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eValid -- Dynamic Replacement
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Feature Summary
The Dynamic Replacement Feature in eValid allows any $NAME=value to be adjusted to a new value by re-reading the environment variables file where it is specified.

In effect, rather the "early binding" of parametric values that eValid currently has supported (i.e. binding values at script parse time), this feature extends eValid to use "just in time binding", so user-specified parametric values are instantiated in the script dynamically, when they are needed, during playback.

A key addition to this feature is that the sourceIndex and elementValue values that are obtained through DOM motion commands, are now available as the following these two Reserved Variables: "$_SourceIndex" and "$_ElementValue".

Technical Details
Here are the main technical points about this feature:

  1. The EnvironmentVariableFile command reads in a set of values to be substituted for any $NAME instances found in the script.

  2. At the particular point in the playback sequence where it occurs, and instance of $NAME in the script is given the correct value, specified as $NAME=value in the most recently read environment variables file.

  3. Whenever you want to, you can:

    1. Update the environment variables file using internal or external methods. For example, SaveRecord commands or SystemCall commands can do this.
    2. Then, you can run another EnvironmentVariableFile command to update your definitions.

  4. You can switch to an alternate set of environment variables using a different filename when you run the EnvironmentVariableFile command.

  5. Subsequent playback then takes on the newly assigned (most recently assigned) values -- from whatever file you wish -- for all $NAME parameters.

  6. The two values $_SourceIndex and $_ElementValue, having been added to the Reserved Variables list, are always available and they contain the current value of sourceIndex and elementValue, respectively. Their current value can be incorporated directly into a future script action by simply referencing them correctly. That is, you can use the new values without having to run an EnvironmentVariableFile command.

  7. When you read in a new environment variables file any old definitions (e.g. from prior reads) remain available. Names that already appear can be given a new value, and new previously-unknown names can be added "on the fly".

  8. The user is responsible for keeping all the value definitions coherent and meaningful.

  9. The "DataSynthesis filename" will NOT have the Dynamic Replacement Feature because it pre-processes files once only.

Availability Information
This feature is available on eValid V9 #285 and all later builds. The feature is 100% upward compatible with all existing scripts (static scripts) that include only a single EnvironmentVariableFile command. A current script that does NOT change the content of the environment variables file will run as before with no modifications required. If a static script by mistake includes multiple EnvironmentVariableFile commmands then, depending on the parametric variables that are used after any second (or later) EnvironmentVariableFile commands, results may differ.