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May 10

Written by: QCTO Blog
Sunday, May 10, 2009  RssIcon

Written by Steven Feuerstein

Greetings, Oracle technologists, and welcome to the "Real Automated Code Testing for Oracle" blog. Following in the grand tradition of acronym-ing everything, I will (maybe) refer to this blog as the RACTO blog. J
We have created this blog with the following objectives in mind:
  • Provide information about Quest Code Tester for Oracle – and how best to use it - to its user community (this blog does not, however, replace or supplant the Code Tester Community forums). 
  • More generally, provide a platform for me, my co-blogger, Finn Ellebaek Nielsen, and others in the PL/SQL community to discuss the importance of code testing, as well as how automated testing can help each of us write higher quality applications.
So before I go any further, I would like to introduce Finn. Finn has worked as an IT architect/developer in Denmark, Italy and England since 1987. He is proficient in a wide range of technologies, including Oracle SQL and PL/SQL, Java, XML, and Web programming. Since 2006, he has been applying Agile methodologies in his projects and has decided to focus his attention on enhancing both automated testing and Agile development in the world of Oracle development. I am very pleased to have made Finn's acquaintance and to be working with him. I expect to be learning a lot.
Finn and I share the administration and primary authorship responsibilities for this blog. In fact, I am secretly hoping that Finn will get so excited about writing for this blog that all I will have to do is sit back and simply enjoy his insights into testing.  Go, Finn, go!
Between the two of us, I am confident that we can offer lots of interesting ideas regarding the challenges of testing, and how automated testing (particularly with Code Tester) can radically transform how you write your programs and drastically reduce the number of bugs in that code.
I also know, however, that there are many other PL/SQL developers in this ever-changing world of ours from whom we can learn. So I invite you to consider submitting your own ideas for publication in this blog. You might, for example, tell us about how you have used Code Tester to great advantage, or what you would like to see changed/improved in this tool. You can send your submission to me at steven.feuerstein@quest.com, or simply send me a note exploring the possibility of writing for RACTO (there, I used the acronym).
To keep you glued to your seat I encourage you to bookmark this webpage for easy access, here are the topics we plan to write about in the coming months:
  1. Why automated testing of Oracle code is a good idea: heck, why don't we just keep on doing what we are doing? We haven't been fired (yet) for having too many bugs in our code! 
  2. Comparison between backend (database) and frontend (GUI) testing: why bother testing the backend if the QA team is going to test the frontend (which calls the backend) anyway? 
  3. How to get started testing: we are often so intimidated by the complexity of our code and the seeming enormity of the testing challenge ahead of us, that we feel defeated before we even start. We'll offer simple, practical ideas which will help avoid that overwhelming feeling. 
  4. The differences between testing new application code and legacy code: is there a difference? We think so. 
  5. Data-driven test cases: a very interesting way to execute many tests (and improve test coverage) with a minimum of effort is to define your test cases in a table. 
  6. Execution of Code Tester activities (running tests, generating reports, etc.) in scripting environments: many users of Code Tester need to run their tests each night as part of regular QA process. We'll show you how to do it for commonly used frameworks like Ant. 
  7. Integration with test management software like HP Quality Center (formerly know as Mercury Test Director): there are many other tools for managing and executing tests, though few of them address directly the challenge of testing individual PL/SQL units. We'll take a look at other testing frameworks and how Code Tester can integrate with them.   
  8. How Quest Code Tester compares to Oracle Real Application Testing: Oracle announced last year its Real Application Testing feature (great acronym!). That sounds good – and do you need Code Tester if you are using RAT (J)? The quick answer is a resounding "Yes!" but we'll provide more details in the blog.
That's probably enough for now. I will finish by offering a quick update regarding Code Tester:
We will be releasing version 1.8.3 in mid-May. This version offers a completely rebuilt export/import facility that now relies on XML. It is more simple, reliable and flexible. We add reports for suites, improve the performance and correctness of dataset comparisons (thanks, Tom Kyte, for your insights on how best to compare two tables!), fix over N bugs, and (my favorite development) have implemented a fully automated regression test of the backend functionality of Code Tester, using (what else?) Code Tester to verify itself (I know: there is some sort of potential paradox in there somewhere, but trust me, we've taken that into account) plus a new utility called Test Launcher that we will soon also make available to Code Tester users.

Code Tester Blog - introduction
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5 comment(s) so far...

Re: Code Tester Blog - introduction

So when covering code testing for RAC or Real Application Cluster content, will this then be called RACTORAC or simplyRACTO Squared :)

By bscalzo on   Monday, May 11, 2009

Re: Code Tester Blog - introduction

I like RACTORAC, myself.

By QCTOblog on   Thursday, May 21, 2009

Re: Code Tester Blog - introduction

Regarding step 7. Is there a plug in that integrates Quest code tester and HP Quality Center? If so does anyone know where I can find it?

By AQLIVE on   Monday, June 08, 2009

Re: Code Tester Blog - introduction

Integration with HP Quality Center (formerly known as Mercury TestDirector) is the subject of a near future blog post. I haven't looked much into this yet but I believe that the following options are available: 1. Write a custom report in Code Tester that exports the test cases and run results to a CSV in the format that Quality Center expects. Then import that file. 2. Run a SQL query from within Quality Center against Code Tester's repository. 3. Use a combination of Quality Center's Open Test Architecture API and a query against Code Tester's repository. I'll come back to this in a few weeks. Hope this helps. Finn

By QCTOblog on   Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Re: Code Tester Blog - introduction

By the way, which integration between Code Tester and Quality Center were you looking for? 1. A description of Code Tester test cases and run results? 2. Code Tester test cases in a way that allows you to execute them from Quality Center? 3. Something else? Thanks in advance. Finn

By QCTOblog on   Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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