In strings that are used to test for matches with expected values, and in searches, the wildcard substring is used act as a placeholder to represent any arbitrary character or group of characters.

Some built-in actions, such as check and check popup default text, often specify a string value (a search string) as one of their arguments. The success or failure of the action is determined by whether or not a match is found between the search string and an item being examined, usually a name or property value coming from the target application or operating environment. It is often the case however that you want a match to be considered successful if your search string matches only a part of the string it is being tested against. For such instances, TestArchitect allows for the use of wildcards.

The TestArchitect wildcard is represented by the 2-character string .* (dot-star). When used in a matching operation, this string essentially says "any character, or string of characters, or even no characters, will be considered a match". For example, the string t.*t is a match for the strings tt, tot, tout, taunt, turret, and testarchitect, but not toto (the search string does not match a string ending in anything other than a t) or batter (it does not match any string that doesn’t both start with a t and end with a t).

Wildcards can be applied more than once to a search string. For example, while toto and batter don't match t.*t, toto does match t.*t.*, batter matches .*tt.*, and both words match .*t.*t.*.

Note: When wildcards are used, the entire search string must be enclosed within curly brace symbols {}. This lets TestArchitect know not to treat the string .* literally, but to treat it as a wildcard.

Wildcard matching is not limited to runtime actions like check and check popup default text. Wildcards may also be used in interfacing when there is a need to identify a window or control in which the name (or any other identifying property) can be variable, yet has some known, constant component. For example, when testing a web application on multiple browsers, browsers tends to append their own names to web page names when they form window titles. Therefore if a title specified by the page is My Web App, the title property of the window in which it is opened may be My Web App – Windows Internet Explorer, My Web App – Mozilla Firefox, or My Web App – Google Chrome.

One solution for this issue would be to have multiple interface entities (one for each browser). This would require additional action lines and perhaps some conditional logic. A simpler solution is to have a single interface entity and a wildcard:

This essentially has the interface entity saying, "I'll match up with any window whose title property begins with 'My Web App', and after that, I don't care". Hence this entity matches any one of the three possible browser window titles previously mentioned.