The purpose of an Action Map is to enable many tasks to be grouped together for convenience, controlled and optionally executed as a single unit. For example, the following Action Map illustrates how three steps are required to run a regression test over the Order Entry function.
There are many occasions when it takes several steps to achieve the desired result. For complex databases where data is stored in many libraries multiple Data Cases may need to be executed. Not only that, but they may also need to be run in a specific sequence for the correct resulting data to be obtained. This could be done manually by executing them one after the other or the individual Extract_IT commands could be placed in a CL program, but this requires programming knowledge and the re-compilation of the program every time a Data Case is added or removed.
Another example where multiple steps are required is a full regression test. This might consist of one or more Data Cases to create the data required for testing, execution of the Mark_IT command to set the initial checkpoint on the Test Environment, the re-play of many scripts, a file comparison to check database results against a previously stored baseline and finally the creation of a test report. Again, all of these individual steps could be executed manually but Action Maps provide the ability to treat all steps within the Map as a unit. The Action Map is executed and each step is run only when the previous one has finished. This means that a complete regression test could be scheduled to run over the weekend as no user intervention is required to initiate each individual step in the process.
Action Maps can also be used to provide a convenient interface from which all related work for a specific project can be done. The individual Cases and commands needed for testing a new enhancement can be combined into an Action Map while they are being created and modified so that they can all be viewed on one screen. This is clearer than continually changing the view from Test Cases to Data Cases to Plan Cases etc. The Action Map may never actually be executed.
An Action Map consists of any combination of commands and/or TestBench Cases (Plan, Data, Warp, Comp, Test or Integrity Cases) and Scripts.