You are on page 1of 6

WinRunner vs.

QuickTest Pro


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.

Environment Coverage Comparison

•1 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
ERP/CRM Oracle: Jinitiator, 11i, NCA
Custom Client Server Windows
Visual Basic
Operating Systems Windows 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP
Legacy 3270, 5250 Emulators
•2 WinRunner Only Environments:
Custom Client/Server PowerBuilder
PeopleSoft Windows
Siebel 5, 6 GUI Clients
Oracle GUI Forms

•3 QuickTest Pro Only Environments:

Source: Automated Solutions, Inc Page 1 of 6

WinRunner vs. QuickTest Pro

Siebel 7.x
PeopleSoft 8.x
.Net WinForms
.Net controls
Web Services XML, HTTP
J2EE, .Net
Multimedia RealAudio/Video


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 technical user, they can always switch over to the
“Expert View” in QuickTest and look directly at code, and program away using

• 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

• We feel that there are many more “point and click” features in QuickTest Pro
than WinRunner. This makes its use easier.

Source: Automated Solutions, Inc Page 2 of 6

WinRunner vs. QuickTest Pro

• All the same features found in WinRunner are found in QuickTest Pro plus
• 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

• 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

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.

- WinRunner “Features and Benefits” webpage from Mercury:

Winrunner features

Source: Automated Solutions, Inc Page 3 of 6

WinRunner vs. QuickTest Pro


• 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
• Need training to implement properly.
• The GUI Map can be difficult to understand and implement.

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.

Source: Automated Solutions, Inc Page 4 of 6

WinRunner vs. QuickTest Pro

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

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
• 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.

Source: Automated Solutions, Inc Page 5 of 6

WinRunner vs. QuickTest Pro

• Test Run Iterations/Data driving a test is easier and better implement with
• 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
• 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.

Source: Automated Solutions, Inc Page 6 of 6