|Data-driven tests are one kind of test automation. See LessonsLearned 129.
Data-driven tests have several advantages:
Good tool choices for test data generators include ...
- Inputs can be created using other than manual methods. For example, they can come from legacy data, or be generated by models or external oracles. Here is a perl program that generates model constrained randomized data for the CalculatorExample. Note that in this case, the constraining model runs on a completely different computer: http://home.c2.com/~ward/hp35.cgi.
- Tests are easy to review by people (e.g. customers) who may not know how to write the test fixtures or the test generators themselves. They can also create additional tests.
- productivity products like Excel
- scripting languages like Perl, Python and Ruby
- modeling systems like Mathcad or Mathematica.