Section structure

A <section> is a reusable part of a <page> and is the standard file for defining UI elements on a page used in a test.

A <section> can define:

  • An explicit element that has a selector equal to the constant string. Example: selector="#add_root_category_button"
  • A parameterized element that contains substitutable values in the selector. Example: selector="#element .{{var1}} .{{var2}}".

Substitutable values

Substitutable values in the test can be of the following formats:

  • String literals (stringLiteral)
  • References to a data entity (XML data from the corresponding .../Data/*.xml) such as entityName.Field.
  • Persisted data:
    • $persistedCreateDataKey.field$ for data created in the scope of a test using the <createData> action with stepKey="persistedCreateDataKey".
    • $$persistedCreateDataKey.field$$ for data created in before and after hooks. Even though <before>and <after> are nested inside a test, persisted data is stored differently when it is done in a test hook. Therefore it must be accessed with a different notation.

The following diagram shows the XML structure of an MFTF section:

XML Structure of MFTF section


The format of a <section> is:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<sections xmlns:xsi=""
   <section name="">
      <element name="" type="" selector="" />
      <element name="" type="" selector="" parameterized="true"/>
      <element name="" type="" selector="" timeout=""/>


The following conventions apply to MFTF sections:

  • <section> name must be alphanumeric.
  • *Section.xml is stored in the Section directory of a module.
  • The name format is {Admin|Storefront}{SectionDescription}Section.xml.
  • Camel case is used for <section> elements. They describe the function of the element rather than attempting to describe the selector used.


Example (.../Catalog/Section/AdminCategorySidebarActionSection.xml file):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<sections xmlns:xsi=""
   <section name="AdminCategorySidebarActionSection">
      <element name="addRootCategoryButton" type="button" selector="#add_root_category_button" timeout="30"/>
      <element name="addSubcategoryButton" type="button" selector="#add_subcategory_button" timeout="30"/>

This example uses a AdminCategorySidebarActionSection section. All sections with same name will be merged during test generation.

The AdminCategorySidebarActionSection section declares two buttons:

  • addRootCategoryButton - button with a #add_root_category_button locator on the parent web page
  • addSubcategoryButton - button with a #add_subcategory_button locator on the parent web page

The following is an example of a call in test:

<!-- Click on the button with locator "#add_subcategory_button" on the web page-->
<click selector="{{AdminCategorySidebarActionSection.addSubcategoryButton}}" stepKey="clickOnAddSubCategory"/>

Elements reference


<section> contains the sequence of UI elements in a section of a page.

Attributes Type Use Description
name string required Unique section name identifier.
remove boolean optional The default is false. Set to true to remove this element during parsing.


<element>is a UI element used in an action.

Attributes Type Use Description
name string required The element name; Must be alphanumeric.
type string required The type of the element. Possible values: text, textarea, input, button, checkbox, radio, checkboxset, radioset, date, file, select, multiselect, wysiwyg, iframe, block.
selector string optional XPath or CSS selector of the element.
locatorFunction string optional Locator function declaration to be used in lieu of a selector.
timeout string optional The timeout after interaction with the element (in seconds). The default is none.
parameterized boolean optional Include and set to true if the selector for this element has parameters that need to be replaced for proper use. Learn more in Parameterized selectors.
remove boolean optional The default is false. Set to true to remove this element during parsing.

timeout attribute

The attribute adds the waitForPageLoad action after a reference to the element in test. The most usual use case is a test step with a button click action.

Use case: Set a timeout of 30 seconds after clicking the signIn button.

The section element code declaration containing the timeout attribute:


<element name="signIn" type="button" selector="#signIn" timeout="30"/>

The test step that covers the use case:


<click selector="{{StorefrontSigninSection.signIn}}" ../>

Whenever the signIn button is used in a test, the MFTF will add a 30 second waitForPageLoad action immediately after the click.