Skip to main content

Simple code: Acceptance tests

Acceptance test are a great tool to verify that the application or system works as expected from end to end. Sometimes these tests can be called as end-to-end tests but sometimes end-to-end tests have a different meaning. Another term to describe the same functionality is QA tests and a subset of acceptance tests is often referred as smoke tests.

The idea

The idea is to define a input and the expected output and once the system and all it's dependant services are running the whole system can be verified to work as expected. In a ideal world the acceptance tests would be implemented based on the acceptance criteria of the use case.

The implementation

Acceptance tests can and should be implemented in the code just like unit and integration tests are implemented. The acceptance tests don't neccessarily reside in the same code repository as the code but they can, depending on what's the need.

When a system is API the acceptance tests could be e.g. predefined HTTP requests with predefined responses. These type of tests could easily be implemented with any unit test library or with a help of tools like SoapUI or Postman.

When a system is a web application that's used via browser the tests could be a flow of navigating the application with a browser and verifying that the interactions work as expected. These type of tests can also be easily automated with tools like testcafe and cypress.
Similar tools exist for mobile applications.

Acceptance vs integration tests

Acceptance and integration tests seem very similar and they are. They do basically the same thing but they do it in a different environment. Where a integration test (my idea of a integration test) is executed as part of the systems automated tests in the developers computer and in the CI system the acceptance test is executed against a real system running in a real environment where all the dependant services are running on their own and we as developers aren't neccessarily controlling the system but just executing the tests and observing the behaviour. Acceptance tests can and should also be run automatically by the CI system

When to implement acceptance tests

Just like any other tests acceptance tests can be implemented at any phase of the development process. Sometimes acceptance tests are implemented by someone else than the developer of the system e.g. a QA/tester who's a expert in these type of tests.

One approach is to implement acceptance tests before any code is written. This enables the development of the system with a test driven approach that's called acceptance test driven development i.e. ATDD. Another form of this is called BDD i.e. behaviour driven development.

Next part

In the next part I'll be moving from testing to version control systems and the importance of work log.

Popular posts from this blog

Sharing to help myself

It's been a while since my last post but I have a good excuse. I've been in a new customer project (well new for me) for two months now and have absorbed a lot of new information on the technology stack and the project itself. This time I'll be sharing a short post about sharing code and how it can help the one who's sharing the code. I'll be giving a real life example of how it happened to me. My story Back when I was implementing first version of my simple-todo REST-service I used Scala and Play framework for the service and specs2 for testing the implementation. Since then I've done a few other implementations of the service but I've continued to use specs2 as a testing framework. I wrote about my implementation and shared the post through various services and as a result someone forked my work and gave me some pointers on how I could improve my tests. That someone was Eric Torreborre  the man behind specs2 framework. I didn't take his ref

Simple code: Naming things

There are two hard things in programming and naming is one them. If you don't believe me ask Martin Fowler . In this post I'll be covering some general conventions for naming things to improve readability and understandabilty of the code. There are lots of things that need a name in programming. Starting from higher abstractions to lower we need to name a project, API or library, we probably need to name the source code repository, when we get to the code we need to name our modules or packages, we give names to classes, objects, interfaces and in those we name our functions or methods and within those we name our variables. Overall a lot of things to name. TLDR; Basic rule There's a single basic convention to follow to achiveve better, more descriptive naming of things. Give it a meaningful name i.e. don't use shorthands like gen or single letter variables like a, x, z instead tell what it represents, what it does

Simple code: Immutability

Immutability is a special thing that in my mind deserves a short explanation and praise. If you're familiar with functional programming you surely recognice the concept of immutability because it's a key ingredient of the paradigm. In the world of object oriented programming it's not as used and as easy to use approach but there are ways to incorporate immutability to parts of the code and I strongly suggest you to do so. Quick intro to immutablity The basic idea of immutability is unchangeable data.  Lets take a example. We have a need to modify a object's property but because the object is immutable we can't just change value but instead we make a copy of the object and while making the copy we provide the new value for the copy. In code it looks something like this. val pencil = Product(name = "Pencil", category = "Office supply") val blackMarker = pencil.copy(name = "Black marker") The same idea can be applied in functions and metho