Test Cases as Executable Specifications

Ronelle Landy, The Mathworks Inc.

While testing major architectural changes to a legacy product, it became clear to Andy and Ronelle's team that without a close association between test cases and application requirements there was no assurance that these requirement were met. They detail the processes, tools, and workflows their team developed to produce high quality, searchable, well documented test suites that provided direct transfer of testing requirements from developers to test engineers. These test suites now serve as a continuous verification that the product functions remain current in their dynamic development environment. Any test failure is a clear indicator that the product does not implement the functionality called for in the specification. Reporting capabilities of the tools provide insight into the progress of testing throughout the development cycle. In addition, the ability to view the test suite as a matrix of test cases allows the test writer to optimize testing efforts by locating testing holes as well as areas of over coverage. Learn how to build and use automated test suites as a set of executable "specs" for your existing applications.

  • A methodology for keeping source code and specs in sync
  • How to structure a test bed to separate independent test characteristics
  • A searchable, multi-dimensional map of test code to product source

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