Business Components and Application Areas

Relevant for: GUI components only

Note: Unless otherwise specified, references to Application Lifecycle Management or ALM apply to all currently supported versions of ALM and Quality Center.

Some features and options may not be supported in the specific edition of ALM or Quality Center that you are using.

When building a business process test, your test consists of business components. Inside of each business component is an application area that contains the necessary resources to run the component.

What are business components?

Business components provide the basis for BPT and are incorporated into business process tests and flows.

A business component is a reusable unit that:

  • Performs a specific task in a business process

  • Describes the condition or state of the application before and after that task

You can use one or more of the following methods to categorize components:

Logical Components

A logical component represents the use of a part of the screen with one or more controls, or a set of API calls which combine to perform some application logic. This category is based on a specific context in the application under text.

  • A Login component represents the login process, based on a login window that allows you to enter a user name and password, and then click a Login button.

  • A Search component represents search for an entity in the application under test. You can enter a string for which to search, indicate capitalization and/or whole word options, and click a Search button.

Application Object Components

An application object component might represent an object on the screen or a call to a single API.

This category is usually independent of the context within the application under test, and can be used in many situations. You decide the level of granularity that most encourages reuse.


  • A Button component represents the button object.

  • A Grid component represents a grid object in a pane or window.

  • A Pane component represents a pane in a window or screen.

  • An Interrogate component represents the interrogation of the application under test's backend database.

Generic Components

A generic component performs actions outside of the context of the application under test. It can be reused in tests of different applications.

Example: A Launch component represents the launching of a browser.

When you create a component, you can select one of the following types:

Keyword GUI components

In the Keyword View, keyword components are divided into steps in a modular, keyword-driven, table format. Each step is a row that comprises individual parts that you can easily modify. You create and modify steps selecting items and operations and entering additional information, as required.

Each step in a keyword component is automatically documented as you complete it. This enables you to view a description of the step in understandable sentences. In addition, if you added a function library to the application area associated with the keyword component, when you define a step by selecting a user-defined operation (function), the documentation that you added in the function library is displayed for the step.

Scripted GUI components

Scripted components are maintainable, reusable scripts that perform a specific task.

Using scripted components enables you to utilize the full power of both the Keyword View and the Editor, as well as other UFT tools and options to create, view, modify, and debug scripted components. For example, you can:

  • Use the Step Generator to guide you through the process of adding methods and functions to your scripted component.

  • Use the Editor to enhance the scripted component flow by manually entering standard VBScript statements and other programming statements using test objects and methods.

  • Incorporate user-defined functions in your scripted component steps, parameterize selected items, and add checkpoints and output values.

API components API components enable you the same basic functionality as an API test with limitations on the types of activities that are useable.

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What are application areas?

When you create a set of components to test a particular area of your application, you generally need to work with many of the same test objects, keywords, testing preferences, and other testing resources, such as function libraries and recovery scenarios. You define these files and settings in an application area, which provides a single point of maintenance for all elements associated with the testing of a specific part of your application.

An application area is a collection of settings and resources that are required to create the content of a business component. Resources may include shared object repositories containing the test objects in the application being tested, function libraries containing user-defined operations that can be performed on that application, and so forth. Components are automatically linked to all of the resources and settings defined in the associated application area.

You can create as many application areas as needed. For example, you may decide to create an application area for each Web page, module, window, or dialog box in your application. Alternatively, for a small application, one application area may be all that is needed.

Each component can have only one associated application area.

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