Archive for November, 2014

Functional Test Automation, Part 2: The Subject, the Standard, and the Evidence

In my last post I wrote that the reality of automated functional testing has so far failed to live up to my expectations. In this post I’ll define what I mean by functional testing. What follows might not be the definition you’re familiar with, and I don’t mean to suggest that this is the only valid definition. It is certainly influenced by the industries I work with, where:

  • The subject of functional testing is a black box
  • The standard of functional testing is the set of functional requirements
  • The evidence of functional testing formally links test cases to those requirements they test

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Functional Test Automation, Part 1: Room for Improvement

From my first encounter with HTMLUnit over ten years ago, I had high hopes for automated functional testing for web applications. Comprehensive test suites would run continuously and unattended, and notify us promptly of incipient problems. We would dazzle our customers and quality auditors with slick, comprehensive, and electronically signed hypertext reports. We would dispense with hundreds of person-hours of manual testing, and pass the cost savings on to our customers. We would retire waist-high piles of paper test scripts and reports to long term storage and, after the obligatory retention period, dance around the bonfire where they burned. Continue Reading…