What is Java testing?

what is java testing

Since its foundation, more than 20 years ago, Java continues to be one of the most used programming tools by developers. It’s often employed for both back-end and front-end development because of its capacity to provide a dynamic approach to any component within a development. Nevertheless, for it to work successfully, every software development must be tested. Of course, you may ask yourself, what is Java testing?

Well, testing is a crucial step in software development and deployment. Therefore, the answer to what is Java testing is the following: it’s a must that every developer should learn to do since without testing there’s no robust code. Without testing in Java, chances are that the content will have to be reworked several times after implementation.

Java testing frameworks

There are many frameworks for Java testing. These are the tools that enable developers to run unit tests, by providing them with pre-written code and various tools, API libraries, and so on, to make this task much easier and more efficient.

  1. JUnit

JUnit is a Java-based framework. Its purpose is to enable developers to build scripts and execute repetitive testing cases.

This tool is currently used to test small pieces of code and perform automation tests on a website. In order to do this, it requires integration with other software.

Pros

  • When using JUnit, bugs are detected at an early stage
  • Coding is developed error-free and is, therefore, more reliable and readable
  • It can run on Java 5, and later versions

Cons

  • JUnit can’t run dependency-proof tests (another software is required to do so)
  1. JBehave

JBehave aims to perform Behavior Driven Development (BDD) tests. It was built so that behavioral testing is as easy and intuitive as possible.

This framework is typically implemented in tandem with Selenium WebDriver for Java.

Pros

  • Useful when developing products that involve several teams
  • Specifications are more clearly formatted, which provides more transparency to stakeholders
  • Language used in JBehave allows consistency in project structure

Cons

JBehave itself has no drawbacks. But, like any BDD-type testing tool, it requires excellent communication between all parties involved in the development.  Without this, the tool may be useless.

  1. TestNG

This Java test automation framework resembles JUnit, except it’s a stronger version. This open-source software was developed to perform best when integrated with other programs. 

It’s frequently employed to perform clustering, setting, and sequencing for test cases.

Pros

  • Testers are able to bundle test cases, allowing a better prioritization of test cases
  • It enables the running of countless tests simultaneously, over different code fragments

Cons

This framework is more powerful and allows prioritization. Although, if the project doesn’t require it, it’s better to choose a different tool as setting up TestNG may take more time than other frameworks.

  1. Serenity 

Serenity was created for BDD testing. It’s an open-source library used in conjunction with, for example, JUnit to expand its functionalities.

Pros

  • Building an automation framework is easy with Serenity. That means it doesn’t require a large investment of time.
  • Handy for creating test cases for REST services
  • It can integrate with many automation frameworks, such as JBehave and Selenium. It can even incorporate continuous integration tools, such as Jira.

Cons

As with JBehave, Serenity comes in very handy for those projects that involve multiple members and teams with good communication. However, if you don’t have that sort of interaction, you might want to go for a different tool.

Best practices for unit testing

In order to build a reliable, secure and robust code, continuous testing is a must. However, what is the best practices to do so? Let’s take a look at some of them:

Splitting and naming

To make short tests easy to understand, it’s essential that repetitive codes are reduced to sub-functions. Also, giving a name to each sub-function will also simplify the task.

Try method chaining and overloading to simulate default arguments and be able to test just those parameters that are relevant.

Beware of variables

Adding variables in places where they aren’t specifically required causes the code to bloat, making it harder to trace the value back to the line of code where it belongs.

It’s advisable to keep the tests as short as possible. Doing so will help make any failure messages easier to understand and trace.

Keep it simple

When you start testing, it’s usual to be tempted to want to try everything. The addition of small things for testing will end up causing the test to be too large, time-consuming, and more complex to analyze later on.

If too many things are tested at the same time, understanding what went wrong and tracking it down may be difficult.

Be clear on what needs testing

Similar to what we mentioned above, it’s necessary to have clarity about what needs to be tested and why.

Sometimes you may want to retest something that has already been already proven in a previous test but it is not necessary.

Again: make tests short and clear.

There are a lot more good best practices for code testing to be efficient and straightforward. However, the most important thing to consider is that without code testing, there’s no reliable code. Code testing provides developers with more information so that they will perform a much more effective job.

If you are interested in continuing to learn about Java testing, check out our website or connect with us on LinkedIn. At WillDom we believe that learning is a continuous process and want to help you in it.

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