Define variables

Version 1.17 has introduced the notion of variable. A variable is a scalar-value (a unique value, not a list of a result-set) that can be reused in different places of your test-suites. another big advantage of variables is that they are evaluated during the test-suite execution. Suppose that you have a query expecting a date as a parameter and that you want to specify the current date: without a variable, it’s not possible!


The variables are defined at the top of the test-suite (after settings but before the first test) in an element named variables.

    <variable name="FirstOfCurrentMonth">
      <script language="c-sharp">
        DateTime.Now.AddDays(1 - DateTime.Now.Day)
    <variable name="CurrencyCode">
        <![CDATA[select top(1) CurrencyCode from [Sales].[Currency] where Name like '%Canad%']]>

As you can understand fom the fragment above, a variable can be evaluated based on two engines: C# and query-scalar

C# engine

This engine evaluates one unique sentence of C# and returns the corresponding value. In order to specify this engine use the element script and specify the attribute language to the value c-sharp. Then you’ll be ableto specify your c# sentence in the inner text of this element. Note that thsi sentence shouldn’t start by return and neither end by a semi-column (;).

Query engine

This engine evaluates a query and returns the first cell of the first row returned by this query. In order to specify this engine use the element query-scalar and specify. Then you’ll be able to specify a query with the different methods available in the NBi syntax 2.0 to define a query.


In this first release, you can’t use the variables at many places. the usage is strictly limited to the following places:

If you’ve other places, where you think that a variable would be helpful, report it by creating an issues

Notes about the future of variables

Variables will be extented in the next releases. The goal is to let you define them at different places (groups and perhaps tests). The goal is also to evaluate them only when needed (execution) and not during the load of the test-suite (currently depending of the place where the variable is used). A variable should not be evaluated twice, once it has been evaluated, the value will be cached. In these early releases, relying on these features is hazardous.