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How To Measure And Improve The Quality And Coverage of BDD Tests in .NET?

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In the present generation, app developers can use various new integrations and test cases to improve the efficiency of their testing process. For instance, automation testing is a modern app testing process that helps developers initiate and execute the test cases automatically using pre-written test scripts. While working with modern applications, the developers can adopt various development forms, like behavior-driven and test-driven development. 

While implementing these test cases, the testers need to analyze, measure, and improve the quality of the testing coverage. It is also important to ensure the smooth functioning of the application architecture despite the device or software configuration; testers leverage online Mobile device lab for that purpose. 

With this article, we will elaborate on how the developers can improve and measure the quality and coverage of BDD tests while using .NET. We will also understand some of the best practices and automation testing tools that can help the developers improve the productivity and overall efficiency of the testing environment.

Understanding BDD

BDD also known as behavior-driven development tests is a type of automated tests which focus on describing the expected behavior of modern software. It defines these parameters from the perspective of the company stakeholders. Using this testing process, the testers can bridge the gap between the technical and non-technical team members using common languages for defining and verifying the system’s behavior. Let us now shift our focus toward the main component of behavior-driven development:

  • Features

These represent high-level functionalities or capabilities of the system. The features are described in a human-readable language that stakeholders can understand. All the components and the feature list are simplified so that they can be easily understood and tracked.

  • Scenarios

Scenarios are solid examples of how the system should behave in specific situations. While writing the scenarios, the developers will use structured formats like Gherkin syntax. The primary goal of this process is to ensure readability by both technical and nontechnical individuals.

  • Steps

Scenarios are mainly composed of steps that follow the Given-When-Then structure. Here, Given describes the initial context or preconditions for the scenario. The term When specifies the action or event that will trigger the behavior that is being tested in this process. Finally, using the Then scenario, the developers can define the expected outcome or result of the action that is being tested.

While using behavior-driven development, the developers can not only use humanly readable languages to describe system behavior but also improve the collaboration between different members of the app developing company. Moreover, focusing on the behavior of the application helps improve the efficiency and accuracy of automation testing. 

Finally, behavior-driven development scenarios serve as living documentation that is continuously updated and maintained as per the system’s evolution. So, it provides a clear and updated understanding of the system’s behavior.

Some of the most popular BDD frameworks include Cucumber, SpecFlow (for .NET), and Behave.NET. Using these frameworks, the developers can enable the implementation and execution of BDD tests using scenarios to be written in a human-readable format. The framework will also automatically translate the scenarios into executable test code. 

Using this testing format, the testers can ensure that the software meets the intended behavior and satisfies the needs of both the users and the company stakeholders.

Exploring .NET as a Software Development Framework

For the basics, we can say that .NET is a software development framework that is developed by Microsoft. Using this platform, the developers can deploy, build, and run applications which include mobile, web, desktop, cloud-based, and even IoT apps. To improve our knowledge about the .NET framework, let us now understand the major components of it:

  • Common Language Runtime

Common language runtime also known as CLR is a runtime environment within .NET. It manages the execution of all .NET programs. It also provides services including exception handling, security, and memory management.

Software development
Software development
  • Base Class Library

This is a collection of prebuilt classes, value types, and interfaces that provide a wide range of functionalities for developing applications. These applications include data access, networking, file I/O, and many others.

  • Languages

While using .NET, the developers can use multiple programming languages like Visual Basic, C#, and many others. Based on the application development project or the preferences of the developers, they can choose any programming language to build applications that target the .NET framework.

  • Development Tools

In case the developers are building .NET apps, they have to use Visual Basic as the primary integrated development environment. This tool offers multiple options for debugging, coding, and deploying the applications

  • Frameworks

While using .NET, the developers can access multiple frameworks for different types of applications. For instance, the original .NET framework primarily works for Windows-based apps. The .NET core is specifically designed for working on cross-platform and open-source frameworks that evolved into .NET 5 and later versions. 

Finally, the .NET 6 and beyond apps were created after Microsoft united the .NET core and .NET framework into a single entity known as .NET 6. Microsoft continues to update this framework with subsequent updates. This framework primarily emphasizes cross-platform development and performance improvements.

.NET has a large and active developer community that continues to evolve with multiple improvements, updates, and new features. So, this community provides a robust and versatile platform for software development across diverse platforms and domains.

Measuring and Improving BDD Coverage in .NET

BDD testing in .NET can be measured and improved using various practices and techniques. To simplify this knowledge for the new automation testers and developers, we have mentioned some of the most efficient steps for measuring and enhancing the quality and coverage of BDD:

  1. Measuring the Test Coverage and Quality
  • The app developers can utilize code coverage tools like dotCover or Coverlet to measure the percentage of code covered by the BDD tests. It is also important to aim for a higher percentage to ensure comprehensive test coverage. This process also helps the developers to ensure that there is at least one dedicated testing instance for verifying the performance of all the elements present on the web application.
  • The developers can also use multiple test reporting tools like NUnitTestApdater or SpecFLow+LivingDoc to generate detailed test reports about BDD coverage. These reports will show the test results, passed rates, or any failing scenarios that might arise during the test execution process.
  • While measuring the test quality of BDD testing, app developers can consider various modern test metrics like test failures, test execution time, and test flakiness. These parameters will also provide crucial information about areas of improvement within the application architecture.
  1. Improving Test Coverage and Quality
  • After analyzing the code coverage reports, the developers will be able to identify untested or poorly tested areas. So, it is important to focus on covering these testing gaps with additional BDD scenarios.
  • The developers must focus on refactoring existing tests to improve maintainability, readability, and to avoid duplication of test cases. It is also important to ensure that the scenarios are focused, concise, and cover the specific behavior of the application.
  • The app-developing companies must encourage collaboration between testers, developers, and business stakeholders. This collaboration will create meaningful scenarios that accurately represent the desired behavior for the application that is currently being developed.
  • We advise the app developers to use parameterization and data-driven testing along with BDD scenarios. This approach will cover different scenarios using valid inputs and also enhance the test coverage.
  • The developers and testers can consider employing mocking frameworks like Moq or NSubstitute. This will help the testers to simulate external dependencies or complex behaviors of the application. So, it will further help in guaranteeing comprehensive BDD testing.
  • By regularly conducting reviews of BDD tests with the team, the developers can gather feedback and continuously improve the quality of the BDD scenarios.
  • We also advise modern automation testers to include continuous integration and continuous deployment with BDD testing in .NET. This approach will help them to automatically run the test cases on multiple code changes and ensure quick feedback. This process will also help to identify and resolve the issues at earlier phases before they can take a serious turn.
  • Finally, we would advise the application developers to prioritize the test cases based on critical business functionalities. This approach will allow the developers to focus their efforts on areas with a higher impact on the stability of the application infrastructure.
  1. Additional Tips 
  • Although we mentioned the generalized steps for measuring and improving BDD coverage, we encourage the app developers to understand the specific requirements of the application, the target audience, and the company’s intentions. These parameters will massively help the developers to further customize the test cases and improve their accuracy.
  • It is also important for the developers to go through the official documentation of .NET as it will provide various information about additional features, methods, and tools that can further help refine the test cases.
  • We also advise automation testers to consider the prospect of integrating modern cloud platforms with BDD testing in .NET. This is because modern cloud platforms like LambdaTest allow application developers to execute .NET testing using automation testing tools like Selenium WebDriver. These platforms also allow the developers to execute behavior-driven test cases on thousands of real devices through remote servers. 

Moreover, LambdaTest natively supports the integration of .NET using the LambdaTest API and the Selenium Grid. Some of the additional features include live test activity logs, a native bug tracker, and comprehensive test report creation.

  • The testers must remember that the real essence of BDD is not just about writing tests but ensuring these tests reflect the expected behavior of the application. It is also equally important to maintain the simplicity of the test cases so that they can be understood by company stakeholders. We advise the developers to regularly revisit and refine the scenarios based on feedback and changes in requirements. This is a crucial parameter for maintaining high-quality BDD tests in .NET.

The Bottom Line

So, it is very important for the application developers to properly understand the quality and coverage of behavior-driven development with .NET. It is also important for modern testers and developers to understand the importance of integrating automation testing in the modern application development and testing life cycle. 

In this regard, we would encourage the app-developing companies to host frequent workshops and seminars to spread proper knowledge regarding healthy automation testing practices. Finally, we would advise the app developers to thoroughly survey their target audience to understand their requirements and customize the applications accordingly. While choosing the automation testing framework, the developers should also consider their preferences with project requirements to make the perfect decision.

Check out the Guide to Using Automated Software Testing Tools.

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