Dr. Dobb's is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Channels ▼

Jolt Awards

Fresh Faces

June, 2005: The 15th Annual Software Development Jolt & Productivity Awards

Software Development

June 2005


Mark de Visser, VP of Marketing Alberto Savoia, CTO and VP of Engineering Roongko Doong, Ph.D., VP of Technology

Agitator and Dashboard 2.0

To truly unit-test code, you must review every line, every branch, and every outcome—a huge combinatorial task that can be attempted only with automation. Run it through the Agitator and it comes out spanking clean. Agitar, based in Mountain View, Calif., raises the bar in how we'll look at testing tools in the future with the release of its Agitator product and accompanying management dashboard. The combination of features in this product makes it easy to run tests—lots of tests—on your Java code.

Unlike most other automated test tools, Agitator is easy to use—simply point it at your code, a method, class or complete project, and let it loose. The tool analyzes a program and selects data that it determines will effectively exercise the methods in the program. It then finds boundary conditions and data values that will exercise all conditions and branches, and it does it quickly. It generated and ran almost 1,600 tests on a class in less than 10 seconds.

Dashboard lets project members and management quickly view test results and gather other metrics, such as the complexity of a body of code. This is one new, jolting product that I've already added to my toolchest.

—Gary Pollice

Productivity Award Winners

LISA 2.5
iTKO Inc.

Look, Ma, no hands! Based in Southlake, Texas, iTKO presents LISA 2.5, a point-and-click unit, regression, load and performance enterprise-strength automated testing solution for J2EE applications, websites and Web services.

As is expected with any rich, diverse tool that interfaces with many technologies, the user interface isn't simple, but is certainly worth the time it takes to learn how to use the product. LISA performs "inline testing" technology to test all components. Its wizards help testing novices connect to, analyze and interact with live EJBs, databases, messaging layers and Web services/SOAP objects to produce effective tests of several types of software, though this simplicity can be awkward for programmers. I like this tool—it has the potential to become a great product, though it's currently a little too fresh. I'm looking forward to seeing it next year.

—Gary Pollice

Parasoft Jtest 5.1

Jtest is a hungry little beast. Feed it your Java project, and it'll chew it to pieces as it automates Java unit testing and coding standard analysis.

Don't take it personally when Jtest cites you for some of the 400+ Java coding standards rules it knows in 24 separate categories, including J2ME, J2EE and Scott Ambler's Java Coding Style Standards, Threads and Synchronization, as well as Unused Code—and you can add your own rules, too. But it also can be your best friend, automatically correcting more than 200 of those violations with its Quick Fix feature and automatically generating JUnit tests for you. It's not a stretch to say that Monrovia, Calif.–based Parasoft has a product that can replace one test person on your project.

The current version supports Eclipse 2.1 and 3.X and WSAD 5.X.

—Gary Evans

TestComplete 3.0


When it comes to automated testing tools, it's hard not to be impressed with TestComplete, Las Vegas–based AutomatedQA's comprehensive testing solution for Windows.

Like most automation tools, TestComplete supports the recording and playback of applications under test. These recordings can be viewed and edited as scripts in five different programming dialects. The test development environment has all the features you'd expect for script editing, including syntax highlighting, collapsible code and code completion. More importantly, TestComplete's Object Browser can delve into some program details with great specificity.

With TestComplete, you can construct and manage complex test suites with access to many of the same capabilities found in much more expensive testing tools. TestComplete 3 is a winner.

—Robert DelRossi

Related Reading

More Insights

Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.