Creating Verification Steps for Dynamic Applications

    By: Mr. Brian J. Le Suer on Oct 01, 2013

    Automated tests are made up of actions that are executed against a target application. These actions can be broadly categorized into two types, those that send an event to the application and those that verify the state of the application. Of the two categories of actions, it is the latter that poses the biggest challenge to the test engineer. Verification steps typically get information from the target application and compare it to an expected result. For example, a test might use the text displayed in an application field to verify the result of a calculation or database query. In many cases, the test result can be predicted based on inputs to the test and the tester’s knowledge of the application.

    Dynamic applications make the task more onerous because it can be difficult or even impossible to predict the result of the test before it is executed. Consider the requirements to test an eCommerce website. Even in a well-managed test environment, product inventory and pricing are likely to be constantly changing. Even the process of executing tests has the potential to change the state of the application by depleting product stocks. If the expected results are hardcoded into the tests, there is a high likelihood that the tests will need to be maintained frequently. Yet maintenance can be significantly reduced by adopting an approach that generates the expected results at run-time as part of the automated test. While building tests of this kind requires more effort, over-all costs will be lower over the life span of the automated tests.

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    Released: October 1, 2013, 10:00 am | Updated: January 27, 2014, 6:19 pm
    Keywords: IT Strategy Article | Technical Journal | Brian Le Suer | IT Strategy | Test Automation




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