JUnit in Action

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Writing tests and test cases is important in software engineering, however, it seems that a lot of people, especially new-baked developers are afraid of tests or simply evade to put them into practice.

Testing allows you to see if each small piece of code produces the desired outcome and if it works as intended. These small pieces of code are called units, and they can't get any simpler than that. It's because of their small and isolated nature that makes it so easy to fix a problem if it arises. Most bugs, holes, and oversights in programs are noticed during runtime. Unit testing allows for the automation of the testing process and helps you pinpoint the offending code which would usually be hidden behind a complex architecture, posing a seemingly much greater problem.

Naming Conventions - It's standard practice to name test classes the same as the classes being tested with the addition of "Test" at the end. Maven took advantage of this convention and includes all classes with this suffix in its test scope.

Unit test information - Providing meaningful and useful messages during tests is crucial. If you're working in a team, allowing others to understand your tests is highly commendable. These annotation names are more indicative and cause less confusion. JUnit tests are simply segregated methods in a test class.

To define a method to be a test method, we annotate it with the Test annotation.

JUnit In Action

Using JUnit itself is easy. I think the book does a good job getting across some of this valuable information. You will probably find yourself having a few "Ahh, that makes sense I should refactor my code here to do JUnit has been around awhile, and lots of us have been using it for some time, but this is definitely still worth a read.


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You may be able to skim through some of the beginning chapters, but having a fresh take is always good. The book starts by delving into JUnit right away. JUnit Jumpstart has you understanding the history of JUnit, installing and configuring it on your system, and then writing a simple unit test. If you know your TestCases from your TestSuites, then you will breeze through this.

Exploring JUnit goes into more depth. If you'd like to know the JUnit lifecycle and really understand everything that is going on under the covers this is a chapter for you. The first two chapters are good introductory pieces, but it starts to get going in Chapter 3.

JUnit in Action, Second Edition by Petar Tahchiev - PDF Drive

Here we get to writing some "real" code. The authors walk you through writing a controller based system, and you feel like you are following an experience. Already we are faced with the question "Should you change your application to help you test? This comes up a few times throughout the book, and the authors give a strong "YES". You can tell that they are proponents of Test Driven Development, and they explain their reasoning. They see your JUnit tests as the first users of the business code.

JUnit in Action

Since the customer is always right, you should "let the test improve the code". This book fits in between the first two. There is a good amount of code, and the authors do go into some details on the practical things. Items that you have to deal with like "Where should we put the tests? In the same package? Where on the file system? I happen to use this best practice myself, and it works great. By the time that you are through the first three chapters, you should feel pretty educated when it comes to JUnit. Examining software tests changes direction a little, and gets into the interesting world of testing.

Here we delve deeper to understand the various areas of testing from unit tests to acceptance tests and how they fit into the development cycle. We finish up with a look at Test Driven Development itself, and how it changes the entire development cycle and maybe your way of thinking? Automating JUnit concludes part one, covering the practical topics of integration.

Here we work with the Ant, Maven, and Eclipse tools.

What is it?

For some people, this may be a first look at Maven. In my opinion, here it gets even more interesting. This part of the book gets into HOW best to do some of this testing. It is easy to test a hello world component, but life isn't that simple. We work with web servers, databases, and containers in general. How do we "get in there" to test our components?


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  • Coarse-grained testing with stubs goes down the path of writing stubs, which are defined as "a portion of code that is inserted at runtime in place of the real code, in order to isolate calling code from the real implementation. The intent is to replace a complex behaviour with a simpler one that allows independent testing of some portion of the real code".

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    As always, the full source code of the examples is available over on GitHub. Persistence The Persistence with Spring guides.

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