Software QA FYI - SQAFYI

WinRunner vs. QuickTest Pro Quick Comparison

By: Shawn LoPorto

WinRunner vs. QuickTest Pro Quick Comparison

Today Mercury has two functional testing tools – WinRunner (WR) and QuickTest Professional (QTP). WinRunner has been around since about 1995 while QuickTest Pro has been available since about 2002. We have lots of companies asking us “What’s the difference between WinRunner and QuickTest Pro?” and “If they are both functional testing tools from the same company, then which one of the tools should we use?” This document was developed as a short simple reference in helping to understand the basics about the tools in order to answer these two questions.
Mercury’s position on the two tools is this:
* The strategic direction for Mercury and its customers for Functional Testing is product integration. The new releases of QTP and WR improve already existing integration where customers can leverage complete WinRunner assets (scripts/functions) from QuickTest Pro without any modification to these assets.
* QuickTest Pro 8 has recently been released and WinRunner version 8.0 is planned for November 2004. There are no plans to phase out WinRunner.
* QuickTest Pro remains Mercury’s prime product for best customer satisfaction and experience. For customers who need both products, Mercury continues to offer Mercury Functional Testing as a combined package of both product offerings. The Business Process Testing system will be extended to incorporate components designed in WinRunner for the WinRunner 8.0 release in November.

WinRunner Compared to QuickTest Pro
Environment Coverage Comparison:
Common environments shared by both WinRunner and QuickTest Pro:

Web-Related Environments

IE, Netscape, AOL


JDK, Java Foundation Classes, AWT


Symantec Visual Café


ActiveX Controls


Oracle: Jinitiator, 11i, NCA

Custom Client Server





Visual Basic

Operating Systems

Windows 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP


3270, 5250 Emulators




*      WinRunner Only Environments:

Custom Client/Server















PeopleSoft Windows


Siebel 5, 6 GUI Clients


Oracle GUI Forms


*      QuickTest Pro Only Environments:




Siebel 7.x


PeopleSoft 8.x






.Net controls

Web Services





J2EE, .Net








Feature Comparison:


*      Common features found in both WinRunner and QuickTest Pro:


ODBC & Excel Connectivity

Code Editor & Debugger

Recovery Manager

Shared Object Repository

Rapid Object Import

Numerous Checkpoints


Script & Function Libraries



*      WinRunner Only Environments:

Function Generator

Database Integration

Run Wizard





*      QuickTest Pro Only Environments:



Tree View


Data Table


Function Generator*

(coming in v7.0)

Run Wizard*

(coming in v7.0)

What We Recommend
QuickTest Pro is our functional testing tool of choice!
Most customers are in either of two situations:
* Existing WinRunner customers asking “Should we switch to QuickTest Pro?”
* New customers asking “Which should we get, WinRunner or QuickTest Pro?”

We have been implementing Mercury’s products since 1992 and have senior level expertise in WinRunner. We have been implementing WinRunner since the very first version of it. So like many existing WinRunner customers we have a huge knowledge investment in WinRunner ourselves. However we have worked on the Mercury development team on the QuickTest Pro 6.0 and 6.5 releases, and have solid real-world experience in implementing QuickTest Pro since the 6.0 release. We have found it to be a great tool to use and recommend it to all customers! Overall, we recommend using QuickTest Pro unless for some reason you have to use WinRunner due to an unsupported environment not existing in QuickTest Pro.
Overall, QuickTest Pro is easier to use and implement for both technical and non-technical testers in comparison to WinRunner. QTP offers many features that are found in WinRunner, but are easier to use. QTP also offers many features not found in WinRunner that make test script creation, enhancement and maintenance easier.

Let’s quickly discuss some key issues:
* The WinRunner interface forces the user to look directly at TSL code. TSL is the WinRunner programming language developed by Mercury. It is based on the “C” programming language and therefore looks very similar. For testers who do not have a technical background, they are not always comfortable with having to always look at code. However QuickTest Pro offers a “Tree View” which is an icon-based view of the script. This is very easy to get used to and non-technical people adapt to it quicker and feel more comfortable working with it. For the tech
nical user, they can always switch over to the “Expert View” in QuickTest and look directly at code, and program away using VBScript. * WinRunner uses TSL which is a proprietary language of Mercury. These types of languages can be very restrictive and you are limited on available resources. QuickTest Pro use the Microsoft programming language VBScript which is very powerful, has lots of capabilities and there are lots of resources available.
* We feel that there are many more “point and click” features in QuickTest Pro than WinRunner. This makes its use easier.
* All the same features found in WinRunner are found in QuickTest Pro plus more.
* Data Table integration is much easier and simpler with QuickTest Pro.
* Data Driven Testing is easier with more options in QuickTest Pro.
* Script enhancements are typically easier with QuickTest Pro because it has the Active Screen where the windows and objects in your application are captured for later use. Using a “point and click” capability you can easily interface with objects, their definitions and create checkpoints after having recorded a script – without having to navigate back to that location in your application like you have to with WinRunner. This greatly speeds up script development.
* QuickTest Pro currently has built in integration with WinRunner in order to be able to call existing scripts, which is great for customers who already have a large test script investment with WinRunner. Likewise WinRunner 8.0 is to have the ability to also call QuickTest Pro scripts. This eases the transition from WinRunner to QuickTest Pro for existing customers.
* Parameterization is much easier in QuickTest Pro and basically anything in QuickTest Pro can be parameterized (statements, checkpoints and the Object Repository).
* Capturing various output values is easier and simpler with QuickTest Pro. Using this capability with parameterization enables you to easily develop scripts that can do more in regards to testing.
* We have been implementing QuickTest Pro in real-world environments and have found it much easier to use, advance features are easier to implement and the script development is quicker. We really enjoy using QuickTest Pro and highly recommend it as the functional testing tool to use.

This product is a mature tool that has been around since approximately 1995. It interfaces with most of the leading development toolkits using the WindowsAPI and toolkit DLLs to interface with the “Application Under Test”.
WinRunner offers a recording feature that will watch the individual tester and generate a test script to simulate the same actions just performed. The script is displayed as a program which can be enhanced with checkpoints, logic and special coding/programming.
WinRunner also has integration with Excel spreadsheets for data driven testing and the ability to write data out in Excel format or in simple text files.

Here is the description from the Mercury “Features and Benefits” section of the WinRunner web page:
Significantly increase power and flexibility of tests without any programming: The Function Generator presents a quick and error-free way to design tests and enhance scripts without any programming knowledge. Testers can simply point at a GUI object, and WinRunner will examine it, determine its class and suggest an appropriate function to be used.
Use multiple verification types to ensure sound functionality: WinRunner provides checkpoints for text, GUI, bitmaps, URL links and the database, allowing testers to compare expected and actual outcomes and identify potential problems with numerous GUI objects and their functionality.
Verify data integrity in your back-end database: Built-in Database Verification confirms values stored in the database and ensures transaction accuracy and the data integrity of records that have been updated, deleted and added.
View, store and verify at a glance every attribute of tested objects: WinRunner's GUI Spy automatically identifies, records and displays the properties of standard GUI objects, ActiveX controls, as well as Java objects and methods. This ensures that every object in the user interface is recognized by the script and can be tested.
Maintain tests and build reusable scripts: The GUI map provides a centralized object repository, allowing testers to verify and modify any tested object. These changes are then automatically propagated to all appropriate scripts, eliminating the need to build new scripts each time the application is modified.
Test multiple environments with a single application: WinRunner supports more than 30 environments, including Web, Java, Visual Basic, etc. In addition, it provides targeted solutions for such leading ERP/CRM applications as SAP, Siebel, PeopleSoft and a number of others.
Simplify creation of test scripts: WinRunner's DataDriver Wizard greatly simplifies the process of preparing test data and scripts. This allows for optimal use of QA resources and results in more thorough testing.
Automatically identify discrepancies in data: WinRunner examines and compares expected and actual results using multiple verifications for text, GUI, bitmaps, URLs, and databases. This ensures stable functionality and execution of business transactions when the application is released into production.
Validate applications across browsers: WinRunner enables the same test to be used to validate applications in Internet Explorer, Netscape, and AOL. This saves testing time and reduces the number of scripts that must be developed and maintained.
Automatically recover tested applications from a crash: Unexpected events, errors, and application crashes during a test run can disrupt the testing process and distort results. WinRunner's Recovery Manager enables unattended recovery and provides a wizard that guides the process of defining a recovery scenario.
Leverage investments in other testing products: WinRunner fully integrates with our other testing solutions, including LoadRunner for load testing and TestDirector for global test management. Moreover, organizations can reuse WinRunner test scripts with QuickTest Professional.

- WinRunner “Features and Benefits” webpage from Mercury: Pros:
* Mature product that has been around since about 1995.
* Simple interface.
* Many features.
* Many consultants and user group/forums for support.
* Decent built in help.
* Fewer features to have to learn and understand compared to QuickTest Pro.
* Interfaces with the Windows API.
* Integrates with TestDirector.

* Has basically been superceded by QuickTest Pro.
* Looking at “program code” for the test case.
* Coding is done in a proprietary language (TSL).
* Very few resources available on TSL programming (it is based on the C programming language, but is not C).
* Need to be able to program to a certain extent in order to gain flexibility and parameterization.
* Need training to implement properly.
* The GUI Map can be difficult to understand and implement.

QuickTest Pro
QuickTest Professional provides an interactive, visual environment for test development.
Here is the description from the Mercury Interactive “How it Works” section of the QuickTest Pro web page:
Mercury QuickTest Professional™ allows even novice testers to be productive in minutes. You can create a test script by simply pressing a Record button and using an application to perform a typical business process. Each step in the business process is automated documented with a plain-English sentence and screen shot. Users can easily modify, remove, or rearrange test steps in the Keyword View.
QuickTest Professional can automatically introduce checkpoints to verify application properties and functionality, for example to validate output or check link validity. For each step in the Keyword View, there is an ActiveScreen showing exactly how the application under test looked at that step. You can also add several types of checkpoints for any object to verify that components behave as expected, simply by clicking on that object in the ActiveScreen.
You can then enter test data into the Data Table, an integrated spreadsheet with the full functionality of Excel, to manipulate data sets and create multiple test iterations, without programming, to expand test case coverage. Data can be typed in or imported from databases, spreadsheets, or text files.
Advanced testers can view and edit their test scripts in the Expert View, which reveals the underlying industry-standard VBScript that QuickTest Professional automatically generates. Any changes made in the Expert View are automatically synchronized with the Keyword View.
Once a tester has run a script, a TestFusion report displays all aspects of the test run: a high-level results overview, an expandable Tree View of the test script specifying exactly where application failures occurred, the test data used, application screen shots for every step that highlight any discrepancies, and detailed explanations of each checkpoint pass and failure. By combining TestFusion reports with Mercury Quality Management, you can share reports across an entire QA and development team.
QuickTest Professional also facilitates the update process. As an application under test changes, such as when a “Login” button is renamed “Sign In,” you can make one update to the Shared Object Repository, and the update will propagate to all scripts that reference this object. You can publish test scripts to Mercury Quality Management, enabling other QA team members to reuse your test scripts, eliminating duplicative work.
QuickTest Professional supports functional testing of all popular environments, including Windows, Web, .Net, Visual Basic, ActiveX, Java, SAP, Siebel, Oracle, PeopleSoft, terminal emulators, and Web services.

- QuickTest Pro “How it Works” webpage from Mercury:
We like QuickTest Pro and now prefer implementing it over WinRunner. When you get into advance testing scenarios, QuickTest Pro has more options and they are easier to implement compared to WinRunner in our opinion.
Do to the similarities in concept and features, an experienced WinRunner user can easily convert to QuickTest Pro and quickly become an efficient Test Automation Engineer!

We recommend that existing customers begin all new development with QuickTest Pro and use the built-in feature of calling WinRunner scripts from QuickTest Pro for all existing WinRunner scripts that they already have. As older scripts require updates and time permits, we recommend replacing them with QuickTest Pro scripts. Eventually you will be able to convert your test script library with all QuickTest Pro scripts.
* Will be getting the initial focus on development of all new features and supported technologies.
* Ease of use.
* Simple interface.
* Presents the test case as a business workflow to the tester (simpler to understand).
* Numerous features.
* Uses a real programming language (Microsoft’s VBScript) with numerous resources available.
* QuickTest Pro is significantly easier for a non-technical person to adapt to and create working test cases, compared to WinRunner.
* Data table integration better and easier to use than WinRunner.
* Test Run Iterations/Data driving a test is easier and better implement with QuickTest.
* Parameterization easier than WinRunner.
* Can enhance existing QuickTest scripts without the “Application Under Test” being available; by using the ActiveScreen.
* Can create and implement the Microsoft Object Model (Outlook objects, ADO objects, FileSystem objects, supports DOM, WSH, etc.).
* Better object identification mechanism.
* Numerous existing functions available for implementation – both from within QuickTest Pro and VBScript.
* QTP supports .NET development environment (currently WinRunner 7.5 does not).
* XML support (currently WinRunner 7.5 does not).
* The Test Report is more robust in QuickTest compared to WinRunner.
* Integrates with TestDirector and WinRunner (can kick off WinRunner scripts from QuickTest).
* Currently there are fewer resources (consultants and expertise) available due to QTP being a newer product on the market and because there is a greater Demand than Supply, thus fewer employee/consulting resources.
* Must know VBScript in order to program at all.
* Must be able to program in VBScript in order to implement the real advance testing tasks and to handle very dynamic situations.
* Need training to implement properly.
* The Object Repository (OR) and “testing environment” (paths, folders, function libraries, OR) can be difficult to understand and implement initially.

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WinRunner vs. QuickTest Pro Quick Comparison