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xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code, 1st edition

  • Gerard Meszaros

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional (May 21st 2007) - Copyright © 2007

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xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code

ISBN-13: 9780132797467

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Automated testing is a cornerstone of agile development. An effective testing strategy will deliver new functionality more aggressively, accelerate user feedback, and improve quality. However, for many developers, creating effective automated tests is a unique and unfamiliar challenge.

xUnit Test Patterns is the definitive guide to writing automated tests using xUnit, the most popular unit testing framework in use today. Agile coach and test automation expert Gerard Meszaros describes 68 proven patterns for making tests easier to write, understand, and maintain. He then shows you how to make them more robust and repeatable--and far more cost-effective.

Loaded with information, this book feels like three books in one. The first part is a detailed tutorial on test automation that covers everything from test strategy to in-depth test coding. The second part, a catalog of 18 frequently encountered "test smells," provides trouble-shooting guidelines to help you determine the root cause of problems and the most applicable patterns. The third part contains detailed descriptions of each pattern, including refactoring instructions illustrated by extensive code samples in multiple programming languages.

Topics covered include

  • Writing better tests--and writing them faster
  • The four phases of automated tests: fixture setup, exercising the system under test, result verification, and fixture teardown
  • Improving test coverage by isolating software from its environment using Test Stubs and Mock Objects
  • Designing software for greater testability
  • Using test "smells" (including code smells, behavior smells, and project smells) to spot problems and know when and how to eliminate them
  • Refactoring tests for greater simplicity, robustness, and execution speed

This book will benefit developers, managers, and testers working with any agile or conventional development process, whether doing test-driven development or writing the tests last. While the patterns and smells are especially applicable to all members of the xUnit family, they also apply to next-generation behavior-driven development frameworks such as RSpec and JBehave and to other kinds of test automation tools, including recorded test tools and data-driven test tools such as Fit and FitNesse.

Visual Summary of the Pattern Language 




Refactoring a Test

PART I: The Narratives
Chapter 1 A Brief Tour
Chapter 2 Test Smells
Chapter 3 Goals of Test Automation
Chapter 4 Philosophy of Test Automation
Chapter 5 Principles of Test Automation
Chapter 6 Test Automation Strategy
Chapter 7 xUnit Basics
Chapter 8 Transient Fixture Management
Chapter 9 Persistent Fixture Management
Chapter 10 Result Verification
Chapter 11 Using Test Doubles
Chapter 12 Organizing Our Tests
Chapter 13 Testing with Databases
Chapter 14 A Roadmap to Effective Test Automation
PART II: The Test Smells 
Chapter 15 Code Smells
Chapter 16 Behavior Smells
Chapter 17 Project Smells
PART III: The Patterns 
Chapter 18 Test Strategy Patterns
Chapter 19 xUnit Basics Patterns
Chapter 20 Fixture Setup Patterns
Chapter 21 Result Verification Patterns
Chapter 22 Fixture Teardown Patterns
Chapter 23 Test Double Patterns
Chapter 24 Test Organization Patterns
Chapter 25 Database Patterns
Chapter 26 Design-for-Testability Patterns
Chapter 27 Value Patterns
PART IV: Appendixes
Appendix A Test Refactorings  
Appendix B xUnit Terminology 
Appendix C xUnit Family Members

Table of contents

Visual Summary of the Pattern Language xvii

Foreword xix

Preface xxi

Acknowledgments xxvi

Introduction xxix

Refactoring a Test xlv

PART I: The Narratives 1

Chapter 1 A Brief Tour 3

About This Chapter 3

The Simplest Test Automation Strategy That Could Possibly Work 3

Development Process 4

Customer Tests 5

Unit Tests 6

Design for Testability 7

Test Organization 7

What's Next? 8

Chapter 2 Test Smells 9

About This Chapter 9

An Introduction to Test Smells 9

What's a Test Smell? 10

Kinds of Test Smells 10

What to Do about Smells? 11

A Catalog of Smells 12

The Project Smells 12

The Behavior Smells 13

The Code Smells 16

What's Next? 17

Chapter 3 Goals of Test Automation 19

About This Chapter 19

Why Test? 19

Economics of Test Automation 20

Goals of Test Automation 21

Tests Should Help Us Improve Quality 22

Tests Should Help Us Understand the SUT 23

Tests Should Reduce (and Not Introduce) Risk 23

Tests Should Be Easy to Run 25

Tests Should Be Easy to Write and Maintain 27

Tests Should Require Minimal Maintenance as

the System Evolves Around Them 29

What's Next? 29

Chapter 4 Philosophy of Test Automation 31

About This Chapter 31

Why Is Philosophy Important? 31

Some Philosophical Differences 32

Test First or Last? 32

Tests or Examples? 33

Test-by-Test or Test All-at-Once? 33

Outside-In or Inside-Out? 34

State or Behavior Verification? 36

Fixture Design Upfront or Test-by-Test? 36

When Philosophies Differ 37

My Philosophy 37

What's Next? 37

Chapter 5 Principles of Test Automation 39

About This Chapter 39

The Principles 39

What's Next? 48

Chapter 6 Test Automation Strategy 49

About This Chapter 49

What's Strategic? 49

Which Kinds of Tests Should We Automate? 50

Per-Functionality Tests 50

Cross-Functional Tests 52

Which Tools Do We Use to Automate Which Tests? 53

Test Automation Ways and Means 54

Introducing xUnit 56

The xUnit Sweet Spot 58

Which Test Fixture Strategy Do We Use? 58

What Is a Fixture? 59

Major Fixture Strategies 60

Transient Fresh Fixtures 61

Persistent Fresh Fixtures 62

Shared Fixture Strategies 63

How Do We Ensure Testability? 65

Test Last--At Your Peril 65

Design for Testability--Upfront 65

Test-Driven Testability 66

Control Points and Observation Points 66

Interaction Styles and Testability Patterns 67

Divide and Test 71

What's Next? 73

Chapter 7 xUnit Basics 75

About This Chapter 75

An Introduction to xUnit 75

Common Features 76

The Bare Minimum 76

Defining Tests 76

What's a Fixture? 78

Defining Suites of Tests 78

Running Tests 79

Test Results 79

Under the xUnit Covers 81

Test Commands 82

Test Suite Objects 82

xUnit in the Procedural World 82

What's Next? 83

Chapter 8 Transient Fixture Management 85

About This Chapter 85

Test Fixture Terminology 86

What Is a Fixture? 86

What Is a Fresh Fixture? 87

What Is a Transient Fresh Fixture? 87

Building Fresh Fixtures 88

In-line Fixture Setup 88

Delegated Fixture Setup 89

Implicit Fixture Setup 91

Hybrid Fixture Setup 93


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