Monday, July 14, 2008

Testing artifacts

Software testing process can produce several artifacts.

Test case

A test case is a software testing document, which consists of event, action, input, output, expected result, and actual result. Clinically defined a test case is an input and an expected result.[25] This can be as pragmatic as 'for condition x your derived result is y', whereas other test cases described in more detail the input scenario and what results might be expected. It can occasionally be a series of steps (but often steps are contained in a separate test procedure that can be exercised against multiple test cases, as a matter of economy) but with one expected result or expected outcome. The optional fields are a test case ID, test step or order of execution number, related requirement(s), depth, test category, author, and check boxes for whether the test is automatable and has been automated. Larger test cases may also contain prerequisite states or steps, and descriptions. A test case should also contain a place for the actual result. These steps can be stored in a word processor document, spreadsheet, database, or other common repository. In a database system, you may also be able to see past test results and who generated the results and the system configuration used to generate those results. These past results would usually be stored in a separate table.

Test script

The test script is the combination of a test case, test procedure, and test data. Initially the term was derived from the product of work created by automated regression test tools. Today, test scripts can be manual, automated, or a combination of both.

Test suite

The most common term for a collection of test cases is a test suite. The test suite often also contains more detailed instructions or goals for each collection of test cases. It definitely contains a section where the tester identifies the system configuration used during testing. A group of test cases may also contain prerequisite states or steps, and descriptions of the following tests.

Test plan

A test specification is called a test plan. The developers are well aware what test plans will be executed and this information is made available to the developers. This makes the developers more cautious when developing their code. This ensures that the developers code is not passed through any surprise test case or test plans.

Test harness

The software, tools, samples of data input and output, and configurations are all referred to collectively as a test harness.

In software testing, a test harness or automated test framework is a collection of software and test data configured to test a program unit by running it under varying conditions and monitor its behavior and outputs. It has two main parts: the test execution engine and the test script repository.

Test harnesses allow for the automation of tests. They can call functions with supplied parameters and print out and compare the results to the desired value. The test harness is a hook to the developed code, which can be tested using an automation framework.

A test harness should allow specific tests to run (this helps in optimising), orchestrate a runtime environment, and provide a capability to analyse results.

The typical objectives of a test harness are to:

* Automate the testing process.
* Execute test suites of test cases.
* Generate associated test reports.

A test harness typically provides the following benefits:

* Increased productivity due to automation of the testing process.
* Increased probability that regression testing will occur.
* Increased quality of software components and application.

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