Search results for : unit testing

Cracking The “Laravel Vs. Cakephp” debate

I started off this thread to compare 2 frameworks for my next project which would have a team of 20 developers. Team experience was a bit skewed on CakePHP, but the experience outside the organization was tilted towards Laravel. The community buzz was definitely biased towards Laravel, but I wasn’t sure. Hence, I started to jot down some key points and here is the showdown

Niether of the 2 frameworks is the definitive choice. I realized that both do the job and will fit very well in a certain given scenario.

I decided to start working on Laravel 5.4

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Unit Testing in AEM (thinking loud)

This is not a recommendation of any sorts but a culmination of ideas and a few options that are available for us to use if we want to do unit testing within AEM. I had done some research for a client some time back and this article is largely influenced by that work but a lot of contextual stuff has been pulled out. I have still tried my best to ensure that the article here holds it’s essence. I will try to do a follow-up soon with a lot more details.

Option 1: Use Sling tools and test in-container

Apache sling has released a set of tools http://sling.apache.org/documentation/development/sling-testing-tools.html which can assist unit testing in the application. There tools offer several ways of doing the testing like a) good old JUnits where there are no external dependencies or b) Use of mocks – sling provides readymade mocks which reduce the effort or c) we can deploy the test cases in a CQ box (or sling) and run using OSGi references.

The approach I am recommending here is where we will deploy JUnits in an already hosted CQ instances and invoke the test cases remotely. I understand that this is not “old school unit testing as i am not abstracting any dependencies and my units include dependencies” but i have a reason for doing that. As a matter of fact if you have been following up my writings on unit testing you would know that I am not a big fan of mocking and actually am very happy to do any unit testing against dependencies if i can set it up.

 To do this we need a few things to happen as follows:

  1. We will need to have a hosted CQ instance that can be used as a container for running test cases
    1. We can use embedded systems but then we will have to spend additional effort creating content and what not. Also the embedded container will be sling and not CQ and we would like to keep the environment as close to what we use as possible
  2. The CQ instance should have a pre-populated set of products and images (this setup does uses AEM eCommerce module and PIM and DAM have been integrated with external systems) and that acts for us as readymade test data. These can be achieved using our backend integrations. We can chose to do it independently or can do it automatically (automation of these things can also happen over time to allow us to start quickly)
  3. For interactions with any backend services (like Order Management, Pricing, Account information), we would need to have a backend service instance running (as i said i prefer systems over mocks if possible) with all the variables and pieces setup. This instance should also have various data setup like user accounts, products instances, availability, prices, etc to ensure our use cases work. There are obvious challenges setting up independent backend services and we can explore one of the following 2 options
    1. Capture all requests and responses for a certain request type and serialize those into a test-data store. It can be a huge XML that we can store in a key-value pair sort of a system – can be a database like mongo (even SQL would do) or we can serialize on file system or;
    2. We can use an already existing backend system

Option 2: Use selenium as the functional testing tool

In this approach I am recommending not to use JUnits at all. The idea is to use the philosophy of system testing which can test all of your units in the code. This is a big departure from the traditional way of unit testing where all dependencies are mocked out, and we can run several tests quickly. While Option 1 is also to the same effect, in this approach we go a step further and leverage our system test suits. The idea is not to do this for every single use case, but pick up business critical functions like checkouts, order management, account management and automate those. The selenium scripts can then be integrated with a JUnit runner where we can then integrate it with CI tools and can run it from Eclipse or Maven and hence can be integrated with CI itself. This saves us the time to write those JUnits and manages a whole suite independently. This approach also needs a hosted CQ instance with product data setup, some content setups, and backend integrations just like in Option 1.

Of course this is bit tricky and not really unit testing but it has some huge upsides if done right.

Unit Testing – Why not?

For JUnit implementation in our project, we see a great challenge in having them implemented as we are already running behind for Sprint 2 and Sprint 3. Team was provided with all the knowledge walkthrough of the JUnit implementation and example test case. I do not see the team would be able to meet the JUnit coverage as expected. We need to first come to track in terms of delivery and can plan to write JUnits as team gets bandwidth. Please let us know your thoughts.

Really – you are going to give me that shit yet again. Does the behind-ness on your project does not tell you something, does it not even rake your mind that if developers weren’t testing their code there might actually be lesser problems and maybe the project would be on track.

This is how I would have responded a week back. But today, I am willing to have a reasonable conversation to understand what are the pain points which makes it difficult for the team to do “automated” Unit Testing (automated being the key here). Let’s go back to the very core of unit testing and even before that – Self Testing Code. Quoting Martin Fowler …

These kinds of benefits are often talked about with respect to TestDrivenDevelopment (TDD), but it’s useful to separate the concepts of TDD and self-testing code. I think of TDD as a particular practice whose benefits include producing self-testing code. It’s a great way to do it, and TDD is a technique I’m a big fan of. But you can also produce self-testing code by writing tests after writing code – although you can’t consider your work to be done until you have the tests (and they pass). The important point of self-testing code is that you have the tests, not how you got to them.

Read this para again and again until you imprint the 2 key messages a) you cant consider your work to be done until you have the tests and they pass and b) important point is that you have the tests, not how you got to them. Now that you understand this full (hopefully), let me ask you once this simple question – Are the developers doing any unit testing (again not automated)? If the answer is No then I have a problem and I am outraged.

I am big fan of Unit Testing and my first experience was on my first job and it was with TDD and yes it was a adrenaline rush a dose of dopamine (as David H says in his podcast). I saw it’s effectiveness when at a stage we decided to throw away the implementation because we realized that it would just not scale. We were 6 months into the development and we had a lot of LOC and along side a solid test suite of 400+ test cases. When we decided we needed to do something fundamentally different we chose to keep the test suite (we used NUnits back in the day). Over the course of next 2 months as we wrote the new implementation those test cases were our feedback loop. Our job (team of 4 developers) was to ensure all of those 400+ test cases turned Green. The day we saw all of them to be Green we knew we were exactly where (functional delivery) when we had been when threw the code/implementation out. The speed at which we redid the implementation was because the confidence we had in the new code we were writing – we were being told almost immediately if we did something right or wrong (they were not unit tests as per definition – but that is for later). Then a few years later in 2008 we did the same thing again and it was a 9 month x 25 people implementation which we redid and it took us 3 month x 20 people to catch up and meet same functional delivery.

In this situation I read a project is behind track, and they need to go faster with confidence to catch up and meet delivery timelines. Not doing Unit Testing (again not saying “automated”), is like someone telling me – Kapil, you are driving to go to your wedding and you are late and now you have to drive faster. But, instead of putting in a few more airbags and giving you better set of wheels, better brakes; We are going to take the 1 Air Bag you have today and also replace your wheels with an older set. Now, go drive else you will not get married. What do you think I would do – Drive faster and risk my life or start driving even slower because I hope that my would be wife loves enough to know that I had no option but to drive slowly. Well you get the point – While I may get married, She is going to stay mad at me for a very long time for ruining her perfect day.

I have not yet broken down this problem if delay on this project (which I have to), but I can bet my ridiculous salary that it’s because of 2 things – a) “Regression” that developer keeps introducing and b) sending incomplete functional code to QA where defects are found and then it all comes back to them and in some cases these defects are found even in client layer of testing. In my experience this is how my ideal day as a developer used to look like

  1. Day 1
    1. Understand requirements – 1 hour
    2. Design and Implement and unit test- 6 hours
    3. Test (integration + functional/system) – 1 hour
  2. Day 2
    1. Repeat Day 1

And when I delivered code to QA I hardly got back any defects to fix and I would continue this cycle day in and day out. The times would stretch if someone did wrong estimates but the activities remained same always and time spent in each of these always increased in some proportion. And I have seen developers do that. But, more recently, I see developers, this is how their day looks like:

  1. Day 1
    1. Implement new story – 12 hours
  2. Day 2
    1. Fix Defects from Day 1 – 4 hours
    2. Implement new story – 12 hours

Well you already see that on Day 2 the developer is fixing their technical debt and they are struggling to catch up. This endless cycle lets call it Cyclone of technical debt” is unrecoverable. The project will deliver one day and people will get burnt. Developers blame estimations, and Architects blame skills, training, indiscipline. Well let’s call the team failed.

As a developer I ask you – Why would you not want to get High? Why would you not want to be in a state of confidence where you know that your code commits is not going to break something else? Why would you not Unit Test?

(Unit Testing) – Cost vs. Benefit

downtrendI have been a big fan of unit testing for a very long time; my blog is ridden with posts about it. If I look at at how automated unit testing has progressed in my projects over the last decade I am noticing that the inclination to do unit testing is just not there. Recently, I came across this Podcast series between Martin Fowler, Kent Beck and DHH which was in response to DHH’s post TDD is dead, long live Testing. The Podcast did’t reveal something new to me but it helped enlighten me. I spent the last evening introspecting and thinking how I have progressed TDD/Unit Testing in general over my projects and the trend I see is that the ones where I have been more involved as a developer or a senior developer or even an architect the effort to make unit testing has been there, BUT unit testing (not TDD) didnt work very well in last big project. And since I have taken up the responsibilities of a Solution Architect and as with my responsibilities I have moved away from Code a bit, I see the next layer not doing unit testing very much.

As I spent the time thinking what could be the causes, this is where the Podcast series helped a lot. The reasons that I can attribute to Unit Testing (not TDD) just not happening on projects recently

  1. Writing Automated Unit Tests is just not as fun as Coding is
  2. Writing Automated Unit Tests is just not as fun as Coding is

You get the point! I compare the cases when I first did unit testing back in 2004 (my first project with an IT Consultancy Organization) and then the last one in 2012 and I see why is that was the case. The environment in which I was doing unit testing back in 2004 and then in 2012 (8 years apart) were very different. Back in the days, I was an Enterprise/Core Java/.Net developer, and my life was to deal with things like making Database calls, writing services – business logic, validations, yada yada yada. The part which involved writing automated test cases for Web layer was minimal because the code that went into Web Controller (MVC frameworks we used varied) was only view. And we used Functional/System testing approach to test the UI. The responsibility of creating those selinium test cases were not with the QA Function but still with me as the developer. So the whole testing was “what makes sense” – we did TDD on services code and then functional testing (post coding) on Front-end. But the most important part was that as a developer I was supposed to make sure that nothing breaks when I committed the code. The CI tools were not that advanced back in the days, but they were there. We used Ant for build and there was a task in there which was responsible for running test cases else failed the build (I even coded the ant build script). We were not able to integrate Selenium test runner ant script so that was a manual step, but we had to run a whole suite to ensure everything works. The phenomena “Self Testing Code” existed and we followed it to the core. The were build break fines place – 50 INR as fine of we failed a break; 3 consecutive breaks and it went upto 500 INR; 20 INR for any regression defects introduced (QA had their own suits to keep us in control). When I coded and when I committed the code, I knew that at night no one is going to call me to tell me that other members of my team is stuck. I was working in India and I had a team working from Boston and i knew that when I left and when they came in they wont be gated because i fucked up a compilation or broke something – they can just go about doing their work and be productive. Everyone did so and we all were happy bunch of developers/team. We did not have Continuous Delivery, but once story was done, a couple of rounds of QA testing and it was demo able to the clients. Out test coverage was 80%+ and we had a solid test suite. The suite however took 2 hours to run (I will talk about is very soon as that was the part which make Unit Testing a pleasure).

That was the last time, I saw the workflow work so very well. Surprisingly, that was also the first time I was doing it.

Fast forward 2007-08; I was the architect on a 40 people team (Developers, QA, Site Developers) and we were working on a web development – some heavy web development. It was using Backbase, JSF on JBoss, talking to MySQL via hibernate, everything wrapped around Spring. We started with the project and like before I wanted to do full blown TDD (not just Unit Testing). We started, but very soon (Sprint 1) there was feedback from developers that unit testing was too tough, it takes more time than it takes time to code. I was not the architect and I had produced a Golden Copy as a reference point which the team was using; so the feedback team was giving me made no sense. I let the team struggle on it for another sprint thinking they just need time to come around it, but when it started to hit our velocity points, I was forced to see what was going on in that Unit Testing Departments and what I saw shocked the soul out of me. The automated tests were there for a formality – the tests did test something, they provided some coverage but they were monstrous. They were ridden with mocks (almost) everywhere. No wonder it took so much time for the team to write test cases. For everything that needed to test they had to create a mock. A bit of it was lack of experience as well where team did not create helpers classes to provide for those common mocks, but trying to mock things like HTTPSession, HTTPRequest, Data Adapters for MySQL logic – aka every collaborator was in there. Well they did the right thing (per Unit Testing definition) – test the unit itself, so they mocked even the classes making calls to databases. It make so much harder to test a functionality. We quickly turned it around and set some ground rules

  1. We will not use mocks
  2. If we find a scenario where mocks could not be avoided we will not write automated unit tests for it

What this meant was a) this was not Unit Testing in it’s purest form (I don’t even know what Unit Testing is in it’s purest form, but what definitions and my seniors told me) and b) we had a bit of less coverage. But, I was okay with those consequences. The outcome was that team was not needed to write stuff that was used for just testing; it made our whole test suite a bit slow because it now made calls to the DB, but DB was local so it was not so slow – the team started to spend less time on unit testing, we wrote lesser tests and achieved better coverage to code. This wasn’t unit testing, but we did achieve Self Testing Code. Our CI build was now once again telling us if a commit broke something else. The fun was coming back into the game and we started to make progress. Then in Jan 2008, we decided to switch out Backbase and move over to Flex and this needed a redesign not just in our front-end but also in our back-end services. When we put together a team to redesign and reimplement the services they were given a solid test suite of 300 odd tests. The implementation was thrown away a few interfaces were changed. We fixed the test suite only (We made a decision to let our QA team fix the test suite – which need a QA person to code/script in Java which caused a lot of pushback, but I won that battle) the interface part and then started writing those services again and all we had to do was to make those 300 test cases pass. It was a breeze; we didn’t even need a QA team to test our services. Our test suite was good enough to do it.

We never achieved perfection, but then I was able to meet the goals

Fast Forward 2012-2013; I was the architect on Adobe CQ 5.5 project and the frameworks had changed. There were no services we were writing. The traditional MVC framework was all not there at the developers disposal. I saw the code and there was monstrosity of JSP having business logic in scriplets, single tiered Java classes which did everything from getting data, manipulating them, validating inputs, sending outputs in very fluid formats like Maps (ValueMaps to be specific to Sling implementation). Amongst all this we made some hard design decisions like no scriptlets or business logic in JSPs. Hence there was now going to be Java Code, but there were numerous sling and JCR dependencies that we had to deal with. I once again wanted to do what I had done before – No MOCKS/STUBS. But, the frameworks to be able to do that were’t at my disposal back then. They existed but the community around then was thin, support was less and whatever existed was not going to work. And I ended up deciding to do Mocks. 3 months and it was exactly what was in 2008 – it wasn’t working.

The mocks were so bad that we could change the logic and tests would still pass.

What had happened that developers just mangle everything and tests were not even testing state or behavior. They just went for coverage. The tools were better this time and we had sonar. The idea was to write a test case and make it pass and show an increased covered in sonar. We had used mockit and it seemed like a good idea at the time, but just didn’t work. I understand mocks but i just don’t get them. We setup some state and we check for that state – all makes sense. But when everything is coming from Collaborators and the object you are testing is just aggregating and assembling data into a ValueObject (Map in our case), testing that assembly makes no sense. It’s like saying a developer can code the following wrong.

[code language=”java”]

outputData.put("athletes", athleteList);

[/code]

Well, if a developer can’t get a bunch of basic java statements right, well they have no business coding; let’s send them into a training and save ourselves from a world of pain.

Fast Forward 2014, I am not a solution architect and not focusing a whole lot of coding per say. I love to code, but it’s not my day job (i would like coding to be my day job some day). But, now I see teams struggle a lot to get unit testing even off of the ground. The environment is similar to what I had back in 2012, but now I do have a solution and I think there is a way of doing it without Mocks. Yet, the struggle is there, developers dont see this as fun any more – it looks like a burden.

The Cost vs. Benefit argument is a valid one in every scenario, and in case of our software development lifecycle where getting any sort of confidence is just too tough, as a developer the need to have something to fall back on and knowing that we are not breaking a system with my next commit is huge. In my development lifecycle, we can probably still live with some regression, but as we reach application maturity, as we start to reach stabilization not having a Self Testing Code makes us like Mammoths (not elephants) who move ever so slowly. In the current world of marketing, where we have clients who want to run campaigns in next 2 weeks, we can’t be slow in how soon we release code. You can only be relevant in the industry if you can move quickly, achieve the Continuous Delivery or at least reach a point when you can get releases out in production with a reasonable speed. Those days where releases used to happen once every 6 months are gone; or at least gone in the environment/market I am operating.

We have to have Self Testing Code, We have to Unit Test, We have to have feedback loops and We have to have feedback loop as soon as possible. There is no avoidance; let’s understand and embrace Or be extinct in a few years.

 

Yahoo Moment: Google gets my content as #1 link on search

I have been blogging off and on in recent times, and last few weeks it has been all about sling, adobe aem (cq), unit testing and what not. As i continue my research and journey to define a developer workflow and unit testing for a AEM Development environment, I found out that Google ranked a piece of my content as #1 when searched for specific key words. The key words are not very common and not a lot of people will see my content as #1, but it’s a mini victory for me to be able to get ranked #1 on a content and not having keywords that has my or my blog name in search terms. 

 

Yahoo Moment

Yahoo Moment

TIP: Make Sling Testing Framework work

We have been trying to find the right mix of unit testing (Automated) in our project, and I have been looking at various options that Sling has to offer. This was done for development of AEM based projects. I tried to follow a few articles to help me get started and each one of those had some issue or the other. I hope that this article allows you not to spend the 10 hours I did only find out that there are tweaks that are needed to make it work.

  1. http://docs.adobe.com/docs/en/dev-tools/aem-eclipse.html – this is the Adobe’s newly released AEM Dev tools for Eclipse. The documentation targets starting new projects and there is also a documentation to move existing projects into Eclipse, but the documentation is pretty weak while it has depth. When I create a new project using Archetype version 7 and run the tests either via maven or Eclipse 2 errors come up
    1. Dependency for slf4j is missing so test dont run
    2. Once you add that dependency, the tests just dont run. I have tried running via Eclipse JUnit plugin and maven test command. I added an assert statement to fail and test cases do not fail
    3. Still Open – I dont know what is wrong here and why these do not work. Still trying to unravel this mystery
  2. http://labs.sixdimensions.com/blog/2013-06-05/creating-integration-tests-apache-sling/ – First of all this article works if you do exactly as it states you have to do. However, if you have password set to anything but “admin” this will not work. It fails in the steps where it has to check if thebundleshave been installed or not in the sling runtime (hosted one).
    1. The defect is pretty stupid, which i opened in sling’s bug tracking system
    2. Also, the test cases will not work if you are running the test cases via Eclipse plugin for JUnit; it just doesn’t work

 

Tips to get going quick

If you are looking to work with server side tests for Sling, I strongly recommend that you start with Dan Klco’s article on Sling’s Integration Tests and use it as is. But, If you want to use a hosted server runtime, then you have to make some changed to POM.XML in the project that you download as follows:

Additional Properties needed hosted server

[code language=”xml”]
<p class="p1"><span class="s2"><</span>sling.additional.bundle.2<span class="s2">></span><span class="s1">jstl</span><span class="s2"></</span>sling.additional.bundle.2<span class="s2">></span></p>
<p class="p1"><span class="s2"><</span>launchpad.http.server.url<span class="s2">></span><span class="s1">http://54.179.160.9:4502</span><span class="s2"></</span>launchpad.http.server.url<span class="s2">></span></p>
<p class="p1"><span class="s2"><</span>test.server.username<span class="s2">></span><span class="s1">admin</span><span class="s2"></</span>test.server.username<span class="s2">></span></p>
<p class="p1"><span class="s2"><</span>test.server.password<span class="s2">></span><span class="s1">admin</span><span class="s2"></</span>test.server.password<span class="s2">> <!– this password has <span class="hiddenGrammarError" pre="has " data-mce-bogus="1">to be</span> admin to work because of the defect (–>https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/SLING-3873) in sling’s framework –></span></p>
[/code]

 

The following change to the server ready path is needed if you are using AEM 6.x

[code language=”xml”]</pre>
<p class="p1"><span class="s1"><</span><span class="s2">server.ready.path.1</span><span class="s1">></span>/projects.html:src="/libs/cq/gui/components/common/wcm/clientlibs/wcm.js"<span class="s1"><!–</span–><span class="s2">server.ready.path.1</span><span class="s1">></span></span></p>

<pre>
[/code]

 

Closing thoughts

Sling testing framework looks to have potential, but the documentation is so bleak to make adoption so tough. I interact with a lot of CQ (Sling) developers every day and almost each one of them have some issues not to use unit testing – unit testing seems to be so chaotic and non-pleasure that it is like a burden. While developers like to do it, they just feel they are spending so much more time in writing test cases than they are writing code and they do not like it. But, here is just one example that working with CQ/Sling tools for doing unit testing is so primitive and not advertised that it makes things so much more difficult for us. Only if Sling/Adobe would improve this not only they would get adoption, people like me would not have to spend several hours just to get it up and running.

 

 

AEM Development Workflow – Part 3 (Coding Old School)

In this series I have been trying to define the various development workflows (that have existed or will arise in near future) and what sort of problems do I see with each of those. We start off by seeing the very first use case that has probably existed for years now “the old school” way of coding in CQ. 

Requirements

carousel-authoring-requirements

Image 1: Component Breakdown

It is always beneficial to define what the end result has to be so that we can ensure that we have achieved what we set out to do. I had finally received a HTML for a carousel from my Site Development friend (download here) and our job is to take that carousel and a simple page and make it Content Managed in Adobe AEM. For this purpose I am going to use AEM 6.x as we need to use sightly in later phases. As we you see in the Image 1, you will how the carousel should look like. I have broken the page down to 2 parts/components that we will have to develop:

  1. Carousel Component – this is highlighted in blue block and marked #4
  2. Title Component – For the same of this use case and trying to handle how we can reuse 1 component for various displays, I have classified #1, #2 and #3 into “Text” component

Implementation

CQ Project Structure Setup & Tools

Image 2: Project Structure

Image 2: Project Structure

We are going to use the default CQ structure that allows us to handle components, templates, client libs, etc. I had also setup Eclipse for AEM for development purposed but I was unable to use it to it’s full extend because of the lack of integration and I had to fall back on CRXDE-Lite several times. Following are the details for each of the folders defined:

  • aem6scratchpad: This is the project application folder and is at the root of  everything we would be coding 
  • components: this folder holds all the components that we will create in this series
  • components/page: this folder holds the implementation of the templates
  • install: this is the folder where any .jar files will get installed
  • templates: holds the templates which will be used to create pages

 

Task: Move Static files in AEM

Image 3: Final Output in AEM

Image 3: Final Output in AEM

Image 3, shows us that I was able to achieve what I started to do as the very first step. I set out to take the HTML that I received and just convert the files into a set of files/components in CQ so that while the content would not be managed, but it would look the same. If you go back to where we started this, this Step is going to make or break how the Development Workflow looks like.

Approach: Like a Novice Developer

Coming into this exercise, I did everything that I see happen between a Site Developer and a CQ Developer. I went ahead a bit and did how a CQ developer would work – just dive into the coding and don’t worry about any standards, unit testing (JIT coding as I have come to call it). I have not coded in CQ for a long time from scratch. I have been reviewing code for best practices but a lot of my time last couple of years has been spent into designing solutions. I have looked at code from time to time, but it was a long time since I had coded a set of components and templates from scratch. For this exercise I believe that me in that situation was a very good thing, because that how our developers go though. Some of them are new to this domain, but even when they are well versed with coding, the approach that is taken is more or less what I ended up doing. 

 

Journey: Painful

The journey was nothing but painful all along the way. It took me 5 hours to do what should have been a few minutes job. The Site developer had the code up and running in a HTML file in a browser and all I had to do was to make it work “as is” within CQ. It seemed like the Force of Nature were working against me and everything I did, had a problem in it. I finally got it up and running (the designs done match off as is still), but it was excruciating pain. Here are a list of things that went wrong (and don’t be surprised if you find this the same as it happens at the start of every project):

The set of tools which I thought would do a wonderful job did not cut it out

I was so excited to work with AEM development tools for Eclispe. I got it up and running after a bit of struggle, but working in it only helped in coding a bit. A lot of things that had to be CQ specific like creating components, templates, dialogs weren’t doable in Ecliple. I ad to move into CRXDE-Lite to do all of that. The good part was that I didn’t have to worry about vault (vlt). I could easily synchronize between hosted CQ and Eclipse easy. It made it just a wee-bit easy

I had to write repetitive code into components

Image 4: CQ IncludesRecall those famous set of lines that we need in every component which if don’t get copied something will stop working. If you have forgotten those you can have a look at Image 4 or download this gist. Well, i tried the shortcut – the ultra famous shortcut that Adobe also recommend us to take (they like to call is Adapting it from existing component) which is supposed to be easy.

In the CRXDE Lite, create a new component folder in /apps/<myProject>/components/<myComponent> by copying an existing component, such as the Text component, and renaming it.

Well I did that, but seemed I kept picking up a wrong component because something or the other didn’t happen. There were times, when the template will not come up when I wanted to create the page or once i opened the page, the component did not show up in the side kick. Well, it seemed, one or the other properties were wrong. 

Where do the client libs go and where they come from

This is probably was the biggest one. The Site developer has picked up whatever version of client lib he wanted to work with. This was by design – I didnt intentionally tell him what to pick it up. Now when I had to get the JS and CSS into CQ along with the assets I had to ensure what he had picked up worked for me. No surprises there that once i got the carousel in the CQ, the first thing I saw was initialization errors which once solved led into next problem as to not the right JS and CSS were picked up. I finally “as a CQ developer” ended up fixing those and got my Carousel to work just as it was working on HTML. Yes!! all of the interactions were working.

 

End Result: Not a Production Ready code

I am going to paste snapshots of the files I ended up creating with links to them on GitHub. This code is not final code and does not have 1/10th of the quality standards that I would deliver. But, the code here will clearly highlight how and where the problem starts.

contentpage.jsp

Image 5: Content Page Template Code

carousel.jsp

Image 6: Carousel Code

 

In Near Future: This is beyond repair

At this point in time, we have seen how the code from Site Developers starts to get into the CQ and what shape it takes. When you take the above and give it to 10 odd developers on a project before you know you will have 10 different standards (or maybe 5) in a project. All of this happens very fast because all one has to do is to drop in a code and make it work. And then we identify the gravity of the problem when we start doing code reviews and realize that this needs more than just refactoring – more often than not this now needs to be fixed only via rewrite. I have not known many projects who have the time and budget to rewrite code. The project releases (thanks to Agile) come to a point when we get workable demos in front of clients – so it all gets tested and done and dusted. With no automated test cases (unit or integration or functional) the risk of breaking something as we make changes it so high that many will just drop and hope that the next component is fixed per a standard.

 

Fix Something

Absolutely!! Thats the intent. But, do we really need to fix the technology. Do we really see that technology that was at fault here? If we had a different set of technologies would this problem be solved for us? Or can we solve this in another way? 

 

Previous > AEM Development Workflow > The problem statement

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Unit Testing Framework: EAMSteps

EAMSteps is a framework that makes Unit Testing easier because of its following principles:
– External data store for test data like excel spreadsheet
– Automated assertions using co-related inputs and outputs
– Minimal lines of code to get started

It all started in 2009, when I decided that in long term I would need to have a framework in place that will help me meet my objectives and I started to look for any existing tools. When I did not find any framework that would help me, I decided that it was time to write one and here after 2 years I have something breathing.

You can read more about this here.

Unit Testing: EAMSteps

Background

I came across this article on Dzone, which is just right to set the tone for me to release my latest code, which I find myself to be very proud of. The article speaks about the importance of Unit Testing for developers and how it can save the day for you especially when you are moving into Integration phase of the application. My first encounter with Unit Testing was back in 2004 and it was not just any kind of Unit Testing, it was fully automated Unit Testing using JUnit and NUnit. To add to the mix it was Test Driven Development (TDD). When I started with unit testing it was really frustrating and coding just took time. I knew that my logic was right and yet I had to write test cases. I was going through the motions until after 4 months our Architect told us that we need to a major refactoring. It was then that I saw how useful those test cases were. As we went about changing the implementations of Data Access Objects, we knew all was well once we were able to get the Unit Test cases to pass. And, from that day onwards I was addicted.

 

Objectives

I was working with a client in Agile mode and had a team of 40 developers who cranked 1000s of lines of code (LOC) every day and those LOCs included unit test cases. Given the nature and size of the project it was evident that I wanted TDD model for the project delivery and for the following main reasons:

  • We wanted test cases to double up as requirements;
  • We wanted our Quality Assurance (QA) team to actively participate in test data formation so that we can reduce the gap between our developers and testers;
  • We wanted to externalize test data from Unit Test cases so that new data could be added without changing the code (Test code) and different scenarios could be executed based on the test data

 

Approach – Where we failed

We started with the following:

  • TestNG: TestNG had support for data provides which allowed us to pass data during invocation of the test methods
  • Used XML files for dbSetup and initialization. We created custom classes that allowed us to read data from XML files and run queries against database from within the test cases
  • JIBX Dataprovider: We used JIBX Data provider to pass the data into TestNG during test execution. This provided expected us to map inputs and output data in XML format

However, after just few months, we realized that these choices were not helping us in achieving our goals. The entire setup was too complex and too developer oriented that we could not take it to client. Also, for the QA team it was too much of an overhead to manage all of those files. However, it was too late in the game to change anything and our development team was now getting experienced with the tools and framework. We just did not have time to replace the whole thing at the cost of refactoring and training the team on the new framework. Another problem was that there was no open source and free tool or framework that existed that allowed us to do that (this was back in 2007).

 

Journey

In 2008, I got so fed up with the underlying choices that I decided that this is something I would not use. The only piece I loved was TestNG – Eclipse integration, Maven integration and Data providers just made life so much easier. JUnit later added the capability for Parametrized Unit Testing, but it had certain shortfalls (I compared the two a while back, you can find the article here). In 2009, I decided that in long term I would need to have a framework in place that will help me meet my objectives and I started to look for any existing tools. I do not have my research results, but I did not find any framework that allowed me to do what I wanted (at least nothing open source and free). Even today when I search I find the following links. There is not much that they offer. Or maybe I am just not seeing those.

  • Approach to use Excel with Parametrised Unit Tesitng with JUnit)
  • DDSteps: This comes close to what I wanted to do, but this has been built for JUnit which was not choice of unit testing tool. Since then they have come a long way. Their current version of website was non-existent back then and documentation was missing then and it is missing now. Hence, I did not want to reply on something that could be buggy and a project that may be closed
    • The biggest drawback in this framework was that it did not support child objects in Java objects. If my parent Java Object had a child object, I had to load the parent and children java objects separately and then set them manually in my test case

So I started to visualize what I needed and it was then that I conceived this framework or set of utility classes.

 

Concept

I have tried to keep it very simple and the result is – EAMSteps:

  • External data store for test data like excel spreadsheet
  • Automated assertions using co-related inputs and outputs
  • Minimal lines of code to get started

 

Current State

  • I have the basic structure of the project ready and it supports loading the data from Excel sheets only for certain data types;
  • The files are hosted with Google Code and available here: https://eamsteps.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/
  • Registration with Maven Central is pending; hoping to do that in a few days;
  • The documentation is only around JavaDocs API and is available here;
  • Project will be hosted on http://eamsteps.com, which will by end of this month and will have all relevant documentation

If you have any inputs or suggestions, please add your comments and let me know.

TestNG or JUnit

For many years now, I have always found myself going back to TestNG whenever it comes to doing Unit Testing with Java Code. Everytime, I picked up TestNG, people have asked me why do I go over to TestNG especially with JUnit is provided by the default development environment like Eclipse or Maven. Continuing the same battle, yesterday I started to look into Spring’s testing support. It is also built on top of JUnit. However, in a few minutes of using the same, I was searching for a feature in JUnit that I have always found missing. TestNG provides Parameterized Testing using DataProviders. Given that I was once again asking myself a familiar question – TestNG or JUnit, I decided to document this so that next time I am sure which one and why.

Essentially the same

If you are just going to do some basic Unit Testing, both the frameworks are basically the same. Both the frameworks allow you to test the code in a quick and effective manner. They have had tool support in Eclipse and other IDE. They have also had support in the build frameworks like Ant and Maven. For starters JUnit has always been the choice because it was the first framework for Unit Testing and has always been available. Many people I talk about have not heard about TestNG till we talk about it.

Flexibility

Let us look at a very simple test case for each of the two.

package com.kapil.itrader;
import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.List;
import junit.framework.Assert;
import org.junit.BeforeClass;
import org.junit.Test;

public class FibonacciTest
{
    private Integer input;
    private Integer expected;

    @BeforeClass
    public static void beforeClass()
    {
        // do some initialization
    }

    @Test
    public void FibonacciTest()
    {
        System.out.println("Input: " + input + ". Expected: " + expected);
        Assert.assertEquals(expected, Fibonacci.compute(input));
        assertEquals(expected, Fibonacci.compute(input));
    }
}

Well, this is example showcases I am using a version 4.x+ and am making use of annotations. Priori to release 4.0; JUnit did not support annotations and that was a major advantage that TestNG had over its competitor; but JUnit had quickly adapted. You can notice that JUnit also supports static imports and we can do away with more cumbersome code as in previous versions.

package com.kapil.framework.core;
import junit.framework.Assert;
import org.springframework.context.support.ClassPathXmlApplicationContext;
import org.testng.annotations.BeforeSuite;
import org.testng.annotations.Test;

public class BaseTestCase
{
    protected static final ClassPathXmlApplicationContext context;

    static
    {
        context = new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext("rootTestContext.xml");
        context.registerShutdownHook();
    }

    @BeforeSuite
    private void beforeSetup()
    {
       // Do initialization
    }

    @Test
    public void testTrue()
    {
        Assert.assertTrue(false);
    }
}

A first look at the two code, would infer that both are pretty much the same. However, for those who have done enough unit testing, will agree with me that TestNG allows for more flexibility. JUnit requires me to declare my initialization method as static; and consequently anything that I will write in that method has to be static too. JUnit also requires me to have my initialization method as public; but TestNG does not. I can use best practices from OOP in my testing classes as well. TestNG also allows me to declare Test Suite, Groups, Methods and use annotations like @BeforeSuite, @BeforeMethod, @BeforeGroups in addition to @BeforeClass. This is very helpful when it comes to writing any level of integration testing or unit test cases that need to access common data sets.

Test Isolations and Dependency Testing

Junit is very effective when it comes to testing in isolation. It essentially means that there is you can not control the order of execution of tests. And, hence if you have two tests that you want to run in a specific order because of any kind of dependency, you can not do that using JUnit. However, TestNG allows you to do this very effectively. In Junit you can make workaround this problem, but it is not neat and that easy.

Parameter based Testing

A very powerful feature that TestNG offers is “Parameterized Testing”. JUnit has added some support for this in 4.5+ versions, but it is not as effective as TestNG. You may have worked with FIT you would know what I am talking about. However, the support added in JUnit is very basic and not that effective. I have modified my previous test case to include parameterized testing.

package com.kapil.itrader;

import static org.junit.Assert.assertEquals;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.List;

import junit.framework.Assert;

import org.junit.BeforeClass;
import org.junit.Test;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import org.junit.runners.Parameterized;
import org.junit.runners.Parameterized.Parameters;

@RunWith(Parameterized.class)
public class FibonacciTest
{
    private Integer input;
    private Integer expected;

    @Parameters
    public static List data()
    {
        return Arrays.asList(new Integer[][] { { 0, 0 }, { 1, 1 }, { 2, 1 }, { 3, 2 }, { 4, 3 }, { 5, 5 }, { 6, 8 } });
    }

    @BeforeClass
    public static void beforeClass()
    {
        System.out.println("Before");
    }

    public FibonacciTest(Integer input, Integer expected)
    {
        this.input = input;
        this.expected = expected;
    }

    @Test
    public void FibonacciTest()
    {
        System.out.println("Input: " + input + ". Expected: " + expected);
        Assert.assertEquals(expected, Fibonacci.compute(input));
        assertEquals(expected, Fibonacci.compute(input));
    }

}

You will notice that I have used @RunWith annotation to allow my test case to be parameterized. In this case, the inline method – data() which has been annotated with @Parameters will be used to provide data to the class. However, the biggest issue is that the data is passed to class constructor. This allows me to code only logically bound test cases in this class. And, I will end up having multiple test cases for one service because all the various methods in the Service wil require different data sets. The good thing is that there are various open source frameworks which have extended this approach and added their own “RunWith” implementations to allow integration with external entities like CSV, HTML or Excel files.

TestNG provides this support out of the box. Not support for reading from CSV or external files, but from Data Providers.

package com.kapil.itrader.core.managers.admin;

import org.testng.Assert;
import org.testng.annotations.Test;

import com.uhc.simple.common.BaseTestCase;
import com.uhc.simple.core.admin.manager.ILookupManager;
import com.uhc.simple.core.admin.service.ILookupService;
import com.uhc.simple.dataprovider.admin.LookupValueDataProvider;
import com.uhc.simple.dto.admin.LookupValueRequest;
import com.uhc.simple.dto.admin.LookupValueResponse;

/**
 * Test cases to test {@link ILookupService}.
 */
public class LookupServiceTests extends BaseTestCase
{

    @Test(dataProvider = "LookupValueProvider", dataProviderClass = LookupValueDataProvider.class)
    public void testGetAllLookupValues(String row, LookupValueRequest request, LookupValueResponse expectedResponse)
    {
        ILookupManager manager = super.getLookupManager();
        LookupValueResponse actualResponse = manager.getLookupValues(request);
        Assert.assertEquals(actualResponse.getStatus(), expectedResponse.getStatus());
    }
}

The code snippet above showcases that I have used dataProvider as a value to the annotations and then I have provided a class which is responsible for creating the data that is supplied to the method at the time of invocation. Using this mechanism, I can easily write test cases and its data providers in a de-coupled fashion and use it very effectively.

Why I choose TestNG

For me the Parameterized Testing is the biggest reason why I choose TestNG over Junit. However, everything that I have listed above is the reason why I always want to spend a few minutes in setting up TestNG in a new Eclipse setup or maven project. TestNG is very useful when it comes to running big test suites. For a small project or a training exercise JUnit is fine; because anyone can start with it very quickly; but not for projects where we need 1000s of test cases and in most of those test cases you will have various scenarios to cover.

http://kapilvirenahuja.com/tech/2011/08/07/testng-or-junit/


:)