Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Small Successes in pseudo FIT

One of the problems we have in our application is writing integration tests. Our customers business is basically building an application that takes 30 (relative inaccurate) numbers, and through various convolutions turns them into thousands of very precise numbers.

We currently break our development tests into process chunks. We "chop" the business. For each stage in the process we create a known set of inputs and test against a known set of outputs. (Keeping the numbers to a few dozen). This helps with defect triangulation and keeping the tests maintainable. We couldn't do test first development without it.

However, we may miss linking steps together (despite our mock workflow tests). We may not even understand all the processes involved. And despite our best efforts the process will not work. Worse, when we refactor, we may break something that used to work.

Our pseudo FIT framework serves as an automated way of checking. It allows the QA people to take a snapshot of the VIEWS of the database (basically our facade for reporting) and create a simple script to execute the events. This allows us to see change in the system, catch bugs earlier and more automatically. It has caught a number of them already.

I feel a little safer.


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