Roles and Activities > Developer Role Set > Implementer > Perform Unit Tests

  • To verify the specification of a unit.
  • To verify the internal structure of a unit.
Input Artifacts: Resulting Artifacts:
Role: Implementer
More Information:
  • Work Guidelines: Maintaining Automated Test Suites

  • Workflow Details:

    Note: Implementation and modification of components takes place in the context of configuration management on the project. Implementers are provided with a private development workspace (see Activity: Create Development Workspace) in which they do their work, as directed by Artifact: Work Orders. In this workspace, source elements are created and placed under configuration management, or they are modified through the usual check out, edit, build, unit test, and check in cycle (see Activity: Make Changes). Following the completion of some set of components, as defined by one or more Work Orders and required for an upcoming build, the implementer will deliver (see Activity: Deliver Changes) the associated new and modified components to the subsystem integration workspace, for integration with the work of other implementers. Finally, at a convenient point, the implementer can update, or re-baseline, the private development workspace so it's consistent with the subsystem integration workspace (see Activity: Update Workspace).

    Unit means not only a class in an object-oriented language, but also free subprograms, such as functions in C++.

    For testing each unit (implemented class), perform the following steps:

    Execute Unit Test To top of page

    • To execute the test procedures, or test scripts if testing is automated.
    Tool Mentors

    To execute unit test, the following steps should be followed:

    1. Set up the test environment to ensure that all the needed elements, such as hardware, software, tools, data, and so on, have been implemented and are in the test environment.
    2. Initialize the test environment to ensure all components are in the correct initial state for the start of testing.
    3. Execute the test procedures.

    Note: Executing the test procedures will vary depending on whether testing is automated or manual, and whether test components are needed as either drivers or stubs. 

    • Automated testing: The test scripts created during the Implement Test step are executed.
    • Manual execution: The structured test procedures developed during the Structure Test Procedure activity are used to manually execute the test.

    Evaluate Execution of Test To top of page

    • To determine whether the tests completed successfully and as desired.
    • To determine if corrective action is required.
    Tool Mentors

    The execution of testing ends or terminates in one of two conditions:

    • Normal: all test procedures (or scripts) execute as intended.

    If testing terminates normally, then continue with Verify Test Results.

    • Abnormal or premature: the test procedures, or scripts, did not execute completely or as intended. When testing ends abnormally, the test results may be unreliable. The cause of termination must be identified, corrected, and the tests re-executed before additional test activities are performed.

    If testing terminates abnormally, continue with Recover from Halted Tests.

    Verify Test Results To top of page

    • To determine if the test results are reliable.
    • To identify appropriate corrective action if the test results indicate flaws in the test effort or artifacts.
    Tool Mentors

    When testing is complete, review the test results to ensure the test results are reliable and reported failures, warnings, or unexpected results were not caused by external influences (to the target-of-test), such as improper setup or data.

    If the reported failures are due to errors identified in the test artifacts or due to problems with the test environment, take the appropriate corrective action and execute the testing again.  For additional information, see Activity: Analyze Test failure and Recover From Halted Tests.

    If the test results indicate the failures are genuinely due to the target-of-test, then the Execute Test Suite Activity is complete and the Activity: Determine Test Results now be performed.

    Recover From Halted Tests To top of page

    • To determine the appropriate corrective action to recover from a halted test.
    • To correct the problem, recover, and execute the tests again.

    There are two major types of halted tests:

    • Fatal errors—the system fails; for example, network failures, hardware crashes, and the like.
    • Test Script Command Failures—specific to automated testing, this is when a test script cannot execute a command or a line of code.

    Both types of abnormal termination to testing may exhibit the same symptoms:

    • Unexpected actions, windows, or events occur while the test script is executing.
    • Test environment appears unresponsive or in an undesirable state, such as hung or crashed.

    To recover from halted tests, perform these steps:

    1. Determine the actual cause of the problem.
    2. Correct the problem.
    3. Set up the test environment again.
    4. Initialize the test environment again.
    5. Execute the tests again.

    See Activity: Analyze Test Failure for additional information.

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