Data Driven

Data-driven tests are one kind of test automation. See LessonsLearned 129.

Data-driven tests have several advantages:

  • Inputs can be created using other than manual methods. For example, they can come from legacy data, or be generated by models or external oracles. Here is a perl program that generates model constrained randomized data for the CalculatorExample. Note that in this case, the constraining model runs on a completely different computer:

  • Tests are easy to review by people (e.g. customers) who may not know how to write the test fixtures or the test generators themselves. They can also create additional tests.

Good tool choices for test data generators include ...

  • productivity products like Excel
  • scripting languages like Perl, Python and Ruby
  • modeling systems like Mathcad or Mathematica.


Last edited September 8, 2002
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