The reuse of tests for configured software products

Jukka Korhonen, Mika Salmela, Jarmo Kalaoja

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

Abstract

New efficient software production techniques are important for improving the time-to-market of software products. One example of such advanced techniques is the so-called feature-based software production which employs high-level requirements or features in finding and selecting reusable software components for the development of new products. This kind of model-driven software development shortens the production time, but the validation of configured products still remains a bottleneck. An effort to apply regression testing techniques to configured software products shows that these techniques are not very well suited to meeting the new testing challenges. It is obvious that retesting an entire program, containing possibly only a few minor changes, is expensive. Therefore, an efficient testing approach is required for optimizing the size of the test suite. Other important issues concerning the testing approach are the design of reusable tests, the configuration and management of tests, and the automation of test execution. In the research, the testing efficiency problem is solved by using the idea of reusable software components from the feature-based production. In software testing the idea converts into a set of reusable test components designed for a product family. From a test material repository a suitable subset of tests is selected, modified, and configured to cover the characteristics of the product being tested. In addition, the repository may contain other relevant test data to be used for configuration, such as the test plans and the test environment configuration. The technique is called the feature-based testing approach. For identifying the relevant test data, the method proposes links to be created between the product features and the test material. The result of the test configuration depends on the automation degree, varying from a simple test involving identification of lists useful in manual testing to executable tests in a fully automated test environment. Often in structured testing the test case assumes that the software is in a specific state. Therefore joining test scripts arbitrarily may not produce the desired results. For that reason, we propose utilization of test specification components that are capable of using product feature data, taking care of the execution order and selecting appropriate tests for the product. When implementing the feature-based testing approach, the issues to be emphasized are script development, test development and execution, and test management. A support system implementing the main characteristics of the feature-based testing approach has been outlined in the report. The tool is demonstrated in a case study.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages69
ISBN (Electronic)951-38-5557-0
ISBN (Print)951-38-5556-2
Publication statusPublished - 2000
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

NameVTT Publications
PublisherVTT
No.406
ISSN (Print)1235-0621
ISSN (Electronic)1455-0849

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Testing
Automation
Software testing
Joining
Software engineering
Specifications

Keywords

  • software testing
  • feature-based software
  • regression testing
  • configured systems

Cite this

Korhonen, J., Salmela, M., & Kalaoja, J. (2000). The reuse of tests for configured software products. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT Publications, No. 406
Korhonen, Jukka ; Salmela, Mika ; Kalaoja, Jarmo. / The reuse of tests for configured software products. Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2000. 69 p. (VTT Publications; No. 406).
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Korhonen, J, Salmela, M & Kalaoja, J 2000, The reuse of tests for configured software products. VTT Publications, no. 406, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo.

The reuse of tests for configured software products. / Korhonen, Jukka; Salmela, Mika; Kalaoja, Jarmo.

Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2000. 69 p. (VTT Publications; No. 406).

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

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AB - New efficient software production techniques are important for improving the time-to-market of software products. One example of such advanced techniques is the so-called feature-based software production which employs high-level requirements or features in finding and selecting reusable software components for the development of new products. This kind of model-driven software development shortens the production time, but the validation of configured products still remains a bottleneck. An effort to apply regression testing techniques to configured software products shows that these techniques are not very well suited to meeting the new testing challenges. It is obvious that retesting an entire program, containing possibly only a few minor changes, is expensive. Therefore, an efficient testing approach is required for optimizing the size of the test suite. Other important issues concerning the testing approach are the design of reusable tests, the configuration and management of tests, and the automation of test execution. In the research, the testing efficiency problem is solved by using the idea of reusable software components from the feature-based production. In software testing the idea converts into a set of reusable test components designed for a product family. From a test material repository a suitable subset of tests is selected, modified, and configured to cover the characteristics of the product being tested. In addition, the repository may contain other relevant test data to be used for configuration, such as the test plans and the test environment configuration. The technique is called the feature-based testing approach. For identifying the relevant test data, the method proposes links to be created between the product features and the test material. The result of the test configuration depends on the automation degree, varying from a simple test involving identification of lists useful in manual testing to executable tests in a fully automated test environment. Often in structured testing the test case assumes that the software is in a specific state. Therefore joining test scripts arbitrarily may not produce the desired results. For that reason, we propose utilization of test specification components that are capable of using product feature data, taking care of the execution order and selecting appropriate tests for the product. When implementing the feature-based testing approach, the issues to be emphasized are script development, test development and execution, and test management. A support system implementing the main characteristics of the feature-based testing approach has been outlined in the report. The tool is demonstrated in a case study.

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Korhonen J, Salmela M, Kalaoja J. The reuse of tests for configured software products. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2000. 69 p. (VTT Publications; No. 406).