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A quick start tool for testing legacy applications

tag: v0.0.13

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README.markdown

Behavior Driven Legacy Testing

Why would you want to test a legacy system, such as a classic Asp application?

One reason would be so that you could modify it safely. A BDD approach to legacy maintenance also lets you rewrite a system piece by piece. In many instances the system is the spec. This means you would do well to document whatever you touch since you usually own that code afterwards. BDD provides the best form of documentation I know of in the form of executable documentation.

What is the benefit of executable documentation?

Well with executable documentation you could cut and paste it in an email and send it to a business expert. This means that there would be less opportunity for something to get lost in the translation between your expert's statements and the implementation of those statments in code.

Take a look at this example:

Feature: Login
  In order to log into my app
  As my app's personnel
  I want to put in my user name and password

  Scenario: Log in
    Given I enter my username
    And I enter my password
    When I press Continue
    Then I should see the environment link 
    And I select the environment link

Even without any further explanation, (if you know english) you should be able to read and understand the above statements very, very, easily. This means your business experts can at least be able to read your code. And yes, that is code. Therefore, a feature is executable documentation

Requirements

You must have ruby and rubygems The sql server helpers in this gem use the win32ole which is only available on windows. Everything else will work on mac or linux.

Installation

gem install bdd-legacy

Then run the bdd-legacy command for your app. This command will create a directory with a cucumber test suite with a number of utilities to get you started.

bdd-legacy mylegacyapp

Specifiy Url

Edit the env.rb file and point it to your application's domain name and url Note: this can be a non-local url

#/features/support/env.rb
# Change this to the domain of your web server.  Don't add the full url
$workingAppHostLink='http://localhost'
# add the url of your login page
$workingAppLoginRoute='/welcome/logon.asp'

Specify login steps

If you have a log in page, edit your the login_steps.rb file and change the fill in function to be the html name/id of your username and password fields on your log in page

#/features/step_definitions/login_steps.rb
Given /^I enter my username$/ do
    fill_in 'Username', :with => $workingAppUser
end

Given /^I enter my password$/ do
  fill_in 'Password', :with => $workingAppPW
end

Username/Password

Change the application's user id and password in your env.rb file. These will get put into the fields previously mentioned

#/features/support/env.rb
$workingAppUser='myapplicationusername'
$workingAppPW='myapplicationpw'

Work flow

Your normal workflow will start with writing a feature with scenarios similar to the following:

Feature: Home Page
  In order to work in my app
  As my apps personnel
  I need to land on the home page

  Scenario: Land on the hope page
    Given I am logged in
    Then I should see "My Apps greeting"    
    And I should see "Something else that I want to check"

The feature relates to something the user wants to be able to do in your application. The Scenario actually manipulates your application. If you were to add the above feature into a 'homepage.feature' file you could then run the following command:

cucumber features

which would then give you the following output:

Given /^I am logged in to my app$/ do
  pending # express the regexp above with the code you wish you had
end

Then /^I should see something like "([^"]*)"$/ do |arg1|
  pending # express the regexp above with the code you wish you had
end

When /^I press Continue$/ do
  pending # express the regexp above with the code you wish you had
end

Which you then cut and paste into a step definition file.
Something like \features\step_definitions\home_page_steps.rb would work

Step Definitions

In the step definitions file, you will be using Capybara commands to call your legacy application. The capybara command for one of the previous steps looks like this:

Then /^I should see something like "([^"]*)"$/ do |arg1|
  page.should have_content(arg1)
end  

You can find examples of the capybara commands by looking at the specs in the driver.rb file. To find the file run the following command

gem which capybara

which will give you the capybara directory on your machine. The driver.rb file will be in (directory)\lib\capybara\spec

Complete workflow

  1. Defining a feature (or scenario)
  2. Copying and pasting the generated scenario matcher into a step definition file
  3. Adding the (capybara) code to the step definition
  4. Running the test with the 'cucumber features' command until the tests are green
  5. Start over

Firefox vs Internet Explorer

The firefox webdriver is fast compared to Internet Explorer so I would recommend you use firefox for your testing.
In some cases if you are on windows you may want to test your application in IE (maybe your application only works in IE). In order to this you can use a tag. Using an IE tag on a feature is done like so:

@ie
Scenario: Log in
  Given I enter my username
  And I enter my password
  When I press "Continue"
  Then I should see the environment link 
  And I select the environment link

Firefox is done the same way.

@firfox
Scenario: Log in
  Given I enter my username
  And I enter my password
  When I press "Continue"
  Then I should see the environment link 
  And I select the environment link

When running cucumber you can specify to run features for ie or firefox (or both)

cucumber features --tags @firefox
cucumber features --tags @ie
cucumber features --tags @ie,@firefox

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