7. Unit Testing

7.1. What Is Unit Testing ?

Most regression testing as done by DejaGnu is system testing. This is the complete application is tested all at once. Unit testing is for testing single files, or small libraries. In this case, each file is linked with a test case in C or C++, and each function or class and method is tested in series, with the test case having to check private data or global variables to see if the function or method worked.

This works particularly well for testing APIs and at level where it is easier to debug them, than by needing to trace through the entire application. Also if there is a specification for the API to be tested, the testcase can also function as a compliance test.

7.2. The dejagnu.h Header File

DejaGnu uses a single header file to assist in unit testing. As this file also produces its one test state output, it can be run standalone, which is very useful for testing on embedded systems. This header file has a C and C++ API for the test states, with simple totals, and standardized output. Because the output has been standardized, DejaGnu can be made to work with this test case, without writing almost any Tcl. The library module, dejagnu.exp, will look for the output messages, and then merge them into DejaGnu's.