The smallest testable part of an application is called a unit. Unit testing is a method of testing software where separate source code units are made to undergo tests along with associated control data, procedures regarding usage as well as operation, to make sure that the code meets its intended design and function. The frameworks involved in this type of testing also prove helpful in cases where the software testing professionals are trying to assess one exclusive function of any specific product or application. In order to conduct unit testing, every test case is independent of each other as well as substitutes, which include method subs, fakes, mock objects, etc. The test harnesses are also helpful in assisting an isolated module test.
When it comes to unit testing, test automation is the most desirable. Automation testing is crucial in this case since it not only ensures a better quality but also brings down both the cost and the required time involved in the process. On the other hand, manual tests would not only involve a lot of time and effort but also would involve way higher costs, while also leaving chances of human errors involved in manual coding. To reap the maximum benefits of automated unit testing, it is crucial to opt for a testing tool which is best suited for your purpose, having measured them against these three key parameters:
Least amount of time to implement:
It is beneficial for testers to be already familiar with the technology of the tool that is being used for testing purposes. Having a sound knowledge about the tool efficiently reduces the time consumed to implement. The implementation time is also significantly reduced in case of the availability of detailed documentation along with the support.
Least cost involved:
When it comes to cost reduction, the obvious solution to this might seem the employment of an open-source tool that offers free usage. However, these tools might not be efficient enough. In addition, their operational costs might be higher. Even though going for a commercial tool that needs some initial investment might seem unnecessary, the advanced features of such tools make testing a lot easier and in the long run, end up reducing the total cost.
Flexibility in the tools:
Since each test case comes with its own unique aspects, the tools used in unit testing should provide the function of code modification as well as a framework that allows the test codes to be readable to enable quick fixing of bugs.
Keeping all the above factors in mind, here we have shortlisted some of the most popular and efficient automated unit testing tools in the market:
This one ranks among one of the most well-rated frameworks for unit testing. A part of the ASP.NET open-source gallery, this is a .NET framework unit testing tool that comes free of cost. The structure and functions of its framework were derived from Smalltalk SUnit, later ported to Java. This tool is compatible with CodeRush, TestDriven.NET, ReSharper, etc. This is a tool that is community focused. It was the original author of NUnit that wrote this tool as well.
This tool supports unit testing for every .NET language. The tool belongs to the xUnit family and is written in C#. This is open-source software, with the newest version, NUnit 3.0, being registered under the MIT license. This version is still in the development process; however, the beta version is still available with new infrastructure and features.
JUnit basically involves the same unit testing framework of the xUnit architecture but for Java. The framework is simple and clean. The Junit tool comes with features like assertions for testing pre-anticipated outcomes, test fixtures to share mutual testing data, test runners to conduct tests, and so on. This tool is also open-source software, and it is hosted on SourceForge.
This tool includes the same unit testing framework as that of xUnit architecture but for a different programming language, which is PHP. The tool is built on the JUnit Java framework. Through this tool, the output test results can be formatted in different languages. The language format, which is supported by this tool includes, JUnit XML, Test Anything Protocol, JSON, and TestDox. Another amazing feature is, PHPUnit can function on operating systems across multiple platforms. This tool is hosted on GitHub.
5. Symfony Lime:
Symfony Lime is one of the most specialized unit testing tools. This is also a functional testing framework that is designed specifically for the framework of the Symfony web application, which is built on the Test::More Perl library. The framework for this tool accommodates readable test output, including color formatting, and it follows the Test Anything Protocol that enables this tool to be integrated smoothly with other tools.
Unit testing is a growingly popular software testing method as it enables testers to detect and fix the bugs quite early in the software development life cycle. The procedure of checking the efficiency of every individual part and then running a quality assurance test on the whole thing makes it easier to conduct integration testing. This makes the whole process quicker, as well as documentation of the progression, which plays a key part in the success of a unit becomes a simpler task for both the developers and the testers. Using tools to conduct automated unit tests fragments the whole concept into several parts, that include C, C++, Python, PHP, Java Unit Testing, and so on. However, the common purpose of unit testing is to provide quicker and more efficient automated testing procedures.
Therefore, choosing a specific tool wisely for your unit testing requirements is quite an important task. It is very important that you go through the specific features of every tool you consider and match them with your precise requirements. It is also a good practice to compare several top-performing and well-rated tools in the market and then opt for the one that best suits your unit testing requirements.