In vehicle development, engineers normally implement test cases for control units and associated software manually for the respective test automation solutions. This kind of manual procedure is time consuming and error prone, especially given that the requirements continue to change as the speed of development accelerates. For this reason, MicroNova has developed the NovaCarts Test Case Generator (TCG).
The solution automates the process of test case creation and generates it completely automatically from the specifications in the EXAM test automation solution. Thereby, more tests can be run in less time, which increases the efficiency of component tests. The fundamental uniformity and clear structure of the procedure reduces maintenance for the test cases and improves the traceability, comparability, and reproducibility. In addition to automotive companies, users from other industries can also benefit from this in ECU and software testing.
A test designer can administer many more processes with the TCG than with purely manually implemented tests. Thus, more results are available faster. In addition to that, the designer can in this way devote more time to more complex cases.
Mode of Operation of TCG in Connection with EXAM
The TCG serves as a functional extension of EXAM. It operates as a plug-in or supports many of the convenience functions of the test automation solutions because it is built on familiar concepts like “ShortNames” or “TestCaseStates”. As a central tool, the Test Case Generator construes the associated specifications as a sequence of commands. The mapping between these commands and EXAM operations thereby constitutes a prerequisite for the automatic generation of test cases. This reduces the effort needed during the implementation of tests of control units that accompany their development. This command mapping is done centrally in the EXAM model. The mapping provides test specifiers with clear guidelines for new "TestSpecs" and existing ones can be adapted with minimum effort. Subsequently, using the technical specifications of the user, the TCG creates a complete, executable “TestCase” as a sequence diagram in a matter of seconds.
TCG synchronized cases from a specifications tool, such as DOORS (Dynamic Object Oriented Requirements System), serve as the basis of the generation. The maintenance of the test procedures and parameters takes place outside of EXAM in the requirements management program. Changes are therefore made centrally in the respective EXAM library or in the associated test specs. Once this is done, they can be used in all test cases.
“With the automated test case generation, the department in charge can quickly and flexibly react to the rapidly increasing frequency of changes taking place in function development.”, says Martin Bayer, Head of Testing Solutions at MicroNova, emphasizing the advantages of the tool. “When TCG is used for all test cases, the results of the tests can be uniformly checked and the processes can be reliably traced. The standardization of the specifications will ensure consistently high quality in the future. In addition to that, because TCG can be fully integrated into EXAM, no additional or cost-intensive interfaces are necessary. Thus, the solution offers great savings potentials in terms of time, effort and costs – and at the same time higher test coverage.”