When QuickTest uses the learned description to identify an object, it searches for an object that matches all of the property values in the description. In most cases, this description is the simplest way to identify the object, and, unless the main properties of the object change, this method will work.

If QuickTest is unable to find any object that matches the learned object description, or if it finds more than one object that fits the description, then QuickTest ignores the learned description, and uses the Smart Identification mechanism to try to identify the object.

While the Smart Identification mechanism is more complex, it is more flexible. Therefore, if configured logically, a Smart Identification definition can probably help QuickTest identify an object, if it is present, even when the learned description fails.

The Smart Identification mechanism uses two types of properties:

Base Filter Properties. The most fundamental properties of a particular test object class; those whose values cannot be changed without changing the essence of the original object. For example, if a Web link's tag was changed from to any other value, you could no longer call it the same object.
Optional Filter Properties. Other properties that can help identify objects of a particular class. These properties are unlikely to change on a regular basis, but can be ignored if they are no longer applicable.

Understanding the Smart Identification Process

If QuickTest activates the Smart Identification mechanism during a run session (because it was unable to identify an object based on its learned description), it follows the following process to identify the object:

QuickTest "forgets" the learned test object description and creates a new object candidate list containing the objects (within the object's parent object) that match all of the properties defined in the Base Filter Properties list.

QuickTest filters out any object in the object candidate list that does not match the first property listed in the Optional Filter Properties list. The remaining objects become the new object candidate list.

QuickTest evaluates the new object candidate list:

If the new object candidate list still has more than one object, QuickTest uses the new (smaller) object candidate list to repeat step 2 for the next optional filter property in the list.
If the new object candidate list is empty, QuickTest ignores this optional filter property, returns to the previous object candidate list, and repeats step 2 for the next optional filter property in the list.

If the object candidate list contains exactly one object, then QuickTest concludes that it has identified the object and performs the statement containing the object.
QuickTest continues the process described in steps 2 and 3 until it either identifies one object, or runs out of optional filter properties to use.
If, after completing the Smart Identification elimination process, QuickTest still cannot identify the object, then QuickTest uses the learned description plus the ordinal identifier to identify the object.

If the combined learned description and ordinal identifier are not sufficient to identify the object, then QuickTest stops the run session and displays a Run Error message. For more information on Run Error messages, see Troubleshooting QuickTest Tests.

Reviewing Smart Identification Information in the Test Results

If the learned description does not enable QuickTest to identify a specified object in a step, and a Smart Identification definition is defined (and enabled) for the object, then QuickTest tries to identify the object using the Smart Identification mechanism.

If QuickTest successfully uses Smart Identification to find an object after no object matches the learned description, the step is assigned a Warning status in the Test Results, and the result details for the step indicate that the Smart Identification mechanism was used.

If the Smart Identification mechanism cannot successfully identify the object, QuickTest uses the learned description plus the ordinal identifier to identify the object. If the object is still not identified, the test or component fails and a normal failed step is displayed in the results.