Updated March 30, 2023
Introduction to C++ testing framework
C++ testing framework is defined as a set of rules and guidelines that enable the professional to create and design test cases. This framework enables the professionals to combine practices and tools so that they are capable of testing the application efficiently. The framework comprises of coding standards, methods for handling test data, repositories for objects, and finally storing the results. With the framework, one can easily claim a lot of benefits in terms of testing as the framework allows improving the test efficiency, lowering the maintenance cost, the requirement of minimalistic manual intervention, having the maximum test coverage, and code reusability. Testing frameworks come in various forms, sizes, and capabilities, and in this article, we will talk about the ones which are widely used in the world of C++ testing frameworks, and we need to be clear one thing about the article that the frameworks talked about here might not be exhaustive!
The framework of C++ testing
There are various testing frameworks for that are available in the world of C++ testing. The frameworks that are available also fall in the categories of types of testing. In order to know the intent of the testing framework, we would need to know the intent of the category of testing and then look at some of the widely used frameworks. Most of the focus in C++ is towards the unit testing, and hence you would see a lot of frameworks being mentioned for the same, although we do have quite a few for other categories as well. Some categories like acceptance testing and regression tests might not have tools, but we will discuss how it can be tackled otherwise. Starting to list them down here, we have:
1. Unit Testing
Every code consists of units or blocks of code that perform collectively to achieve a singular task. This singular task might not be the end motive of the entire application but a step towards achieving the same. The testing frameworks in this category look largely at the aspect of associated control of the data, procedure of usage, and operations, though just not restricted to only these. In the C++ testing framework, this genre of testing gets the maximum examples as most of the application building lies on the unit testing.
- API Sanity Checker: The framework looks into generating reasonable input arguments directly from the library header files so that every API function is tested.
- CppUnit: Using this framework, it is easy for an application with C and C++ sources to be easily tested with the least source modification. This framework runs the tests in the suite and has some advanced filters that allow easy continuous reporting integration systems.
- Google Test: One of the most widely used frameworks that have the trust of Google. This framework executes tests cases on the xUnit architecture, and this as well allows developers to unit test with the least code modification. OpenCV is a computer vision library that uses Google Test for all its unit testing purpose.
- UnitTest++: This is the lightweight unit testing framework that is also widely used in C++. This framework focuses on keeping it simple, portable without compromising on speed. This framework applies to all 3 platforms, viz. Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
2. Integration Testing
Often abbreviated as I&T, the modules that form the units in the above type of testing are collectively combined to perform the testing as a group. This looks into the compliance of the system when all the modules are used together, along with the adherence to the specified functionalities of the application as a whole. This step happens after the unit testing is performed. Some of the frameworks in C++ for integration testing (although one should know that most of these do support unit testing as well but are majorly used for integration testing) are:
- VectorCAST/C++: This is one of the proprietary frameworks that allow combo the benefit of building test harnesses to perform unit testing and integration testing. This tool also allows execution trace, so that debugging is assisted.
- Cantata++: This is a commercial program written for dynamic testing and is being marketed by QA Systems. The Ide is based on Eclipse and allows developers to perform unit and integration tests under the same hood.
3. Regression Testing
In this type of testing, all the functional and non-functional tests are run from the previously developed modules that already existed as the feature. We are sure that the older features are still usable even if we expand our horizon of the feature implementation in the application. In this, mostly the unit test frameworks are executed to test out the earlier written test cases.
4. Acceptance Testing
This genre of testing relates to evaluating the compliance of the system to the business demands so that it can be evaluated if it needs to be accepted or rejected. This is to do with mostly running some tests to make sure that the requirements under the contract are met. UAT (User Acceptance Testing) is typically performed in this regard to make sure that the end-user verifies and accepts the feature(s). not much framework exists and is mostly written as per the need of the application.
5. Performance Testing
Now that the application runs and meets the expectations, it is also equally important for this application to run at optimized speed, have high responsiveness, have no interference on the stability, and the application is performing as expected under a full capable workload.
- CPPOCL/test: This framework allows developers to identify tests as functions, passing or failing the test on the basis of a threshold in performance. This also allows custom logging to make sure that the logs can be made interpretable!
In this article, we have looked at the various testing genre that exists in the C++ environment along with an example from each so that depending on what needs to be tested, one can refer to the list of widely used ones or search for specific ones on the wiki as required at the moment!
This is a guide to C++ testing framework. Here we discuss the various testing genre that exists in the C++ environment, along with an example. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –