Test Case Management: how to generate test cases from the code


Software engineers use test cases for serious testing. Test cases are written rules, written in words or in code, and intended to become test results. Test results reflect which test cases have passed and which have failed.

This means that test cases are theoretical, static part of testing, whereas test results are dynamic, practical part. Life cycle of a test case longs from several builds to several versions of the product the test case belongs to. Life cycle of test results is from run to run. Usually, a run is performed once per build. Sometimes, several runs (i.e., test results) are conducted per build.

Now, let’s take a look at how contemporary test tools publish results. Click’n’play tools generate results for every click. Is this valuable? I think so, because a test engineer often needs to investigate into ‘not clicked’ issue. To sum up, this is an industry-proven practice to write up test results automatically. In fact, nobody would write test cases like ‘click the Next button’ by hands.

Following the industry practices, we also added test results generation from the code. How it works? If the paramater [UIAutomation.Preferences]::EveryCmdletAsTestResult is set to $true, all the results brought to the pipeline will be also stored as test results.

Let’s take the following piece of code:

ipmo [path]\TMX.dll
ipmo [path]\UIAutomation.dll
[UIAutomation.Preferences]::EveryCmdletAsTestResult=$true
Start-Process calc
Get-UIAWindow -n calc* | Get-UIAButton -n 1 | Invoke-UIAButtonClick;
Get-UIAWindow -n calc* | Get-UIAButton -n add | Invoke-UIAButtonClick;
Get-UIAWindow -n calc* | Get-UIAButton -n 1 | Invoke-UIAButtonClick;
Get-UIAWindow -n calc* | Get-UIAButton | Set-UIAFocus | Set-UIAControlKeys -Text "1{+}1{=}"

Search-TMXTestResult
Export-TMXTestResults -As HTML -Path c:\1\calc_test_results_generated.htm
c:\1\calc_test_results_generated.htm

In the code above, we can see thirteen calls of UIA cmdlets. These thirteen calls generate thirteen test results. That’s all, no more manual work.

The Search-TMXTestResult cmdlets outputs all the test results to the pipeline, allowing you to process them in your own way. The Export-TMXTestResults cmdlet creates a simple HTML report (the projects seriously lacks of a HTML/CSS programmer).

When this way to obtain test result would be right:

  • you are playing with a small experimental script and you simply don’t want to spend time for creating test cases to a probe script
  • your test suite is huge, so huge that writing test cases manually makes no sense
  • you are not a professional tester, but test results are valuable for you
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