Wednesday, October 26, 2005

When to do Interactive or State based testing?

Take this code snippet for example.

public void doSomethingAndSave(){

For the above method, we might have these following behaviors to verify.

Behavior 1) shouldCallDaoSave
Behavior 2) shouldDoSomething

Behavior 1 is perfect for using interactive based testing. By using mock we could avoid going to database.

In behavior 2, we do not care whether it is calling getDao().save(), all we want to verify is whether it is doing “something" that we specify. In this situation state based testing is better than interactive based testing. By using dummy stubs, we do not have to change this behavior even if we decide not save anything after doing “something”. But if we used interactive based testing for this behavior, then we would have to fix this behavior (even though nothing has changed in behavior that it specifies) when we refactor this method not to save anything.

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