Testing ASP.NET Web Applications


A unique resource that combines all aspects of Web testing and makes it completely specific to ASP.NET

As Microsoft's key Web technology for creating dynamic, data-driven Web sites and Web applications, ASP.NET is incredibly popular. This is the first book to combine several testing topics and make them specific to ASP.NET. The author duo of Microsoft MVPs covers both the test-driven development approach and the specifics of automated user ...

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A unique resource that combines all aspects of Web testing and makes it completely specific to ASP.NET

As Microsoft's key Web technology for creating dynamic, data-driven Web sites and Web applications, ASP.NET is incredibly popular. This is the first book to combine several testing topics and make them specific to ASP.NET. The author duo of Microsoft MVPs covers both the test-driven development approach and the specifics of automated user interface testing; performance, load, and stress testing; accessibility testing; and security testing.

This definitive guide walks you through the many testing pitfalls you might experience when developing ASP.NET applications. The authors explain the fundamental concepts of testing and demystify all the correct actions you need to consider and the tools that are available so that you may successfully text your application.

  • Author duo of Microsoft MVPs offer a unique resource: a combination of several testing topics and making them specific to ASP.NET, Microsoft's key Web technology for creating dynamic, data-driven Web sites and applications
  • Guides you through the many testing pitfalls you may experience when developing ASP.NET applications
  • Reviews the fundamental concepts of testing and walks you through the various tools and techniques available and for successfully testing an application
  • Discusses several different types of testing: acceptance, stress, accessibility, and security
  • Examines various testing tools, such as nUnit, VS test suite, WCAT, Selenium, Fiddler, Firebug, and more

This one-of-a-kind resource will help you become proficient in successfull application testing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470496640
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/26/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff McWherter is a Microsoft MVP for ASP.NET and theDirector of Simplicity at Web Ascender. He is a founding member andcurrent Program Director for the Greater Lansing User Group for.NET (GLUG.net).

Ben Hall is a Microsoft MVP for C# and a seasonedsoftware developer/tester. In addition to his practice and researchin test techniques, he speaks at conferences and user groups ontesting and test driven development.

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Read an Excerpt

Testing ASP.NET Web Applications

By Jeff McWherter Ben Hall

John Wiley & Sons

Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-470-49664-0

Chapter One

Preliminary Concerns

The term "software bug" is a common term that even beginning computer users know to be a defect or imperfection in a software application. Software users have become accustomed to finding problems with software. Some problems have workarounds and are not severe, whereas others can be extremely problematic and, in some cases, costly. Sadly, as users, we have come to expect this from software. However, in recent years the quality of software has generally increased as software teams spend countless hours identifying and eliminating these problems before the software reaches the user. The process of identifying these bugs is known as testing.

There are many different types of testing that can be performed on your web applications, including functionality of the application, security, load/stress, compliance, and accessibility testing.

If you are new to testing, don't worry: we will explain the fundamental concepts and guide you to the correct actions you'll need to consider for each type of testing discipline. If you already have experience with testing applications, then this book will identify the key areas of the ASP.NET family and pairthem with the correct approaches and the tools available to successfully test your web application.

This book is not intended to be the definitive guide to any particular type of testing, but a thorough overview of each type of web testing discipline. Its goal is to get you started using best practices and testing tools, and provide you with resources to master that particular testing discipline. It's our aim as authors to help the reader navigate to a section of this book and learn what and how they should be testing at any point in the development of a web-based application.

Although existing books cover different testing disciplines in depth, this book is unique because it applies today's best testing approaches to the ASP.NET family, including WebForms, ASP.NET MVC Framework, Web Services, Ajax, Silverlight, and ADO.NET Data Services, ensuring that the key technologies relevant today are able to be tested by the reader.

The History of Testing Tools

Tools for testing have been around for as long as developers have been writing code. In the early years of software development, however, there wasn't a clear distinction between testing and debugging. At the time, this model worked. Some argue that this model worked because the system was closed; most companies who needed software had the developers on staff to create and maintain the systems. Computer systems were not widespread, even though developers worked very closely with customers to deliver exactly what was required. In the years between 1970 and 1995, computer systems started becoming more popular, and the relationships between developers and customers became distant, often placing several layers of management between them.

What is the difference between debugging and testing you might ask? Testing is the process of finding defects in the software. A defect could be a missing feature, a feature that does not perform adequately, or a feature that is broken. Debugging is the process of first tracking down a bug in the software and then fixing it.

Many of the tools developers used for testing in the early days were internal tools developed specifically for a particular project and oftentimes not reused. Developers began to see a need to create reusable tools that included the patterns they learned early on. Testing methodologies evolved and tools started to become standardized, due to this realization. In recent years, testing methodologies have become their own, very strict computer science discipline.

During the past 12 years, many tools have been developed to help make testing easier. However, it's essential to learn about the past and the tools we had previously before diving into the set of tools we have now. It's important to notice that the tools tend to evolve as the process evolves.

The term "debugging" was made popular by Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, a woman who was working on a Mark II computer at Harvard University in August 1945. When her colleagues discovered a moth stuck in a relay, and realized it was causing issues with the system, she made the comment that they were "debugging the system."

The sUnit Testing Framework

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; that said, most modern unit testing frames are derived from the principals set forth in the sUnit testing framework primary developed by Kent Beck in 1998. Below are just a small number of frameworks which have built upon Beck's original concept.

sUnit. Created by Kent Beck for Small Talk, sUnit has become known as the "mother of testing frameworks." Many popular unit testing frameworks such as jUnit and nUnit are ports of sUnit. The key concepts of the sUnit testing framework were originally published in Chapter 30 of Kent Beck's Guide to Better Smalltalk (Cambridge University Press, 1998).

jUnit. A port of sUnit for Java created by Kent Beck and Erich Gamma in late 1998. jUnit helped bring automated unit testing into the main stream.

nUnit. In late 2000, all the great things about jUnit were ported to .NET allowing C# developers to write jUnit style unit tests against their C# code.

qUnit. This is the unit test running for the jQuery Framework. In May 2008, qUnit was promoted to a top-level application in the jQuery project. qUnit allows web developers to run unit tests on JavaScript.

WCAT. First included in the IIS 4 resource kit in 1998, the Web Capacity Analysis Tool (WCAT) is a freely distributed command-line tool that allows a server to be configured with agents to perform load/stress testing on websites.

Web Application Stress Tool. In 1999, Microsoft released a free tool to create GUI browser stress tests. This tool recorded a browser session and scripted the actions into a Visual Basic 6 script that could be modified. Because the tool generated scripts that could be modified, many web developers used the tool not only for stress testing but modified the scripts for user interface functional testing.

Microsoft Application Center Test. Included in Visual Studio 2001 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft ACT improved upon the Web Application Stress tool. Microsoft ACT provided a schema in which the tests could be distributed among agents for large-scale load testing.

Framework for Integrated Test (FIT). Created by Ward Cunningham in 2002, FIT is a tool for automated customer tests. Examples of how the software should perform are provided by the customer, and automated Test fixtures are created by the developer. The goal of FIT is to help integrate the work of developers, customers, tests, and analysts.

Fitnesse. Ported to .NET in 2006 by David Chelimsky and Mike Stockdale, Fitnesse combines a web server, Wiki, and the FIT software acceptance testing framework together. This provides an acceptance testing framework which allows users to define input that can be interpreted by a Test fixture allowing for non-technical users to write tests.

Watir. In May 2002, the Web Application Testing in Ruby Watir (pronounced "Water"), a library to automate browser acceptance tests in Ruby, is released.

Selenium. Selenium provides a suite of tools for automated user interface testing of web applications. In 2004, Jason Huggins of Thoughtworks created the core "JavaScriptTestRunner" mode for automation testing of a time and expense system.

WatiN. In May 2006, Watir, the popular browser acceptance testing framework, is ported to .NET as the WatiN (pronounced "Watt in") project.

Visual Studio 2005 Test Edition. In 2005, Microsoft released a version of Visual Studio that included a new unit testing framework created by Microsoft called MS Test. Along with this new unit testing framework, what was known previously as Microsoft Application Center Test (Microsoft ACT) was integrated into this version as Web Unit Tests and Web Load Tests. Visual Studio 2008 Professional. In 2008, the professional version of Visual Studio 2008 included MSTest.

Testing Terminology

As with many different aspects in programming, testing disciplines have their own unique vocabulary. However, because of the number of terms, the barrier to entry is high and can scare new developers. This section is intended to get the reader up to speed on some common terms that will be used throughout the remainder of this book. The terms shown next are only intended to be a brief explanation. Each term will be discussed thoroughly in their respective chapters.

Test. A test is a systematic procedure to ensure that a particular unit of an application is working correctly.

Pass. A pass indicates that everything is working correctly. When represented on a report or user interface (UI), it is represented as green.

Fail. In the case of a fail, the functionality being tested has changed and as a result no longer works as expected. When represented on a report, this is represented as red.

xUnit. xUnit refers to the various testing frameworks which were originally ported from sUnit. Tools such as jUnit, qUnit, and nUnit fall into the xUnit family.

Test Fixture. Test fixtures refer to the state a test must be in before the test can be run. Test fixtures prepare any objects that need to be in place before the test is run. Fixtures ensure a known, repeatable state for the tests to be run in.

Test Driven Development (TDD). Test Driven Development is an Agile Software Development process where a test for a procedure is created before the code is created.

Behavior Driven Development (BDD). Building on top of the fundamentals of TDD, BDD aims to take more advantage of the design and documentation aspects of TDD to provide more value to the customer and business.

Test Double. When we cannot, or choose not, to use a real component in unit tests, the object that is substituted for the real component is called a test double.

Stub. A test stub is a specific type of test double. A stub is used when you need to replicate an object and control the output, but without verifying any interactions with the stub object for correctness. Many types of stubs exist, such as the responder, saboteur, temporary, procedural, and entity chain, which are discussed in more depth in Chapter 2.

Mock. Mock objects are also a form of test double and work in a similar fashion to stub objects. Mocks are used to simulate the behavior of a complex object. Any interactions made with the mock object are verified for correctness, unlike stub objects. Mock objects are covered in depth in Chapter 2.

Fake. Fake objects are yet another type of test doubles. Fake objects are similar to test stubs, but replace parts of the functionality with their own implementation to enable testing to be easier for the method.

Dummy Objects. Dummy objects are used when methods require an object as part of their method or constructor. However, in this case the object is never used by the code under test. As such, a common dummy object is null.

Unit Test. A unit test is a method used to verify that a small unit of source code is working properly. Unit tests should be independent of external resources such as databases and files. A unit is generally considered a method.

Developer Test. This is another term for a unit test.

Integration Test. This is similar to a unit test; however, instead of being an isolation unit, these test cross-application and system boundaries.

Functional Test. Functional tests group units of work together to test an external requirement. Testing disciplines such as graphical user interface testing and performance testing are considered functional tests.

GUI Test. GUI tests test the graphical user interface. GUI tests are considered functional tests. Applications are used to simulate users interacting with the system such as entering text into a field or clicking a button. Verifications are then made based on the response from the UI or system.

Customer Test. This is another term for an acceptance test.

System Test. The term system test is a term to indicate an "End To End" test of the system. System tests include unit testing, security testing, GUI testing, functional testing, acceptance testing, and accessibility testing.

Load Test. A large amount of connections are made to the website to determine if it will scale correctly. This type of testing is to ensure that the website can handle the peak load expected when the website is used in production without any errors or failures.

Stress Test. This is another name for a load test.

Performance Test. Performance testing measures the response of a system in normal use and when it's placed under load. A common metric for Web Applications is Time To First Byte (TTFB) and Requests Per Second (RPS).

Acceptance Test. This is a formal test to indicate if a function of a software project conforms to the specification the customer expects.

Black Box Test. A black box test is a test created without knowing the internal workings of the feature being tested. The only information you have to base your tests on is the requirements.

White Box Test. A white box test is a test created with knowledge of the inner workings of the code being tested. By using your internal knowledge of the system you can adapt the inputs you use to ensure high test coverage and correctness of the system.

Regression Test. A regression test is a test created to ensure that existing functionality was working correctly previously and is still working as expected.

Testing Myths

Some developers are required to explain every development practice and tool they'll need to create a piece of software to their managers; it's this manager who will then decide if the practice or tool is prudent for use. These managers are often developers that have been promoted, and their focus is no longer on development but managing. Former developers do not always make for the best managers; many times they don't keep their development skills sharp, and they can sometimes deny the use of new techniques and tools just because it's not the way that they do things. These situations do not make sense and are often hard for developers to handle, especially junior developers who are very eager to learn the latest and greatest technology.

Unit testing frameworks have been mainstream for roughly 10 years, but still, many managers fight developers who ask to implement unit testing frameworks. This section explores some of the popular myths around testing and helps give advice to the developer who is having issues implementing a testing regiment into their organization.

Testing Is Expensive

Frederick Brooks stated in his book of essays, The Mythical Man-Month, that "A bug found in the field can easily cost one thousand times more to resolve then one found in development."


Excerpted from Testing ASP.NET Web Applications by Jeff McWherter Ben Hall Copyright © 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Preliminary Concerns.

Chapter 2: Design and Testability.

Chapter 3: Unit Testing and Test Driven Development.

Chapter 4: Integration Testing.

Chapter 5: Automated User Interface Testing.

Chapter 6: Acceptance Testing.

Chapter 7: Manual Testing.

Chapter 8: Performance Testing.

Chapter 9: Accessibility Testing.

Chapter 10: Security Testing.


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