Understanding the PTF Test Structure

A PTF test is composed of a series of steps. This example shows the steps in a simple test.

Image: Example of a PTF test

This example illustrates the fields and controls for a simple PTF test.

Example of a PTF test

Each step in a test is composed of the following fields:

Field or Control


Seq (sequence)

A system-generated sequence number. Test steps execute according to the Seq order. When you copy, move, add, or delete a step, Seq is refreshed.


A system-generated unique identifier for each step, in a test. The ID value does not change when you move, add, or delete a step.

Test maintenance reports use the ID value.


Click in this field to add a comment for the step.


Deselect this field to inactivate a step. PTF skips inactive steps when executing the test. This field is grayed for inactive steps.

Scroll ID

This field is required only for scroll handling.


The type of application object to take an action on or to validate. Common step types are Text, Checkbox, Browser, and so on.


The action the test is to take on the object. The two most common actions used on a Text object, for example, would be Set_Value and Verify.


The means that PTF uses to identify the object within the application. Commonly, this is the HTML ID property.


The conditions that apply to this specific step, if applicable.

Note: This field was introduced in release 8.54; in previous releases, parameters were specified as part of the Recognition field. When you save a test from release 8.53 or lower, PTF automatically moves any parameters from the Recognition field to the Parameters field.

Field Label

Contains the label text of the page control referenced in the Recognition field.

The value for the Show Field Label option in the Local Options dialog box determines whether this column appears:

  • If Column is selected, the Field Label column appears.

  • If Tooltip is selected, the column does not appear; instead, the field label appears in a tooltip when you position the mouse cursor over the Value field.

For more information about setting local options, see Configuring Local Options.


In a typical recorded step, this is the value the tester entered for an object.

In a step recorded in verify mode, this would be the value that was present in the object when it was verified.

In general, a test has a single step for each instruction in a manual test case. For example, consider the following manual test instruction:

12. Enter the value "KU0001" into the text box labeled "Employee ID".

This test instruction could be represented in PTF as a step, as shown in this example:

Image: Example of a PTF test step

This example illustrates the step to enter a value in an edit box.

Example of a PTF test step

The PTF test language syntax and vocabulary are designed to read like a technical version of English. As a result, the function of most steps should be apparent from their construction and the context of surrounding steps.

For a detailed reference of PTF step types and actions, see PTF Test Language