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In the real world, applications keep growing in size and complexity, and change frequently; thus, the necessity for continuous testing constantly increases. Extreme programming (XP) prescribes automated acceptance testing so that tests can be run often, while facilitating regression testing at a low cost. XP also insists that the customers specify the acceptance tests and keep them updated as the requirements change, and use these tests for test-driven development (TDD).
Automated unit tests are quite common nowadays; however, most acceptance tests remain manual. Many commercial test automation tools are available, but their cost and required effort are so high that most project teams resort to doing the acceptance testing manually. The major roadblock to automating user acceptance testing has been the nonavailability of easy-to-use tools and frameworks. In this article, I show you how the Framework for Integrated Test (Fit) makes it easy to automate acceptance tests; it can also be used as an effective tool for communication and collaboration between users and developers.
|A typical development team may include many roles, such as user, customer, domain expert, tester, developer, or architect. For the sake of simplicity, I use just two roles in this article: analyst and developer. You can think of an analyst as a user, customer, domain expert, tester, or anyone who provides and/or clarifies requirements, and is involved in the acceptance testing process. A developer could translate to architect, programmer, or anyone developing the actual product itself.|
Framework for Integrated Test (Fit) is an open source framework for user acceptance testing, and a tool for enhancing the communication and collaboration between analysts and developers. Fit lets analysts write acceptance tests using simple HTML tables. Developers write fixtures to link the test cases with the actual system itself. Fit compares these test cases, written using HTML tables, with actual values, returned by the system using fixtures, and highlights the results with colors and annotations.
Just two steps are required to automate user acceptance tests using Fit:
That's it! You are all set to execute the tests automatically for the rest of the application's lifetime.
To work with Fit, you must know and understand four basic elements:
A Fit table is a way of expressing the business logic using a simple HTML table. These examples help developers better understand the requirements and are used as acceptance test cases. Analysts create Fit tables using a tool like MS Word, MS Excel, or even a text editor (assumes familiarity with HTML tags). There are different types of Fit tables, which I discuss later in this article.
A fixture is an interface between the test instrumentation (in our case, the Fit framework), test cases (Fit tables), and the system under test (SUT). Fixtures are Java classes usually written by developers.
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