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How to Test Web Code?

How to Test Web Code?

"Does anyone have some good hints for writing test code for database-backend development where there is a heavy dependency on state?

Specifically, I want to write tests for code that retrieve records from the database, but the answers will depend on the data in the database (which may change over time).

Do people usually make a separate development system with a 'frozen' database so that any given function should always return the exact same result set?

I am quite sure this is not a new issue, so I would be very interested to learn from other people's experience.

Are there good articles out there that discuss this issue of web-based development in general?

I usually write PHP code, but I would expect all of these issues are largely language and framework agnostic."

Asked by: Guest | Views: 134
Total answers/comments: 4
Guest [Entry]

"You should look into DBUnit, or try to find a PHP equivalent (there must be one out there). You can use it to prepare the database with a specific set of data which represents your test data, and thus each test will no longer depend on the database and some existing state. This way, each test is self contained and will not break during further database usage.

Update: A quick google search showed a DB unit extension for PHPUnit."
Guest [Entry]

If you're mostly concerned with data layer testing, you might want to check out this book: xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code. I was always unsure about it myself, but this book does a great job to help enumerate the concerns like performance, reproducibility, etc.
Guest [Entry]

"I guess it depends what database you're using, but Red Gate (www.red-gate.com) make a tool called SQL Data Generator. This can be configured to fill your database with sensible looking test data. You can also tell it to always use the same seed in its random number generator so your 'random' data is the same every time.

You can then write your unit tests to make use of this reliable, repeatable data.

As for testing the web side of things, I'm currently looking into Selenium (selenium.openqa.org). This appears to be a cross-browser capable test suite which will help you test functionality. However, as with all of these web site test tools, there's no real way to test how well these things look in all of the browsers without casting a human eye over them!"
Guest [Entry]

We use an in-memory database (hsql : http://hsqldb.org/). Hibernate (http://www.hibernate.org/) makes it easy for us to point our unit tests at the testing db, with the added bonus that they run as quick as lightning..