Monday, July 31, 2006

Testing Struts Applications

In the latest article in the "In pursuit of code quality" series, Andrew Glover discusses a quality-centered approach to the test on Struts, using JUnit's StrutsTestCase, DbUnit. Here is a brief summary :Since the struts Action classes are the entry point to the business logic, there is too much coupling associated with them. Testing struts based application needs the use of a servlet container, HttpServletRequest and HttpServletResponse classes. Simpler tools are available for testing such applications:
  • StrutsTestCase is a JUnit extension that specifically targets Struts applications. This framework essentially mocks a servlet container, such that you can run and test a Struts application virtually rather than having to run it in Tomcat. The framework also has a handy MockStrutsTestCase class, which extendsTestCase and handles a lot of the Struts configuration aspects for you (such as loading the struts-config.xml configuration file).
  • DbUnit is a JUnit extension that facilitates placing a database into a known state between test runs. Using XML seed files, you can insert specific data into a database, which a test case can then rely on. Moreover, using the DbUnit API, you can easily compare the contents of the database to the contents of an XML file, thus providing a mechanism to verify expected database results outside of application code.
Using these two frameworks together lets you do integration-level testing on Struts apps without the need for browser simulations in JWebUnit etc.

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