flight Reservation").close

Retrieving child objects in Descriptive Programming:

There is a ChildObjects method which can be used to get all objects located within a specific parent object or only those that match some criteria for programmatic description. In short we first of all need to create a description and then use a particular syntax to retrieve all child objects that match that description and manipulate them according to our own wish.

I will straightway show you an example of how to do this:

Make sure that Flight Reservation window is open (Start- Programs- QuickTest Professional- Sample Applications- Flight). In this Flight reservation window go to File- Open Order.

We will use this childobjects method to count the checkboxes in this 'Open Order' dialogbox.In the below script childobjects method is being applied to dialog object and childobjects method uses mydescription property object we created.

Set mydescription=Description.Create()
mydescription("Class Name").value="WinCheckBox"
Set Checkboxes = window("text:=FLight Reservation").dialog("text:=Open Order").ChildObjects(mydescription)

Just try to understand the above code. This is just an example, in real life you can use this count in some kind of loop.

Creating checkpoints programmatically:

Run-time value of a specified object property can be compared with expected value of that property by using programmatic description.
Descriptive programming checks are helpful for the object whose properties you want to check but the object is not stored in Object Repository.

I will show a small example here which checks if the "Flights.." button in Flight Reservation window is enable or disable. I have used a message box to show whether it is enable or disable, you can use the Report.ReportEvent Statement to send the results to the result window of QTP.

For the below script make sure that Flight reservation window is open:

a=window("Title:=Flight Reservation").winbutton("Text:=FLIGHT").GetROProperty("enabled")
msgbox (a)
If a = True Then
msgbox ("button is enable")
msgbox ("button is disable")
End If

In the above script GetROProperty method is being applied to 'Flight..' button to check the 'enable' property of the button.

[you can see an object's properties and methods from QTP help. Definitely there are other ways also to get these].

DP is also useful in case of programming WebElement objects (A WebElement is a general web object which can represent any web object.)

As an example, just open the website ( and make sure the cursor is in the “User Name” text box and write the following line in the Expert View of new test:

browser("title:=Welcome: Mercury Tours").page("title:=Welcome: Mercury Tours").webelement("name:=password","index:=2").Click

It will just click the “Password” text box which just highlights that text box and places the mouse cursor in that box.

For all the methods and properties of WebElement object please refer QTP User Guide.

Index property

Index property is useful to identify a test object uniquely. QTP also, while learning an object, can assign a value to test object’s index property to uniquely identify it. Index property values are specific to an object and also the value is based on the order in which the object appears in the source code.
The value starts with 0.

If you use Index:=1 with WebEdit test object, QTP will search for the second WebEdit object on a web page.

As an example, just open the website ( and write the following line in the expert view of new test:

browser("title:=Welcome: Mercury Tours").page("title:=Welcome: Mercury Tours").WebEdit("Index:=1").Set "hello"

This will write “hello” in the “Password” text box. In the above line if you do Index:=0 then “hello” will be written in the “User Name” text box.

On the other hand if you use Index:=2 to describe a WebElement object, QTP will search for the third object on the page (it can be any, regardless of type) because WebElement object is general object that applies to all objects.

Last but not the least SystemUtil object

SystemUtil object allows you to open and close application by writing its code manually in the Expert view of QTP.
Below example shows how to open or close a Notepad using code:

systemutil.Run "Notepad.exe"

This example uses Run and CloseProcessByName methods to open and close the application (Notepad). Instead of closing the Notepad with CloseProcessByName method, we can use the below line also which is mostly used.

window("title:=Untitled - Notepad").Close

For opening the application we can use complete paths also e.g.

systemutil.Run "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"

This opens an Internet explorer.

[For Details please refer to QTP Help]


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