Re: New query: Scripting languages to support software testing

Subject: Re: New query: Scripting languages to support software testing
From: Lee Fisher <blibbet -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- riveraintech -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 10:47:33 -0800

* Advantages and disadvantages of the languages I mentioned
* Other scripting languages to consider
* Methods of initial study (classroom, book, Web site, etc.)
* TW success and horror stories in writing scripts for software testing

VBA is basically only for Office, and a few other places in Windows. If that is all you're going to use, then VBA is ok. (VBA pre-dates Javascript scripting in a browser, and MS was trying to sell VB for Apps (VBA) as a scripting language, nobody used it except Office.

VBScript, after nobody bought off on the VBA idea except the internal teams forced to use it, MS changed VB to VBScript, to get web developers to write MS-centric web pages. Luckily, that didn't lasts long. VBScript is an "ActiveX Script Host" script for interpreted scripting. MS also provides JScript to enable the same level of system scripting as VBScript. Check if your Office QA needs can use JScript. There are also external Python and Ruby and Perl equivs, that I'd use instead of VBScript.

SQL as a scripting language for QA? I guess. Maybe if you're only testing databases, or doing database-based QA on non-databases.

C# is only for Windows. Mono has a port for non-Windows platforms, but it's project is not as active anymore. If you're only going to use Windows, then C# is a good language to learn. If you are doing QA on .NET, then this is probably the best language option, as .NET is based around C#.

JavaScript is another script language to consider. MS has a flavor, Jscript, and JScript.NET, that you should be able to use instead of VBA in most places in Windows (not sure about Office). JavaScript is used in many places, so it's generally a good language investment. IMO, better than VBA! IMO, I wouldn't learn VB unless you're really required by your job to do so, it is a poor language choice.

Python is a great language. On Windows, besides the normal CPython, there is IronPython, which is a .NET language that works in many places where other .NET languages can be used (eg, C#, JScript.NET, VB.NET, F#). However, MS isn't good at accepting languages they didn't write, so IronPython might not work as well as VBA for Office scripting, first check. Python would be a great language for QA on multiple platforms, at least everywhere outside Office.

So, if Office can handle JS or Python instead of VBA, I'd use one of those. If not, then I'd use C# instead of VBA. I would not use VBA or VBScript unless no other language option, and was forced to do so. IMO, JavaScript or Python is better for a general QA language, but it depends on where you're going to be using it.



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References:
New query: Scripting languages to support software testing: From: Dan Goldstein

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