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What Do We Want to Automate?

Automation is different depending on the test type, the test level, and the system type. For example, if we want to test the behavior of a server-based system under high load, we need some specific sort of tool. The ideal tool would allow us to send a certain number of jobs from several clients to that server and then to poll a number of parameters, such as response times, number of failed queries, storage consumption, and CPU load. In contrast, so-called capture/playback tools are often used to test graphic apps, allowing the recording and playback of interactions on user level, such as mouse movements, clicks, and keyboard inputs. We are interested mainly in the automation of object-oriented unit tests. Such a test consists normally of the creation of one or more objects, bringing these objects into a specific initial state, feeding them with a number of messages, and finally checking for changes within the objects or impact on the environment (e.g., files). In other words, we are interested in creating a test driver. While we have agreed on the test type we are interested in, we still have to think about different levels to which our test cases can refer:

Our hope is to be able to complete all these types of test levels with one single approach and one single tool. This time our hope will not be unwarranted.


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