Regular Expressions in VBScript or QTP or UFT

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Regular Expressions in QTP/UFT/VBScript
Regular Expressions in QTP/UFT/VBScript
Regular Expressions in QTP

This post talks about regular expressions in vbscript,regular expressions in UFT,regular expressions in vbscript examples,regular expressions in UFT examples,using regular expressions in vbscript,using regular expressions in UFT,VBScript RegExp Object,UFT RegExp Object,regular Expression,How to use regular expression.

VBScript does not support regular expression constant (/a pattern/ ). VBScript provides pattern properly of a RagExp object.

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Regular Expressions in QTP/UFT/VBScript:

What is Regular Expression?

It is a way of representing data using symbols. They are often used within matching, searching or replacing algorithms.Regular expressions enables us to perform the following tasks.

  • Pattern matching and replace.
  • Searching and replace.
  • Replace
  • Identifying required number or string

Text strings get assigned to pattern property of a RegEx object.

Regular Expressions in QTP/UFT:

Regular expressions can be used in QTP/UFT for identifying objects and text strings with varying values.

Where we use regular expression:

o Defining the property values of an object in Descriptive programming for  handling dynamic objects
o For parameterizing a step
o creating checkpoints with varying values

Using Regular Expressions in QTP or UFT:

We can define a regular expression for a constant value, a Data Table parameter value, an Environment parameter value, or a property value in Descriptive programming.

We can define a regular expression in standard checkpoint to verify the property values of an object; we can set the expected value of an object’s property as a regular expression so that an object with a varying value can be verified.

We can define the text string as a regular expression, when creating a text checkpoint to check that a varying text string is displayed on our application,
For XML checkpoints we can set attribute or element values as regular expressions.

RegExp object

VB Script is providing RegExp object for defining Regular expressions, It provides simple support for defining regular expressions. RegExp comes with predefined properties and methods.
Regular Expression Object Properties and Methods:
Properties:
a) Global Property
b) IgnoreCase Property
c) Pattern Property
Methods:
a) Execute() Method
b) Replace() Method
c) Test() Method

Global Property

Global property accept two values.

  • True– it signifies the search will happen to the entire string.
  • False– searches for the first occurrence

Syntax

Object.Global= value

By default global property is set to false.The Boolean value determines whether all occurrence of a pattern should be replaced.

Example with /b switch and without /b switch

IgnoreCase Property

This is helpful when we want to search a text.(In case – insensitive manner).Ignore case property accept two values.

  • True– it will not ignore the case while searching
  • False– it will make the search case sensitive

syntax-

Object.IgnoreCase= value

The Boolean value determines whether a case sensitive search needs to be performed.

Dim reg, strString
Set reg=New RegExp
reg.Pattern="/b of" //(/b matches the exact word)
reg.Global=True
reg.IgnoreCase=True
strString="To take OF is not easy of the ground."
msgbox reg.Replace(strString,"off")

O/P- To take off is not easy of the ground.

Pattern Property

The pattern property takes the flags and text pattern that needs to be searched.This property sets or returns the regular expression that needs to be searched.

syntax-

Object.Pattern=[(flag info)("Search String/search info")]

The argument can be a string or a regular expression itself. Flag info is optional here.

Regular Expressions Examples or How to use Regular Expression?

  1. We need to create a new regular expression object
    set myVar=New RegExp
  2. We need provide the key that needs to be matched.
    myVar.pattern="[[mySearchText]]"
  3. myLine-  “the line or string from where the matching will happen”
  4. Ask VBscript engine to perform the pattern matching and perform your task.
    msgbox myVar.Replace( myLine,[[text after replacement]])

Example of Regular Expression

Dim myVar,myLine
Set myVar=New RegExp //regular expression object
myVar.Pattern="boy" //creates pattern
myLine="every boy is great" //initial line
msgbox myVar.Replace( myLine,"girl")

o/p- every girl is great

How to make it dynamic?

We can make it dynamic by introducing an input box.regular expressions in vbscript examples

Dim myVar, myLine, myWord
Set myVar=New RegExp
myLine= inputbox(" Enter your line")
myVar.pattern= inputbox(" enter a word to change")
myWord= inputbox(" enter a word that will be final")
msgbox  myVar.replace( myLine, myWord)

For more dynamic behaviour we can create a function, it will help us achieve CD-CT-CI.
It will also help in unattended execution.

regular expressions in vbscript examples/VBScript RegExp Object

Function ChangeLine(sLine, sWordToReplace, sNewWord)
Dim myVar,myLine,myWord
Set myVar==New RegExp
myLine=sline
myVar.Pattern= sWordToReplace
myWord=sNewWord
ChangeLine=myVar.Replace( myLine, myWord)
End function

The above example will only change the first occurrence of the word in the line. But if the line has many words( that needs to be changed) it will not work fully.We need to change the script little bit.

myVar.Pattern= "switch and the search word"
myVar.Global= True

Switch mainly used is /b (word boundary)
The Global property ensures match in all occurrence of the word.

1) Match File Names in a Directory against Regular Expression

regular expressions in vbscript examples/VBScript RegExp Object

Set objFS = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
strCurrentDirectory = objShell.CurrentDirectory
Set objFolder = objFS.GetFolder(strCurrentDirectory)
Set colFiles = objFolder.Files
Set objRE = New RegExp
objRE.Global     = True
objRE.IgnoreCase = False
objRE.Pattern    = WScript.Arguments(0)
For Each objFile In colFiles
bMatch = objRE.Test(objFile.Name)
If bMatch Then
WScript.Echo objFile.Name
End If
Next

2) Match Content in a File against a Regular Expression

regular expressions in vbscript examples/VBScript RegExp Object

strFileName = "E:test.txt"
Set objFS = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set objTS = objFS.OpenTextFile(strFileName)
strFileContents = objTS.ReadAll
WScript.Echo "Searching Within: "
WScript.Echo strFileContents
objTS.Close
Set objRE = New RegExp
objRE.Global     = True
objRE.IgnoreCase = False
objRE.Pattern    = WScript.Arguments(0)
Set colMatches = objRE.Execute(strFileContents)
WScript.Echo vbNewLine & "Resulting Matches:"
For Each objMatch In colMatches
WScript.Echo "At position " & objMatch.FirstIndex & " matched " & objMatch.Value

3. Replace Function

regular expressions in vbscript examples/VBScript RegExp Object

Dim myPattern,myString 
Set myPattern=new RegExp
myPattern.pattern="[2,3,4,5,6,7]
myString="I have 2 glasses with 3 tablespoon" 
msgbox myPattern.Replace (myString,"many")

4. How to match a digit characters with regular expression?

regular expressions in vbscript examples/VBScript RegExp Object

Dim myReg,myString
Set myReg=New RegExp
myReg.Pattern="[0123456789]" //this is for specific
myReg.Pattern="[0-9]" //this is for generic
myReg.Pattern="/d" //this is for generic
myString="There are 5 persons in the car"
msgbox myReg.Replace(myString,"Many")

O/P- There are many persons in the car.

5.How not to match a digit in regular expression?

A caret (^) or a circumflex sign does the trick here.

“[^,0-9]”=> will not match any digit in the range 0-9
“[^\d]”=> does the same
“[\D]”=> does the same

How to create a pattern or range in regular expression?

While the above example like”[ 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9]”or “[0-9]” or “/d” provides a generic pattern.We can create our own pattern by providing range or repeat count .

  • “\d” implies \d{1} that is single digit
  • “\d{2}” implies double digit
  • “\d{3}” implies three digit

How to specify minimum number or range using regular expression?

  • “\d+”=>implies that one or more digits equivalent to\d{1,}
  • “\d*”=>implies that zero or more digits equivalent to \d{0,}
  • “\d?”=>implies that zero or one  equivalent to \d{0,1}

we need to be careful using the last two.In order to change all the digits in the given string we need to Set global property as true.

Remembered matches(regular expressions in vbscript)

This technique is useful when one or all of the text matches, with our pattern while finding or replacing text.

regular expressions in vbscript examples/VBScript RegExp Object

Dim myReg,myString,myCol,matchFound 
Set myReg=New RegExp
myReg.Global=True
myReg.Pattern="http://(\w+[\w-]*\w+\.)*\w+"
myString="http://www.google.com"
myString=myString&VBcrlf & "http://www.bing.com"
myString=myString&VBcrlf & "http://www.altavista.com"

Set myCol=myReg.Execute(myString)
For Each matchFound in myCol
   msgbox "Found valid URL" & matchFound.value
Next

The URL pattern starts with “http://”always. Hence we need to hardcode it. Now the remaining pattern starts with \w that matches with [a-z A-Z 0-9]i.e then alphanumeric characters .

The second component is [\W-] that matches with any alphanumeric characters with a dash so if the URL is having a dash in between ,the code will be able to determine .

*is used for repetition.

Execute Method

Execute method searches a specific string and return matches as collection.

Syntax-

object.Execute(stringPattern)

Example

Dim myReg,myString,myCol,matchFound 
Set myReg=New RegExp
myReg.Global=True
myReg.Pattern="http://(\w+[\w-]*\w+\.)*\w+"
myString="http://www.google.com"
myString=myString&VBcrlf & "http://www.bing.com"
myString=myString&VBcrlf & "http://www.altavista.com"

Set myCol=myReg.Execute(myString)
For Each matchFound in myCol
   msgbox "Found valid URL" & matchFound.value
Next

If the Execute method does not have matched content, in that case also ,execute return a collection.It will be an empty collection.

Replace Method

Replace method searches and replaces a string specified with the search string .

Syntax-

object replace (String to search,string to replace)

Back referencing

Back referencing is a technique that allows us to stare some part of the string in the buffer(temporary). It is done with the help of a parentheses.We can override the saved part of the string with other regular expressions(“?:”,”?=”,”?!”)

Example

Dim MyReg,Mystring
Set MyReg=New RegExp
MyReg.Pattern="(\s+)\s+(\s+)\s+(\s+)\s+(\s+)\s+(\s+)"
MyString=This is not so cool”
Msgbox MyReg.Replace(s,$1,$2,$4,$5)

Op->This is so cool

Test Method

Test method searches a string by executing a regular expression.It returns Boolean –true to indicate the pattern is found and false –to indicate that the pattern is not found.

Syntax –

object.test (searchString)

Example

Dim MyRag,MyString
Set MyReg=New RegExp
MyReg.IgnoreCase=TRUE
MyReg.Pattern="http://(\W+[\W-]*\W+\-)*\W+"
MyString="My favourite search engine http://www.google.com"
If MyReg.Test(MyString)then
Msgbox "the string is having an URL"
Else
Msgbox "The string does not have a valid URL"
End If

O/P ->The string is having an URL

The Matches Collection

This matches collection is a placeholders for match objects.Execute method returns this collection.If execute method is executed we get zero or more match objects in the collection.The below properties can be extracted from match object

  • The string
  • The length of the string
  • The index value where the match is found

Note

We need to enable Global property to true to match in the whole string.Match support two properties

  • Count-It returns the number of items present in the collection.
  • Item-It returns the exact item based or the query on the list with a key as Index .

Match object periods three read only properties-

  • First Index
  • Length
  • Value

The details are as follows

  • First Index-returns the position where the match happens with a giving string.
Syntax-Object.FirstIndex
  • Length-returns the length of a match in the search string.
Syntax-Object.Length
  • Value- returns the value or text or string of a match found in a search string.
Syntax-Object.value

How to validate a phone number?(XXX)XXXX-(XXX)

Dim myReg,MyNumber
Set myReg=New RegExp
MyReg.pattern='\([0-9]{3}\[0-9]{4}-(0-9){3}
MyReg.Global=True
MyReg.Ignorecase=True
MyNumber=Inputbox("Enter your mobile in (xxx)xxxx-xxx format")
If MyReg.test(MyNumber)then 
msgbox "It is a valid mobile number"
Else
msgbox "It is not a valid mobile number"
End if

How to find the white space?

The Syntax –”^[\t]*$”

  • ^ matches the start of the line.
  • [\t] matches tab character for finding space or more space characters.
  • $ Matches end of the line.
Dim MyReg,MyString,objMatch,spaceMatch,sMsg
Set MyReg=New RegExp
MyReg.Global=True
MyReg.pattern="^[\t]*$"
Mystring="I have a big cat"
Set spaceMatch=MyReg.Execute(Mystring)
SMsg=""
For Each objMatch in spaceMatch
sMsg="Space found at position"
objMatch.FirstIndexNumber
msgbox sMsg
Next

6.String Manipulation using Regular Expression

Making Global property True

specific match or using \b switch

Dim reg, strString
Set reg=New RegExp
reg.Pattern="/b of" //(/b matches the exact word)
reg.Global=True
strString="To take of is not easy of the ground. It needs a great offline practice."
msgbox reg.Replace(strString,"off")
O/P—–>to take off is not easy of the ground.It needs a great offf line practice.

As the Global property is true , it matches with all words in the string.

Making Global property False

Dim reg, strString
Set reg=New RegExp
reg.Pattern="/b of" //(/b matches the exact word)
reg.Global=False
strString="To take of is not easy of the ground. It needs a great off line practice."
msgbox reg.Replace(strString,"off")

O/P—–>to take off is not easy of the ground.It needs a great off line practice. Only changes the first occurrence.

Regular Expression cheat seat:

The below patterns can be used with VBScript RegExp Object.

CharacterDescription
Indicates that the next character is either special character or literal
^Indicates a match at the beginning of the input
$Indicates a match at the end of the input
*Indicates a match before the indicated character.Matches will be performed either zero or more times.
+Indicates a match before the indicated character.Matches will be performed either one or more times.
?Indicates a match before the indicated character.Matches will be performed either zero or one time.It can also matches any single character except a newline character.
(pattern)Indicates a match with the given pattern.It returns a collection of items.To retrieve the pattern info we can use item[0],item[1],….item[n]
(?:pattern)This is a non Capturing search hence the match is not captures for future use.It is useful for putting OR condition
(?=pattern)This is a non Capturing search hence the match is not captures for future use.However it is a positive look head that matches the search string at any given point of time.
Test(?1,2,3,8,9) matches Test in TestCase1,TestCase2…TestCase9 but not in TestData
(?!pattern)This is a non Capturing search hence the match is not captures for future use.However it is a negative look head that matches the search string at any given point of time.
Test(?!1,2,3,8,9) matches Test in TestData but not in TestCase1,TestCase2…TestCase9
x|yIndicates a match with a match will happen with either x or y
{n}Indicates a match will happen exactly n times,where n is greater than zero.
{n,}Indicates a match will happen at least n times where n is greater than zero and it must terminate with a comma.
{n,m}Indicates a match will happen at least n times and at most m times where n and m are greater than zero and m is also greater than n.
[xyz]Indicates a match with any character from the given character set.
[^xyz]Indicates a match with any other character which are not part of the given character set.
[a-z]
[A-Z]
Indicates a match with  any character in the given range.
[^m-z]Indicates a match with a negative range of character.
bIndicates a match with a boundary for word.It identifies the positioning between a word and a space.
SIndicates a match with all non white space just opposite to /s
BIndicates a match with a non word Boundary.
dIndicates a match with a digit character.
DIndicates a match with a non digit character.
fIndicates a match with a form feed character.
nIndicates a match with a new line character
rIndicates a match with a carriage return character
sIndicates a match with any white space character including space,tab etc. It is equivalent to
[fnrtv]
wIndicates a match with the word character including underscore
[A-Za-z0-9_]
tIndicates a match with a tab character
WIndicates a match with the non word character like [^A-Za-z0-9_]
.Indicates a match with the dot
|Indicates a match with a Pipe
{Indicates a match with the curly bracket start”{“
}Indicates a match with the curly bracket end “}”
Indicates a match with backslash
()
[Indicates a match with the third bracket start “[“
]Indicates a match with the third bracket end “]”
(Indicates a match with the first bracket start “(“
)Indicates a match with the first bracket end “)”
$numIndicates a match with a positive number.
vIndicates a match with a vertical tab character
nIndicates a match with an Octal value may be 1,2,3 digits
uxxxxIndicates a match with an ASCII character represented by Unicode-XXXX
xnIndicates a match with n,where n is a hexadecimal value of 2 digits
[m-z]Indicates a match with a character not in the given range.

Ways of Regular Expressions:regular expressions in vbscript

Backslash Character:

A backslash () can serve two purposes. It can be used in conjunction with a special character to indicate that the next character be treated as a literal character.
Alternatively, if the backslash () is used in conjunction with some characters that would otherwise be treated as literal characters, such as the letters n, t, w, or d, the combination indicates a special character.

Matching Any Single Character:

A period (.) instructs QTP to search for any single character (except for n).
Ex:
welcome.
Matches welcomes, welcomed, or welcome followed by a space or any other single character.

Matching Any Single Character in a List:

Square brackets instruct QTP to search for any single character within a list of characters.
Ex:
To search for the date 1867, 1868, or 1869, enter:

186[789]

Matching Any Single Character Not in a List:

When a caret (^) is the first character inside square brackets, it instructs QTP to match any character in the list except for the ones specified in the string.
Example:
[^ab]
Matches any character except a or b.

Matching Any Single Character within a Range:

To match a single character within a range, we can use square brackets ([ ]) with the hyphen (-) character.
Example:
For matching any year in the 2010s, enter:

201[0-9]

Matching Zero or More Specific Characters:

An asterisk (*) instructs QTP to match zero or more occurrences of the preceding character.
For example:
ca*r
Matches car, caaaaaar, and cr

Matching One or More Specific Characters:

A plus sign (+) instructs QTP to match one or more occurrences of the preceding character.
For example:
ca+r
Matches car and caaaaaar, but not cr.

Matching Zero or One Specific Character:

A question mark (?) instructs QTP to match zero or one occurrences of the preceding character.
For example:
ca?r
Matches car and cr, but nothing else.

Grouping Regular Expressions:

Parentheses (()) instruct QTP to treat the contained sequence as a unit, just as in mathematics and programming languages. Using groups is especially useful for delimiting the argument(s) to an alternation operator ( | ) or a repetition operator ( * , + , ? , { } ).

Matching One of Several Regular Expressions:

A vertical line (|) instructs QTP to match one of a choice of expressions.

Matching the Beginning of a Line:

A caret (^) instructs QTP to match the expression only at the start of a line, or after a newline character.

Matching the End of a Line:

A dollar sign ($) instructs QTP to match the expression only at the end of a line, or before a newline character.

Matching Any AlphaNumeric Character Including the Underscore:

w instructs QTP to match any alphanumeric character and the underscore (A-Z, a-z, 0-9, _).

Matching Any Non-AlphaNumeric Character:

W instructs QTP to match any character other than alphanumeric characters and underscores.

Combining Regular Expression Operators:

We can combine regular expression operators in a single expression to achieve the exact search criteria we need.
For example,
start.*
Matches start, started, starting, starter, and so forth.
we can use a combination of brackets and an asterisk to limit the search to a combination of non-numeric characters.
For example:
[a-zA-Z]*
To match any number between 0 and 1200, we need to match numbers with 1 digit, 2 digits, 3 digits, or 4 digits between 1000-1200.
The regular expression below matches any number between 0 and 1200.
([0-9]?[0-9]?[0-9]|1[01][0-9][0-9]|1200).

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