TEST: AUTOMATED TOOLS
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 outcomea 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 testslots of testson your Java code.
Unlike most other automated test tools, Agitator is easy to usesimply 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.
Productivity Award Winners
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 toolit 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.
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 Codeand 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.
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.