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Monday, April 16, 2012

What are automated unit tests?

Automated unit tests can be thought of as the basic tools with the help of which the unit testing is carried out on the individual modules of the software systems and applications.

Without these automated unit tests, one cannot think of carrying out unit testing since it takes up too much of time. These automated unit tests test the whole unit or the module along with the associated below mentioned things:

1. Its control data
2. Usage procedure
3. Operating procedures and so on.

Since the units or the modules form the smallest tokens of any software system or application, hence the unit testing forms the first step of any software testing life cycle.

What are automated unit tests?

- In procedural programming, these automated unit tests usually cover up the individual procedures or functions.

- In object oriented programming an automated unit test may cover an entire interface for example a class, individual method and so on.

- The automated unit tests are usually developed by the developers, programmers sometimes but more commonly they are created by the white box testers because they have so much of knowledge about that particular software system or application under test.

- They are created simultaneously with the software development process.

- All of the automated unit tests created for a software system or application are quite different from one another and they are assisted by a variety of separate elements like those mentioned below:

1. Method stubs
2. Mock objects
3. Fake objects
4. Test harnesses and so on.

- The above mentioned elements help the automated unit tests in testing a module in isolation.

- The automated unit tests though created by the white box testers, are executed by the software developers since testing this way ensures that all the specifications and the requirements of the software system or the application are fulfilled and the program executes in the desired direction.

- The concept of the automated unit tests came in to existence to formalize the implementation of the automated unit testing as a part of the build automation which would have been a hectic task if carried out manually.

- The automated unit tests are aimed at isolating each and every part of the program and check whether they are working properly or not.

- An automated test being strict provides a written contract that is to be satisfied by the piece of code for which it is meant.

Benefits of Automated Unit Tests

In simple words, we can say that it affords many simple benefits!

- Automated unit tests have been known for years to find problems earlier in a software development life cycle.

- Most of the agile software development methodologies like the scrum and the extreme programming (XP) involve the creation of these automated unit tests before the production of the actual code.

- Later the code is written and is run through the test.

- If it passes, then the code is declared to be error free.

- With these automated unit tests, the program code can still be refactored and checked again with the same automated unit test till the code is considered to be complete.

- These automated test cases facilitate the quick checking of all the functions and modules for quick identification and fixation of the problems if any encountered.

- These automated unit tests have a characteristic which is that they reflect the way in which the code is intended to execute.

- Depending up on the test coverage of these unit tests and development practices in use, the automated unit tests can be made more accurate.

- Apart from all this, the automated unit tests do a better job when it comes to the reduction of the uncertainty in the program.

1 comment:

stectek said...
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