The Need for Speed: Automating Acceptance Testing in an eXtreme Programming Environment

Author(s): Lisa Crispin, Tip House, Carol Wade
Venue: Second International Conference on eXtreme Programming and Flexible Processes in Software Engineering
Date: 2001

Type of Experiement: Other
Class/Experience Level: Professional
Data Collection Method: Observation


This paper reports the experience of using automatic acceptance testing in the agile environment at Tensegrent (a software company). This paper describes some of the high-level questions that are asked of automating acceptance testing and how this particular company addressed or at least views them. The paper starts by describing what kinds of tests can be automated and the principles of XP functional test automation. These principles mirror traditional XP principles and help drive the creation of quality acceptance tests. The paper then describes who does the actual automating and how the team structure works with automated acceptance tests.

The paper then gets into the specific tools used in automated acceptance testing. This section of the paper isn’t as useful, as it definitely shows its age (such as referring to a new framework called jUnit). The actual acceptance test framework was written from scratch, closely resembling the future FIT style of testing. The paper does describe the benefit of reporting and the types of reports that benefit team members. The paper concludes with some real-world examples of testing design and documentation.