Create a Quality Testing Program (Continued)
Bringing Open Source to Bear
For both basic and advanced testing, a good starting point is JUnit, the test harness developed and distributed as part of the SourceForge effort. It is a Java-based regression testing framework that implements a test harness to let you integrate tests as part of a larger framework that can make it easy to add tests, manage tests, execute tests, and analyze test results. JUnit executes unit tests, small pieces of code designed to exercise code in the application.
You write a test in JUnit using a test method that exercises a small number of application features. To execute multiple tests in succession, JUnit provides an object, TestSuite, that runs any number of test cases together. TestSuite objects can also contain multiple TestSuites, so each developer can work on his or her own TestSuite, then easily combine them into a single TestSuite. To execute tests automatically, JUnit provides tools to define the suite to be run and display its results. You make your suite available to a TestRunner tool with a static method suite that returns a test suite.
As its name implies, JUnit is intended for unit testing, which is normally a development activity. However, it can execute almost any type of test, and several extensions make it useful in functional testing too. One such SourceForge tool is Jameleon, a functional testing engine written in Java. Jameleon separates applications into features that get scripted independently. When a feature changes, only the script associated with it requires modification.
Several other open source tools can make a difference to the testing process. Another SourceForge project is TestMaker, a tool that software developers, QA professionals, and others in the application development process can use to check Web-based applications for functionality, performance, and scalability. It is maintained and enhanced by PushToTest, a Java testing consultancy. As you use your Web application with a browser, the TestMaker recorder writes a test agent script for you, letting you replay the script for functional testing.
Once you have recorded a script, TestMaker runs the test agent and displays live results data in a live chart. The test agent shows performance in terms of a transactions-per-second report of your application. This lets testers perform functional testing while generating data that developers can use to help evaluate and improve performance.
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