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From Tim Ellison <t.p.elli...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [testing] code for exotic configurations
Date Fri, 27 Jan 2006 08:53:00 GMT
Anton Avtamonov wrote:
>> Note that I could create my own provider and test with it, but what I would
>> really want is to test how my EncryptedPrivateKeyInfo works with
>> AlgorithmParameters from real provider as well as how my other classes work
>> with real implementations of crypto Engines.
>> Thanks,
>> Mikhail.
> Hi Mikhail,
> There are 'system' and 'unit' tests. Traditionally, unit tests are of
> developer-level. Each unit test is intended to test just a limited
> piece of functionality separately from other sub-systems (test for one
> fucntion, test for one class, etc). Such tests must create a desired
> environment over the testing fucntionality and run the scenario in the
> predefined conditions. Unit tests usually able to cover all scenarios
> (execution paths) for the tested parts of fucntionality.
> What are you talking about looks like 'system' testing. Such tests
> usually run on the real environment and test the most often scenarious
> (the reduntant set, all scenarios usually cannot be covered). Such
> testing is not concentrated on the particular fucntionality, but
> covers the work of the whole system.
> A sample is: "run some demo application on some particular platform,
> with some particular providers installed and perform some operations".
> I think currently we should focus on 'unit' test approach since it is
> more applicable during the development (so my advise is to revert your
> tests to install 'test' providers with the desired behavior as George
> proposed).
> However we should think about 'system' scenarios which can be run on
> the later stage and act as 'verification' of proper work of the entire
> system.

I agree with all this.  The unit tests are one style of test for
establishing the correctness of the code.  As you point out the unit
tests typically require a well-defined environment in which to run, and
it becomes a judgment-call as to whether a particular test's
environmental requirements are 'reasonable' or not.

For example, you can reasonably expect all developers to have an
environment to run unit tests that has enough RAM and a writable disk
etc. such that if those things do not exist the tests will simply fail.
 However, you may decide it is unreasonable to expect the environment to
include a populated LDAP server, or a carefully configured RMI server.
If you were to call that environment unreasonable then testing JNDI and
RMI would likely involve mock objects etc. to get good unit tests.

Of course, as you point out, once you are passing the unit tests you
also need the 'system' tests to ensure the code works in a real
environment.  Usage scenarios based on the bigger system are good, as is
running the bigger system's test suite on our runtime.


> --
> Anton Avtamonov,
> Intel Middleware Products Division


Tim Ellison (t.p.ellison@gmail.com)
IBM Java technology centre, UK.

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