Testing Processes of Web Applications

Abstract

Current practice in Web application development is based on the skills of the individual programmers and often does not apply the principles of software engineering. The increasing economic relevance and internal complexity of the new generation of Web applications require that proper quality standards are reached and that development is kept under control. It is therefore likely that the formalization of the process followed while developing these applications will be one of the major research topics.

In this paper we focus on Web application testing, a crucial phase when quality and reliability are a goal. Testing is considered in the wider context of the whole development process, for which an incremental/iterative model is devised. The processes behind the testing activities are analyzed considering the specificity of Web applications, for which the availability of a reference model is shown to be particularly important. The approach proposed in this paper covers the integration testing phase, which can take advantage of some features of Web applications (e.g., the http protocol employed), thus resulting in a higher level of automation with respect to traditional software.

The testing processes described in this paper are supported by the prototype research tool TestWeb. This tool exploits a reverse engineered UML (Unified Modeling Language) model of the Web application to generate and execute test cases, in order to satisfy the testing criteria selected by the user. The usage of this tool will be presented with reference to a real-world case study.